Oct 2012 Newsletter


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Oct 2012 Newsletter

  1. 1. Page 1 OCTOBER 2012 The Centaur Roll Call 3-6 Field Artillery Preparation for a deployment takes more than just pre- Things get rough around the house and at times it feelsparing the Soldier for the mission. Spouses, children, and like things are falling apart. From personal experience, myparents need time and help understanding what the effects husband deployed and things just happened. The garageof a deployment means to them. For a spouse and child, doors quit opening, my car started making noises thatthis event can mean a parent relying on themselves to ac- sounded like it was going to croak over at any minute, losscomplish things around the house and the day to day of a dog, the lawn mower wouldn’t start, when it did startevents of the family. For a parent it may be not talking to the self propel belt tore off, and the list goes on. As spousestheir Soldier daily or weekly. One way or another in relation and family members of Soldiers, we all go through eventsto that Soldier, deployments can take a change on a per- that feels like they will break us, but in reality can make ussons psyche. stronger in the end. We all are tested, but it is how we buck up and face these tests that makes us stronger. They hurt to Anyone who’s been through multiple deployments will the core, and even anger you that you are dealing with thistell you that each deployment is different; different mission, alone. But, remember you are not alone. Many before youdifferent place, different ways of communicating back have gone through their own set of tests. It is about reach-home. However, sitting down with your spouse or loved ing out to that person; that battle buddy at 2AM and know-ones prior to deployment and going through things can ing everything will be fine and you will make it through thismake a difference. First, attend the Predeployment Brief for hurdle.your unit. 3-6 Field Artillery will conduct our brief on the 7thof Nov at 10am & 6pm at the Main Post Auditorium (Post Spouses and parents, please get involved in your Soldier’sTheater). Now, no one wants to go to a meeting to hear unit. Find out who the FRG Leader is, when there are FRGabout what you already know is coming up; a deployment. Meetings, and go to them or get the information from thoseBut, there is good information that can help make that Sol- meetings. Being active is a great way to meet new peopledier and their families life a little bit easier. Commanders whether you are local or far away. Meet other family mem-brief on what they know about the deployment, conditions, bers going through what you are about to go through, bemail, communication and so on to ease the families’ minds that voice to suggest meetings with other mommies orand know that their Soldier is in good hands with their Com- forming a group to exercise together. Parents can volunteermand. Agencies brief what they can provide, financial plan- with the FRG as a key Caller or organizing morale packagesning, where to find help and assistance, or someone to talk to send to the troops. The FRG is here to help provide ad-to. Scenarios are brought up for your benefit to realize the vice, support, and referral on a problem you may have.importance of getting things together, having a plan, andthen having a contingency plan for when plan A falls Kimberley Williams, FRSAthrough. Don’t be that Soldier who leaves their family unpre-pared for something that could have easily been prevented.I cannot stress enough the importance of attending, no mat-ter how many deployments you have been through.
  2. 2. Page 2 OCTOBER 2012 Headquarters & Headquarters Battery Gladiators Swift and Bold Soldiers and Families, I want to start out by telling you how immensely awesome on. Then we redeployed to Ft Drum and haven’t the Gladiator Soldiers are. In the last two months missed a beat. These Soldiers are awesome, and they have supported the first Division Field I don’t get to tell them that enough. Training Exercise that has occurred in the last ten years. Not only did they support it, but they Things in the future are not slowing down set the bar for other Battalions to aim for. Then though. A decent amount of us are preparing to less than a month later we deployed to the Na- go to Afghanistan next year and that requires a tional Training Center in Ft Irwin California. Most lot of training. We have identified the team that units have 6 months to a year to plan for this will deploy and now we are preparing. While that mission; well the Swift and Bold Battalion did it means a lot of training there is also a lot of time in 4 weeks. Not only that but we got there and off on the calendar. I encourage all of you to accomplished the mission with excellence. The make the most of this time off, because the time Battery actually made the job of the Observer/ you have with family now is extremely valuable Controllers (O/Cs) more difficult because they when you consider that we will be gone for nine did such a good job in the field that it was harder months. We will have a lot of briefings also that I for the O/Cs to find something for us to improve encourage families to attend. Some of you have never had your husband deploy, or you weren’t married during his last deployment. There is a lot to know. I also encourage you to prepare for the winter. If you have never experienced a winter in Northern NY or last winter was your only experi- ence, then you may be in for a surprise. Make sure the kids are prepared as well. In closing I would like to stress that if you ever need anything from me or the commander, our phones are always on, and our doors are al- ways open. I would like to say a final thank you SPCs Meneses, Spearman, and Tiner being pro- to the Gladiator Families for all that you do. I moted to Corporal. know we ask a lot of you, but your support for your Soldier is amazing. GLADIATOR 7A Huge thanks to the HHB FRG Volunteers: Mindy Thompson, Cindy Aldana, Ruthie Van Orman, KathrynPeacock, Myndee Ellis, Christina Hackler, Emily Smith, Amy Tiner, Kelly Hecker, Brenda Bejar.
  3. 3. Page 3 OCTOBER 2012 Alpha Battery The men of Alpha Battery displayed remarkable Sons of Alpha resilience in this tumultuous period. Sections transitioned from a light M119A2 105mm howit- zer to medium M777A2 155mm howitzer. In a pe- Over the past couple of months, the Sons of riod of two weeks, the sections took on the com- Alpha trained more than most units train in an pletely new and complex weapon system that entire year and did it with panache. The men of they have never seen before and mastered the Alpha Battery vindicated their already well crew drills, culminating with a 54 round live fire wrought reputation as empirically best battery in exercise that went off without a hitch. All the the Division through their hard work, flexibility, while, sections were inventorying, packing, and and outstanding performance over a multitude shipping out their containers to NTC, which is of short notice and momentous training exer- onerous task in its own right. cises. With barely enough time to blink an eye, our On 15 JUL 2012, the battery returned from men were on a plane destined Fort Irwin, Califor- block leave and hit the ground running. After a nia, where the plane ride itself provided a wel- week of rigorous preparations and certifications, comed five hour respite from the chaos. Once the battery took to the field once again as the the entire battery had arrived, the training en- premiere firing battery in support of Operation sued. The men of Alpha Battery geared up for the Mountain Peak, which was the largest division “box,” conducting a panoply of logistical tasks exercise in 11 years. Over the 10 day exercise, and prepatory training in the staging area, rightly the men of Alpha Battery performed flawlessly, known as the Dust Bowl. Upon entering the box, masterfully firing 1707 rounds in support of five the battery performed exceedingly well, firing simultaneous infantry maneuver lanes, receiving over 100 105mm rounds and over 600 155mm praise from the Commanding General and Dep- rounds in support of STX lanes and during Force uty Commanding General of Operations for its on Force operations. Additionally, the battery exemplary performance. During the operation, was lauded by the NTC trainers as being the best the battery received fidelity that it would be tak- battery they have seen in years. ing part in a National Training Center (NTC) rota- tion in Fort Irwin, California, in August, and that The Sons of Alpha continue on its historic half the battery would transition to the M777A2 journey, transitioning the battery in its entirety to weapon system. M777A2s in preparation for an impending de- ployment in support of OEF. In late October the Immediately coming off of Mountain Peak, the battery will conduct a three-day LFX, where the battery immediately jumped into simultaneous battery will certify its new M777A2s sections and recovery operations, NTC preparation and con- conduct air assault sling load operations. tainer outload, and M777A2 transition training. Continued on page 4A Huge thanks to the Alpha Battery FRG Volunteers: Jill Burke, Genessee Brinker, Katie Parker,Michelle Johnson, & Stephanie Holcombe.
  4. 4. Page 4 OCTOBER 2012Continued SSG Diaz of 1st Pla- I just want to say thank you to families, toon, Alpha Battery,friends, and FRG of the Sons of Alpha for all motivates his sec- tion during STX livetheir support during the high operational tempo fire exercise at Fortthat we have endured. There is a method to Irwin, CAmadness, and the bottom line is that winninghappens in practice. Our goal is to prepare the Most of you probably can’t remember whenbattery to the utmost, so that it is combat ready you were enjoying uninterrupted time with yourand will win in combat once it is called upon to Service member. Since returning from somedo so. We couldn’t do it without your support. time off after NTC the Sons of Alpha went right“The strength of our families, is the strength of into section certification for Mountain Peakour Soldiers, is the strength of our nation.” The where all your Soldiers excelled beyond expec-good news is that there is substantial time off in tations. This was about the same time most ofthe near future, and your Soldiers will be avail- you heard about the upcoming mission to Af-able for some quality time, so plan accordingly. I ghanistan and the more recent time spent apartappreciate what you do! ROCK SOLID! while your Soldier was in California. Busy isn’t-Rock 6 even the word for our current OPTEMPO. The Soldiers of Alpha Battery are currently conduct- ing inventories for upcoming Change of Com- mand while attending classes on the different communication platforms, conducting weapons qualifications, and preparing to go to the field for the week of 22 October. That’s a mammoth task, however all of your Soldier’s are taking it in stride and continuing to perform at the highest level. All is not lost; there is plenty of time off coming in the near future, multiple four day weekends and block leave. We will have a family readiness group meeting today and I highly en-2nd Platoon, Alpha Battery, conducts a training courage all and any family members or friendsAIR MEDEVAC during NTC Rotation 12-10 at FortIrwin, California. of Alpha to attend. We will discuss the upcom- ing deployment and the numerous training events. I would like to take this time not to recognize any one Soldier, but to recognize the battery and the Soldiers in the battalion for all the resiliency they have shown over the past couple months. All - ROCK 7
  5. 5. Page 5OCTOBER 2012 Alpha Continued...Welcome to the Rock: SFC NewtonPV2 Baker PVT OwensPFC Bertram SSG PenningtonPV2 Bolds 1LT Rinaldi 2nd PLT Prepares to fire the Excalibur Round atSPC Boyle SGT Stevens Fort Irwin, CA.PFC Breene PFC WalstonSPC Brown PV2 WhittakerPFC CashPFC Day Congratulations to thePFC Deforest following Soldiers onPV2 Dixon their awards:PV2 Duarte SSG RhodusPV2 Galbraith SSG RoseSSG Garant SPC JohnsonPV2 Garcia SPC FrechetteSPC Garibay SPC Benson 2nd PLT, Alpha Battery, conducts M777A2 live firePFC Gomez PFC Hughes training at FDNY in Aug 2012, marking the first time inSSG Graham the Centaur Battalion’s history that it has fired PV2 OwensPVT Hall M777A2s.SSG Hall Congratulations to theSPC Haughton following families for 2nd PLT prepares to fire high angle duringSGT Hernandez their new additions to M777A2 transition live fire training in AUGSPC Herring Sons of Alpha: 2012 at FDNY.PFC Hibbard SPC BrandonPFC Holcombe SPC McFarlandSGT Howard SPC TowzenPVT JonesPFC KundertPFC KwasnikPV2 McqueenCPL MenesesPVT MevissenPFC Miles
  6. 6. Page 6 OCTOBER 2012 Bravo Battery fires, firing over 300 rounds in close coordina- Bulls tion with dismounted Soldiers and aircraft. The Battery was commended by the trainers at NTC It has been a busy few months for the Sol- for its performance as one of the best firingdiers of Bravo Battery. Since our past newsletter units they have seen.in June, the Battery commenced its busy sum-mer schedule by supporting the Cadet Summer The Battery has also undergone a lot ofTraining Program at the United States Military changes in the past few months. The BattalionAcademy (USMA) in West Point, NY. The Battery has changed its task organization in order toperformed flawlessly as they trained over 1,400 support the upcoming deployment. As a result,Sophomore cadets in fire mission processing, the Battery has lost 25 Soldiers as they are nowadvanced party procedures and howitzer crew spread out between HHB and A Battery. I woulddrills. The Bulls of Bravo supervised and as- like to thank those who have joined other Batter-sisted cadets as they fired 7,700 rounds without ies for the deployment for all their hard work inincident. The Soldiers of the Battery were com- making Bravo what it is today and wish them themended on their performance by the Deputy best of luck during their upcoming mission. TheCommanding General of Operations for 10th remainder of the Battery will continue to train onMountain Division, the Commandant of Cadets at key artillery skills in order to maintain profi-USMA, the Commander of 4th BCT 10th Mountain ciency and prepare for future operations. TheDivision and the fire support cadre at USMA. Battery will remain busy in the coming monthsThey represented not only 3-6 FA, but the 10th with supporting pre-deployment training for theMountain Division proudly and I could not be BCT and Battalion, to include a field exercisemore pleased with their performance. from 05 – 09 November. The Battery will be firing in support of the Brigade’s Security Force Assis- The Battery was also tasked to support a Na- tance Teams as well as certifying new sectiontional Training Center (NTC) Rotation at Fort Ir- chiefs in the fire direction center and on thewin, CA in August and September. The Soldiers gunline.performed above expectations during the rota-tion given the short notice of the deployment and Finally, there will be a change of commandminimum manning throughout the sections. The ceremony on 01 November as CPT Rodney Bun-Battery supported maneuver Situational Training yan will take over as the new commander ofExercises (STX) for the Brigade with indirect Bravo Battery. Although it is difficult to leave such an outstanding unit, I know that this Bat- tery will continue to excel in accomplishing its mission and that CPT Bunyan will be successful. SGT Featherston super- It has truly been an honor to command this or- vising cadets as they load a 105mm round. ganization and I wish all the Soldiers and fami- lies good luck in all their future endeavors. Ryan W. Graf Bulls Deep!A Huge thanks to the Bravo Battery FRG Volunteers: Tessa Conaway, Chelsey Dingbaum,& Brittney York.
  7. 7. Page 7OCTOBER 2012FIRST SERGEANT CORNERThe Soldiers of Bravo Battery participated in two have recently joined the Bulls team and are wel-big events over the Summer, from the United come with open arms.States Military Academy (USMA) summer train-ing at West Point NY to the National Training SSG Odell, SGT Barilani, SGT Griffith, SGTcenter (NTC) rotation at Fort Irwin, CA. The Sol- Glass, SGT Estep, SGT Bostwick, SPC Brandon,diers performed superbly during both events SPC Dray, PFC Paizand proved once again that they are well trainedto perform their wartime duties if and when Promotioncalled upon. I am proud and confident in the Sol- 1 August 2012 we had the honor and privilege todiers of Bravo Battery and looking forward to promote SPC Alcantara to the rank of Sergeant.continue building on this Battery already great Getting promoted is a great accomplishment es-reputation. pecially to the Ranks of an NCO. It not only dis- tinguishes the individual from their peers, but itFarewell comes with the responsibilities to teach, coachSSG Roy -Recruiting and mentor our nation’s greatest resource; anSGT Abbate- Recruiting American Soldier. With these newly given re-SGT Peterson- ETS sponsibilities, I have no doubt that SGT Alcan-SGT Lester- PCS to Fort Benning tara will accomplishment them all and even ex- ceed expectations. Congratulations.Thank you for your service to our great nationand especially to the BULLS, you will be missed.HailsAs we say farewell to these outstanding Sol-diers, I would like to welcome the newly as-signed members of our team. I have no doubtthat they will be an asset to our team.SFC Mullin, SSG Leiter, SPC WolosyznThe following Soldiers have been a part of the SPC Alvarez training a cadet on fireSwift and Bold Battalion for a little while, but direction center operations at West Point.
  8. 8. Page 8 OCTOBER 2012 Golf GuardiansFrom the Commander: The Soldiers of Golf Company have beenworking hard to support the greatest battalion inthe Army. The majority of the Company deployedto the National Training Center in September in pany. I am very fortunate to be a part of such ansupport of the Battalion and during our time in outstanding organization and am thankful to allbeautiful Southern California, we supported the the Soldiers and their families who make thisBattalion with timely delivery of ammunition, Company the best Forward Support Company infuel, and other supplies in less than ideal condi- the Brigade!tions. The distribution platoon had zero safetyincidents in delivering ammunition to the firing “Strength through Support!”batteries over a two week period to include driv- CPT Keith Carrolling at night with no white light and with the use Guardian 7of Night Vision Devices. The Maintenance Pla-toon supported the fight at the National TrainingCenter by working countless hours keeping the From the First Sergeant:Battalion’s vehicles and howitzers in full mission Over the past couple months Golf Companycapable condition. Our cooks worked tirelessly have had new Soldiers come into the Guardianpreparing and serving thousands of meals to the family and Soldiers that have been recognizedBrigade during the NTC rotation. Our Soldiers for overall duty performance by means ofwho stayed at Fort Drum worked just as hard awards and promotions. We welcome PFCkeeping the Battalion’s rear detachment operat- Pereida, PV2 McQueen, and PV2 Gracia to Golfing flawlessly. Over the past couple of weeks, Company. We also had 2 babies born into thethe Company have enjoyed some well deserved Guardian Family: SPC Acevedo son (Stephentime off with friends and family. The next coming Thomas) and SSG Hibbert daughter (Nyssaweeks will have the Company supporting the Naomi) Soldiers have received awards for theirBattalion in various field exercises to include contribution to the mission of 3-6 FA during NTCsmall arms ranges and Battery live fire exercises 10-12: SSG Southern, CPL Mahaffey, SPC For-and anything else that is required to support the rester, and SPC Robinson. The following Sol-Battalion. The months of November and Decem- diers have been promoted to the rank of Special-ber will have the Company continuing support of ist: PFC Mitchell and PFC Marzett .the Battalion as we prepare for the Battalion’supcoming deployment in January. The Guardi-ans have lost some great Soldiers either due to “Strength through Support!”PCS or end of army service recently but are ex- 1SG Toby Gibsoncited about the new Guardians joining the Com- Guardian 7A Huge thanks to the Golf Company FRG Volunteers: Rachel Hirons, Patricia Navarro,Kisha Elliot, Lisa Carroll, Shawna Robinson, Carol Natarelli, & Amanda Van Heel