43rd Pad Runner (Vol. 1 Issue 1)

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43rd Public Affairs Detachment presents the first issue of Runner newsletter. This issue covers the 43rd PAD on assignment covering SFAT training at Ft Polk Joint Readiness Training Center.

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43rd Pad Runner (Vol. 1 Issue 1)

  1. 1. 43rd Public Affairs Detachment “Marathoners” Fort Bliss, Texas Volume 1 Issue 1 Joint Readiness Training Center Fort Polk, Louisiana Feb/March 2012COMMANDER’S MESSAGE JRTC OFFERS SFATS REALISTIC TRAINING Since February 14, the 43rd PublicAffairs Detachment has been deployedto the Joint Readiness Training Centerand Fort Polk, La. to highlight the newobjective to focus on mentoring our Af-ghan partners through the use of Secu-rity Force Assistance Teams. The 43rd Public Affairs Detach-ment has been working hard, withearly morning missions and late nightproductions to produce and packageproducts to be used to communicatethe training and the purpose behind theSFATs. The Soldiers of 43rd Public Af-fairs Detachment have been out in thetraining area interviewing all echelonsof leadership to include the U.S. ArmyForces Command Commanding Gen-eral, Gen. Rodriguez, SFAT leaders andObserver Coach Trainers. Security Force Assistance Teams havea very important role as they begin todeploy as early as this spring to Afghan-istan. Their success will help transitionthe role in which the International Secu-rity Assistance Force currently operates.SFATs responsibility is to mentor their Af-ghan partners to take the lead in conduct-ing independent security operations. Sgt.1stClassJoshuaWard(kneeling)ofBakersfield,Calif.,assignedto4thSquadron,10thCavalryRegiment,3rdBrigadeCombatTeam,4thInfantry Their success begins at the Joint Division, based out of Fort Carson, Colo., conducts a pre-convoy brief to soldiers role-playing as Afghan Uniformed Police, at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Feb. 22, 2012. Security Force Assistance Teams prepare for their upcoming deployment at the JRTC in several situational trainingReadiness Training Center and the 43rd exercises culminating with a six-day scenario replicating the Afghanistan mission. (Photo by Sgt. Richard Andrade 43rd Public Affairs Detachment)Public Affairs Detachment’s primaryrole here is to capture their training and Story by Sgt. Richard Andradehighlight their readiness. JRTC Opera- 43rd Public Affairs Detachmenttions Group has done an amazing job atchallenging the teams. As the Saturday morning sun rises, This mission has played a vital role Afghans trickle into a coffee shop,in setting up the new focus in strategic stores begin to open for business, po-planning of Operation Enduring Free-dom. It has been a tremendous honor to lice officers prepare to start their shift,be tasked to support this mission as we when suddenly an explosion breaks theare the voice of a historical change in silence. A vehicle-borne improvisedthe war in Afghanistan. explosive device detonates outside an A special thank you goes out to the Afghan Uniformed Police station. Ma-16th Mobile Public Affairs Detach-ment with augmenting our PAD with chine-gun fire echoes through the build-two highly professional non-commis- ings as the Afghan Uniformed Policesioned officers, SGT Richard Andrade immediately react and get in defensiveand SGT Jonathan Thomas. Also this positions throughout the police station.mission could not be possible without This scenario is just one of many real-the support from the 24th Press CampHeadquarters and the 15th Sustainment istic training exercises held at the JointBrigade, thank you for your assistance. An improvised explosive devise simulator strikes the head vehicle in a convoy lead Readiness Training Center and Fort by the 15th Security Force Assistance Team, 191st Infantry Brigade, 1st Army Divi- Polk, La.Capt. Andrew Frazzano sion West during a live-fire exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Security Force Assistance Teams43rd Public Affairs Detachment Polk, La. Feb. 20, 2012. Soldiers from the 15th SFAT are trained on their combat skills and are specifically tailored to ensure the safety of their team and their Afghan from various brigade combat teams at counterparts. (Photo by Sgt. Jonathan W. Thomas, 43rd Public Affairs Detachment) Continued on page 3
  2. 2. RESPECT THE CULTURE, RESPECT THE RELIGION, RESPECT THE PEOPLEAfghan cultural role-players walk to a replica mosque during an exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, La., Feb. 25, 2012. TheJRTC training area is designed to replicate villages in Afghanistan, but it is the cultural role-players who provide an understanding of the Afghan way oflife to soldiers and prepare them for the scenarios they may face while deployed. (Photo by Sgt. Jonathan Thomas 43rd Public Affairs Detachment)Story by Sgt. Jonathan W. Thomas43rd Public Affairs Detachment role,” Said Maddi. “It really helps our team leaders, NCOs (noncommis- The battlefield no longer resembles a chess match where one pawn sioned officers in charge) and team members to understand what’s goingtakes another; it is a dynamic ever-changing environment where a cul- on culturally and what they can expect when they get down-range.”ture’s values matter, a place where one move can affect many. Another way SFAT units are expanding their knowledge on Afghan cul-Security Force Assistance Teams, at the Joint Readiness Training Center ture is through direct interactions from subject matter experts returningand Fort Polk, La., not only learn about combat tactics, techniques, and from down-range.procedures but also about the customs and courtesies of the Afghan way “They brought [me] and a bunch of my counter parts, that had deploy-of life. ment experience, to come down and tell [the SFAT units] the things they “What we’re arming our [Soldiers] with, as they go across the ocean, is may missed,” said Cpt. Tai Terry with the 401st Military Police Company.just a couple key points that are very basic; respect their religion, respect “For example the interpersonal relationships you build and how importantthe people, respect the culture, and respect the women,” said Sgt. Maj. that is to establish before you can get down to business.”Doug Maddi, brigade sergeant major for 3rd Brigade 4th Infantry Divi- Officers and NCOs from the SFAT units’ deployment location traveledsion. from Afghanistan to Fort Polk to share their experiences and advise Sol- These basic principles are being reinforced by, providing down-range diers on real world events.feedback from Soldiers returning from deployment, and the interactions “You can read about it, you can hear about it, you can watch a movieSoldiers experience with cultural role-players. about it, but there’s nothing that replaces doing it. having somebody thereWhen the 12- person SFAT units deploy they will advise and mentor the that allows you to see that, and somebody that can say, you wouldn’t doAfghan National Security Forces as they conduct security operations. that in Afghanistan, you shouldn’t do that in Afghanistan,” said Col. MikeSFAT Units are rigorously trained to defend themselves, but their primary kasales, commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th ID. “You justrole is to train and mentor the ANSF. won’t get-it unless you’re talking to the real thing and here we’ve got the The JRTC training area is designed to replicate villages in Afghanistan, real deal, and so it’s invaluable.”which include traditional homes, businesses and mosques, but it is the The training, SFAT units receive, at JRTC will supply them with toolscultural role-players that bring the Afghan way of life to those structures to have a successful deployment but each Soldier should know how toand provide Soldiers with scenarios they may face while deployed. respect the culture, people, and religion while down-range. “The best thing that JRTC does is [provide] a large percentage of cul- “We feel that if we can do those basic things successfully and all the ad-tural role-players out here, so, the interactions that the teams are getting vising comes together it will allow the people of Afghanistan to continuewhile their in role is outstanding, but what’s more important are the inter- on securing themselves and having a successful way of life for the people,actions [the Soldiers] get with these cultural role-players when their out of because it’s the people we’re really trying to impact,” said Maddi. 2
  3. 3. JRTC OFFERS SFATS REALISTIC TRAININGcontinued from page 1U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Lynn Popolski, of Buffalo, N.Y., a fire support specialist assigned to 4th Squadron, 10thCavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, based out of Fort Carson, Colo., pro-vides security atop the gunner’s position of his reinforced HMMWV, during a situational training exerciseat the Joint Readiness Training Center on Fort Polk, La., Feb. 25. Realistic environments and role- play-ers help Security Force Assistance teams from various brigade combat teams train in the most realistic sce-narios possible prior to their deployment. (Photo by Sgt. Richard Andrade 43rd Public Affairs Detachment) A Soldier provides security during a situational trainingthe JRTC train to mentor their Afghan National son, of Fayetteville, N.C., 188th Inf. Bde., First exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center. Securi-Security Forces counterparts. The training at Army, Division East, based out of Fort Stewart, Ga. ty Force Assistance Teams from various brigade combatJRTC includes several situational training exer- Robinson said the training scenarios have al- teams train to mentor their Afghan National Security Force counterparts at Fort Polk prior to deployment. (Photo bycises culminating with a six-day scenario repli- lowed his team to see some real-world obstacles Sgt. Richard Andrade 43rd Public Affairs Detachment)cating the Afghanistan mission. The most im- they have to prepare for once deployed. One ofportant part of the training is for U.S. forces to the challenges his team had to overcome waskeep their Afghan counterparts in the lead and the language barrier. Communicating with theirdevelop a system that works. Afghan counterparts is facilitated with the use “Our sole mission is to put the Afghan po- of interpreters.lice in front and ensure that the people know “It causes us to take a more critical look andthat they have a secure environment,” said U.S. kind of slow down our training process, so whenArmy Lt. Col. Ceburn Gilliam, of Little Rock, we get to executing [a mission] with our part-Ark., assigned to the 188th Infantry Brigade, ners; it is more of a synchronized effort,” saidFirst Army, Division East, based out of Fort Robinson.Stewart, Ga. After the SFAT teams finish with a training One of the many aspects of the SFAT train- scenario, they conduct an after action reviewing at JRTC is the use of actual Afghan civilians to assess the exercise and for observers coachand replicated cities offering the most realistic trainers, also known as OCTs, to give their in-training scenarios. put.“The ability to work with actual Afghans has One OCT said he is passionate about the SFATbeen a significant help,” said Gilliam. training mission. Sgt. 1st Class Andrew O’Dell,The training lanes are meant to be as realistic of Talladega, Tenn., assigned to the 162nd In-as possible with cultural role-players acting as fantry Brigade, based in Fort Polk, La.,Afghan officials, soldiers, police officers and “The [SFAT] mission is something to be veryvillagers making. proud of,” said the cavalry scout. “This is shap- During his team’s training at JRTC, Gilliam said ing Afghan history, right here.”his role will be to mentor the Afghan Uniformed “I’ve seen it be successful [in Iraq], I knowPolice and enhance their policing skills so together it works,” O’Dell said about the mentor/adviserthey can secure the province the best they can. role. “It is very important; it’s something to takeThe SFAT teams will be made up of leaders seriously.” Staff Sgt. John Lechner, fires noncommissioned of-from different backgrounds including field ar- Prior to the SFAT training, soldiers go through ficer with the 15th Security Force Assistance Team, 191st Infantry Brigade, 1st Army Division West, pullstillery, infantry, communications, logistics, and an advisory academy where O’Dell is also an in- security for Afghan Uniformed Police role-players dur-engineers. The teams will not just be made of structor. SFAT teams go through the situational ing a medical evacuation exercise at the Joint Readi-military elements; some will include military training exercises and learn key lessons but, “The ness Training Center and Fort Polk, La.,Feb. 23, 2012.contractors or civilians. priority is to learn how to interact with their Af- The 15th SFAT is training for their upcoming deploy- ment to Afghanistan where they will assist and train “The SFAT training is awesome, it gives us the ghan counterparts downrange,” O’Dell said. their Afghan counterparts. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt.realism that we need,” said Maj. Kendell Robin- Jonathan W. Thomas, 43rd Public Affairs Detachment) 3
  4. 4. 15TH SFAT TRAINS TO STRENGTHEN, ENHANCE ANSFU.S. Army Maj. Brant Auge, an observer coach/trainer, with the live-fire-team from the Joint Readiness Training Center Operations Group, conducts an af-ter action review upon the completion of the 15th Security Force Assistance Team, 191st Infantry Brigade, 1st Army Division West’s blank-fire exer-cise at JRTC and Fort Polk, La. Feb. 19. Auge ensured Soldiers from the 15th SFAT were informed of their strengths and weaknesses, in order to correct-ly train their Afghan counterparts and keep their team safe during their deployment. (Photo by Sgt. Jonathan W. Thomas 43rd Public Affairs Detachment)Story by Sgt. Jonathan W. Thomas43rd Public Affairs Detachment The Security Force Assistance Team will become a key component inenhancing the strength and capabilities of the Afghan National SecurityForces, but that depends on building successful SFAT units.The 15th Security Force Assistance Team, 191st Infantry Brigade, 1stArmy Division West, conducted a live-fire convoy, at the Joint ReadinessTraining Center and Fort Polk, La., Feb. 20, in preparation for their up-coming deployment to Afghanistan. “When we go down-range our mission will be to enable the Afghanpolice force to take the lead and do the police work that will facilitate thesecurity for local villagers in their district,” said Lt. Col. Carlos Schroder,commander of the 15th SFAT, 191st Inf. Brig., 1st Army Division West.SFAT units are a 12-person team composed of highly trained officers andnon-commissioned officers, who will assist and mentor the ANSF as theyconduct security operations. “A lot of [SFAT] members have been on multiple deployments and ourpast experiences will help us train the [Afghan police force] and furtherdevelop the tactics they have in place already,” said Staff Sgt. KennethBourque, an Mk 19 gunner with the 15th SFAT, 191st Inf. Brig., 1st ArmyDivision West.Adding to their experiences the 15th SFAT conducted training which in-cluded; Key Leader Engagements, live-fire target transitioning, convoyoperations, casualty care under fire and casualty evacuation. “For me as a [Staff Sergeant], although I haven’t had a chance to [fire] Soldiers from the 15th Security Force Assistance Team, 191st Infantry Bri- gade, 1st Army Division West, pull security as a fire ball explodes near their con-in a long time, it was fun and it was a good refresher on exactly where voy during a life-fire exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center and FortI came from and what I need to be mentoring others on,” said Staff Sgt. Polk, Feb. 20. SFAT units are rigorously trained to defend themselves, butJacob Fizer an M240 Bravo machine-gunner with the 15th SFAT, 191st their primary role is to mentor their Afghan National Security Force counter- Continued on page 5 parts. (Photo by Sgt. Jonathan W. Thomas 43rd Public Affairs Detachment) 4
  5. 5. FORSCOM commander visits JRTCSoldiers from the 15th Security Force Assistance Team, 191st Infantry Brigade, 1stArmy Division West, carry a simulated casualty to an evacuation point during anexercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, La. blank-fire rangeFeb. 19, 2012. Soldiers from the 15th SFAT are trained on their combat skills andare specifically tailored to ensure the safety of their team and their Afghan counter-parts. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Jonathan W. Thomas, 43rd Public Affairs Detachment)Continued from page 4Inf. Brig., 1st Army Division West. “A good person laying a good supportby fire can change the course of the battle so I understand the importanceof that.” Soldiers from the 15th SFAT are trained on their combat skills to ensurethe safety of their team and are specifically tailored to mentor their Afghancounterparts. “We did a combined live-fire, we worked with our rotary assets and alsodid some indirect fire support while performing a key leader engagementand we even had some direct contact and [improvised explosive devices]on the way,” said Schroder “We worked our battle drills and as a resultthe training went extremely well, I’m very pleased with the progress theteams have made.” SFAT Units are rigorously trained to defend themselves, but their pri-mary role is to train and mentor the ANSF and understanding that rolemay be key to a successful mission down-range. “My interpretation on what an SFAT [unit] is: we’re the gateway onpulling out of Afghanistan, we’re there to advise the afghans and enable U.S. Army Gen. David Rodriguez, (left), commander, United Statestheir police forces to stand on their own, to have good relations with the Army Forces Command, aswers questions from a reporter during hislocal population so that when we leave they have a nice secure foundation visit to the Joint Readiness Training Center, Feb. 22. Security Forceto build a future from,” said Fizer. Assistant Teams from various brigade combat teams are training at Fort Polk, La., for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan where they will be advisors to Afghan National Security Forces. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Richard Andrade 43rd Public Affairs Detachment) Gen. David Rodriguez, (left), commander, United States Army Forc-A gunner from the 15th Security Force Assistance Team, 191st Infantry Brigade, 1st es Command, speaks to a role player, acting as an Afghan Na-Army Division West, fires his 50-Caliber machine gun at pop-up targets during a live-fire tional Army soldier inside an operational coordination center-region-convoy at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, La. Feb. 20. SFAT Units al at the Joint Readiness Training Center, and Fort Polk Feb. 22.are rigorously trained to defend themselves, but their primary role is to mentor afghan (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Richard Andrade 43rd Public Affairs Detachment)units. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Jonathan W. Thomas, 43rd Public Affairs Detachment) 5
  6. 6. SSG Sobrepeña’s Cuisine Corner Today’s meal: Spicy Gumbo! By Staff Sgt. Roland Sobrepeña decided cross the small parking lot to patron- press’ gumbo is the roux (a cooking mixture of Food Critic at Large ize the local eatery and man, I’m glad did! The flour and fat thickening sauce). Normally south- 43rd Public Affairs Detachment Ranch House Express is a road side tin shack ern Louisiana gumbo sauce has a light brown or Now if there is something SSG Sobe is seri- near Bldg 7828 on Entrance road at North Fort dun color, very creamy from the wheat flour and ous about, its good gumbo, and I’m here to pro- Polk. When I asked the lady at the register what butter. Northern Louisiana gumbo sauce on the claim that that the gumbo at The Ranch House good to eat, she replied “Gumbo”. other hand use less flour and more celery and Express is one of the best I’ve tasted. If you’ve Just under 6 bucks for a 32oz squat soup cup, black pepper as well as chicken broth giving it ever been to JRTC, there are stark choices when it’s enough spicy goodness to last you though that dark green, almost black constancy. it comes to dining venues; it’s either the local a hard day of editing footage and uploading It’ll clear your sinus and put a smile in your AAFES shoppette or Pizza Hut, and I’m sorry products to DVIDS. The chicken and sausage face! Four out of five stars. you can only eat so many personal pan pizza’s. is of the same quality of gumbo ingredients as As you know I’m not a walker, but one day I’ve I’ve tasted before but secret of Ranch House Ex- The 43rd Public Affairs Detachment Capt. Andrew Frazzano Follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/43PADStaff Sgt. Roland Sobrepeña Flickr: Sgt. Jennifer Roux 43PAD FORSCOM Sgt. James Walker Youtube: Sgt. Jonathan Thomas youtube.com/user/43PAD Sgt. Richard Andrade DVIDS: dvidshub.net/units/43PAD The 43rd Public Affairs “Marathoners” based out of Fort Bliss, Texas have deployed to the Joint Readiness Train- ing Center and Fort Polk, La. Two print journalists from the 16th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Sgt. Jonathan W. Thomas and Sgt. Richard Andrade, have augmented the 43rd PAD’s mission to cover the training of the Secu- rity Force Assistance Teams from various brigade combat teams as they learn to mentor and advise their Afghan National Security Force counterparts prior to deploying. The SFATs are a key step in continuing efforts to improve ANSF capability and to help them take more responsibility for the security of their country. 6

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