Red Dragon Newsletter October 2011


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Red Dragon Newsletter October 2011

  1. 1. Dear Red Dragon Families and Friends, September was a banner month for the Red Dragons here in Southern Salah ad Din. The performance of our Sol-diers continues to be very impressive in keeping the enemy on its heels due to our exceptional partnership with our IraqiSecurity Forces and superb integration with the local population. It is simply inspiring to see Red Dragon Soldiers everyday conducting our many diverse tasks in an area that is 3,528 square miles (roughly the size of Bell, Coryell, Lampasas,Burnett, and Williamson counties combined) and has about 725,000 residents. While the area is vast and the residents aremany, they all know the Red Dragon Soldiers. The communication lines hit a fever pitch this month as we announced our expected early redeployment. This isgreat news not only for Soldiers and their Families, but it is also a great indicator of the ability of the Iraqi Security Forcesto provide required security in Iraq after our departure at the end of the year. There are still decisions that must be madebefore Soldiers will know when they will depart Kuwait and head for Fort Hood, but rest assured, we love providing thatdata to you and will publish it as soon as possible. In the mean time, know that the staff is tasked with making this asmooth and effective transition. We are committed to clear and efficient communication to our Families and friends tomaximize preparation time before our return. Indicators remain that all Red Dragon Soldiers will be home before the endof January 2012. We can‟t wait to see you soon! The logisticians at Joint Base Balad continue to provide excellent support for all Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen.We are comfortable and have what we need to plan, prepare, and execute each of our tasks with precision and discipline.Of note, we recently received our first shipment of mail that was sent to our updated address in Kuwait and expect deliveryto continue with no issues between now and the time we leave. Likewise, our options for high speed communications willcontinue throughout our time in Iraq: Internet, e-mail, and phone. October has some super events for Red Dragon Families. We will see you at the Town Hall on 4 OCT 11 wherewe will provide you the latest updates from our Batteries and Companies. While we will miss the old Pirate (1SG Durand)at the Trunk or Treat this year, we know it will be a great time and look forward to thepictures and stories. Additionally, spouses, start training in October for the 03 NOV 11 September 2011Spouse Spur Ride. OK, no training necessary, but save the date as this promises to be agreat event. Inside this issue: Thanks again for the incredible support of the Red Dragon battalion. This de-ployment requires a great deal of flexibility as we wrap up this historic phase in Iraq. Red Dragon 9 2Ya‟ll are doing this with poise and patience and we can‟t thank you enough! Headquarters Battery 3- 5 3- 5 Alpha Battery 6- 8 BlackJack! Bravo Battery 9-10 Red Dragons! Golf Company 11-13 11- Sincerely, Chaplain’s Corner 14 Rear Detachment 15 LTC Nate Cook Promotions & Re-enlistments 16 Photo Collage 17 Get the most up-to-date information on the Red Dragons: Cook shaking hands with an Iraqi government official
  2. 2. Red Dragons friends and families, As you enjoy the return of our sons and daughters to the first day of school, the battalion remains very busy. Yes,another month flew by as we continue moving along a successful deployment. The Soldiers in the battalion continue per-forming admirably well in the southern Salah Ad Din province. I continue to be proud of our Soldiers‟ great accomplish-ments through the first 120 days of the deployment. As you all know, Task Force Red Dragon is in the process of starting a new mission. Soon, we will move to Ku-wait, which is the country just south of Iraq. Things will take a little longer than normal to catch up to us; however, mailwill not stop reaching your Soldiers. This requires us to have a different address than what has been given to you. Our new address for all Red Dragons is shown below.Rank, Name We will initially be challenged with the decreasing capabilities offered at our MWR facilities.Unit, 2BCT, 1CD Many MWR services will be degraded but our Soldiers will continue to have access to the services at aCamp Buehring lower scale. We are assessing now the requirements needed to maintain access to our MWR facilities.APO AE 09330 Rest assured we will not compromise security or force protection on Joint Base Balad; they are al- ways our number one priority. We are looking at the move as an opportunity to spread the RedDragon influence to another area of operation. We will miss our friends in southern Salah Ad Din, but as we move out, weare holding our heads high with the knowledge that the Iraqi Security Forces we leave behind are capable to secure theircountry against any threat. Over the past month we were honored to recognize some of our Soldiers with combat awards and non-combat rec-ognitions. We presented Combat Action Badges to 17 „Gator‟ Soldiers and a Combat Medic Badge to SSG Richard Tyreefrom HHB. Additionally, we were honored to promote SSG Wilber Alvarado to the rank of Sergeant First Class, SGTQuintero to the rank of Staff Sergeant, and SPC Mark Pablo to the rank of Sergeant. We presented SGT Velasco and SGTStrange with a seemingly overdue Army Commendation Medal for their selection as the Battalion NCO of the Year forfiscal year 2010 and 2011. We were honored to recognize SGT Jarrett Giddens, PFC Marcus Jones, PFC Michael Warren,CPL Keith Curtis, SPC Ricardo Williams, 2LT Amanda Fonk, and SPC Alex Toro for their selection as Red Dragons Sol-diers of the Week. SSG James Williams was presented with a coin of excellence from General Austin, the CommandingGeneral for USF-I. We awarded and farewelled CPT Carroll and SSG Schoneswith Army Commendation Medals. Finally, SGT Richard Gray from ThunderBattery and SPC William J. Buchsbaum from Hellraiser Battery were selectedas NCO and Soldier of the Month for the month of September, respectively.SGT Gray and SPC Buchsbaum performed exceptionally well and rarely getenough credit for how well they do. Six of our Soldiers took the battalion sponsored GT improvement(AFCT) test and five of those Soldiers were able to raise their GT score. TheseSoldiers are now more qualified to seek better opportunities in the Army. Finally, I wanted to inform you our Morale, Rest and RecuperationLeave continued to be a great hit amongst our Soldiers and a total of 54 Sol-diers took advantage of the program. We are in the glide path to send another54 Soldiers in October. Thanks again for everything you do for our Soldiers and their families,and I look forward to updating you all next month.CSM SotoRed Dragon 9 CSM Soto in front of the battalion HQ
  3. 3. 3-82 FA Red Dragon Newsletter Page 3 Hello, to HHB family and friends. September turned out to be an excellent month for all of us. Soldiers continueto work hard and excel at their duties each and every day. They work endless hours making a lasting impression on theIraqi people and government which will pay dividends for our great nation in keeping a long-term relationship with Iraq.Our Soldiers are undoubtedly making a significant impact on our nation‟s history. During the month of September, the Hellraisers made great strides in helping the Iraqi people in the Balad Qadaa.On the last day of Ramadan the Hellraisers conducted a gift giving event to local Iraqi children signifying the end of theirholiday. Gift bags provided to over 200 kids included coloring books, stuffed animals, soccer balls, and crayons. We con-ducted another Iraqi kid‟s day on Joint Base Balad where 80 local kids came on to the base to play soccer, dance, and enjoyan American meal. Our Soldiers on patrol had a remarkable impact on the Iraqi security forces by conducting several combined opera-tions. These operations helped build confidence in the Iraqi Security Forces while simultaneously increasing the securityto the local populace. Lastly, HHB conducted the first round of the Hellraiser Warrior Dash. Unlike many Warrior Dashesyou‟ve seen in the past, HHB conducted one at the Battery which took place at the indoor basketball court at Joint BaseBalad. Soldiers conducted several upper body and lower body crossfit workouts, and ran sprints on the court in betweenevents. Of course this month also marked the September 11th anniversary. I‟d like to personally thank each of you for yourservice to our nation, which, in a time of war, demonstrates the pride each of them has in our great country. During our free time Soldiers watch football and seem to be pleased that the season began. Following our favoriteteams definitely helps pass the time. We plan to do a Battery Barbecue in thefuture. We are also thankful the weather has greatly improved. The 120 de-gree weather days are now behind us. We appreciate each and every ones sup-port. Thank you for all you have done for our Soldiers, and please continue to 1 Oct—SGT Hewitt 2 Oct—SPC Humphrieskeep us in your thoughts and prayers. 3 Oct—SSG Smith 4 Oct—SGT BedfordVery Respectfully, 5 Oct—SFC McNicholasMichael Roscoe 6 Oct—PFC KimCPT, FA Commanding 8 Oct—SPC MadisonHellraiser 6 9 Oct—SPC Mandoban 11 Oct—PFC Parks 13 Oct—SFC Alvarado 14 Oct—SGT Geeslin 15 Oct—SFC Fuentes 16 Oct—SSG Durant 18 Oct—SFC Williams 18 Oct—SGT Briggs 19 Oct—PFC Maloney 31 Oct—SPC Cook Oct 1—PFC Marcos Loera and his wife, Bianca Oct 16—SPC Christopher Remy and his wife, Rehan Oct 31—CPT Jay Bunte and his wife, Ellen CPT Roscoe meeting with an Iraqi Police chief
  4. 4. 3-82 FA Red Dragon Newsletter Page 4 During the month of September Red Platoon stayed busy. Regardless of how busy we were, Red Platoon had funwith whatever we were doing. While out on patrol members of Red Platoon took the time to visit with the local men andwomen as well as the children. We also spent lots of time with the local Iraqi Army and made numerous friends in the proc-ess. Due to the continued efforts of not just Red Platoon but the Red Dragon Battalion as a whole, the Operating Envi-ronment continues to become a safer place. The safety of not only the American Forces but, the Iraqi civilians continues tobe the priority of the battalion. We conducted countless missionsconsisting of Counter-Indirect Fire, Counter-Improvised ExplosiveDevice, and Key Leader Engagements. Congratulations goes to SPCBrowning who was recently promoted. As the time for leaving Joint Base Balad draws closer, RedPlatoon remains focused and determined to do the best job we canand continue to have success in making the area around JBB a saferplace for the local populace to live and work.2LT Zach Williams1st Platoon Leader SPC Browning walking with a local Iraqi child while on mission September was a busy month for White Platoon. Following the end of Ramadan in early September, White Platoonsought to strengthen the relationship with the local Iraqis. Through numerous Key Leader Engagements with local Sheiksand multiple missions to provide aid and training to local leaders, White Platoon is leaving a positive impact in Balad andYethrib. Everyday we see more and more smiles on the streets.Local children sprint to the roads to wave at the convoys and theatmosphere continues to improve. We are leaving a positiveimpression on the future generations of Iraq. We would like to extend congratulations to the familiesof PFC Wyatt and PFC Jones who both had children born in lateAugust. Also, congratulations to SGT Pablo and SGT Lape whowere promoted early in September. We look forward to contin-ued excellence in their new positions of increased responsibility.SGT Lape also decided to re-enlist and continues serving hiscountry. His commitment to service is a reflection of his soundcharacter.2LT Andrew Roberts2nd Platoon Leader PFC Flores stopping for a picture with the son of Shiek Ibra- him during a Key Leader Engagement early in September
  5. 5. 3-82 FA Red Dragon Newsletter Page 5 September has been a month of change for Blue Platoon with 1LT Koppel leaving and 1LT Coffield taking chargeat the beginning of the month. Blue platoon found themselves conducting Key Leader Engagements, Counter-ImprovisedExplosive Devices, Advise Train Assist, and Counter-Indirect Fire missions, often performing multiple missions per day,all in an effort to keep the soldiers of Joint Base Balad and the local citizens of the surrounding area safe. The platoon not only kept the enemy at bay, but is winning the hearts and minds of the local populace. Due to thiseffort the operating environment is safer than it has been in years and Soldiers can tell this by how the people act aroundthe platoon as we walk through the cities and by the looks on their faces. All in all the platoon‟s morale is high even with some of our men changing around. We‟d like to wish SPC ArthurGuise the best of luck on his future endeavors as hesoon will ETS from the Army. Also we would like towelcome PFC Freddie King to the team. PFC Kingserved in HHB in the TOC for the first three months ofthis deployment, however, with SPC Guise leavingPFC King is a great contribution to our team. 1LT Jon Coffield 3rd Platoon Leader PFC King, PFC Richards, and SPC Fuller conducting a patrol on a main route near JBB Another busy month finished for the Personal Security Detachment (PSD) platoon. PSD once again conductedmissions throughout the entire Red Dragon operating environment. We conduct weekly trips to Samarra to allow the bat-talion commander and battalion command sergeant major the ability to check on the conditions of their soldiers operatingindependently from the rest of the Red Dragons. We continue our missions of escorting key battalion personnel to includethe battalion commander to many key leader engagements that directly affect the future operations of the Red Dragon bat-talion. Soldiers continue to experience Iraqi culture first hand by interacting daily with the assigned interpreters anddrinking chai (tea) at the many KLE‟s they attend. Some Soldiers expressed their desire to take some chai leaves backwith them to share the Iraqi culture with their friends and family. This month, SGT Briggs has gone above his call of duty by performing exceptionally well while serving as thepersonal security officer for the battalion commander in the absence of SGT Stewart, who has been on leave during themonth of September. A couple of other Soldiers, PV2 Roldan andSPC Laureano, have also gotten to enjoy a two week trip back homefor rest and relaxation this month. This is very good experience forthe Soldiers as it gives them a break in action and allows them timewith their loved ones. Fittingly, they come back with many storiesto tell their fellow Soldiers, increasing morale within the platoon.Also, PSD takes pride in having the winning team of the recentWarrior Dash. Overall, we are 100% committed to the Red Dragon andBlackjack mission and feel we directly influence the missions weexecute on a daily basis. 2LT John Manning PSD Platoon Leader SPC Fountain, SPC Anderson, and SGT Stewart enjoying lunch with other members of the Red Dragon Battalion
  6. 6. 3-82 FA Red Dragon Newsletter Page 6Members of the Gator family, Greetings from Joint Base Balad Iraq, I hope this letter finds you all well and in good spirits. We just completedour fourth month here at Joint Base Balad and spirits are still high. September was a busy month for the Gators. Thismonth saw the tenth anniversary of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks of September 11, 2001; a day marked bysomber remembrance here in Iraq by our Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen. Labor Day marked the unofficial end of summer for folks back home, and the changing season late in the monthbrought the temperature down below 100 degrees for the first time since we arrived. With the coming of cooler tempera-tures the Gators conducted the Warrior Dash. The Warrior Dash, a Red Dragon signature event, had a new spin placed onit here in Iraq. Each Battery/Company in the Battalion planned and ran their own course to validate the unit‟s functionalfitness program. Gator Battery‟s Warrior Dash was conducted over a 1.7 mile course that traversed Joint Base Balad andincluded eight events that challenged the strength, speed, and agility of every Gator. Congratulations go out to SGTMorales and CPL Vazquez for winning the Gator Warrior Dash. The men of Gator Battery continue the noble work of keeping everyone on Joint Base Balad safe from those out-side the base who would do them harm, as well as strengthening our Iraqi Security Force partners to secure a stable, inde-pendent Iraq for years to come. The reputation of the Gators as a versatile, agile, and skilled fighting force brings creditand respect to every Soldier in the Battery. I continue to be impressed with the skill, stamina, poise, and initiative of theGators, there is no other outfit I‟d rather be in. The Gators welcome a new Soldier and his family to the Battery this month. SPC Joshua Webb, his wife Michelle and son Carson come to us from FT Bliss. SPC Webb joins 2nd Platoon where he will be a welcome addition to the team. Each and every member of the Gators continues to look forward to the road ahead as we get a little closer to completing the mission and coming home every day. We thank you for your continued thoughts, prayers, love and support. I personally want to thank you again for what you mean to these men. Very Respectfully, Bryan S. Hammond CPT, FA Commanding Gator 6 CPT Hammond and 1SG Minton 6 Oct—SGT Cornier 19 Oct—PFC Hart 20 Oct—SGT Miles 21 Oct—PFC Escobar 8 Oct—SSG Jonathan Sikes and his wife Amber 22 Oct—PFC Hager 8 Oct—SPC Randall Dane and his wife Alisha 23 Oct—PFC Kim 11 Oct—SGT Jessie Abrams and his wife Samantha
  7. 7. 3-82 FA Red Dragon Newsletter Page 7 It‟s been another month here in sunny Iraq, and things are going well. Gator Red Platoon had the opportunity tofire artillery this month and, yet again, the platoon performed flawlessly. The platoon, as I‟m sure you have seen on theGator FRG page on Facebook, was filmed during our shoot with SFC Gray, Smoke himself, being interviewed during thetaping. Our maneuver missions continue to be just as successful and the men continue to show how flexible they are inbeing able to shift from traditional artillery missions to maneuver missions seamlessly. Soon we‟ll be taking a fitness Test and, in preparation,we participated in a Warrior Dash to test our functional fitness.1st Platoon had the top team of SGT Morales and CPL Vazquez,another job well done by the Gators in Red platoon. As always, mail is welcomed with open arms by the men,especially food. Do not worry about the change in mailing ad-dress; we will continue to receive mail here; it will just take alittle longer to arrive. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers andwe will continue to make sure the men stay in touch with youback in the states. See you next month; Gator Red 6 out.1LT Michael Hobgood1st Platoon Leader Members of 1st Platoon pulling security during a patrol Greetings once again. Gator White Platoon took the task of helping Red Platoon find the beach in all this sand, butthe search seems never-ending. In other news, SPC Cooper was one of two Gator Soldiers to pass the promotion board inthis month and earned his promotable status. It is only a matter of time before SPC Cooper earns enough promotion pointsto join the ranks of the NCO Corps. Personnel continue to depart and return on leave as the platoon welcomed SGT Canning back from his Environ-mental Morale Leave and saw SGT Velasco and SPC Cooper depart on their well-deserved break. We bid farewell to twoof our Soldiers who finished their time in the Army at the end of September. SPC Ramsey and SPC Saucedo returned to the states to finish their service at Fort Hood and pursue other opportuni- ties within the civilian world. The Gator Battery barbecued for the outgo- ing Soldiers (to include SPC Allen) and we wish them the best in their endeavors. Though the weather is starting to cool down, the platoon is still full steam ahead accomplishing the missions set forth before them. The Soldiers are experiencing some Iraq generosity, as many of the missions include Chi tea and other Iraqi indulgences. The Soldiers are all still doing PT as the army fitness test is right around the corner! Continue to send letters/packages to your soldier at the new mailing address. We‟re one month closer to returning home.SFC Sollano, 2LT Smith, and PFC Leddick at a key 2LT Scott Smith leader engagement 2nd Platoon Leader
  8. 8. 3-82 FA Red Dragon Newsletter Page 8 Hello, family and friends of 3rd Platoon. This marks my first month as your Soldiers‟ platoon leader. The tem-perature is starting to cool down with temperatures hovering around the 100 degree mark during the day and dropping intothe 70‟s during the night. Our operation tempo has been steady for the last month but your Soldiers have not let that dis-courage them and morale is still running high. Their professionalism on missions while interacting with the local populaceis adding to their credit of being one of the best platoons in thebattalion. This month we also conducted a warrior dash. The eventsincluded pull ups, 200 meter fireman‟s carry, 25 meter of lunges, a200lb sand bag carry, and a 2.81 kilometer run. All of 3 rd PLT par-ticipated and did an excellent job. We sent SSG Rosario and PFC Doyle on EML with twomore set to go in Oct. Your Soldiers still enjoy the packages, let-ters, and e-mails that you have been sending and we would ask thatyou keep it up. Well that is all from this part of the world, untilnext newsletter.1LT Brian Degen 3rd Platoon enjoying an opportunity to BBQ3rd Platoon Leader Hello again from Balad. We hope this message finds everyone well, and hope all the kids school years started offright. We are finishing up the fourth month of our deployment, a third of the way through, and we continue to be success-ful. The Soldiers continue to adjust to the fluid environment here, and are in good spirits. The mailing address changed, butmail continues to get through to your Soldiers here at JBB, although it may take a few days longer to receive the mail. Themail is extremely important to the soldiers, and has an enormous effect on our morale. HQ Platoon continues to set the maneuver platoons up for success. The Soldiers of Headquarters Platoon receivedand distributed both the mail and the ADO (uniforms), for all the platoons, keeping them in the fight emotionally and func-tionally. We processed awards for all the platoons, kept track of their promotions, issues, ammo count, training, and manyother things too numerous to count. In addition, the radio operators continue to process information through the batterycommand post from the maneuver elements to the battalion tactical operations center. Everyone continues to improve intheir jobs, adding to the battery‟s successes. The Soldiers also completed their refit cycle and the Warrior Dash (yes, we didthe Warrior Dash over here). The best scores from HQ Platoonwere 1SG Minton and CPT Esquivel. On a sad note we will be los-ing SPC Allen at the end of the month. He will be missed, and wethank him for all the hard work and dedication he has given to theGators. We wish him well as he progresses his career. HQ Platoon sent two Soldiers home on EML this monthand will send three more in October. All the Soldiers who havegone on EML enjoyed their time with their families and came backrefreshed to Alpha Battery to finish the fight. Those at home arenever far from our thoughts and we look forward to the day whenwe return, mission complete, to hearth and home.2LT Caleb GaaschHQ Platoon Leader SGT Canning, PFC Bidia, SPC Nielson, and SSG Quintero
  9. 9. 3-82 FA Red Dragon Newsletter Page 9 Thunder family and friends, greetings from Samarra. I‟m happy to tell you that your Soldiers continue to not onlymeet expectations here in Operation New Dawn, but exceed them. Your Soldiers put 110% effort into assisting ThunderBattery‟s Iraqi brothers—increasing their capabilities as an Army. The diligence and hard work of Thunder‟s Soldiers re-sulted in the capture of several terrorists attempting to cause harm to the citizens of Iraq. There has been many times wher eyour Soldiers are out on patrol, and Iraqi citizens come up to them and expressed gratitude for their assistance. I also would like you to know that the hard work of your Soldiers have not only been recognized by the Iraqi citi-zens, but by the Black Jack Brigade and United States Forces-Iraq as well. SSG James Williams was recently recognizedby General Lloyd Austin III (USF-I Commander) for his efforts in countering enemy indirect fire. Also, PVT Jacob Inhoffewas recognized by Colonel Peeler for his efforts in securing the city of Samarra. Additionally, SGT Richard Gray expertlydisplayed his military knowledge and discipline by winning the Red Dragon Soldier of the Month board. So, as you cansee, you have a lot to be proud of in your Soldier‟s accomplishments. 1SG Ruiz, SSG Mitchell, and SSG Martin continue to tear up the grill out here—ensuring that Soldiers have greatfood while watching College and Pro football during their downtime. Again, none of this would be possible without yoursupport. The FRG continues to be the cornerstone of the Battery. We are all appreciative of everything you do. Very Respectfully, Jason A. Williams CPT, FA Commanding Thunder 6 5 Oct—SGT Stahl 9 Oct—SGT Pablo 26 Oct—SGT Gifford 28 Oct—SPC Shortt CPT Williams and LTC Coglianese take a photo on the roof top of the Samarra Joint Coordination Center in remembrance of 9/11.
  10. 10. 3-82 FA Red Dragon Newsletter Page 10 Thunder White Platoon had an eventful month providing security for the Battery and Battalion leadership through-out the Salah Al Din province. White Platoon worked diligently toensure our Iraqi counterparts are trained and proficient to assumeresponsibility for the security of the province in the near future. Wecontinue the weekly functional fitness challenges pushing each Sol-dier to achieve fitness excellence while putting a competitive spinon it. The Platoon continues to set the standard in tactical and tech-nical proficiency conducting weekly training on our Artillery andWarrior skills. Thunder White welcomed SSG Williams, SGT Pablo andSPC Purinton to the platoon during September. SPC Castille is nowpromotable to SGT as of September 2nd. White Platoon celebratedthe birthdays of PV2 Schnider (4 SEP), PFC Garcia (11 SEP) andSSG Williams (17 SEP). Thunder White Platoon wants to showtheir love and support for the birthdays of SGT Kee‟s daughterBrooke (11 SEP) and 1LT Conners wife Ashley (28 SEP) and for1LT Conners wedding anniversary (11SEP). 1LT Conners receiving directions from a local Iraqi Security Forces Soldier 1LT Kevin Conners 1st Platoon Leader Thunder Headquarters platoon has done an outstanding job upgrading our compound since we arrived here in earlyJune. SSG Mitchell and SGT Gifford worked diligently to make Samarra an enjoyable place to live. Both the day and nightshifts of the Battery Operations Center have done a fantastic job coordinating with our Iraqi counterparts and ensuring that all battery operations run smoothly. Thunder Battery gave a warm send off to our Law Enforcement Professional, Charles Matthews. The COIST worked diligently to uncover more terrorist networks in the Samarra area and to exploit evidence brought to the SJCC by our Iraqi brothers. PFC Baxter was promoted to the rank of SPC during September. Headquarters Platoon celebrated the birthday of 2LT Murphy (6 SEP). Thunder Headquarters Platoon wants to show their love and support for the birthdays of 2LT Murphy‟s wife CPT Kim-Murphy (11 SEP) and PFC Tibbits‟ wife Michelle Tibbits (19 SEP). 2LT Sean Murphy COIST Leader SGT Gray And SPC Baxter during his promotion
  11. 11. 3-82 FA Red Dragon Newsletter Page 11 Greetings to all Gladiator family and friends! I hope this newsletter finds you well. When this month comes to mind,thoughts of transition are not too far behind. The sweltering summer days common to this Middle Eastern region have becomemuch more tolerable with temperatures averaging a low of about 70 with highs spiking to 97 degrees. We are thankful for theseasonal transition, and the temperature change gives us a more tolerable environment to work within. Although we are well into our deployment, and have settled into a battle rhythm, the Gladiators are still being chal-lenged with new and different tasks. Our Headquarters platoon was placed into full throttle with the integration of our 92G(food service specialists) into the dining facilities here on Joint Base Balad. It‟s truly an honor to have Soldiers who have theprofessionalism and agility to play a multifaceted role in the Company‟s mission. Our food service specialists displayed theirproficiency in accurately tracking, ordering, and preparing rations for our Red Dragons at Samarra, and expanded their reach tosupplementing a significantly large force outside of Task Force Red Dragon. They are doing a fantastic job, and we appreciatethe luxury of the hot meals they provide. Our Maintenance platoon remains on their toes to provide scheduled and unscheduled services to our task force. Theirgrease stained hands and coveralls are a visible testament to the hard labor they provide to keep the Battalion‟s fleet fully opera-tional. We appreciate their efforts greatly. Without them, mission accomplishment would not be possible. Last but not least isour Distribution Platoon. They continue to supply the Red Dragons in Samarra, and execute the maneuver mission by night.Their vigilance and commitment to duty provide a safer and more secure area of operation.Very Respectfully,Crystal E. ChatmanCPT, LG CommandingGladiator 6 5 Oct—SPC Moreno 13 Oct—SPC Telgemeyer 15 Oct—SPC Banks 17 Oct—SGT Pettyjohn 22 Oct—SPC Simmons, Z. CPT Chatman and 1SG Triplett looking on as Gladiator Soldiers compete in the Warrior Dash.
  12. 12. 3-82 FA Red Dragon Newsletter Page 12 September went by fast as Headquarters Platoon stayed busy with tasks ensuring we support the overall mission forGolf Company and the Red Dragon Battalion. Recently, our 92G (Food Service Specialists) began operating in an ArmyDFAC previously staffed by contracted workers. The meal plan consist of two hot meals (breakfast and dinner), and twoMRE meals (lunch and mid-night chow) per day. The great news is there is a salad and an icecream bar, so families don‟t worry, our Soldiers have plenty to eat and still enjoy their meals. The Supply section worked diligently to maintain accountability of our property.This project is led by SPC Galloway with the assistance of SPC Steadmon, PFC Arter andPV2 Northcutt. SGT Bracken and SPC Malone have been busy with processing award pack-ets so that our Soldiers get recognized for their dedication and hard work throughout the de-ployment. Last, but not least, SGT Stoller worked meticulously with restless nights to ensurethe Maneuver Platoon had the most valuable and current intelligence information for up-coming missions. Please keep sending our Soldiers letters and care packages, make sure to send it tothe new mailing address (Camp Buehring) found in CSM Soto‟s column. As always, we‟rekeeping friends and family in our thoughts and look forward to coming home. 2LT Hoang Le XO/HQ Platoon Leader SPC Drayton preparing to cook in Samarra The Distribution Platoon saw a great increase of responsibility throughout the month of September. The cargo andfuel requirements needed to support the battalion have become more demanding but, in spite of this, our Soldiers are remain-ing resilient and consistently meeting the standard. SSG Jones is spearheading the synchronization of our cargo missions while Soldiers who are not members of the ma-neuver set work diligently as heavy vehicle operators (88M). Those operators are made up of Soldiers who specialize in dif-ferent functions, but they all work in perfect harmony to fulfill the requests of our battalion. A portion of the platoon is comprised of ammunition handlers who manage and closely track allocations for the Red Dragon mission. SGT Boman and SGT Wills are well versed in their craft. They ensure ammunition is closely accounted for and properly stored. SGT Williams, SGT Fullard, SPC Reichert, and SPC Upchurch operate solely to fulfill any and every fuel require- ment in our battalion‟s area of operation. The great thing about each of these Soldiers is they also have the skill level to operate heavy equipment. They stand by prepared to pick-up, move, and reposition 20 foot containers, drop palletized water, and maintain their equipment to ensure they are ready for a movement order at a moment‟s notice. Through the ever-changing requirements, morale remains high and the Soldiers remain vigilant in their assigned war- rior tasks and duties. Thank you so much for your continued support as we con- tinue to work hard and serve proudly. SFC Hoskins addressing the patrol in a huddle prior to re- 2LT Matthew Cline hearsals Distribution Platoon Leader
  13. 13. 3-82 FA Red Dragon Newsletter Page 13 As September draws to an end, we step back and realize all the hard work and dedication that has been donethroughout the month. Maintenance Platoon not only continued motor pool operations, but assisted the battalion in supportto the successful function of daily combat missions. We continuously worked on the Battalion‟s combat fleet and other mission essential vehicles in order to maintain afully mission capable status. As the mission continues, we resume a role to dispose of excess materials and wastes. TheService and Recovery team , SGT Pettyjohn, PFC Rogers, and SPC Branch, create and fabricate wire mitigation systems,melt excess metal into disposable pieces, cut bulk wood pieces, patios, and pallets. We also salvage broken down vehiclesto use parts from them to repair inoperable vehicles along with many other tasks. Our ELM team has focused on consoli-dating petroleum, oil, and liquid products for use on services of equipment and vehicles. SPC Jorgenson ensured fluidswere managed as this is critical to movements and allowing all vehicles to be repaired and serviced accordingly. All additional equipment has been serviced such as generators, water buffalos, palletized loading system vehicles,fuelers, wreckers, and forklifts, in addition to the maneuver vehicles. SSG Coss headed up the completed services of allsupport vehicles. It takes time to keep all these vehicles fully mission capable and able to complete 3-82 Field ArtilleryBattalion‟s mission. Each piece of equipment is critical in Golf Company‟s ability to support. Parts are ordered fluidly when maintaining the Battalion‟s vehicles and equipment. The mechanics must be on topof their game in putting parts on order and, when they receive them, to immediately fix the issues and faults. SGT Pratt,SPC Banks, SPC Kodep, SPC Orvilus, PFC Ashworth, and PFC Cook do a great job to ensure the parts are ordered foreach broken vehicle and picked up for mechanics to begin repairs. Mobility of parts has become more limited, but this doesnot stop our team from repairing and fixing the fleet. Soldiers resource parts from other units and ensure that if the equip-ment can be fixed, they make it happen.2LT Amanda FonkMaintenance Platoon Leader SPC Orvillus ground guiding SPC Banks as he downloads a pallet of tires
  14. 14. Page 14 3-82 FA Red Dragon Newsletter CHAPLAIN’S CORNER Greetings from the Red Dragon Religious Support Team (RST)! Many of you probably remember exactly whereyou were and what you were doing when you first heard the reports or saw the news footage of the 11 September 2001attacks. Do you also remember that in the days and weeks and months following that tragedy, Americans bonded togetheras one Nation? Strangers got to know each other. Neighbors became neighborly. Personal enemies reconciled. One per-son went out of her way to help another. Why? Shared tragedy has a strange and unique way of bringing human beingsclose. They share the sense of loss, the sense of violation, the sense of outrage, the sense of working through it all, thesense of wanting justice. People connect when they share feelings, goals and expectations. Having those three things in common createsrelational bonds where no relationships existed, as we saw in the days, weeks, and months after the attacks ten years ago.Having those three things in common re-creates relational bonds where harsh words, insensitive actions and/or circum-stances have severed the ties that bind. Having those three things in common strengthens relational bonds that already ex-ist and makes relationships more resilient to withstand the next adversity. All that is good news for you and your Soldiers. It means that even with about 7,000 miles between you, you canstill maintain your relationships, strengthen your relational bonds and grow more resilient to face future adversities, unitedas a family. The key is to share common feelings, goals and expectations. It sounds simple…it is simple. But simple doesnot equal easy. To share common feelings, goals and expectations, two conversations are required. The first is with yourself. You must figure out what you are feeling and why. You must figure out what your fam-ily goals are and why they are important to you. You must figure out what your family expectations are and why they arereasonable and necessary. The second conversation is with one another, explaining the results of the first conversation.You must understand each other‟s feelings, realizing you are both entitled to your feelings. You will not talk your spouseout of her/his feelings, so don‟t try. Couples tend to spend all their en-ergy and effort justifying and attacking feelings. You should, instead,focus that energy and effort on reconciling goals and expectations. Youboth can arrive at a common set of family goals and expectations thateach can work toward, even in the middle of deployment. Shared(understood) feelings, and shared (agreed upon) goals and expectationskeep you and your Soldier working toward the same end state. Workingtoward the same end state keeps you bonded as a family across 7,000miles, and is more powerful to change feelings than argument or debateabout feelings. Thanks for all you have to do there so that your Soldiers can ac-complish the mission here.CPT Darrell Burriss 3-82 FA Chaplain, CPT Burriss, and his assistant,3-82 FA Chaplain PFC Kim“Red Dragons!” Red Dragon Strong Warriors of the Week SPC Isaac Ramsey of Alpha Battery 27 Aug—3 Sep PFC Matthew Castillo of Golf Company 4 Sep—11 Sep 2LT Jermain Williams of HHB 12 Sep—19 Sep PV2 Michael Finer of Bravo Battery 20 Sep—27 Sep
  15. 15. Page 15 3-82 FA Red Dragon Newsletter Rear Detachment LetterRed Dragons, Families, and Friends, We are finally seeing a break from the relentless heat in Texas, and it is fortunately starting to cool down for yourSoldiers over in Iraq as well! With school in full swing, I hope those of you with children are enjoying the time off and areable to tackle some of the tasks you may have put off during the Summer. You all continue to amaze us with your patience and diligence as we experience changes in the mailing addressand the systems your Soldier can use to contact home. Though some hiccups occurred, regular communication has beenmaintained through systems that will remain in place. While mail appears to arrive a little slower with the new routingthrough Kuwait, it is making it to your Soldier. Your help with identifying issues, either with communication systems or atthe local Post Office, helped us find the solutions so that there are minimal effects. As we begin to head into the Holiday Season, I ask you to look out for one another. This can be a very stressfultime, and even more so with a loved one deployed. There are many resources available if you find yourself in need, andplease do not hesitate to contact myself or Debbie Nash for information on what is available. We have some great upcoming events, and I really hope many of you will be able to make them. On 30 October,we will have our 2nd Annual Trunk or Treat in the Red Dragon Motor Pool. There will be a vehicle for each Battery, fullydecorated and loaded with treats! There will also be numerous fun activities for the children, and costumes are very muchencouraged! Also, on 3 November, there will be the 2BCT Spouse Spur Ride, where Spouses have the opportunity to earntheir spurs through various activities and ending with an Obstacle Course! Be on the lookout for more information eitheron the Red Dragon Facebook Page or through your FRG Leader! As always, the Rear Detachment Team is here to support you, and never hesitate to call us. If we dont know a par-ticular answer for you, we will certainly point you in the right direction. Until 17 October I will be out of the loop as I takeleave for my wedding, but CPT Stephen Lewis will be filling in for me. He can be reached at 732-620-4795 or Dragons!CPT Chris FreemanRear Detachment Commander Great Support Services Relocation Assistance: 254-213-2857 AER Assistance: 254-213-3991 Military Family Life Consultants: 254-213-2857 Chaplain On-Duty: 254-213-3967 Chaffee Child Development Center TJ Mills Boulevard, Bldg 198 254-287-4749 Kids pose after making superhero outfits at the BN Family Night Rear Detachment Upcoming Events 30 Oct 2011 — Trunk or Treat @ 4:00 PM @ the Red Dragon Motor Pool 3 Nov 2011 — 2BCT Spouse Spur Ride @ 8:00 AM—Location TBD
  16. 16. 3-82 FA Red Dragon Newsletter Page 16 SSG Welch re-enlisted on 30 September for another 3 years of service. SGT Gray re-enlisted on 30 September for another 3 years of service. SGT Lape re-enlisted on 1 October for another 3 years of service. SSG Anduze re-enlisted on 1 October for another 6 years of service. SPC Browning (HHB) CPL Steadmon (Golf) SGT Pablo (HHB) SSG Quintero (Alpha) 1 Sep 1 Oct 1 Sep 1 Sep SPC Eugene (HHB) SGT Cooper (Alpha) SSG Kee (Bravo) 1 Sep 1 Oct 30 Sep SPC Baxter (Bravo) SGT Resendiz (Alpha) SSG Canning (Alpha) 5 Sep 1 Oct 1 Oct SPC Maly (Golf) SGT Toro (Golf) SSG Glass (Alpha) 1 Oct 1 Oct 1 Oct SGT Meredith (Golf) 1 Oct * * * Come one come all!!! * * * Buy your Red Dragon T-Shirt today! Only $10 Contact the Rear Detachment Commander to get yours today! SFC Alvarado (HHB) 1 Sep SFC Mitchell (Bravo) 30 Sep SFC Hood (Alpha) 1 Oct LTC Cook promoting SFC Alvarado
  17. 17. PFC F oq uette, PFC Padjune PV2 M adson an zeroing his M4 d PFC D oyle l earning a bout t rtis he M14 SPC Cu in patrolling Samarra SGT Alv ar ez o ut on patr ol PFC Le handi gardo ng SP Stead C mon mail his work ing atSSG K g supplies n orderi rk- son wo SPC Jorgen ch and ction cant se SPC Bran oil and lubri the ing in HHB Sold iers with ile on a mission an Iraqi the area wh polic Bravo Soldier scans eman