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3 16 FA Thunder Times Newsletter -- April 2014


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3 16 FA Thunder Times Newsletter -- April 2014

  1. 1. Task Force Thunder Families, Believe it or not, we’ve reached the third week in April and are well over the “hump” of our deployment! It’s very much springtime (or summer with the triple digit temperatures we are already experiencing) here in Ku- wait, and that can only mean one thing for every Thunder Soldier—redeployment is just a couple more months away. It’s hard to believe that this time last year we were returning from block leave after training on the frigid high plains of the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site and preparing for our long bus rides to the National Training Center in California. While there’s still much to be done to complete our mission here in Kuwait, CSM Perez and I could not be prouder of the work that Task Force Thunder has done nor more confident that we will be fully prepared to hand over our mission in June/July. Although the brigade and task force staff have begun planning for our redeploy- ment and reintegration at Fort Carson, there is still plenty of hard work and vigilance to be done here in Kuwait. Several weeks ago Task Force Thunder welcomed Assassin Company (from 204th BSB) as they’ve taken on the security mission at the Sea Port Of Debarkation/Embarkation (SPOD/E). By now, the Assassins are fully integrated into Task Force Thunder and are a great addition to the team! Welcome CPT Nagle and 1SG (SFC) West! As I’m sure you are hearing from your forward deployed Soldiers themselves, Thunder Soldiers continue to work hard at our various Security Force missions and artillery training, very much earning their paychecks every week. We remain grateful for the caring work, including many hours of volunteered personal time, that Thunder Family Readiness Group (FRG) leaders have done to watch over our families while we’re deployed. Led by Cap- tain Munoz and Sergeants First Class Reaser and Burdick, the Thunder Rear Detachment team has done an ex- cellent job with informing and watching over Thunder Families to ensure they have all the resources and support they need to endure this deployment. As we edge closer to redeployment, leaders in the task force will be working hard to counsel and advise Soldiers about some of the risks involved during the redeployment and reintegration periods when we tend to let our guard down and become complacent. I encourage all Soldiers and family members to continue candid com- munication with each other to ensure we’re prepared for the smoothest transition and reintegration possible. Thanks again for all that you do to make our service to the nation possible—we couldn’t do our jobs without you! ROLLING THUNDER! Lieutenant Colonel Keith Jarolimek Command Sergeant Major Benito Perez 3-16 FIELD ARTILLERY REGIMENT April 2014 April 2014
  2. 2. Page 2THUNDER TIMES Friends and family of Hardrock Battery, Another month has passed, and the hard work and dedi- cation of your Soldiers have not gone unnoticed. We know this is in no small part due to the constant support you provide them, so we would like to thank you for your love and dedication. With the deployment over half way complete, we eagerly await our return, but in the mean- time we would like to give you an update on our activities here in Kuwait. We would first like to welcome 1SG Murphy to our team. He has been an outstanding member of the Thunder Battalion since 2011, but it is now our honor to have him as a member of Hardrock Battery. A new set of eyes and ideas has been a welcome addition to our team. 1SG’s vigor and enthusiasm is quickly spreading through our formation, and we are all positively affected by his leadership. We all have full confidence his influence will continue to improve the Battery. We would like to congratulate the following Soldiers on their promotions: SGT Gomez, SGT Rogers, SPC Austin, SPC Jones, SPC Repine, SPC York, and SPC Bernard. We would also like to congratulate PFC Powell for being selected as TF Thunder’s Soldier of the week, and SGT Huston, SGT Schrader, SPC Acosta and SPC Rincon for being recognized by COL Jones as among the War- horse Top 10%. The last month was a busy one for the Hardrock Battery. At Camp Buehring the TAC is leading the Battalion through Field Artillery Gunnery Tables ensuring Soldiers remain trained on their core job skills and are ready to receive any mission assigned to us. At Camp Arifjan Hardrock Soldiers continue to support the Battalion’s logistical efforts by preparing our equipment for redeployment. While our Soldiers at Camp Patriot continue to support the Battalion’s mission command, intelligence, communications, and personnel operations. Our medics are spread across all three locations doing medical Table training. We have also had the opportunity to participate in M4 and M9 ranges, joint Raven training in the Persian Gulf, joint firing exercises on Camp Buehring, and experience the local culture through MWR trips. Some great pictures of the Battery in action are available on the Battalion’s Face- book page ( CPT Mark T. Connelley 1SG Willie L. Murphy, Jr.
  3. 3. Page 3 THUNDER TIMES Friends and families of Automatic Battery, With the passing of March, Automatic Bat- tery marked down another successful month in Ku- wait as we continue to work towards a wide range of objectives in support of the Area Support Group- Kuwait mission. Our Soldiers and Leaders continue to set and exceed the standard regardless of the task and show no signs of letting up as we prepare for a final change of mission for our two firing platoons. First platoon closed out their last full month at Camp Arifjan, and looks forward to their long-awaited rotation through Camp Buehring. They will be the fourth and final firing platoon to shoot artillery tables VI and XII during their rotation. The platoon has worked hard over the past month to perfect the Paladin crew drill and certify their sections in preparation for the live fire. There is no doubt they are ready to lay some steel on target in the coming weeks after months of chasing camels away from the perime- ter. The men of second platoon, having already rotated through Camp Buehring and spent the last several months at Camp Patriot, will finally have the opportunity to spend some time back under the bat- tery headquarters at Camp Arifjan. Later in April they will conduct a relief-in-place with first platoon and assume a partnership mission and quick-reaction-force (QRF) responsibilities. They too, will have the opportunity to interact with some local Kuwaiti Camels, train on security tasks and part- ner with Kuwaiti Forces during the final stretch of our deployment. As always, thanks to our families back home for keeping up the support. Automatic Steel! CPT Dave Collins & 1SG Glendon Sorrell
  4. 4. Hello family and friends of Bulldog Battery! Bravo Battery has begun to focus on redeploy- ment and integration. Our readers will be pleased to know the time to return is quickly approaching. The Bat- tery FRG has covered the initial schedule once we touch -down, but you can expect more details as we get closer. HQ Platoon represents the main effort now in the deployment cycle. They are tasked with setting the condi- tions for a swift and successful transition once the replace- ment unit arrives. Areas of mainte- nance, supply, and personnel actions are always a focus, but their impor- tance becomes readily apparent dur- ing the time of transition. Three HQ Soldiers; SGT Marble, SGT Barrien- tos, and PFC Asiedu were recipients of the ASG-KU Coin for their hard work and dedication to mission suc- cess. The recognition of these three Soldiers illustrates the solid foundation that Bravo Battery has. 1st Platoon continues its mission of security force- protection operations. The routine of work and rest makes the days go by. The platoon has been able to see Kuwait City, both with the MWR and Cultural Morale Events. Soldiers have also taken advantage of the tuition assistance program, with six 1st Platoon Sol- diers enrolled in college classes. 2nd Platoon successfully completed their Artillery Gunnery Tables at Camp Buehring. The pla- toon experienced a few dust storms and a herd of camels which ran through their firing point on the last day of the live fire. Kuwait has offered a unique environment to conduct core artillery training. They have since returned to Camp Patriot, brining Bravo Battery back to full strength. The entire Battery hasn’t been together in one location, for more than a day, since December. The platoon has begun conducting security-force protection of the Kuwait Naval Base again. As always, thank you for being supportive to your Soldiers and the Bulldog Battery! Two more Battery newsletters to go and your Soldier will be home to share stories in person. Bulldog Nation! CPT Mason 1SG Henriquez Page 4 THUNDER TIMES
  5. 5. Page 5 THUNDER TIMES Friends and families of Gladiator Company, We are two thirds of the way through this deployment and excitement is starting to build, but we must remember to keep our eye on the ball and continue so we may finish strong. Birthdays for the month included 2LT Biondo, PV2 Gerhart, 2LT Halverson and SGT Nakitende. We hope you are enjoying all of the pictures we are posting up for you to see! The Gladiators of Headquarters platoon have been doing an outstanding job at Camp Patriot Dining Facility. All DFAC personnel ensure the qual- ity of the food and appearance is to standard, and my Headquarter personal complete every task that is given to them. We would like to congratulate PV2 Schrack who was promoted on the first of April from PV2 to PFC. SSG Crawford is the Headquarters Platoon Ser- geant and he maintains the Dining Facility at Camp Patriot, he is in charge of all Soldiers’ Morale, Health, and Welfare while we are de- ployed. SGT Robles has been working hard getting the Company squared away with prop- erty and prepping it for transfer to the new replacement unit before we redeploy. SPC Barnett continues to excel in the orderly room making sure all of our administrative tasks are up to standard. The Headquarters platoon enjoys playing bingo and we had a couple of winners at bingo this month. Soldiers have the opportunity to participate in all MWR events as they see fit, or depending on their mission, in order to boost morale. The Maintenance Platoon has been working diligently in maintaining the Task Force’s fleet by identifying faults, recording them on the 5988Es, and correcting those identified faults. This month the Maintenance Platoon’s main focus is QA/QC on 5988Es to ensure we leave equipment in better shape than we received it. The Task Force has 171 pieces of equipment to maintain across Kuwait, and the Maintenance Platoon works hard to ensure the Batteries/Companies are able to maneuver without issues. At Camp Buehring, SFC Richardson has taken his team and set the gold standard for hard work and dedication to the mission. His team’s ability to maintain his assigned fleet has truly been appreciated as the Thunder team had all equipment avail- able to conduct firing exercises. At the Kuwaiti Naval Base, SFC Day and SSG Breen have been providing the neces- sary skills to keep their fleet at tip top shape. We also wel- comed SSG Maria to the maintenance team where he is working hard to keep Golf’s vehicles 10/20! At Camp Arifjan SSG Sanchez and SSG Nadeau have been working around the clock in providing assistance and guidance to their team and the Field Maintenance Team that works at the SPOD. Without the leadership of these individuals we wouldn’t be able to provide the Battery’s with the same quality of equipment.
  6. 6. Page 6 THUNDER TIMES The members of the Distribution Platoon have been working around the clock to ensure that Camp Patriot is ready for the warmer weather that spring has brought to Ku- wait. 2LT Biondo and SSG Ashby would like to welcome SGT Nakitende into Distro Platoon's NCO Corps. SSG Ashby and SGT Fisher supervised the Base Support Operations section and Billeting Office as they insured that Camp Patriot was looking the best it ever has in time for the Commanders Con- ference, when COL Jones and CSM Lehtonen met with all of the Battalion Commanders and Command Sergeant Majors of the Warhorse Brigade. Distro has also continued its domi- nation of 5k runs by having the most runners come in the top 10 for both the Mardi Gras 5k Color Run on 04MAR, and the St. Patrick's Day 5k run on 17MAR; SPC Mayomi is the man to beat on Camp Patriot running events. SGT Candelaria, MWR NCOIC has been working hard to make sure that all of the Service Members have plenty of morale boosting opportunities, such as: sporting events that take ad- vantage of the warming weather, bingo night, poker tournaments, an Arabian Nights cultural event, and much more. SPC(P) Fiocco, SSG Medico, and 2LT Biondo worked with CW2 Hill and Bulldog Battery to help increase the physical security of Camp Patriot by moving barriers, fixing guard towers, and setting up vari- ous security measures around KNB. Finally, The Distro Platoon is preparing to welcome their new platoon leader, 2LT Halverson, as they say farewell to 2LT Biondo as he moves up to Camp Arifjan to take over as the Gladiator Maintenance Control Officer. In closing, thank you for what you and your Families do and for the sacrifices that you make. If there are any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to ask. Until the next newsletter, best of luck to all family and friends, continue to support the FRG, and we will see you all soon! CPT Figueroa & 1SG White Kilo Battery Family and Friends, The Rear Detachment continues to support the inactivation of 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team. The Soldiers of Kilo Battery have been increas- ingly busy with maintenance, mass lateral transfers, and preparing the Barracks for redeployment. As the rear detachment continues to strengthen communications with the FRG leaders, we would like to thank all of the spouses for their ongoing support. We would also like to say good-bye to SFC Danny Reaser. SFC Danny Reaser has been an outstanding Soldier and NCO for the last 20 years. Throughout his 20 years of service, he has mentored several lead- ers and excelled in various duties. His latest responsibility was assuming the role as the First Sergeant for Kilo Battery, 3-16FA rear detachment. On behalf of K Battery, I would like to thank SFC Reaser for all of his leadership and wish him the best of luck on the next chapter of his life. The Alpha Battery FRG leader and FRL will be planning and hosting the next Battalion level FRG meeting for 12 April 2014. This Bat- talion FRG meeting will be an Easter Egg hunt for all families in 3-16FA. Families are encouraged to bring a lunch. I look forward to seeing every- one at this event. Thank you for all the support. CPT Derik L. Munoz SFC Matthew Burdick SFC Danny Reaser
  7. 7. Friends and families of Assassin Company, In the past month, Alpha Company, 204th Brigade Support Battalion conducted steady state operations at the Sea Port of Debarkation/Embarkation (SPOD/E). Operations involved ensur- ing the security of all government personnel and assets at the SPOD/E. Personnel at the SPOD/E conduct Security Force (SECFOR) related activities. Activities include searching all non- government vehicles that enter the restricted area while also en- suring all personnel who enter have proper credentials. Concur- rently, Soldiers conduct interior and exterior patrols of the re- stricted area and Random Anti-Terrorism Measures (RAMs). RAMs include checks of personnel credentials of individuals al- ready on the SPOD/E to ensure the highest levels of security are met. On any given shift the Soldiers on duty rehearse at least one battle drill. Two examples of SPOD/E Battle Drills are reacting to an industrial accident and dealing with an unruly person at an en- trance. Next month, Alpha Company will continue to con- duct SECFOR operations at the SPOD/E; increasing the efficiency and speed at conducting battle drills. Alpha Company ensures SPOD/E security is ever improving and Soldiers and increasing capability of handling situations in an effective and safe manner. Assassins, Roll Hard! CPT Jonathan Nagel 1SG Shannon West Page 7 THUNDER TIMES
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  9. 9. Page 9THUNDER TIMES The Thunder times is an authorized online publication for the members of the Department of Defense. Contents of the Thunder Times are not necessarily official views of or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, DoD, or Department of the Army. The editorial content of this monthly publication is the responsibility of the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment. Kilo Battery Family and Friends, Army Emergency Relief maintains two scholarship programs – the Spouse Education Assistance Program and the MG James Ursano Scholarship Program for dependent children. Both scholarships pro- vide financial assistance for students who are pursuing their first undergraduate degree. I strongly recom- mend any family that can take advantage of this program to do so. The cutoff date is 01MAY for applica- tions. Apply at: SSG Kyle Bergstresser CFNCO
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