The ivy leaf volume 1, issue 41


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MP sharpens tactical skills
‘Thunderhorse’ Battalion cases colors
Multi-deployment veteran passes on knowledge

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The ivy leaf volume 1, issue 41

  1. 1. U.S. Division-North Volume 1, Issue 41 Established in 1917 to honor those who serve August 12, 2011 MP sharpensBlack Jack tactical skills Steadfast and Loyal Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux 1st AATF Public Affairs 1st Inf. Div., USD - NLongKnife CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE WARRIOR, Iraq – Kneeling next to the exit ramp, Spc. Luz Natalia Gonzalez readied her M249 Squad Automatic Weap- Ironhorse on. As the vehicle halted on a crowded street in Kirkuk, Iraq, Gonzalez emergedDevil and scanned the area before signaling oth- er personnel to exit the vehicle and move into a nearby police station. Due to the demanding operational tem- po of her military police platoon, Gonza- lez, assigned to the “Punishers,” Provin-Fit for Any Test Fit for Any Test cial Police Transition Team, 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Divi- sion, mastered the tactical skills required of her while on her first deployment in support of Operation New Dawn. “As a Soldier, being a Punisher has made me who I am today,” said Gonzalez, who hails from Providence, R.I. “I never thought I would be this good this early, and I know I owe that to the experiencesIronhorse Devil I’ve had being in this platoon.” Gonzalez progressed quickly through the MP ranks despite having less than two years of service. Conducting multiple missions into the LongKnife city each week, Gonzalez said the mis- sions she performs in the Punisher platoonSteadfast and Loyal develop her as a Soldier. “She was a little timid a first,” said Pfc. Renee Cummings, a fellow Punisher and gunner from the Bay Area, Calif. “She came off as shy, but as the missions con- tinued, she really showed her aggressive BLack JAck side.” Staff Sergeant Richard Medina, an U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux, 1st AATF PAO MP squad leader, said he saw potential in Specialist Luz Natalia Gonzalez, a military police Soldier from Providence, R.I., assigned to Gonzalez. “Punishers” Provincial Police Transition Team, 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division, enters a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle after conducting security opera- See SKILLS, Pg. 3 tions outside of the Domies Police Station in Kirkuk City, Iraq, July 31, 2011.
  2. 2. The Ivy Leaf August 12 , 2011 Private Frank Corey, HHC, 2nd AAB, 1st Cav. Div. One “Black Jack” Soldier recently used skills learned, while His efforts and dedication as a gunner ensured the accura- serving in support of Operation New Dawn, to stand out during cy of 24 high-explosive rounds on target during the event, he a live-fire exercise. added. Private Frank Corey, a mortarman with Headquarters and Deployed for the first time, Corey said he is grateful for the Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, opportunity to use his skills, show the accuracy of a mortar, and 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, success- provide security for Soldiers and civilians in the area. fully led the way for his mortar platoon during a three-day, live- Providing security is another aspect to Corey’s work, said fire training event in July. Coste. When not involved with mortars, Corey is a gunner with Corey, from Geneva, Ohio, held the highest standard during the battalion’s Quick Reaction Force. the recertification portion of the event, said 1st Lt. Adam Coste, In addition to his strong work ethic, Coste said Corey is a mortar platoon leader for HHC, 1st Bn., 8th Cav. Regt. He com- team player who is always trying to better himself, and a posi- pleted a practical and written examination, earning the top score tive influence on his peers. for his platoon. Corey’s dedication and selflessness is credit to himself, his “Corey scored a 97 out of 100 possible points on the 120mm unit and the Army, earning him the title of “Ironhorse Strong” mortar recertification,” explained Coste. Soldier of the week. What is ironhorse strong? • exemplify the army Values • stay cool under fire • stand out among the rank and file • complete eVery mission to standard • exceed the standard • set an example for others • remain tactically and technically • shoW initiatiVe proficient Thunderhorse Battalion Black Dragon Soldiers 256th CSH Soldiers mentor Black Knights hone skills Cases Colors earn spurs Iraqi healthcare providers at victory range Page 4 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 THE Ivy Leaf Task Force Ironhorse Commanding General – Maj. Gen. David G. Perkins The Ivy Leaf is an authorized publication for members of the Command Sergeant Major – Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel A. Dailey U.S. Army. Contents of The Ivy Leaf are not necessarily official views of, or endorsed by the U.S. Government, Department of the Army or the 4th Infantry Division. Everything advertised in this Task Force Ironhorse Public Affairs publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage TF Ironhorse PAO – Lt. Col. Steve Wollman without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, TF Ironhorse PA NCOIC – Master Sgt. Craig Zentkovich marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other The Ivy Leaf Editor – Sgt. 1st Class Rob Barker non-merit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. All editorial The Ivy Leaf Layout & Design – Spc. Andrew Ingram content of The Ivy Leaf is prepared, edited, provided and approved by the United States Division-North Public Affairs Office. 1st Advise and 2nd Advise and Do you have a story to share? The Ivy Leaf welcomes submissions Assist Task Force Assist Brigade from readers. Send to the USD-N PAO at 1st Infantry Division 1st Cavalry Division mil. The Ivy Leaf reserves the right to edit submissions selected for the paper. For further information on deadlines, questions or 4th Advise and comments, email USD-N PAO or call DSN 318-849-0089. Assist Brigade 1st Cavalry Division 2
  3. 3. The Ivy Leaf August 12 , 2011 SKILLS, Contd from Pg. 1 training seminars, crime scene investiga- tion classes, provide guidance and assis- “When she came to my squad, I made tance to their Iraqi counterparts, and con- her my driver,” Medina said. “It’s a big re- duct meetings with police chiefs and other sponsibility, but I knew she could handle law enforcement individuals. it.” With military police being her first mil- When on the ground, Gonzalez must itary occupation specialty, Gonzalez said handle communications between Medina, she goes out, conducts patrols and deals the platoon, the gunner and the rest of the with the same dangers as infantry. convoy. “I’m just like any and every other Pun- Several months ago, Medina said he isher,” said Gonzalez. “Despite the diffi- got to see for himself that Gonzalez was culties of the mission at hand, I know I ready for any challenge. have to do my part so everyone else can “On a routine visit, we came upon an do theirs.” (improvised explosive device) on one of “I’m impressed with my MPs,” said Lt. the routes,” said Medina. “There was a Col. Stephen Hughes, chief of the Provin- lot of confusion between civilians and the cial Police Transition Team. “They have Iraqi Security Forces already present, so I all of the Soldier skills you would find in dismounted to assess the situation, leaving an infantry unit, but they also have law Gonzalez to relay the communications.” enforcement training and are prepared to “She had to keep me informed as to fight like infantrymen.” what the gunner saw and update every- Despite the rigorous time restriction one else on what was going on, all while and daily mission requirements, Gonza- U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux, 1st AATF PAO ensuring the convoy was moved to a safe lez said she is grateful for everything she Specialist Luz Natalia Gonzalez, a military distance,” Medina continued. “She was learned during this deployment. police Soldier assigned to “Punishers” Pro- vincial Police Transition Team, 1st Advise calm and clear, she kept a level head. I “I always knew I would come into the and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Divi- knew then she was a Soldier that could be Army,” Gonzalez said with a smile, “and sion, conducts a walking security patrol trusted with greater responsibility.” I’m glad my first experience was as a Pun- outside of the Domies Police Headquarters On a weekly basis, Punishers conduct isher.” in Kirkuk City, Iraq, July 31, 2011. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux, 1st AATF PAO Specialist Luz Natalia Gonzalez, far left, and Staff Sgt. Richard Medina, far right, both military police Soldiers assigned to “Punishers” Provincial Police Transition Team, 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division, conduct a pre-mission brief at their vehicle motorpool on Contingency Operating Site Warrior, Iraq, July 31, 2011. With military police being her first military occupation specialty, Gonzalez said she goes out, conducts patrols and deals with the same dangers as infantry. 3
  4. 4. The Ivy Leaf August 12 , 2011 ‘Thunderhorse’ Battalion cases colors Sgt. Kandi Huggins and Iraqi Police, partnered with Col. Salah, competently assum- between the Iraqi Army, Iraqi 1st AATF Public Affairs U.S. Forces to secure the city of ing the mission of the Thunder- Police and Kurdish Regional 1st Inf. Div., USD - N Kirkuk and the Combined Se- horse Battalion. Guards,” said Pappal, a Creek- curity Area. Under the guidance and ad- side, Pa., native, “but you’re CONTINGENCY OPERAT- After the Thunderhorse Bat- visement of Thunderhorse Sol- also a symbol for every differ- ING SITE WARRIOR, Iraq talion arrived in 2010, the eCSF diers, the Golden Lions, which ent ethnic segment of diverse – Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, began taking a more security- started as a company-sized ele- population of Kirkuk because 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st based posture and executing ment, grew to a battalion-sized that population is what you are Advise and Assist Task Force, operations to increase security element able to train and super- beholden to protect.” 1st Infantry Division, cased and stability in Kirkuk Prov- vise its own soldiers. As Thunderhorse Soldiers their colors, transferring the ince. “The Thunderhorses have retired their colors and respon- authority of their mission to the “This transition ceremony, been an integral part of devel- sibilities in Kirkuk, Holland expanded Combined Security today, where you have a U.S. oping and growing this battal- said they trust the eCSF will Force, Aug. 6. battalion and a combined bat- ion from a company that relied remain steadfast and diligent in “Thunderhorse” Battalion talion of our Iraqi Security upon them to a battalion that their progression. culminated its yearlong mission Forces arranged side by side can stand alone,” said Col. Mi- “While there is still work to of enhancing the tactical and is no small feat,” said Lt. Col. chael Pappal, commander, 1st be done, I wish the very best for technical prowess of “Golden Joseph Holland, Thunderhorse AATF, 1st Inf. Div. Col. Salah and the leaders of Lions,” eCSF in Kirkuk, with a commander. “This is indeed Pappal said the eCSF always our Iraqi Police, Iraqi Army and Transfer of Authority Ceremo- a monumental occasion of represented a symbol of unity KRG in Kirkuk who will sup- ny on Contingency Operating which everyone here should be for the people of Iraq. port the fine men of the Golden Site Warrior, Iraq. proud.” “You are not only a symbol Lions,” said Holland. Established in late 2009 as Holland said the audience a protection and peace keep- was witnessing the culmination ing force for the elections, the of many months of training, eCSF, comprised of Kurdish resulting in the Golden Lion Regional Guard, Iraqi Army Battalion, under the command U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kandi Huggins, 1st AATF PAO Above: Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Holland, left, and Command Sgt. Maj. William May, command team, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division, case their battalion colors during a Transfer of Authority Ceremo- ny at Contingency Operating Site Warrior, Iraq, Aug. 6, 2011. Right: A color guard comprised of U.S. Soldiers and members of the expanded Combined Security Force presented both the U.S. and Iraq flags during a Transfer of Authority Ceremony at Contingency Operating Site Warrior, Iraq, Aug. 6, 2011, between the eCSF and the “Thunderhorse,” 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Ad- vise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division. “While there is still work to be done, I wish the very best for Col. Salah and the leaders of our Iraqi Police, Iraqi Army and Peshmerga in Kirkuk who will support the fine men of the ‘Golden Lions,’” said Lt. Col. Joseph Holland, commander, 2nd Bn., 12th Cav. Regt. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kandi Huggins, 1st AATF PAO 4
  5. 5. The Ivy Leaf August 12 , 2011 Multi-deployment veteran passes on knowledge Sgt. Justin Naylor 2nd AAB Public Affairs 1st Cav. Div., USD - N JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq – It’s not un- common to meet Soldiers serving on their second or third deployment, but finding a Soldier on a seventh tour is a little more difficult. Sergeant 1st Class Peter Dees, a motor sergeant with 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, “Red Dragons,” 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, has deployed all over the world, and now he passes his experience on to Soldiers who work for him at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. Dees started his military career like many other Soldiers, in the Army Re- serve. After four years in the Reserve, he enlisted for active duty service as a ve- hicle mechanic. Only a few years later, in 1998, Dees went on his first deployment as part of a U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin Naylor, 2nd AAB PAO rapid response force deployed to Kuwait Sergeant 1st Class Peter Dees, left, an Elkhart, Ind., native and a motor sergeant with 3rd when Saddam Hussein disallowed weap- Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, ons inspectors into Iraq. checks on vehicle maintenance at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, July 21, 2011. Dees has deployed all After stressful months in Kuwait, Dees over the world, and now he passes his experience on to Soldiers who work for him. returned to the U.S., only to be deployed Dees has since returned three more diers had a good idea of what to expect soon afterward to Kosovo, where he and times to Iraq, each time in different loca- when they arrived. his Soldiers maintained vehicles for the tions, conducting vehicle maintenance. “As soon as I got a Soldier in, I was peacekeeping force there. Dees, now on his seventh deployment upfront with them,” he said. Following that mission, Dees enjoyed a and fifth to Iraq, is working at one of the Dees said he told Soldiers when the brief break until his unit was called on to largest bases in the country. unit expected to deploy and gave them take part in the invasion of Iraq in March Dees said this is his best deployment so as much information about the upcoming 2003. far because Soldiers now stay in regular deployment as he could. “It was scary,” said Dees, an Elkhart, rooms. They now have an unprecedented “He told us what to expect when we Ind., native. Neither he nor his fellow level off access to communication tools first got here,” said Pfc. Nicholas Denton Soldiers knew what to expect. that allow them to stay in contact with a field artillery mechanic from Houston, As combat units pushed their way to Families back home. with the Red Dragons. “He also told us to Baghdad, Dees, then a sergeant, was part Dees, a senior leader now, uses his ex- expect the unexpected.” of a team of track vehicle recovery opera- periences to help his Soldiers, many of Before deploying, Dees also hosted tors supporting them. whom are on their first deployment. several section cookouts for his Soldiers “We were very busy,” Dees said. “All “One of the big benefits of being de- and their spouses. During the cookouts, kinds of stuff broke.” ployed so many times was being able to he introduced his wife, Beverly, who has After finishing his third deployment, anticipate how things would go here,” been married to him through all of his de- Dees returned to the States briefly. He said Dees. ployments. then returned to Iraq after a little more Before they left the States, Dees helped Beverly, a former Soldier with deploy- than a year, to conditions that hadn’t im- prepare his Soldiers mentally for the ment experience herself, is the head of proved as much as he had hoped. stresses and hardships they would en- the unit’s Family Readiness Group, and “We didn’t have much set up then,” he counter on deployment. Soldiers benefit she uses her experience to help Families said, adding that he and his mechanics from having numerous leaders with de- of deployed Soldiers. fixed vehicles and constructed armor out ployment experience, said Dees. “If they have any issues, they can call of an abandoned factory for his unit. “Back in (Operation Iraqi Freedom I), her,” said Dees. “She’s been incredibly “It’s been a huge increase since then,” we had very few leaders that had deploy- supportive.” Dees said about vehicle armor. ment-type experience,” he said. “Soldiers With his wife in charge of the unit’s We went from making our own armor (now) are very confident that their leaders FRG in the States, Dees said he is free to to it coming standard on these vehicles. can lead them through anything we do.” focus on working with his Soldiers. They just keep getting safer every year, Dees said one of his goals before com- he explained. ing back to Iraq was to make sure his Sol- See VETERAN, Pg. 9 5
  6. 6. The Ivy Leaf August 12 , 2011 ‘Black Dragon’ Soldiers earn cavalry spurs in Iraq Spc. Terence Ewings Cav. Div. tradition,” said Mas- 4th AAV Public Affairs ter Sgt. Keith Hemingway, bat- 1st Cav. Div., USD - N talion operations sergeant and noncommissioned officer in CONTINGENCY OPERAT- charge of the Spur Ride. “This ING SITE MAREZ, Iraq - Ap- gives Soldiers the opportunity proximately 50 “Black Drag- to excel above their peers and on” Soldiers assigned to 5th be inducted into the Order of Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery the Spur.” Regiment, 4th Advise and As- The Order of the Spur is sist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Divi- a cavalry tradition within the sion, challenged one another to U.S. Army stemming from the complete a cavalry “Spur Ride” days when horse-mounted cav- at Contingency Operating Site alry troopers performed their U.S. Army photo by Spc. Terence Ewings, 4th AAB PAO Marez, Iraq, Aug. 2-4. duties during westward U.S. Captain Sean Frankum, executive officer for Battery B, 5th Battalion, The Soldiers tested their expansion, and in America’s 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cav- mental and physical abilities wars, as late as World War I. alry Division, reads map coordinates during a land navigation skills while participating in the cav- Unlike gold spurs, which are test at Contingency Operating Site Marez, Iraq, Aug. 3, 2011. As part of alry tradition to earn the privi- awarded upon completion of a the battalion’s “Spur Ride”, Frankum, a native of Dahlonega, Ga., and other Black Dragon Soldiers ruck-marched to various checkpoints lege of wearing silver spurs and deployment to a combat theater during the skills test to earn the right to wear silver spurs. being inducted into the Order with a cavalry unit, silver spurs of the Spur. are awarded to troopers who to the overall unit cohesion and on an Army physical fitness “Even though we’re de- successfully complete a Spur camaraderie,” said Heming- test, being in accordance with ployed in Iraq, we’re giving our Ride. way. “It’s somewhat like going Army regulation height/weight Soldiers a chance to earn their “This is definitely a team- to a Soldier of the Month or standards and receiving a letter spurs and be a part of this 1st building experience that adds promotion board. The Soldiers of recommendation from their are pushing each other to com- chain of command. plete the tasks and perform at “These Soldiers have, with- their best.” out a doubt, earned the honor In order to earn their spurs, of wearing these spurs,” said the Soldiers successfully com- Lt. Col. Robert Magee, a native pleted a land navigation, com- of Corsicana, Texas, and com- bat lifesaver, automations, mander of Black Dragon Bat- communications, and weapons talion. skills test. The Black Dragon Soldiers In addition to being tested finished the three-day Spur on individual soldiering skills, Ride with an Order of the Spur the Black Dragon troopers ad- induction ceremony honoring hered to prerequisite standards the participants who success- prior to competing in the Spur fully completed the challenge. Ride. The requirements in- At the ceremony, Magee and cluded scoring above average other battalion leaders shook Lieutenant Colonel Robert Ma- hands with each of the spur gee, commander of 5th Battalion, inductees and welcomed them 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, into the elite cavalry organiza- 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, tion. 1st Cavalry Division, welcomes “Spur Ride” inductees into the “I had fun and gained a lot Order of the Spur during a cer- of knowledge here,” said Spc. emony at Contingency Operating Justine McCoy, a chemical spe- Site Marez, Iraq, Aug. 4, 2011. Ma- cialist assigned to Company G, gee, a native of Corsicana, Tex- as, presented the inductees with 5th Bn., 82nd Fa. Regt. “I’m Order of the Spur certificates, definitely living the legend which recognizes the cavalry right now. I got to partake in troopers as having completed this event, and prove to myself the Spur Ride and allows them to don silver spurs at designated and my peers that I can do this. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Terence Ewings, 4th AAB PAO unit functions and events. I earned my spurs.” 6
  7. 7. The Ivy Leaf August 12 , 2011 CSH Soldiers share expertise with Iraqi providers Spc. Andrew Ingram USD - N Public Affairs CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq – When health care provid- ers from the 256th Combat Support Hospi- tal arrived at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, in December 2010, their mis- sion was clear: provide outstanding medical care to Soldiers deployed to U.S. Division – North. Soldiers of 256th CSH adapted to the mission naturally and quickly learned their tasks, said Capt. Ralph Pauley, registered nurse, Company B, 256th CSH. After learning their duties, they began looking for ways to enhance their mission in support of Operation New Dawn. “When we first got here we wanted to work with the Iraqis and see what we could help them with as far as their medical capa- bilities, so we got involved with developing the Iraqi Combat Lifesaver Course,” said Pauley, who hails from Chesterville, Ohio. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Andrew Ingram, USD – N PAO “We took the Army CLS course, tweaked it Captain Ralph Pauley, registered nurse, Company B, 256th Combat Support Hospital, gives 1st a little bit and translated it into Arabic. Then, Lt. Ayyub, a nurse assigned to the Iraqi Air Force Academy Clinic, medical equipment for his we worked with some of the U.S. Air Force clinic at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, Aug. 9, 2011. already working with the Iraqi providers to the American oversight or translators, said when we got here,” said Van Over. “We implement the class.” U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Carl Van Over, a started putting together the CLS classes, and In the following months, U.S. service flight medic with Detachment 5, 321st Expe- Capt. Pauley and the 256th cash were very members certified approximately 125 Iraqi ditionary Mission Support Advisory Group, generous when it came to sourcing addi- Security Forces personnel and trained nine who mentors and trains Iraqi medical per- tional trainers. We have accomplished a lot additional Iraqi healthcare providers. Iraqis sonnel. together and now the Iraqis are running the continued the training without the need for “We had pretty much a blank canvas classes themselves, which I see as a pretty big accomplishment.” While supervising the CLS training, the American troops gauged their Iraqi coun- terparts’ clinic procedures and worked out a plan to make their day-to-day operations more efficient, said Pauley. “I spoke with my commander and we thought it would be interesting if we could teach them how to function more efficient- ly,” he said. “So now we bring an Iraqi pro- vider over here to the CSH every week and shadow our physicians so (Iraqis) can see how efficiently they can operate.” Pauley is no stranger to training others. As a member of the Army Reserves, he works as a critical care nurse at the Ohio State University Medical Center – a teaching hospital where he often assists in the training of aspiring healthcare professionals. “It being a teaching hospital, we al- ways have senior nursing students coming through the intensive care unit,” Pauley said. “Since I’ve been there close to nine years, I’m called on a lot to guide them through U.S. Army photo by Spc. Andrew Ingram, USD – N PAO things and show them what critical care is Captain Rodney Saunders, head emergency room nurse, 256th Combat Support Hospital, ex- all about.” plains CSH trauma room procedures to 1st Lt. Ayyub, a nurse assigned to the Iraqi Air Force Academy Clinic at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, Aug. 9, 2011. See CSH, Pg. 11 7
  8. 8. The Ivy Leaf August 12 , 2011 ‘Black Knight’ troops deliver accuracy on range Cavalry tanks, Bradleys prepare for patrols U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Quentin Johnson, 2nd AAB PAO An M1A2 Abrams tank sits before zeroing the 120mm main gun on Memorial Range near Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, July 27, 2011. Sgt. Quentin Johnson Gunners learn to switch B, who calls Madison, Wis., currently on his second deploy- 2nd AAB Public Affairs from a distant threat to close- home. ment, said as a Bradley crew 1st Cav. Div., USD - N quarter threat – such as an in- Crews tested both vehicle gunner for Company B, the ex- dividual attempting to attack types at the range, with each of ercise was a success. CONTINGENCY OPERAT- a patrol by walking up on it – the teams taking turns zeroing The exercise went very well ING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq – simply by transitioning from a their main guns using station- with no problems, added Press- Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 5th crew-served to personal weap- ary targets. ley, who calls Lawton, Okla., Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise on, explained Donaldson from Each process, although very home. and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Gettysburg, Pa. similar, had differences, said Pressley said he has been to Division, completed live-fire “(Personal weapons) go Donaldson. Unlike a Bradley, the Bradley range three times exercises with newly acquired where crew-served weapons the tank systems need to be since last year and works with vehicles at Memorial Range cannot,” he said. Another im- adjusted to the current environ- the vehicles on a regular basis. near Contingency Operating portant fire element for a cav- ment, he added. He said that gives him the con- Base Speicher, Iraq, July 27-30. alry Soldier is the main gun “(A tank) takes longer to fidence he needs to patrol the “Black Jack” Brigade troops aboard a tank or a Bradley, zero than a Bradley because of area with the Bradley the mis- conducted a live fire accuracy Donaldson added. the parameters of the targeting sion requires it. screening test using the M1A2 Company D troops spent system,” he said. He added that using the Abrams main battle tank, ze- weeks preparing for the exer- Besides zeroing weapons Bradley would increase secu- roed M2A3 Bradley Fighting cise after acquiring the equip- systems, the range afforded rity for Soldiers and civilians in Vehicle weapon systems and ment from 4th AAB, 1st Cav. training for the crews and en- and around COB Speicher by conducted transition fire from Div., said Donaldson. sured the vehicles are opera- adding an extra line of defense. Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Pro- Preparation included con- tionally ready, said Donaldson. “I am confident it will do tected vehicles. ducting routine maintenance, Specialist Troy Pressley, some good,” he said. Soldiers of Company D, adjusting the main guns’ bore 1st Bn., 5th Cav. Regt., kicked sights and ensuring proper con- off the four-day exercise by figuration of the tanks’ comput- conducting transition fire, a er systems. method of weapons training Essentially, anytime equip- where Soldiers switch between ment is received, new or used, a crew-served weapon, such as or moved to a new environ- the M240B machine gun, and ment, it must be maintained and their personal weapon within a the weapons checked, Donald- matter of seconds, said 2nd Lt. son explained. Jake Donaldson, Company D “In a brand new environ- intelligence support team offi- ment, the equipment’s system cer in charge. data must be checked to ensure Donaldson said transition it works,” added Sgt. John Mar- fire is important for Soldiers tinez a tanker from San Antonio who assume the role of gunner with Company D. on an MRAP when on patrol or The Bradley Fighting Ve- as part of a convoy. This type of hicle also spent a week un- U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Quentin Johnson, 2nd AAB PAO training is essential to current dergoing the same process of Infantrymen from 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise and U.S. force protection measures, maintenance and zeroing of Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, drive their M2A3 Bradley Fight- as increased threats against pa- their weapons as the tanks did, ing Vehicle off of Memorial Range after zeroing weapons systems dur- trols and convoys remain pres- said 1st Lt. Cameron Arndt, ing a live fire exercise in support of Operation New Dawn near Contin- ent, he added. executive officer for Company gency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, July 29, 2011. 8
  9. 9. The Ivy Leaf August 12 , 2011 ‘Prime Power’ specialist lights up base Spc. Crystal Hudson emergency at division headquar- 29th MPAD ters where an electrical switch USD - N Public Affairs malfunctioned and caught fire. After firefighters put out the CONTINGENCY OPERAT- fire, prime power and electri- ING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq cal contractors got to work to – Everyday items such as com- restore the main power to the puters, air conditioners, MP3 headquarters building. players, hair dryers, coffee pots, “We worked all day to get the shredders, lights and alarm power in headquarters back up,” clocks require constant, reliable Leal said. “It took a lot of plan- power. Stateside, electric com- ning and a lot of coordination to panies provide and maintain our fix.” power needs. In theater how- Fifteen hours later the power ever, Soldiers provide and main- was restored. tain our power needs. The prime power specialists Sergeant Michael Leal, a respond to emergencies and also prime power specialist with have a full-time job that includes U.S. Army photo by Spc. Crystal Hudson, 29th MPAD Company B, 249th Engineer planning, maintaining and ser- Sergeant Michael Leal, a prime power specialist assigned to Bravo Battalion, is part of a two- vicing the electrical and power Company, 249th Engineer Battalion, observes operations of the power Soldier team that oversees the needs on base. plant at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, Aug. 9, 2011. power supply on Contingency Leal is deployed out of Fort “I wanted something a little him apart as a noncommissioned Operating Base Speicher, Iraq. Bragg, N.C., as part of a platoon- bit more challenging,” said Leal, officer. On call 24/7, Leal is part of sized detachment tasked with from San Antonio. “I was look- “He is a sharp NCO,” said a team that maintains and runs maintaining power throughout ing for the most schooling.” Staff Sgt. James Buensuceso, generators, and a power plant Iraq in support of Operation Prime power is an applica- prime power NCOIC from Po- with enough power to light up a New Dawn. tion-only Military Occupational way, Calif. “He takes initiative small city. “We act as a link between the Specialty open to the ranks of no matter what time of day it is.” Leal’s company falls under government and the contractors specialist and higher. Once ac- Leal received a coin from Division Special Troops Battal- that are hired to run the power cepted to attend the 12-month battalion commander Lt. Col. ion, 4th Infantry Division, and plants in theater,” Leal said. course, Soldiers learn their trade Matthew Tedesco in recognition he ensures the United States Di- This is Leal’s second deploy- in a college environment. of being chosen as the DSTB vision – North footprint at COB ment with the 4th Inf. Div. His The Soldiers are equipped “Hero of the Week” August 8. Speicher has the power it needs. first tour occurred in 2005-2006. with the same knowledge as a “It felt pretty good. I was “Whenever power goes out, This is, however, his first de- journeyman and an overhead surprised,” Leal said. “Since our we are the first ones they call,” ployment as a prime power spe- lineman in the civilian world. main supervisor and platoon ser- Leal said. “We find the fastest cialist. Leal plans to stay in the Army geant are at different locations, way to bring the power back Leal decided to try some- until retirement, and use what it is nice to have something to up.” thing new after spending six he has learned to transition to a send back to them to show them Recently, the “Prime Power” years as an Apache helicopter highly technical civilian career. that we are doing the right thing team was called to respond to an electrician. Leal’s work ethic is what sets here.” VETERAN, Contd from Pg. 8 “Sometimes I have questions…I go to “That’s all I’m here for is the Soldiers, him and he shows me what to do,” said to teach and train them so they can take Denton. my place one day,” he said. Dees later quizzes Soldiers on the infor- For the Soldiers that work for Dees, he mation to make sure they retained it cor- is a nearly-endless source of information rectly, he continued. they depend on regularly. “It gives me a lot of confidence,” said Sergeant 1st Class Peter Dees, left, an Elkhart, Denton. “This is my first deployment… Ind., native and motor sergeant with 3rd Bat- knowing that he has deployed seven times, talion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Ad- he knows what he is talking about.” vise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Although Dees is ready for a break after checks with Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Solfano, this deployment, he said he is prepared to right, an Opp, Ala., native and a platoon ser- go again. geant with the Red Dragons, to see if there Regardless of where Dees ends up in are any mechanical issues with his artillery vehicles at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, July 21, the Army, he said, the knowledge gained 2011. Dees, currently serving on his seventh from numerous deployments will enable deployment uses his experiances to train and him to prepare young mechanics for their U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin Naylor, 2nd AAB PAO mentor the next generation of Soldiers. own future missions. 9
  10. 10. The Ivy Leaf August 12 , 2011 Knight of the New Dawn ‘Devil Brigade’ NCO receives Order of St. George Sgt. Kandi Huggins St. George, and the operations, plans and 1st AATF Public Affairs training advisor for 12th IA STT. 1st Inf. Div., USD - N “An armored Soldier is a master of mounted warfare,” said Bomar, a San Fran- CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE cisco native. “But nowadays, an armored WARRIOR, Iraq – With one knee on the Soldier must be flexible enough to maneu- ground and his eyes closed, Sgt. 1st Class ver not only tanks, but Bradleys, Humvees, Eric Cogdell knelt before Col. Michael and Strykers, and still be able to conduct Pappal, the ‘Devil Brigade’ commander, dismounted patrols and battle drills.” as a future knight before a king to be rec- Although this is his first time working ognized for his superior work of valor and with Cogdell, Bomar said his first impres- honor. sion was that he was very professional and Cogdell, a tanker who served in sup- always willing to share whatever experi- port of Operation New Dawn as the non- ence and knowledge he could. It was easy commissioned officer in charge of the 12th to see why Cogdell was selected to be a Iraqi Army Stability Transition Team, 1st member of the STT and the NCOIC who Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry worked with the 12th IA sergeant major, U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kandi Huggins, 1st AATF PAO Division, knelt before Pappal to be induct- said Bomar. Sergeant 1st Class Eric Cogdell, noncommis- ed into the Order of St. George. “During this deployment, I was the sioned officer in charge of the 12th Iraqi Army Awarded only to officers and senior NCOIC of the STT, the advisor to the 12th Stability Transition Team, 1st Advise and As- sist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division, gives a noncommissioned officers, the Order of St. IA Div. sergeant major, the operations “Thank You” speech after being inducted into George is given to recognize individual ar- NCOIC, linguist manager and compound the Order of St. George at Contingency Oper- mor and cavalry leaders who have excelled mayor,” said Cogdell. “Before the deploy- ating Site Warrior, Iraq, Aug. 4, 2011. in leadership and made a lasting effect on ment, I didn’t really have a clue as to what the armor community, according to Maj. I would be doing. I just fell into the job and Lane Bomar, a member of the Order of the more I did, the more responsibility they The more I did, the more gave me, to show they were confident in responsibility they gave me, to my abilities to do the job.” show they were confident in my Bomar said Cogdell’s work ethic is one reason he was selected for the Order of St. abilities to do the job. George. -Sgt. 1st Class Eric Cogdell “If he is not the guy who is leading, he 101st BSB, 1st AATF is always willing to help make sure the guy who is leading is properly set for success,” with great NCO and officer leaders, the Bomar said. “And that is why I felt hon- biggest inspiration for his career has been ored to nominate him for the Order of St. his wife. George.” “I felt honored to (be) the one he dedi- Cogdell, a tanker throughout his time cated his award to,” said Rena Bartlett, in the Army, said being recognized was a Cogdell’s wife. “I am happy that the work huge accomplishment in his career. Having I do at home has allowed him the peace of seen the caliber of armor NCOs knighted mind and focus he needs to push himself into the Order of St. George, Cogdell said forward to be the best Soldier he can be. he aspired to attain the award because it is I am truly honored to be a part of his suc- such a prestigious award for leadership. cess.” “My parents always taught me to be in Married for 13 years, Bartlett said be- the front, to not be a follower, but a leader,” ing the wife of a Soldier can be similar to said Cogdell, a Granite Falls, N.C., native. being a single person, if one considers the “I’m a very outgoing and open person, but deployments, training, and times in the have a quiet, down-to-earth type of leader- field, but since meeting during his first en- U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kandi Huggins, 1st AATF PAO ship style. listment, they made the choice to make the Colonel Michael Pappal, commander, 1st “I don’t see the need to yell or curse Army Cogdell’s career. Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry at people, however, I will speak my mind “I support my husband 110 percent by Division, presents a medal of the Order of and tell you exactly what I think, and how doing the best I can to keep our founda- St. George to Sgt. 1st Class Eric Cogdell, it should be no matter what your rank is, tion solid so he can focus on his career,” noncommissioned officer in charge of the 12th Iraqi Army Stability Transition Team, 1st because rank means nothing when it comes she said. “He takes his responsibilities very AATF, 1st Inf. Div., during Cogdell’s induc- to somebody’s life or training the proper seriously and even uses his down time for tion ceremony at Contingency Operating Site way.” continuing education to help him become a Warrior, Iraq, Aug. 4, 2011. Cogdell said although he has worked better leader.” 10
  11. 11. The Ivy Leaf August 12 , 2011 ‘Black Dragon’ Soldiers join time-honored NCO Corps Spc. Angel Turner Regiment, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, 4th AAB Public Affairs joined the corps of noncommissioned officers, acknowledging that 1st Cav. Div., USD - N responsibility, during an NCO induction ceremony on Contingen- cy Operating Site Marez, Iraq, Aug. 5. CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE MAREZ, Iraq –As leaders “These Soldiers will be walking proudly across this stage to in the United States Army, noncommissioned officers have a re- become part of one of the world’s most prestigious and time hon- sponsibility to provide outstanding leadership to the troops they ored organizations, the United States Army’s Noncommissioned lead. Officer Corps – the backbone of our Army and the envy of every Nine Soldiers assigned to 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery other,” said Command Sgt. Major Daniel Dailey, senior enlisted Soldier, 4th Infantry Division and U.S. Division – North. During the ceremony, newly inducted Soldiers reflected on what it means to be a noncommissioned officer. “Black Dragon” Soldiers of 5th Bn., 82nd FA Regt., reenacted the “Four Watches” of an NCO, representing the method of en- tering their ranks, and symbolizing the induction of their fellow junior noncommissioned officers. “The NCO induction represents the great heritage of a noncom- missioned officer,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Calvin Coler, senior enlisted Soldier assigned to 5th Bn., 82nd FA Regt., and a native of New Orleans. “The epitome of being enlisted is over into the NCO ranks. This is the rite of passage, a visible sign that everyone is aware of them becoming noncommissioned officers.” As an NCO, Soldiers train and lead other Soldiers, making them better and preparing them to become leaders in the U.S. Army. “I believe a major aspect of being an NCO is that you are a leader,” said Sgt. Oriola Owokoya, a medic assigned to Headquar- U.S. Army photo by Spc. Angel Turner, 4th AAB PAO ters and Headquarters Battery, and native of Houston. “This is an- Soldiers assigned to 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, recite the Oath of other step forward in my Army career. It is a great opportunity to the United States Army Noncommissioned Officer during an induction take part in this, and I’m very proud to be inducted into the Corps ceremony on Contingency Operating Site Marez, Iraq, Aug. 5. of Noncommissioned Officers.” CSH, Contd from Pg. 7 them medicine and send them on their way,” Blair said. “We Something as simple as keep- want to show them that they can ing records of symptoms and get a better sense of a patient by prescribed medicine could dras- being more thorough.” tically improve the Iraqi clinics’ 1st Lt. Ayyub, a nurse as- efficiency, and help the provid- signed to the Iraqi Air Force ers gauge patterns in the health Academy Clinic, said he and his and welfare of the troops they comrades have learned a great serve, said Capt. Heath Blaire, deal under the American provid- nurse practitioner, 256th CSH. ers’ guidance. “These guys are really atten- “The Americans, especially tive – they want to see every- Master Sgt. Van Over, have thing. So we have had a great given us so much,” Ayyub said, opportunity to streamline the after shadowing the 256th CSH way they work,” said Blaire, team. “We have learned more who calls Jupiter, Fla., home. than just medicine from them; Blaire said, in addition an even today I have learned so U.S. Army photo improved organization system, much about what a good hos- Lieutenant Colonel Randy Rizor, anesthesiologist, 256th Combat Sup- he would like to see the Iraqi pital should look like. We have port Hospital, performs a lumbar epidural steroid injection, with fluo- providers begin to look at their already made so many improve- roscopy, while Iraqi Air Force Capt. Mahmood Mohammad, a doctor patients as a whole, taking all of ments, but I think we can make assigned to the Iraqi Air Force Academy, observes at Contingency Op- their vitals into account before more so that our clinic is just as erating Base Speicher, Iraq, July 27, 2011. Every week, a medical care zeroing in on one specific prob- good as the CSH. We owe that provider from the Iraqi Air Force Academy visits the CSH to observe lem. to the people we serve. Our pa- their American counterparts’ operating procedures. “These guys are pretty good tients deserve the best care we “Whether you are a doctor provide the best care possible,” at what they do, but most of the can give them.” in Iraq or a doctor in the United Pauley said. “It really has been time when somebody comes in That goal unifies the Iraqi States, you still have one com- an honor to work with the pro- with a complaint, they just give and U.S. healthcare providers. mon goal: to treat patients; to viders from the Iraqi clinic.” 11
  12. 12. The Ivy Leaf August 12 , 2011 Chaplain’s Corner: When things get in the way Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Keith N. Goode height of the eclipse. through this difficult darkness and return USD-N Chaplain Over the next half hour the process re- to the light. What is your eclipse? Rela- versed itself and the shadow continued to tionships? Money? Supervisors? Future? It was a dark and stormy night…. Well, slide across the lunar surface, taking away Whatever it is, relax, enjoy the challenge, it was not, but that is how all the great, the sogginess, restoring its full-bodied admire the strength of the shadow, but do shadowy stories of the past began once figure, and wiping the orange glaze off the not give in to the thought that this eclipse upon a time. It was actually a very clear man-in-the-moon’s face to reveal, once is permanent. It is not. Instead, look night, which is a good thing, because back again, the ghost light we know and love. forward to the hour when the love of God on June 15, something happened that does I enjoyed looking at the moon, which shines on you again and there in the glory not happen often: there was a total lunar was transformed from a bright night light of His goodness you can reflect His light. eclipse over Contingency Operating Base that normally guides the way on my noc- Then, you will be able to help others Speicher, Iraq. turnal trips to the latrine. It made me think, in their darkness and encourage them, The lunar eclipse is unique because it “How often do our lives really reflect this reminding them of the time when your requires the earth to move between the eclipse?” own life was just as theirs – a big, orange moon and the sun, and the window on Each day we walk along enjoying the soggy donut. earth where this can be seen is very small. bright light of life, when slowly, progres- In other words, you have to be in the right sively the darkness begins to cover us. Our place at the right time to see it. But what joy fades. Our hope falters. We don’t turn orange, we turn blue. What has happened? USD-N Social Media a sight! The moon can only reflect what it To read more stories and see the gets from our nearest friendly star. When Like an eclipse, something has gotten into photos that go with them, as well as those sun beams are interrupted, the man- the way of our light. some videos, check out the links be- in-the-moon begins to present a rather As humans, we create no light on our low. Read and share what you see distorted face to us earth-bound folk. own, but can only reflect the light and love and pass along the Soldiers stories. It was an incredible progression to we receive from God. When our lives are watch the normally bright, round moon lived clearly in His path, we receive His be slowly eaten by the darkness. First, the light. It is a light of love that warms us, brightness faded like someone was turning causes us to grow, makes us a blessing down the dimmer switch. Then the moon to others, and gives us hope. But through itself began to melt away as though some- poor choices, or perhaps unplanned one was pouring water over the side of a tragedy, we are eclipsed when something sand castle. After that, I was reminded of moves inexorably into our path and cuts one of those old Christmas tree lights we off the source of our light. would put under our silver aluminum tree. In that darkness, our faces change and If you’re not old enough to remember, it is we become gloomy and grim. Where there a lamp with a revolving disk on the front was once brightness, we see only a pa- that slowly orbits, bathing the tree in blue, thetic, soggy mess. It is in this peak period green, red, and yellow. This eclipse only that we are often faced with our greatest had one color though, and the whiteness fears. This is when we tend to make our of the moonlight faded into an eerie, pale worst decisions. What are we to do when orange – the kind of orange that you saw we find ourselves in this eclipse? on a dreamcicle ice cream bar as a kid. It’s simple – wait. Shadows always flee What happened next made me think and light always returns. Do not be dis- more about donuts. As the earth continued mayed and defeated by what is only a tem- its slow movement, the shadow eventually porary situation. Dark difficulties are most created what could only be described like often like the earth’s steady movement this – a soggy, orange-glazed donut that through the heavens. It soon moved out of looked like it had been dipped in coffee. the way and the moon returned to normal. This was what the moon looked like at the You, too, will be able to move your way 12