TA S K F O R C E C R E E K | D E C E M B E R 2 011- J A N U A R Y 2 012
WITH THE HOLIDAY SEASON BEHIND US, TASK FORCE CREEK PACKED UP AND LEFT PAKTIYA PROVINCE IN JANUARY, 2012. 1-279 SOLDIERSMOVED TO NEARBY GHAZNI PROVINCE IN ORDER TO SIMULTANEOUSLY FACILITATE SUCCESSFUL FUTURE OPERATIONS OF UNITS TO FOLLOWUS INTO THIS KEY STRATEGIC REGION, AS WELL AS TO CONTINUE TO PREPARE OURSELVES FOR OUR RETURN HOME TO FAMILY AND LOVEDONES. THE SOLDIERS OF TASK FORCE CREEK HAVE TAKEN ON OUR NEW MISSION IN OUR NEW HOME WITH THE SAME EFFORT AND FORTITUDEAS WE HAVE SHOWN THROUGHOUT THIS DEPLOYMENT. OUR SOLDIERS KNOW THAT THE END IS NEAR - BUT CONTINUE THE GOOD FIGHTUNTIL OUR LAST SOLDIER IS ON THE PLANE, HEADED HOME
tf creekCOMMANDERDecember and January were extremely busy months for theSoldiers of Task Force Creek as the Battalion conducted “At this time the veryRelief in Place and Transfer of Authority with members of first soldiers from Taskthe 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry from Alaska and departedPaktiya province for a new mission. The Task Force leaves Force Creek have alreadybehind many Afghan friends and counterparts who assistedus in making Paktiya a safer and more prosperous place. made the trip back andWe wish them the best as they continue their efforts to bring are reuniting with theirpeace to Afghanistan. friends and families.”The Task Force is now operating in Ghazni Province and has Despite Coalition Force achievements throughout Paktiyabeen assigned to Task Force White Eagle, a Polish Mechanized province during the month of December three MilitaryBrigade securing the province. We are very fortunate and Policemen engaged in combat operations with Task Forcehonored to have an opportunity to serve with our Coalition Creek soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice in service to theirbrothers from Poland who are under the very capable nation. I would ask that you pray for the families of SGTleadership of Brigadier General Piotr Blazeusz. BG Blazeusz is Noah Korte, SPC Kurt Kern, and PFC Justin Whitmire,a graduate of the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs all from the 720th MP Battalion out of Fort Hood TX,and has readily taken in our soldiers as part of his team. who lost their lives in service to their country on December 27th, 2011 in the Ahmadabad District of Paktiya Province.Currently our soldiers are living in and operating in some Please keep our soldiers in your thoughts and prayers as wepretty austere conditions in Ghazni where the snow and finish this mission and begin our return home.low temperatures are ever present. You can be proud of thecommitment and accomplishments our soldiers are makingas they execute area security operations throughout theprovince. It will not be long before our soldiers begin toturn over this responsibility and move back to Oklahoma. Movin’ On! Chuck Booze LTC, IN Commanding
csm’sCORNER The soldiers of Task Force Creek handled themselves like true professionals during this time of transition to their new areas of operation. I am very proud and appreciative of how each company in Task Force Creek came together, put in the long hours, and got the job done. As we move into our last thirty days in Afghanistan, I will be traveling around to each remote build sight the Task Force will be securing, and emphasizing the importance of keeping their focus on the mission in front of them. Task Force Creek is spread throughout the Ghazni Province, securing COP’s, FOB’s and fire bases as engineer groups work to build living quarters and operation centers for the incom- ing 82nd Airborne arriving at the end of February. This is an important mission for Task Force Creek. The more produc- tive the engineers can be, the better set units from the 82nd Airborne will be to get in the fight. When we return to Oklahoma in March, I want Task Force Creek to go home with a sense of pride and accomplishment. For the last 8 months Task Force Creek has worked without hesitation, to extinguish insurgent activity in Paktiya Province, and I expect nothing less in Ghazni Province. CSM Christopher Miller Task Force Creek CSM
tf creek CHAPLAINThe recent months have marked drastic changes for our task difficult deployment. You too need to readjust. Be patient withforce. As we handed combat operations over to 3-509th in yourself and acknowledge the changes, both good and bad,Paktiya, we transitioned to a new mission in Ghazni Province. since your soldier has been gone.Add to that, TF Creek conducted the move during harshAfghanistan winter. Yet even through the unique challenges, But most importantly, get ready for an awesome homecom-TF Creek soldiers did what they do best and drove on. We ing! The thought of reuniting with my clan almost makes mealso celebrated the holidays as best we could, being scattered euphoric. I appreciate them in ways unimaginable before.in so many different locations, knowing that the next holiday While changes have taken place, I am excited to see how myseason will be with our own families back in the States. At children have grown. I also can’t wait to show my wife howthe same time we continue to pray for the families of our much I appreciate her efforts with the kids, the house, and sofallen heroes. We still miss them as much as ever, but we many other tasks. But there is still a job to do. “May you bestrive in their memory. strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy” ( Colossians 1:11)But here we are on the verge of coming home; balancingdaily duties with the excitement of the redeployment. For And finally, please know that I will continue to be your chap-our soldiers and the families back home, now is not the time lain after we come home. If you, your soldier, or your familyto let up or drop our guard. Staying productively occupied should need anything, please let me know. You are my missionwill provide benefit for us here and our folks back on the and I look forward to the privilege of continuing to servehome front. However, be sure to help your soldier plan for you. May the Lord bless you and keep you until we meetthe homecoming. Make it special. Use the preparations for face to face.the homecoming as a means to pass the time. PRO DEO ET PATRIA!As your soldier transitions back into life back home, bepatient. Be flexible. Be understanding. The readjustment CH (CPT) David Jordantime does not have to be a negative experience. Talk itout. Let patience win the day. By doing so you create anenvironment that fosters trust, which in turn will allowyour soldier to reclaim a life worth living in light of an often
teamLAKOTA CPT CALEB EMDE 1SG WILLIAM UMPHREYAs the deployment in support of Operation Enduring Free- As mentioned earlier, this deployment is drawing closer anddom draws nearer to a close, Team Lakota has not stopped closer to being over. Everyone in Team Lakota grows anxiouscontributing to the fight. Since Team Lakota transferred to get home and see their loved ones. That time will come, butauthority in Zormat to Team Dog 3-509 PIR we have moved until then we must remain vigilant. Team Lakota will con-to JCOP Red Hill in Parwan Province. We are currently work- tinue to maintain a ready status and continue to contribute toing for Task Force Maverick (HHBN 1 CD) in the Bagram the fight here in RC-East.Security Zone as the Division Reserve. This is a high honor forTeam Lakota, to be selected for the Division Reserve, it showCJTF-1 confidence in our abilities to contribute to the fight “Team Lakota has doneanywhere, anytime. We will continue this mission as the Divi- an outstanding job andsion Reserve until our redeployment. will return home withOver the course of the deployment Team Lakota soldiers haveearned many accolades. These accolades come from a hard their heads held high!”fought deployment in Paktiya and the relationships that fos- - COL Joel Wardtered a more aggressive and competent ANSF partnered force.Along with those accolades come badges that these soldiershave earned. Team Lakota soldiers were fortunate enough tohave the Brigade commander, COL Joel Ward, make the tripfrom FOB Gamberi to JCOP Red Hill to present and pinthese badges on the deserving soldiers chests. Team Lakotahad Combat Infantrymen’s Badges, Combat Action Badges,and Combat Medical Badges awarded to soldiers. COL Wardspoke to the soldiers and handed out TF Thunderbird coinsto soldiers as well. He conferred what everyone else in CJTF-1already knows; Team Lakota has done an outstanding job andwill return home with their heads held high! COLONEL JOEL WARD [THUNDERBIRD 6] PRESENTS SPC JEREMY RODRIGUEZ WITH A COMBAT ACTION BADGE.
team BUFFALO 1LT JOSHUA STARKS 1SG ROBERT HUGGINS As Team Buffalo starts to close out their deployment in COP security to allow the 668th Engineer’s to build RC-EAST, it is crucial for soldiers to focus and keep working the new COP. 3rd Platoon Bravo Company moved hard to assist the new units coming in. Over the last couple out to COP Qarabagh, not long after 2nd platoon. 3rd months Team Buffalo soldiers packed their bags and moved Platoon moved along with Task Force MAD DOG, to Ghazni Province from their previous location at AFCOP 661st Engineers, to provide security and work with local Rahman Kheyl in Paktya Province. At first, Team Buffalo’s Afghanistan National Army Soldiers in building up the mission in the new location was to provide security for the RCP sight and training the ANA soldiers for future operations. units out of FOB Ghazni. Bravo Company received a mission Both platoons moved into sights that had nothing there. change and packed their bags and moved out to provide Team Buffalo soldiers have been working diligently and security at two different locations in the Ghazni Province. aggressively on building up the sights to allow soldiers Preparing the new sights for future operations and units to to move from living out of trucks to force provider tents. move in and occupy to continue future operations out of. These sights are going to be used as Polish and American bases for future operations in Ghazni Province. “Team Buffalo has been Soldiers of Team Buffalo are working long days and going strong for the nights trying to finish the deployment strong and setting the follow on unit up for success. Team Buffalo has been last nine months of the going strong for the last nine months of the deployment deployment and knows and knows the end is near. Soldiers are working hard and staying focused to make sure that the job is done correctly the end is near.” and everyone makes it home safely. Team Buffalo arrived at FOB Ghazni and had to start to prepare for missions right away. Soldiers were up in the morning and working till dark to make sure that the trucks were fully mission capable, before leaving the FOB. 2nd Platoon Bravo Company was the first platoon to move out toTEAM BUFFALO CONDUCTS A KEY LEADER ENGAGEMENT their new location. 2nd Platoon moved into COP WaghezWITH VILLAGE ELDERS IN THE RAHMAN KHEYL AREA. along with Task Force Yankee, 668th Engineer’s, to provide
teamCRAZYHORSE CPT LUKE KIMBREL 1SG JOE DAY Team Crazyhorse has played a significant role in the Paktiya Most recently Team Crazyhorse was tasked with the mission Province over the past 8 months. Along with securing COP of providing security for the 10-22nd Engineers while they Herrera, the mission was to provide a combat presence while built up COPS to support operations out of FOB Arian. Here patrolling the villages in the surrounding areas and minimize at Arian it is a combined effort with the engineers to erect threats from insurgents. Team Crazyhorse worked alongside living quarters, latrines, laundry facilities and basically every- Afghan National Army and Afghan Uniformed Police to thing needed to sustain operations and improve the quality of complete these missions. Team Crazyhorse and their ISAF life. Since we’ve been here, a much needed chow hall has been partners worked every day to make the Jaji District a safer built to replace the previous insufficient one and FLOUR has place for the units to follow. taken over the cooking duties. When Team Crazyhorse found out that they were moving to Team Crazyhorse is on their final month in country and are another site the initial reaction was what you would expect working just as hard as the day they go here. The critical work from a group of soldiers that had successfully fought the Team Crazyhorse does in their new area of operation will help enemy in one of the most kinetic area of operations in Eastern the incoming 82nd Airborne be better prepared to diminish Afghanistan, they were ready to go home and be with their the insurgent presence in the Ghazni Province. loved ones. Instead they dug deep and found the strength to continue on and finish strong. During the months of December and January, Team Crazyhorse was in a transition period while the 3-509th IN Battalion moved in a took over operations in and around COP Herrera. At FOB Ghazni the soldiers ended up having some down time due to the drawn out process of drawing vehicles and equipment for the company. They used this time to get in a few workouts, enjoy the chow hall and do some shopping at the stores that were there. All in all Ghazni was a good experience, but the soldiers of Team Crazyhorse were ready to get back to work.
teamOSAGE CPT TRENT DAVENPORT 1SG JAMES BOYERTeam Osage left Dand Patan, Paktiya Province and prepared item is missing or not operational from the BII list itfor a new mission in the Ghazni Province. Logistically this prevents the vehicle from being used during missions. Allmove for a company element can prove to be challenging, the soldiers of Team Osage gave 100% effort in order to getbut for Team Osage the move was successfully completed all of these stripped vehicles back to a mission ready status.and convoy security missions are currently being conducted. As Team Osage prepares to complete their mission here atThe task of moving Team Osage came with many challenges FOB Ghazni and return to their families, all the hard workincluding a hurdle referred to as “red air”, which restricts performed here will be a great asset to the incoming unit.movement on the LZ (landing zone). We depend on air sup- The new unit will utilize the equipment that Team Osage hasport for many aspects of day to day mission tasks that include prepared for them also the facilities here on FOB Ghaznimovement of soldiers, equipment and supplies. The winter that our soldiers helped build, maintain and utilize likemonths in Afghanistan can bring many days of “red air” and shower tents, gym and a new chow hall that will be openingthe snow can be measured by the foot. Team Osage soldiers on the 1st of March.worked countless hours to become operational and conductconvoy security missions in the Ghazni Province. We have made countless moves since we began our train up for deployment to include a move to Fort Polk, Louisiana, forAs we signed for vehicles to conduct missions it was impera- a month long training. Team Osage returned to Camp Shelbytive our equipment was inspected to ensure the vehicles are and prepared for their move to COP Dand Patan in Paktiyasafe and without any deficiencies that would put a soldier at Province and our remission to FOB Ghazni in December.risk. Communication equipment for each vehicle had to be “Team Osage has come together and completed the missioninspected and repaired, “It was a tough job to say the least, put before them despite any of the challenges or hurdles weevery truck required key communication components and faced”, stated 1st Lt. Fargo Woody of Elliot, OK. Our finalextensive troubleshooting hours were logged to ensure our mission will be the reward for all our hard work and timevehicle’s communications were operational and reliable” stated away from our families. That mission is to make our finalSpc. Niklas Frenz of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Soldiers from move to Oklahoma with a great feeling of accomplishmenteach platoon would spend every day inspecting our vehicles and a job well done for Team Osage.to ensure we had no key equipment missing and all the BasicIssue Items (BII) were accounted for. BII is the minimum TEAM OSAGE ON DISMOUNTED PATROLS AROUND DAND PATAN.essential items required to place vehicles in operation. If one
team SAVAGE MAJ ADAM HEADRICK 1SG BRUCE NICHOLLS As the 3-509th Infantry Battalion from Ft Richardson, Alaska engineers to put up tent, dining facilities, and anything started moving into FOB Gardez, the soldiers of Team Savage else needed to make COP Arian a secure, working home were busy readying themselves for their next mission. They for over 400 soldiers. worked tirelessly during the month of December to make sure everything was in order for the move, along with running The soldiers are working hard and preparing to enter crucial clearing missions and presence patrols in and around their last month here in Afghanistan. The anticipation Gardez. Team Savage made numerous connections with of returning home to loved ones can be felt throughout locals and gained the trust of their ISAF counterparts in Team Savage, but the mission is still at the forefront of Paktiya, but was ready to take their proud heritage to a new their minds. area of operation. Christmas found Team Savage in good spirits as the mail from family, friends and support organization came in by the “Team Savage made truck load. Items included presents, cookies, games and many numerous connections other luxuries Team Savage hadn’t enjoyed during much of the deployment. By the time the New Year arrive, most of the with locals and gained soldier were in transit and used their time inside the wire to the trust of their ISAF re-connect with their families and treat themselves to some much needed down time. counterparts in Paktiya, Team Savage arrived at FOB Ghazni in mid-January and im- but was ready to take mediately went back to work. They worked for weeks receiv- their proud heritage to a ing equipment and planning out their next mission to COP Arian, in the Ghazni Province. The soldiers of Team Savage new area of operation.” along with their new Polish allies are being used as a security element for the 642 Engineers out of Louisiana. The Engineer unit is working to improve the security and living conditionsSPC JASON BARROW [TEAM SAVAGE MORTAR] PERFORMING FINAL of Forward Operating Bases and Combat Outposts through-CHECKS AND CALIBRATIONS ON THE 120MM MORTAR SYSTEM. out Ghazni Province. Team Savage is working alongside the
teamFIREWALKER CPT DAVID CLINTON 1SG HERBERT TATEAs Team Firewalker closes out their nine-month deployment Operating Base to Forward Operating Base so that otherto Eastern Afghanistan, it is crucial to stay focused. Through units can begin to improve both the living and working condi-the month of December 2011 Team Firewalker soldiers tions for future units, including the Afghan National Army.packed their bags and moved west to Ghazni Province fromtheir previous home in Paktiya Province. Our mission in Anxious to get home to awaiting family and friends makesthe Ghazni Province was unclear at first but now that our everyday a little bit harder than the last. Team Firewalkermission is under-way, the importance is very clear. Preparing and everyone here from the Oklahoma National Guard hasthe new area of operations for future missions and units is the found their own way to make the days go by as fast as possible.small part that we play in the overall mission to eliminate the For Team Firewalker, working on trucks for future missions,insurgent threat in Eastern Afghanistan. whether by choice or tasking, has proven to be a universal way to stay occupied. Everyone here knows that soon enough weTeam Firewalker consists of primarily truck drivers and will be home and back to the lives they left behind nearly awheeled vehicle mechanics. With this composition of year ago.personnel, we are responsible for the inspection of bothnew and old vehicles and the parts and equipment neededto ensure the safety of future passengers. Team Firewalkerinspects everything from radio cables to screws that holdheadlights in place. If any part of a vehicle is not up tomission standards, ineffective or missing, higher commandis informed and the new parts are ordered. Upon the arrivalof new parts, they are installed in order to make the vehiclefully mission capable. When everything in the vehicle isdetermined to be in its proper working order, the vehiclehas to be signed for and tested on the routes. These trucksare used to move soldiers of Task Force Creek from Forward PFC COOKFROM TEAM FIREWALKER GIVING ASSISTANCE TO SOLDIERS [TEAM FIREWALKER] ENJOYING A PIECE OF PECAN PIE ON GARDEZ CITY. TEAM SAVAGE IN THANKSGIVING.
kIRBY SPC SMITH [ TEAM SAVAGE SNIPER] SHOWS OFF HIS SNIPER RIFLE TO AN AFGHAN NATIONAL ARMY SOLDIER BEFORE CLEARING OPERATION.
TEAM SAVAGE COMMANDER MAJOR ADAM HEADRICK CONVERSING WITH AN AFGHANNATION ARMY SOLDIER AND FRANK [ TEAM SAVAGE INTERPRETER].
THE MONTH OF DECEMBER BROUGHT PLENTY OF SNOW IN THE PAKTIYA PROVINCE.
CHILDREN THOUGHOUT THE VILLAGES IN PAKTIYA PROVINCE COME OUT TOGREET TEAM OSAGE WITH SMILES ON THEIR FACES.
THE BEAUTY OF PAKTIYA PROVINCE WAS A WELCOME VIEW FOR SOLDIERS ASTHEY WORKED TO MAKE AFGANISTAN A SAFER PLACE.
TEAM CRAZYHORSE SOLDIER PROVIDES OVERWATCH SECURITY DURING RECENTCLEARING OPERATIONS IN THE JAJI DISTRICTS NEAR COP HERRERA.