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1st BSTB - 1st BCT Camp Ar Ramadi Iraq

Devil Strike Dispatch V O L U M E

CONTACT INFORMATION REAR DETACHMENT CPT MIKE RICCITIELLO michael.riccitiello@us.army.mil SSG ANTONIO ESPARZA tony.esparza@conus.army.mil

FRG LEADERS Family Readiness Support Assistant Crystal Cavalier Office: 910-396-5812 crystal.cavalier@conus.army.mil HHC FRG LDR: JESSICA BURT hhc1bstbfrg@gmail.com A CO FRG LDR: ROCHELLE HALL a1bstbfrg@gmail.com B CO FRG LDR: LAURA FUSZ b1bstbfrg@gmail.com C CO FRG LDR: ANNA GARDEL c1bstbfrg@gmail.com

This Month‟s Feture Section: Alpha Company! Check out the 1BSTB Facebook page for hundreds of pictures

INSIDE THE ISSUE Command Team

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Headquarters Co

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Alpha Company

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Bravo Company

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Charlie Company

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Alpha Company Pictures

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I S S U E

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J A N U A R Y

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"The DEVIL STRIKE FRG is for the benefit of the FRG members only and is established exclusively for charitable purposes and to provide support to Soldiers and family member as the Soldiers and families adapt to Army life. It is not a business and is not being run to generate profits. It is not an instrumentality of the United States Government." "The inclusion of some unofficial information in this FRG newsletter has not increased the costs to the Government, in accordance with DOD 4525.8-M."

From the Commander’s Desk Devil Strike Family and Friends, Greetings from Al Anbar and I bestow the heartiest of New Year greetings to all our friends and family. At the sake of turning a new page with the newsletter articles I focus my comments this month and highlight our Alpha Company, the Sappers. Our first platoon bounces between Camp Ramadi and Fallujah where they train with a counterpart Iraqi Engineer unit from the 1st Iraqi Army Division. The platoon leadership, under the guidance of 1LT Nathaniel Curley and SFC Demetrius Johnson lead the “Beast” SGT Aaron Trowbridge, 1st Platoon, gives a very curious Iraqi platoon through numerous combined route clearance soldier an up-close view of our bomb finding robot. operations with their Iraqi counterparts, keeping the roads free from IEDs. They are helped in this effort by the rest of the leaders in First Platoon: SSGs Timothy Boone and Michael Hamilton, SGTs Vijai Bhagwandeen, Jacob Hess, Aaron Trowbridge and SPC(P)s Christopher Gamblin, and Michael Mark. The junior enlisted soldiers in this highly motivated platoon also deserve attention. Nothing could happen without the work of SPCs William Morales, Michael Baker, Cushman Doster, Matthew Page, Daniel Ritchie, Cameron Scott, Harvey Utecht, Dustin Wade, Ilkhom Abzalov, Christopher Kazar, Jason Poulnot, Stephen Gunn, and PFCs Anthony Ernest, James Mapp, and Matthew Gutierrez. Led by 2LT Christopher Pennell and Platoon Sergeant SFC Kristian Graves, the men of second platoon work hard, training their counterparts and recently moved to Al Asad Air Base. Second platoon recently completed two vehicle checkpoint operations with units from the 7 th Iraqi Army Division and saw some of the far reaches of Al Anbar province. Their leadership consists of SSGs Christopher Polk, Michael Lovelace, and SGTs Michael Cyr, Geoffrey Franks, Ryan Johnson, Luigi Lawrence, Joshua Parkes, and Daniel Seigert. Manning the guns and drivers seats of second platoon are SPCs Thomas Boden, Lee Fobes, Tristan Kennedy, Andrew Seperling, Jordan Watson and PFCs Johnathan Abner, Jeremy Darr, Tyrone Fridia, Ryan Frye, George Guild, Barry Hall, Alex Klinger, Ramon Pena, Derek Clanton, and Alan Doran. Third Platoon, right here in Ramadi, is led by 2LT Andrew Berreth and SFC Bryan Butler. They conduct route clearance operations while also supervising and checking up on the Iraqi Police who operate along the road. Third platoon was created in Iraq and quickly bonded into a strong unit. SSG Richard Scrivens, SGTs Douglas Taggett, Andrew Baker, Victor Walker, Christopher Jorgensen, and Stephen Townsend set the pace while relying heavily upon SPCs Caleb Long, Sean Miller, Gregory Grimsley, Stephen Shelton, Matthew Sholz, Christopher Upshaw, and James Wilde. Their Soldiers from 3rd Platoon, shortly before a mission young guns, PFCs Zachary McCoy, Joshua Hutchins, Matthew Jusino Charles Turner, William Boynton, Vincent Current, Ralph Sumagang, and Douglas Frauenknecht keep the roads safe. Headquarters platoon keeps it all together and synchronizes the plan. Company Executive Officer, 1LT James Plutt and SSGs Marcellus Wade, Timothy James, and SGTs Robert


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Turner, and Stephen Simons lead the way. Manning the radios and tracking the battle are SPCs Shawn Watson, Mathieu Geronomi, Andrew McVay, Clinton Walker, PFC Kumar Katuwal, and PVT Eugene Bracey. At the helm of all of Alpha Company is CPT Kurt Zortman and 1SG James Stuckey. Alpha Company keeps the many routes of Al Anbar clear and these men do a dangerous job better than any Sapper unit in the Army. Be proud of your Sappers and know they are on point here in Al Anbar. ATW! LTC Douglas F. Stitt DS6

HEADQUARTERS AND HEADQUARTERS COMPANY Happy New Years from the Paratroopers of HHC! 2010 promises to be another busy year for the Company as our Soldiers continue to work towards increasing the capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces that we are partnered with and providing outstanding support to the Battalion and Brigade. As always our Troopers exceed the standard and our expectations in all they do. Over the course of the last month the Company has continued to progress in our maintenance, intelligence and site exploitation partnership with the 1st Iraqi Army (1st IA) Division at Camp Fallujah. SGT Brandon Ensor has been instructing the Intelligence Security and Reconnaissance (ISR) Battalion and the Commando Battalion of the 1st IA on map reading and basic intelligence collection and analysis; meanwhile, SSG Michael Kelly, SGT Kellen Hamel, SGT Karl Killerud, and PFC Daniel Ellison are teaching them basic and advanced sensitive site exploitation. Support Platoon continues providing outstanding logistical support to the battalion with

frequent logistical convoys to retrieve much needed parts and equipment so the mechanics can repair and maintain the Battalion‟s equipment. As always I want to take a moment to congratulate the Army‟s newest NonCommissioned Officers: Our MPs are always out on patrol SGT Nicholas Bolmer from Company Operations, SGT Christopher Freeman from the Personal Security Detachment and SGT Dawnisha Brown from S1; and congratulations to SSG Brandon Mincey for his recent promotion. Congratulations to these outstanding Troopers and their families. The First Sergeant and I would like to thank all the families for all you do for the Company every day. Neither the Company nor our Troopers would be nearly as successful without the amazing support that we receive from you. ATW! CPT Bob Yerkey HHC Commander

Chaplain’s Corner Helpful Hints to Beat the Deployment Blues We have now been deployed for 5 months. How is it wearing on you? Being without your loved one is very difficult and at times very lonely. Many of you have either seen your soldier, or will soon see them on their mid-tour R&R. But what do you do in the months following? Here are some helpful hints to beat, or at least cope with the Deployment Blues. 1) Expect a rough 30 days after R&R. Many families experience a similar separation anxiety after R&R as they did at deployment. Don‟t let loneliness catch you off guard, or make you think that you are enduring this experience alone. 2) Communicate your expectations and feelings with your soldier in a loving and compassionate way. Avoid blame or impossible expectations. 3) Take Care of yourself. Continue to go to the gym, get your nails and hair done, whatever it is that you do to take care of yourself. Feeling strong, pretty, or healthy is very important during times like these. 4) Stay involved. The most damaging sign of depression is withdrawal. Fight that tendency by choosing to stay involved. Become involved in our FRG. Go to church or become involved in a Religious organization through one of our chapels. Become involved in your children‟s sports or schools. Start a project around the house. 5) Seek Help. The 1BSTB is a family. Reach out through your FRG leadership, Military OneSource, Army OneSource, or your rear-detachment Chaplain. Our Rear Detachment can get you in contact with any of those sources. God Bless, CH (CPT) Matt Miller 1BSTB Chaplain


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Alpha Company Newsletter— “ROCK STEADY!” The Soldiers of Alpha Company are doing a great job supporting the effort in Iraq. Recently 2nd Platoon moved to a new location in Iraq. The platoon has settled and is enjoying the base. The new locale is a step up from their old Camp and far enough from the Company Headquarters that they can enjoy some Pizza Hut without worry of interruption. The platoon is very busy and working hard helping the Iraq Army with some engineering projects, clearing routes, and getting ready for an airborne operation where they will jump as part of a brigade airborne demonstration. 1st Platoon is enjoying some time away from the Headquarters as well. Working closely with their Iraqi partners, 1st Platoon is building some good relationships and teaching the Iraqi Engineers. 1st Platoon is also balancing their route SGT Johnson advises the Iraqi Engineers on their traffic control point. clearance mission with partnership to build a stronger Iraqi Army. They have been doing a great job. They even managed to score a goal in the last soccer game against their Iraqi partners. It‟s not important how many goals the Iraqi‟s scored (eight), just SSG Polk getting down to business over lunch that they had fun. with the 7 IA Engineers. 3rd Platoon is the only one that hasn‟t been able to find a way to escape the new Commander and is still working hard at Camp Ramadi. They started the New Year with a demolitions range and had some time to go out and Sappers from 1 Platoon going toe-to-toe with the Iraqi do some good training. They seem to EOD Commander. be out on the road almost every night, Post soccer game group photo with 1 Platoon and their keeping the roads safe for their fellow Soldiers in Iraq. The platoon has Iraqi Partners. been able to build relationships with the Iraqi Police that help secure the routes, and visit with them every night while out on mission. The company has entered the New Year going strong. Having almost reached the half way point, the men continue to do the best they can. Their jobs aren‟t getting any easier, but the men continue to maintain a positive attitude and flexibility that keeps them focused and effective. The work they are doing with their Iraqi partners will ensure a safer Iraq, and gets us one step closer to coming home. We are all grateful for the packages and letters the Soldiers received over the Holidays. It makes our jobs that much easier knowing we have supporters out there cheering us on. th

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SGT Baker getting the guys in 3rd Platoon ready for the demo range.

Thank you, Captain Kurt Zortman and First Sergeant James Stuckey A Co Command Team SPC Long posing with his Iraqi Police partners during a patrol.


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Alpha Company “From The Foxhole” Article Alpha Company’s newest member 2LT Andrew Berreth My name is 2LT Andrew Albert Berreth. I have a twin brother who is also a 2LT currently attending Law School, and two older siblings. I am from Pierre, South Dakota. While back in my home state, I spend most of my time in the woods either hunting or camping, if not spending time with my family. I am currently the platoon leader for 3rd Platoon, A Co, 1BSTB, 82nd ABN. Upon graduation from South Dakota State University with a bachelor‟s degree in Civil Engineering, I entered the US Army on 22DEC2008 and began my career as a recruiter until I received my OBC school dates. I attended the Engineer Officer Basic Course during the summer of 2009. After an attempt at Ranger School, I arrived at Fort Bragg in early October, and then deployed to Ramadi, Iraq. After arriving to A Co in early November, I was hastily integrated into the platoon and we began conducting route clearance missions shortly thereafter. During our route clearance missions, we will stop to conduct street level engagements with some of the Iraqi Police. Although these engagements extend our mission, we conduct 2LT Berreth and SGT Townsend getting to know each other. them to build relations with our „partners‟ on the ground. When we are not on mission, our platoon conducts physical training and vehicle maintenance. SFC Butler (the PSG) and I also spend time preparing soldiers mentally by conducting training such as; demolitions, first aid, communications, and weapons. In a typical day, I will wake at about 3:00PM, prepare for mission to include issuing the mission order to the platoon and gathering/sifting through intelligence. Then we conduct our mission, return, and then I will write detailed reports on what our platoon saw and did while on mission. The platoon improves each day, and our work is very worthwhile. During the upcoming months, I look forward to the platoon continuing to conduct aggressive route clearance operations, and I also look forward to more special skills training, to include preparing sol2LT Berreth inspecting the Iraqi Police Officer demonstrate his new equipment. diers for the Sapper Leader‟s Course.

Bravo Company: The Black Dagger Bulletin Notes from the B Company Command Group Happy New Year to all of B Company‟s family and friends at home in the States. The company has had another busy and productive month since our last dispatch, marking Christmas and New Year as we continued our important work in support of the battalion and brigade missions here in Al Anbar Province. The company participated in a number of the battalion‟s Christmas festivities and had a Secret Santa here at HQ in Ramadi on Christmas morning, as well as at other outlying locations. We were also happy to get a little piece of home, at least as far as Ardennes Street back at FT Bragg, when we welcomed the 82nd Airborne Division‟s All American Chorus to Ramadi and Al Asad Airbase over the holidays. The TUAS platoon continues their important work, flying every day in support of the paratroopers of the Devil Brigade, and working with maneuver battalions and their intelligence officers. Our SIGINT platoon now has the training wheels off as the Marines have left and are fully in control of their mission and environment, providing outstanding support and intelligence as they begin to learn about our new Division out here, 1 st Armored Division. The HUMINT platoon has continued their outstanding support into the New Year as well, while rotating troopers into new teams and new positions to give them additional professional development and experience. The last month has seen a lot of exciting moments for our paratroopers, personally and professionally as well. SGT Battle was promoted on January 1, and SGT Endo passed the January board and became promotable. SGT Kirk was reenlisted by LTC Stitt to continue his service as a SIGINTer, and receive his choice of duty station. PFC Britt reenlisted


on January 16th as well. SSG Vasquez also extended his Army service. From the commander and 1SG, thank you once again to the friends and family of Bravo Company back home, and thanks for the support that you provide our paratroopers every day. Whether by mail, email, or phone, we see every day how much that support means to them, and know that they are missed and loved back there. Wishing you a Happy New Year from all of us here at Ramadi. ATW! CPT Bill Fusz and 1SG Dallas Thomas Bravo Company Command Team

Bravo Company “From The Foxhole” Articles TUAS Platoon Update – Hello to all from our TUAS family here at Al Asad Air Base! We are now at the half year mark of our glorious deployment to Iraq! We are well underway with missions in Al Anbar province and we are flying as much as possible to support our Iraqi counterparts. For those of you who do not know, our platoon has been divided between two bases; however, that has not affected our flying mission daily. We are proud to say that we are incident free in our six months of being in country. Our platoon is working hard to keep our equipment fully operational to ensure our part in the fight against terror. This month, we had another promotion within our ranks: SPC James Andreas Battle is now, SGT James Andreas Battle. Big congrats to him. Also, there have been a few birthdays since the last newsletter was put out. Let‟s all wish a Happy Birthday to SPC Kevin Strickland (24), SPC Stephen Bartels (32), PFC Mark Sainz (21). We want to thank all our family and friends for the support they have shown us since arriving here. Our FRG back in the rear is doing a fabulous job. From our family here, we want to say thank you. SPC Kevin L. Strickland From the UAS Launch and Recovery Site, we would like to let everyone know that we are having a blast launching and landing Shadow UAV‟s. We enjoy working as a platoon and perform really well when left to our gadgets and things. We had a great holiday season where we were able to have a barbecue and exchange gifts, even a Secret Santa. The chain of command came and visited us for the holidays and expressed their gratitude for a job well done, which everyone received as a boost of morale to keep working hard and bringing credit to the unit and the U.S. Army. Some of our brethren were in a different location and we missed them, but is all for the greater good and multiplying our success efforts. But it will feel a lot better when we are all together again as a platoon, which I hope is soon. To our families, we love you and miss you all greatly. We cannot do what we do without you all. God Bless! ATW! SFC Antonio Rodriguez TUAS Platoon Sergeant


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Charlie Company— “Coyote Chronicles” Hello friends and families of the Coyotes, Charlie Company, 1BSTB. It is an honor to have taken Command of Charlie Company on the 18th of December 2009. Over the past month I have had the privilege of getting to know your loved ones in Iraq, the Coyotes that provide 1st Brigade the ability to communicate on the battlefield. It is no secret that Charlie Company is stocked with trained professionals in the communications field, among others in key staff positions planning for future operations and logistical support. 1LT Oglesbee, SGT Hancock, and CPL Giles opened the flood gates on partnership with the 1 st Iraqi Army Signal Company at Camp Fallujah led by LTC Fallah. Shortly after 1LT Pope, SGT Fields, SGT Magana, and SGT Negron traveled to Camp Mejid within Al Asad to train and mentor the 7 th Iraqi Army Signal Company led by CPT Jihad. Members of the 1st and 7th IA Signal Companies are becoming proficient on radio operation, antenna theory, Windows operating systems, and Several members of Charlie Company are enjoying a holiday meal networking. SSG Kent, SGT Crouch, and PFC Rodriguez took a three day trip out to Brazilian Village to coach, teach, and mentor 11 Iraqis in order to extend out and conduct training for the next group of Iraqi border patrol agents. A great step has been taken, where Iraqis are taking our training and in turn training their own Troops. Gallons of chai tea have been consumed by our troops out of the gratitude of the Iraqi partnership. The partnership has created friendships that could last a Birthdays lifetime. Through the training and mentorship many may be SGT Crouch (14 Jan 2010) “befriended” (newest word in the English dictionary) on FaceCongratulations book. 1LT Nadeau, SGT Plewes, SGT Hiatt, SPC Webster, To SPC Charpentier for winning the BN Trooper SPC Dixon, PFC Christen, and PFC Schwartz, all part of the of the month board! headquarters element, have had a strenuous task as we receive an additional mission in partnership. The key staff planners have been challenged to go above and beyond their New Charlie Company Paratroopers duties and rePFC Alvarez sponsibility in PFC Emanuel coordinating efPFC Packard forts and manPV2 Houghton aging the operational picture as Promotions Reenlisted CPT Gardel and PFC Dixon to SPC SGT Magana 1SG Bellomy PV2 Shelton to PFC conduct battlefield circulation Awards in order to SGT Hiatt… AAM coach, teach, SPC Dixon… AAM and mentor the senior leaderis given the Army Achievemetn Medal by the new ship and visit the SGT Francis Hiatt Charlie Commander, CPT Jason Gardel troops outside of Ramadi in Ubaydi, Camp Mejid, and Camp Fallujah. 1SG Bellomy and I are proud of the efforts and accomplishments of the men and women of Charlie Company. SFC Phillips and SSG Mebane have done an exceptional job at their communication sites in Ubaydi and Ramadi in providing mentorship for their junior Coyotes in preparing them for future boards and leadership positions. As leaders it is our goal that your loved ones leave this unit, be it in the next month or many years from now, with a better understanding of the big picture of the Army and the ability to make leaders out of young and influential Paratroopers of the future. Airborne! All The Way CPT Jason Gardel and 1SG Bill Bellomy Charlie Company Commander and First Sergeant


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Charlie Company “From the Foxhole” Article Written by SGT James Laflamme

So here we are finding ourselves at the conclusion of month 5 of our deployment. When the issue came up about what to write about in the article this month, I simply suggested our actual job. Now I know that sounds kind of silly, but there is a lot to be said of my fellow “Coyote” soldiers. About a month ago (I believe) we received a few new soldiers. One of them, PFC Carter, asked us when he got here what he would be doing and what to expect. The 1SG looked at him and said, “Working on the KU satellite with JNN 1”. This surprised PFC Carter as he admitted that he was told by his drill sergeants that he would probably never do his actual job. That same and feeling of shock that PFC Carter had that day is the same feeling that many of us with longevity in Charlie Company felt when we arrived here. Take for instance SPC Charpentier, last deployment he was operating with a Route Security Team, participating in missions like route clearance of IED‟s, or at other times conducting missions of humanitarian aid to the local area of his outpost. This deployment he is working at the Ramadi Helpdesk, working on repairing, replacing or installing new cables ranging from Ethernet to fiber optic cables that provide both voice and data (internet) connection for all units that are located on Camp Ramadi. Many of us (to include myself) have told SPC Charpentier that he would never do his job as a 25L Signal Cables Installer/ Maintainer. I guess we were wrong about that! For the vast majority of our company, the same can be said for them. SFC Phillips and his JNN 1 platoon are doing an outstanding job of maintaining the brigade headquarters with their tactical network connectivity. SSG Mebane and my brothers with JNN 2 are doing a great job maintaining their network to support 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Other Charlie signaleers, like my brothers SGT Daniels and SGT Taveras are doing great things working on remote sites as true 25U‟s. 25U is often referred to as the “Jack of all trades, Master of none” since they are expected to pro-

vide support with anything signal related. Their equipment changes drastically given their location and unit and often calls for them to hit the books to do research on how things work. Even I have had a great experience serving as a KU satellite operator maintainer on Camp Fallujah for about a month. Since the brigade‟s primary mission is to be an Advise and Assist Brigade (AAB) this deployment, a few other fellow Coyotes are separated from the company and are out training our Iraqi Army Signal Counterparts. Teams like 1LT Oglesbee‟s / SGT Hancock‟s and 1LT Pope‟s / SGT Fields‟ partnership teams are doing great things sharing their common knowledge of how communications systems work and how to fix problems with various systems. It is great to say that most of us are actually doing our jobs since it is a rarity for us to do so in the 82 nd Airborne Division. While it might not be the most glorious job, and sometimes people think we do not really do a whole lot, it is far from the truth. For the brigade and battalion commanders to communicate with their subordinates, they depend on our expertise and diligence. Often our value is not fully appreciated until communications don‟t work. But still we remain committed to have as few outages as possible. A bonus for us this deployment is that many of us are capitalizing on our situation to take college to help us in our future endeavors. Promotion points in our field are so high because many of the other pure communications units have more time for college. Much thanks to our loved ones back home for your support and prayers. Next month makes 6 months here and begins the downhill side of this deployment. Well, until next month…


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FRG newsletter JAN 2010  

This is the FRG newsletter for january 2010 happy new years folks!

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