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The 603rd ASB "Workhorse Chronicle", August 2013


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Here's the 603rd Aviation Support Battalion's Newsletter for the month of August 2013. I hope you enjoy the articles and the pictures. The Workhorse Chronicle.

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The 603rd ASB "Workhorse Chronicle", August 2013

  1. 1. INSIDE THIS ISSUE: CDR’s Corner 1 CSM’s Forum 2 Cobra Strike SGT Ramos Aid Station 3 4-5 What do you miss from home? Photos 6-7 8 - 16 TASK FORCE WORKHORSE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE The Workhorse Chronicle 0 5 A U G U S T 2 0 1 3V O L U M E 1 , I S S U E 4 The Commander’s Corner As our deployment comes to a close, I find myself thinking about our time together and the immense accomplishments of the Workhorse team. Nine months ago I could have never imagined what I know to be true today. Most importantly, I never realized the pride I would feel for our Soldiers as I observed them bond together as lifelong friends and trusted battle buddies. Throughout history, Soldiers have deployed to foreign countries out of service to our Nation and accomplished amazing things; the TF Workhorse Soldiers proved this once again. If I were to review history and not solely focus on the tremendous bravery, patriotism, hardship and accomplishments that inspire us, I would realize an overarching theme shared among the American Soldier. This theme is the real reason why Soldiers willingly give so much of themselves, and I believe myself to be blessed to have witnessed it first-hand. The reason is “loyalty and dedication to their fellow Soldier.” While deployed, Soldiers give more than expected of themselves as they recognize the vital importance of their mission and the value of their Army teammates. Without conscious thought, Soldiers do amazing things for the safety and success of fellow Soldiers as they forge a sense of trust and friendship. This remarkable bond of teamwork is the truest form of success and the aspect I’ll remember long after I forget all the numbers and statistics that typically define a unit’s achievement. With our past in mind, I reflect upon March 2013 and I can’t help but think about our pain felt by the loss of SSG Marc Scialdo and CW5 Skinny Reagan. While we redeploy, I ask that we keep Marc, Skinny and their Gold Star Families within our thoughts and prayers. The “larger than life” personalities and professional attributes of these Heroes helped to forge who we are today as we accomplished our mission and bonded as an Army Family. They truly were the “greatest of men” and the Workhorse team will forever honor their lives and cherish our memories together. I look forward to sending our Soldiers home with their hearts filled with pride of their accomplish- ments and excitement for their future. There is often no greater feeling than returning home to loved ones after enduring a long absence. I’m hopeful each one of our redeploying Soldiers will fully appreciate the opportunity and emotions of a joyful reunion. While reunions are easy to glamorize within our imaginations, there’s a reality of life change and emotional differences that should cause us to manage our expectations and be patient with family members as we ease back into the life that we left nine months ago. Soldiers and family members will find that each of us have changed during our separation. This change is both normal and good but will require some adjustments to how we treat each other and care for ourselves. My advice is to simple “be patient and appreciate each other for who they have become. “ Lastly, while I look forward to our remaining time in Afghanistan, I am excited to see our Sol- diers and Families rejoined at the Welcome Home Ceremonies and at our Battalion Social in September. As we return to a “new normal”, we must acknowledge the historical risks typically encountered as Soldiers reintegrate into their former lifestyle. I ask that we continue to look out for each other’s safety by continuing to be the battle buddies we all relied upon in Afghanistan. I thank you for serving your Country so honorably. I am proud to have stood beside each of you and welcome future opportunities to serve together. Sincerely, LTC Andy Gignilliat WORKHORSE 06
  2. 2. Caption describing picture or graphic. P A G E 2 “I am proud to be the Command Sergeant Major for this great Battalion. The Soldiers exhibit pride in the unit as well as spirit de corps with each other.” -CSM Grant Stange T H E W O R K H O R S E C H R O N I C L E The Command Sergeant Major’s Forum by CSM Grant Stange, TF Workhorse CSM August is finally upon us, this mile- stone marks the final month of our deployment. The Soldiers and offi- cers of the Work- horse battalion have performed amaz- ingly. The summer has been a hot one here, daily tempera- tures easily surpassing the 100 degree mark. The Workhorse Soldiers have taken it all in stride, never complaining and meticulously completing all tasks that were required. Spirits are high, as individuals have created those bonds that only come with shared deployment understanding. As we begin to ramp up for rede- ploying, I want to take a moment and clearly state the importance for everyone to maintain vigi- lance and safety. We are not home until you are released from the Welcome Home formation. That time will come, but there are so many things we must place our thoughts and concen- tration on. First off, is ensuring our counterparts are fully read in on every function and procedure that we have mastered this last tour. Their success is the truest testament to our legacy. Forget about the expected joys of re- uniting with loved ones for now, place the emphasis and priorities on the seamless and fully trans- parent Relief in Place with our Aviation brothers and sisters. Secondly, leave the infrastruc- ture and work areas better than we found them. This is a must, as it both is a mark of profes- sionalism and also just the right thing to do. Be proud of all you have ac- complished this last nine months, you should be. We, as a team, accomplished things that many would not think pos- sible. The large amount of fuel transferred and given to the multiple aircraft on Mustang Ramp, giving those assets the ability to serve our fellow Sol- diers and NATO partners in the field was a true victory for the Soldiers of HSC / A Company. The SSA has had a tough year, the amount of product passing through and then adding the Retrograde operations for the region have kept the under- staffed professionals of the SSA fully utilized 24/7. Bravo Com- pany maintained aviation excel- lence with the completion of more helicopter phases than I can keep track of. The flight program of this Brigade is di- rectly linked to the maintenance and back shop support of the Bulldawgs. Soldiers cannot survive without communica- tions that is a fact. Charlie Company maintained commu- nications not only at Kandahar for the aviation brigade, but also supported the other task forces by having equipment and personnel at four other FOBs. Commo was never a concern for the brigade due to the ef- forts and skills of the Soldiers of Charlie Company. FOB Frontenac presented the oppor- tunity for two companies to add to their success by the unified team of A company refulers and B Company armament person- nel teaming together to sup- port the Brigade in keeping the aircraft ready for any and all missions in their area of operations. I am immensely proud of all the Soldiers of this great Task Force. The nation called upon you to deploy and you went. You made those personal sac- rifices of leaving loved ones and personal security behind, going where many would not, to support the people of an- other land in their quest for freedom from unjust control. Many years from now, you will look back and proudly state, I was there, I had part of that operation, I did my part. I want everyone to finish their business here, have a safe transition back to our home station and enjoy the reuniting with Family, Friends and fel- low Soldiers. You all deserve some well earned time off, that time will come, first let’s finish our job here profession- ally and safely. CSM Stange WORKHORSE 07
  3. 3. “Cobra Strike” Coverage by: 1LT Donald F. Ingham, C Co Executive Officer P A G E 3V O L U M E 1 , I S S U E 4 Charlie Company sol- diers are a special breed. Be- cause of their adaptability, in depth training, and dedication to mission, they are able to provide a first rate communica- tions network for Task Force Falcon at multiple outlying bases. Cobra soldiers at FOB Wolver- ine operate what is known as a Command Post Node (CPN). This CPN gives the entire FOB the ability to communicate via email and phone, allowing all Soldiers to keep in touch with loved ones back home. The Soldiers live in a “GP- Medium” while at Wolverine. In a remarkable display of in- genuity, they sectioned off the tent into 5 small rooms using sheets of plywood for walls and bed sheets for doors. This gives the Sol- diers an inkling of privacy that they can enjoy during their down time. In front of the tent, there is a small com- mon area where you can usu- ally find at least one person watching the Armed Forces Network or playing video games. This is usually the most anticipated part of the day for most, as it provides a mental escape which allows the Soldiers to take their mind off work. While on duty though, the Soldiers work in an office adjacent to 1-3 Attack Recon- naissance Battalion’s S6 (signal) shop. The office is a small 10x10 room where the “stacks”, or the actual CPN is located. This office is where Soldiers spend most of their time during their shift, unless they are out troubleshooting equipment or lending a help- ing hand to 1-3 ARB’s S-6 personnel. There are 5 Cobras currently stationed at FOB Wolverine. The Soldiers have proven themselves to be of the high- est caliber, able to overcome any obstacle they face. Charlie Company’s SPC Maragney (left) and SGT Gustafson (right) at FOB Wol- verine.
  4. 4. Caption describing picture or graphic. P A G E 4 The Consolidated Aid Station (CAS) provides world class medical care to all tenant units on Mustang Ramp. Despite the expan- sive nature of this mission, Task Force Workhorse pro- vides the leadership team and combat medics who man the CAS. They work closely with medical pro- fessionals from across the Falcon Brigade to provide an unparalleled level of ser- vice. The aid station is named after SGT Louie A. Ramos, a combat medical specialist who was as- signed to the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. SGT Ramos died on May 26, 2011 of wounds sustained as a result of an enemy at- tack. During construction of the new aid station, our predecessors, Task Force Wings, believed it was only fitting to name the new clinic after a fallen Soldier who made the ultimate sac- rifice. The CAS provides around the clock medical care to include routine health screenings, physical examinations, immuniza- tions, and emergent medi- cal treatment. In an effort to maintain their technical expertise and proficiency, combat medics undergo weekly training under the watchful eye of a phe- nomenal group of medical providers and senior medi- cal specialists. The train- ing is a conglomeration of Medical Education and Demonstration of Individ- ual Competence (MEDIC), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification, lec- tures, and hands-on prac- tical exercises. The medics also conduct contingency training which enables them to provide primary and sec- ondary care to casualties on the battlefield and conduct evacuations to higher levels of medical care. “We are able to take care of Soldiers in any medical situation. The training our senior medics and providers give is instrumental in providing that care,” says SPC Koleser, a medic T H E W O R K H O R S E C H R O N I C L E “Combat Medicine - Conserving America’s Fighting Strength!” Covered by: 2LT Nekena, Chambers Medical OIC “We are able to take care of Soldiers in any medical situation. The training our senior medics and providers give is instrumental in providing that care.” -SPC Koleser Medics bring a patient into the clinic during an exercise.
  5. 5. P A G E 5V O L U M E 1 , I S S U E 4 assigned to HSC, 603rd ASB. The CAS also provides behavioral health assistance for those who may need an outlet to convey personal concerns relating to life and operational stressors. SPC Richardson, a mental health specialist, states “We strive to break the stigmas associated with Soldiers seek- ing care. To help Soldiers have a better understanding of the psychological effects of war is only part of our job and responsibility as behavioral health technicians. It’s all about having a genuine con- cern for our fellow Soldier and his well-being.” The 3rd CAB Chief of Behavioral Health ser- vices, LTC Sanchez, feels it is important for Soldiers to trust the behavioral health team. He states, “The only way we can make that happen is by get- ting out from behind our desks and visiting with Sol- diers in their work environ- ment. Being a valued and trusted member of the team is important, if they see us as outsiders, our mission is nearly impossible to per- form.” The CAS staff strives to provide America’s most valued sons and daughters with exceptional, quality healthcare service on a daily basis. Their commitment to serve this extraordinary group of professionals is indeed nothing short of phenomenal. CPT Ussery triages during a MASCAL exercise. Medics extricate a patient from their FLA during an exercise.
  6. 6. T H E W O R K H O R S E C H R O N I C L E P A G E 6 “What do you miss the most from home?” Covered by: SGT Donovan B Co NCO If we could travel back in time and ask Sol- diers from decades past: “What do you miss the most from home?” I’m sure the answers would surprise you. For in- stance, if you asked a Sol- dier from the Revolution- ary War, “What do you miss most from home?” He might say, “I miss shoes since I had to walk 10 miles, through 3 feet of snow without them just to get to the Battle of Tren- ton. Then I had to fight!” If you asked a Soldier from Vietnam the same question you might get an answer like, “I miss being dry since it rains con- stantly and when it isn’t raining I’m sweating.” Drawing from my own experience in Operation Iraqi Freedom I, we missed having real bath- rooms (burning human waste really stinks, liter- ally and figuratively). Recently, I polled the Soldiers of B CO about this very topic. The obvious answer from most Soldiers was their fami- lies. This answer was so prevalent that I had to change the premises of the question to exclude their family members. The question then became: “Besides your family, what do you miss most from home?” When I asked SSG Smith, from the Quality Control Shop, the first thing he said was “The smells from home like crawfish etouffee.” I would have to agree; when they clean the portajohn, it is enough to make anyone miss the smell of home. When SPC Millsap, from the Avionics Pla- toon, was asked, she said, “I miss going to the beach, I’m a real beach bum.” SPC Powers, from the same platoon, said that he really missed fishing. I guess nobody told them about the enormous pond that we have here at KAF (ask your Soldier about this). SPC Reith said, “The #1 thing I miss is golf, then Halo 4.” I guess we know the first place he is going when he returns home. “What do I miss? The smells from home like crawfish etouffee,” -SSG Smith The KAF fishing “pond.”
  7. 7. P A G E 7V O L U M E 1 , I S S U E 4 CDR: CPT David Hernandez 912-315-2092 1SG: 1SG Shane Latty 912-315-2094 603rd ASB Home Detachment Contact Information 603rd ASB Deployed Contact Information BN CDR: LTC Andy Gignilliat BN CSM: CSM Grant Stange BN XO: MAJ Randy James BN Adjutant: 1LT Marisha McLean Check Out More Than 2,500 Photos on Facebook at “603rd Aviation Support Battalion” To See How Our Soldiers Are Doing in Afghanistan In the end, if you look at the amenities that we have here on KAF, you will see that we don't have it so bad. Of course, everyone misses HD televisions, wearing civilian clothes, riding in a vehicle that can exceed 20 mph, and wearing their Oakley’s, but we are well taken care of. When reflecting on what Soldiers have endured in the past, we should be thankful.