May 2012 Volume 2 Issue 5
“Supporting Always ...HHD 1297th” See cover story, PAGE 3
TASK FORCE RAVEN MAY
1297th CSSB Chaplain Chaplain Clancy
Insect Safety "Battling the Bite" SAFETY TIPS (1) Ensure you take your Malaria pills (2) Stay indoors from dusk to dawn when possible
Quote of the Month “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” ~Proverbs 4:23~
(3) Wear long sleeve shirts and long pants (4) Apply insect repellent on uncovered skin
Army Value of the Month
(5) Check your boots for unwanted insects
1LT JOHN E. REINHART 1297th CSSB Safety Officer Office: 841-2450
Volume 2 Issue 5
“Rely upon the golden rule.” “How we consider others reflects upon each of us, both personally and as a professional organization.”
The Raven’s Review
Inside this Issue:
1297th CSSB Commander: LTC K. Weedon Gallagher Public Affairs Officer: CPT Cara J. Kupcho UPR: SSG Lauren Rinaudot
HHD, 1297th CSSB
25th Dancing on the 1SG desk
1297th CSSB Unit Public Affairs Representatives: 1484th TC: 2LT Amy Mader 395th OD CO (DET): SFC Karen Sweeney 25th TC: 1LT Jacob Rebo 515th TC: 1LT Nathaniel Dumas
515th Soldiers Reenlistment
Down and Dirty at the ASP
1484th Deployment Road
Soldier and NCO of the Month
Toby Keith USO Tour
20 Cover Photo: 1297th CSSB Support Sections stand in front of a 21 Tactical Vehicle. Not pictured: SGT Ebony Wood and SGT Latoya Miller and SPC Anthony Gilbert. 28 April 2012 Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan.
Inside the 1297th CSSB 1297th and 117th Guidons
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“Supporting Always….” Story and Photos by CPT Cara J. Kupcho 1297th CSSB PAO
ll higher headquarters in the United States Army are structured with a support company within a Battalion (BN), Brigade (BDE), or a Joint Sustainment Command. BN commanders, BDE Commanders and even Generals are in need of a company commanders and first sergeants to handle the administrative, training, Moral, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) and overall health of all the Soldiers assigned and attached within their formations. Being a Soldier comes first before position. Each Soldier needs to be able to shoot, move, and communicate effectively in order to strive in today’s Army. Every Soldier is someone’s loved one and family member who needs to be accounted for at all times on a deployment or in a Garrison environment. It is the job of a headquarters and headquarters company (HHC) or detachment (HHD) Commander and First Sergeant to take care of the “Soldiering” at their respective level of command. The HHD, 1297th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion (CSSB) Company Commander is CPT Cara J. Kupcho and the First Sergeant is 1SG Robert Schmidt. CPT Kupcho and 1SG Schmidt are responsible for all Soldiers with the battalion headquarters (including BN Command Group, Staff Sections, Special Staff and Support
Operations (SPO)). Accountability, administrative/readiness (i.e. awards, counseling, medical, evaluations, training (basic Soldier skills, Army Physical Fitness Test and individual weapons qualification), supply and maintenance are the key components that the company commander and 1SG oversee. Along with the Staff sections and SPO, (see select earlier newsletters for more information on each section) the HHD Support Sections are the supply section, readiness and maintenance section. The Support Sections provide life support and tools (i.e. billeting, meal cards (food), ammo issue, clothing, training, vehicles and specialist equipment tailored for each job) in order for Soldiers to stay focused on their specific mission. The supply section noncommissioned officer (NCO) in charge (NCOIC) is SSG Robert Hom. His staff consist of: SPC Christopher Seaver (BN Commander’s driver, supply and maintenance), SPC Anthony Gilbert (CIF turn-in and supply) and SPC Eric Williams (armor and supply). SSG Hom ensures accountability of organization (ORG) (equipment brought into Theater from home station) and Theater Provided Equipment (TPE) (equipment that a unit uses only in Theater) property. During this deployment, SSG Hom successfully accounted for over 24
million dollars worth of TPE equipment and over one million dollars worth of ORG equipment. At one time, he oversaw over 36 sub-hand receipts including: property at the maintenance support team (MST), supply support activity (SSA) Yard, humanitarian yard, CRSP (central receiving and shipping point) Yard, Mortuary Affairs and Central Issue Facility (CIF) and turned-in of over five million dollars worth of equipment to the TPE office. He also received an overall 100% Command Supply Discipline Program (CSDP) on the companies supply inspection by United States Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A), BDE and BN. SSG Hom provided assistance during the off ramp of following units: 297th Inland Cargo Transfer Company and 742nd Support Maintenance Company (SMC). He laterally transferred over 12 million dollars worth of equipment. During the lateral transfer process, SSG Hom took charge with a positive attitude and willingness to complete the task by coordinating with both units supply sergeants on all property inspections and layouts. “When the units off-ramped, those were the busiest 45 days…. inventorying all the equipment and laterally transferring every piece of equipment,” says Hom.
See Supporting page 8
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“A Chance to Dance on the Boss Desk” Story and Photo by 25th Transportation Company UPR 1LT Jacob Rebo
here are hopefully very few times that you have to step into the 1SG’s office as a Soldier, and much fewer of those are ever remembered fondly. But, for a couple of Soldiers in the 25th Transportation Company’s 2nd Platoon, the day they danced on Top’s desk will forever be a memory they will relish. Junior enlisted Soldiers are often given the opportunity to do something special for their re-enlistment as an incentive to stay in the Army. Some Soldiers take the advantage to secure a ride on a Helicopter, or to go to a special location. Others pick a spot that is far from the work place so they can get time off for travel.
SPC Tory Hall takes the oath of re-enlistment, administered by 1LT William Smith, on top of 1SG Lewis’ desk.
Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan 27 April 2012.
SPC Glenn Brown takes the oath of re-enlistment, administered by 1LT William Smith, on top of 1SG Lewis’ desk.
Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan 27 April 2012.
SPC Glenn Brown and SPC Tory Hall decided that they wanted to re-enlist standing on top of the 1SG’s desk. The Soldiers said that they wanted to do it because it would be a good story to tell their friends and families. SPC Brown re-enlisted for six years and a $3100 cash bonus. SPC Hall committed to four years, a $2100 bonus, and a guarantee to stay in Hawaii for another year. 1SG Alton Lewis was a gracious sport about the whole thing, allowing them the use of his office for their ceremony. He did, however, say that the two Soldiers would be doing some one-on-one physical training with the 1SG, but could neither confirm nor deny that it had anything to do with their choice of re-enlistment location ♣.
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“One step closer to going home….” Annotation and Photos by CPT Cara J. Kupcho 1297th PAO Soldiers of the 1297th CSSB help inspect Organizational Equipment to ensure that we meet U.S. Customs Inspections Standards. Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan 14 April 2012.♣
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515th TC Soldiers Reenlistment Annotation and Photo by 515th UPR 1LT Nathaniel Dumas March 30th, an American flag cast its presence in the center of the stage at the Kandahar Fest Tent. 45th Sustainment Brigade Commander COL Jeffrey Drushal administered a re-enlistment Oath in front of 45 re-enlistees that shaped an impressive figure 45 in the center of the floor. Among the re-enlistees, 11 Soldiers and NCOs of the 515th Transportation Company (TC) raised their right hand: SGT Keith Howse, SGT Jammie Daniels, SGT Benjamin Ramirez, SPC Mitchell Aslakson, SPC Allen Crookham, SPC Emmanuel Crump, SPC Kimberly Jensen, SPC Suraj Kharel, SPC Ming Lee Ng, SPC George Saye and SPC Timothy Schultz. Our group of Soldiers and NCOs come from a diverse service background with service time ranging from two to 11 years, contracts ranged from four to six years. The 515th TC Retention NCO, SGT Troy Bradley, did an outstanding job in providing career counseling and extending the eligible Soldiers. Joint Sustainment Command â€“ Afghanistan (JSC-A) Commander Brigadier General Les Carroll made an appearance at the event to congratulate the re-enlistees.
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“Down and Dirty at the ASP” Story and Photos by SFC Karen Sweeney 395th Detachment First Sergeant “We have another Emergency Issue” seems to be heard a lot around the Ammunition Supply Point (ASP) lately. Soldiers working at the ASP always have a head’s up when the “fighting season” is coming because more and more units are requesting ammunition. The 395th Ordnance Company is known for getting the mission done no matter what. We are always prepared to give our best when supporting the war fighters. We are responsible for issuing out ammunition to units here on KAF, shipping ammunition to outlaying Froward Operational Bases (FOBs), shipping residue back to Kuwait, receiving ammunition in from Kuwait and Bagram, and retrograding ammunition back to Kuwait and the United States. Soldiers at the ASP have also become pretty proficient on driving the Palletized Load. System (PLS) and 10K forklifts. And according to CSM Willett, you aren’t a true Ordnance Soldier until you’ve dropped a piece of ammunition. We’ve had our share of that as well. We work closely with our DA Civilian QASAS (Quality Assurance) workers. They inspect all the ammunition that comes in and out of the ASP.
Some ammunition that is returned to us is not safe to issue out to fighting units, so we put that ammunition aside ready to be destroyed on our weekly EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) missions. There are also times when an Emergency Issue request comes in due to a fighting unit being in black status. That’s when all other work stops at the ASP and we concentrate on that request. Most often we receive the Emergency request early in the morning, we pull the ammunition from the ASP locations and issue it out to the fighting unit later that day or the next morning. We don’t go back to the RLBs until the work is done. Our normal 10 hour day turns into a 13 hour day with the Soldiers being exhausted, but truly pleased they got the work done. While our time here is coming to an end, our work at the ASP does not stop. We can’t afford to lose focus on our mission – supplying ammunition to the war fighters and doing our part to Support the Battle. ♣
(photo right) SPC Alexander Kesso, QASAS Kevin Waldrep,
SPC Holdyn Hould and SSG Isaac Schmidt sorting through ammunition to determine if it is serviceable. (above right photo) SPC Luke Collins working on the 4K forklift. (background photo) SFC John Klein going over paperwork with SPC Kurt Gerbers for an Emergency Issue. Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan 25 April 2012.
TASK FORCE RAVEN He was also put in charge of all MWR events for the BN (i.e. BN BBQs, pancake breakfasts and award ceremonies) among other tasks given by the CPT Kupcho or 1SG Schmidt. He has also participated in Combat Logistical Patrols as the gunner for the BN Commander and Command Sergeant Major. “Being a supply sergeant in a CSSB and being in Afghanistan, you have to remain flexible, each morning I wake up, I don’t know what the day will bring,” says Hom. “We work hard so you don’t have to,” laughs Hom. He assisted in all command directed property inspections, weekly supply reports, BN CIF turn-in processes, BN Army Direct Ordering funding. He coordinated daily with the DA Civilians at the CIF, SSA, Rapid Fielding Issue, Redistribution Property Assistance Team, Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office, TPE Property Book Office and Class I Yard for the entire duration of the deployment. During our deployment, HHD has also consolidated over 67 connexs down to 12. The connexs held excess equipment and supplies that were no longer used for our current operation. All excess 20 ft. Connexs were relocated to the ammo supply point, which is used as storage for excess ammunition. “The nights were long, waiting and ensuring that DynCorp (contractor who helped with wretch support) moved our connexs to the right locations,” says Seaver. The HHD Readiness NCO is SGT Ebony Wood. SGT Wood
served as the Administrative NCOIC for HHD, providing administrative support. She hit the ground running, taking over operations from the 1225th CSSB after only five days on ground. She took charge of all the R&R packets, PAI, awards, NCO Evaluation Reports, tracking daily Personnel Status Reports (PERSTAT), BN Mail Operations and ensured all memos and documents (i.e. height/weight, leave forms, counseling, flags and training completion memos) were signed by the company commander. SGT Wood expertly maintained a myriad of administrative trackers to ensure the Soldiers of HHD received the best administrative care possible. As the BN Mail NCOIC, SGT Wood ensured accountability and distribution of over 50,000 pieces of mail for the duration of the deployment. She coordinated daily with the subordinate company’s postal NCOs to ensure mail was picked up on time. She ensured that the HHD Mailroom was in compliance with installation policies and never received less than 100 percent on the quarterly mailroom inspections conducted by the KAF Post Office. “During the winter holiday season, mail operations was over whelming,” says Wood, “Boxes would be flowing out of our mailroom.” SGT Wood receives and handles mail for the Mobile Redistribution Team (MRT), BDE Liaison Officers and government contractors within the BN area and all mail from prior units that have left Theater. Each morning, SGT Wood, along with three other Soldiers from the
supporting units picks up the mail at the KAF Postal Warehouse. “It is a lot of work sorting through all the mail,” states Wood. Mail is an everyday operation. Sundays or days when SGT Wood is tasked with other missions, SGT Latoya Miller, SGT Jennifer Steward and SPC Louis Resto lend a hand with the mail handling. This past January, the BN was tasked with administrative control (ADCON) responsibilities of the new operation called Operation Clean Sweep (OCS). A part of the OCS is the deployment of the MRTs. They consists of eight to twelve Soldiers. The Soldiers were sent to various forward operating bases and contingency operating bases to help the US Armys’ draw down operations in Afghanistan. The MRTs help units to indentify, sort, process and turn-in all Class II, III (P), IV, and IX excess material to the appropriates agencies. They also redistribute excess equipment that is serviceable and/or repairable so the unit in order to keep the unit operational. The 1297th CSSB HHD was given ADCON of five teams, totaling over 50 Soldiers. SGT Wood was tasked to keep track of those Soldiers including their operations and accountability, including R&R packets, emergency leave and the PERSTAT. “The hardest part was the R&R packets, they run a little different because they are active duty Soldiers, so they had to be processed and approved in a short timeframe,” states Wood.
See HHD page 10
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UPR 2LT Amy Mader
acking. Movie & Game Night. Customs inspections. Cook-outs. Moving the Tactical Operations Center. And, of course, another change to the mission set. Don’t forget, too, preparing to move out of the rooms and mailing packages home. These are the things the 1484th Transportation Company (TC) has been, and will continue to be, occupied with in their last month remaining in Afghanistan. Certainly, it’s been a fast-paced and often crazy ride for us transporters from Ohio. We deployed in a time frame that’s nearly unheard of at this point in the deployment process. Most units receive at least a 12 to 18 month notice to deploy, which is what the 1484th TC had originally received. But in February 2011, the 1484th received their orders to prepare to leave 12 months earlier than originally planned. And so, our “no notice” deployment began. It’s almost hard to believe that our replacements will be here in only 14 days – but only almost. We’re more than ready to take on any supposed “burden” that comes with completing a successful handoff with a replacing unit. We look forward to the inventories, the paperwork, having too many people trying to squeeze into a tiny office and fighting for time on the com-
Okay, so we may not exactly look our deployment, and that’s someforward to it, but it’s definitely frus- thing we can certainly be proud of tration we don’t mind dealing with. on the return home. ♣ But until the moment comes for us to officially hand over our tasks, we continue to take our time here a day – and a task – at time. We continue to accomplish our mission, whether that be a convoy heading out gate, getting a truck off the deadline report, or sending up a report. We carve out a few hours here and there to get that last box shipped out, buy that last souvenir from the boardwalk, or just sit and chat with our fellow Soldiers, discussing what we want to do when we get home or reminiscing about one of the crazier missions we’ve done. While our time here may be at long last be growing short, we know we are not done quite yet. And so, we continue to take our convoys one check point at a time, move our operations center one office at a time, and repair our vehicles one part at a time. As for those moments in between when we have that brief chance to relax review what we’ve done, the 1484th should feel pride in its accomplishments. We’ve traveled over 460,000 miles on more than 175 completed missions, and we’ve supported over 30 Forward Operating Bases through those missions. So, although we may have hit our share of bumps, ruts and ditches – literally and figuratively – in the past 11 months, we’ve still successfully navigated the road of
TASK FORCE RAVEN SPC Teri Thomas is also a member of HHD. He is the BN Commander’s driver. “It was an honor to be the BC’s driver,” says Thomas. “I learned a lot and got to do things that were really rememberable.” SFC Greynolds is HHD Motor Sergeant. His team is SGT Arthur Marino (generator mechanic), SGT Nurlin Tarrant (mechanic and MWR HHD Representative), SGT Anthony Baker, MST LNO and NCOIC), SGT Latoya Miller (Standard Army Maintenance System - Enhanced (SAMS-E) operator) and SPC Steven Nicholas (mechanic and driver). When the 1297th CSSB took over operations last summer, SFC Greynolds took action in Operation Clean Sweep. He was put in charge of the trash and debris removal for the BN area. SGT Greynolds also took lead on the HHD connex consolidation plan. SFC Greynolds loaded over 35 Light Medium Tactical Vehicles (LMTV) with trash, debris and used parts. The rubbish was then transported and off-loaded at the KAF burn pit. He coordinated daily with the personnel at Defense Reutilization Management Office. “We ran over 30 loads of trash in the back of our LMTV to the burn pit,” states Greynolds. SFC Greynolds also cracked the code on the Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) Handling turn-in process. “I got in touch with the right contractors on KAF and all the
used oil from the past eight years finally was turn-in properly,” states Greynolds. The Maintenance Section inherited an unmarked used oil holding tent located on the 1297th CSSB compound. The maintenance section consolidated over 30, 55 gallon fuel drums, removed the old maintenance tent and turned in all HAZMAT the KAF Hazardous Waste Manager Site. “The tent had seen its days and needed to be properly disposed,” stated Nicholas. This last winter the maintenance section moved to the Deep South Motor pool where the section could spread its wings. “The maintenance tent that we moved into is five times the size as our old tent,” says Marino. Even though the HHD received one of the smaller large area maintenance vehicle tents, it was a blessing in disguise. “Being able to lock our assigned equipment up…. have enough room to work in and have a retractable door is a good feeling,” says Greynolds. As a SAMS-E Operator, SGT Miller was solely responsible for the manual uploading of all driver information into the SAMS-E box. At the beginning of the deployment, she ensured a seamless transition from the previous unit. Whenever the MST clerk needed assistance, SGT Miller was ready to fill in. SGT Miller served as the primary Equipment Records/Parts Sergeant for the HHD. This facilitated and directly impacted the company's ability to
Page 10 meet all BN Maintenances’ suspenses. As a SAMS-E Operator, she was responsible for the welfare, accountability and mission readiness of equipment worth in excess of 15 million dollars. SGT Miller was also the HHD’s Equal Opportunity Representative. Last September, when the BN lost its 742nd SMC due the off-ramp, the BN had to create a bridge to fill the maintenance support gap until the contract was awarded by the 401st MST. The BN Commander tasked each company to provide three to four Soldiers who were mechanics to be assigned to the 1297th CSSB MST. The Soldiers were assigned to the HHD Commander and 1SG in regards to working in the MST, but returned to their units for all administrative actions. 1SG Schmidt took charge of an 18 Personnel MST with a positive attitude and willingness to complete the task by coordinating with all the unit's first sergeants. Soldiers on the MST were from the 7th Sustainment Brigade and the 1297th CSSB. Soldiers assigned to the MST were: CW3 Gary Heinly, SSG Michael Herr, SGT Quaresa Scott, SGT Jeffrey Buttermore, SGT Anthony Baker, SGT Vivian Panes-Myer, SGT Fox, SPC Jeffrey Brinzo, SPC Anthony Ollie, SPC Jamie Hernandez, SGT Chad Skiles, SPC Gilmore, SPC Sinkfield and SPC James Wiggins to name a few. 1SG Schmidt was the key team player in the Deep South MST. He also took part in the HHD Motor pool layout planning and coordination. “I loved working with the Soldiers, they did a great job working together to get each job done in a timely manner,” says Schmidt. See HHD page 15
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1297th CSSB Soldier and NCO of the Month SPC Roy Shaw is the 1297th CSSB Soldier of the Month. He is currently assigned to the 515th transportation Company as a Truck Driver (88M). He joined the Army in 2008 and deployed to Jalalabad, Afghanistan with the 4th ID, 4th BCT, 704th BSB A Company. He was reassigned to Germany with the 515th TC in October of 2010 and deployed back to Afghanistan. He is currently working towards his Associates Degree in General Studies. He is married and is expecting his first child, a baby girl at the end of this month. SPC Shaw was born in Las Cruces New Mexico and moved to Sierra Vista Arizona until he joined the Army. He enjoys playing guitar, writing music, playing video games and spending time with his family. ♣ 1297TH CSSB SOLDIER FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL 515th Transportation Company
SPC Roy Shannon Shaw II SGT Christopher Slone is the 1297th CSSB NCO of the Month. He is currently assigned to the 515th Transportation Company stationed out of Germany. He is serving as a heavy wheeled vehicle driver for the 515th TC while deployed in Afghanistan. His first duty station was Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He deployed to Iraq in 2007 -2008. He reenlisted for Germany in October 2009 and was assigned to the 70th Transportation Company. In February 2011, he reported into the 515th TC and was promoted to Sergeant prior deploying to Afghanistan with the unit. SGT Shoemaker’s hometown is Dayton, Ohio. He studies at Sinclair Community College where he received his Associate’s Degree in Computer Networking. He plans on completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Networking. ♣
1297TH CSSB NCO FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL
515th Transportation Company SGT Christopher B. Slone
HHD STORY Photos 2011-2012
(top left) Daily overflow of Holiday Mail in front of the HHD Building. (left) SPC Teri Thomas and SGT Latoya Miller at the Afghan National Army Dinner. (left) SGT Ebony Wood opens her Christmas Gift during the HHD Holiday gift exchange. (left) Soldiers assigned to the HHD Mobile Redistribution Team (MRT). (lower left) Soldiers assigned to the HHD Maintenance Support Team. (above right) SPC Christopher Seaver, SGT Robert Hom and SGT Arthur Marino show their HHD T-shirts that read “1297th HHD, We do the work so you don't have to.” (lower right) SPC Teri Thomas, SPC Anthony Gilbert and SGT Nurlin Tarrant at the 45th Sustainment Brigade RIP/TOA Ceremony.
1297th CSSB Photos
During the Commander Team’s monthly Breakfast. First Sergeants and Company Commanders awarded the 1297th CSSB Battalion Commander LTC K. Weedon Gallagher (BC) and Command Sergeant Major Craig Willett (CSM) with “Plaques of Remembrance”. They gave speeches and thanked the BC and CSM for all the support and dedication for the duration of this deployment. Independence Dining Facility, Kandahar Air Field 27 April 2012.
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Itâ€™s a Small Worldâ€Ś..
(photo left) CPT Chantal Fogarty is pictured with her niece (thru marriage) SGT Amanda Jenkins. SGT Jenkins was pasting through Kandahar on her way to Regional Command-West to start her deployment.
(photo right) SPC Louis Resto is pictured with his cousin Major Maria Rodriguez. Major Rodriguez is deployed with Task Force Arctic Wolves in RC-S Afghanistan.
CPT Cara Kupcho is pictured with one of her best friends from high school (same grade) 1SG Marc Grandia. 1SG Grandia served two tours in Iraqi was WIA in 2006 and is currently the 1SG in the 193rd INF BDE. He just started his tour in Kandahar April 2012.
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Supporting Always Continues….. The contract was finally awarded early February of this year. During the transition of Soldiers to contractors, CPT Kupcho and 1SG Schmidt ensured the Soldiers moved all MST equipment and setup maintenance operations in the Deep South Motor pool. “Transporting truckloads of equipment each night along with setup… and worked on equipment all day,” reflects SGT Baker, “it was a long month for all of the Soldiers in the MST.” CPT Kupcho along with 1LT Jacob Rebo continue to provide contactor officers representative (COR) support to the 401st MST. 1SG Schmidt along with SGT Baker provide the LNO support for the BN Commander by overseeing the MST operations in the Deep South Motorpool and Tarin Kowt (TK) and tracking all work orders and services. Overall, during the deployment the HHD provided support above and beyond a normal HHD. Along with being the Company Commander and MST COR, CPT Kupcho provided Public Affairs Support for the BN. CPT Kupcho served as the 1297th CSSB Public Affairs Officer (PAO). She was responsible for coordinating all PAO events with the Maryland Army National Guard PAO, USFOR-A South Media Support Center and the ISAF RC(S) Public Affairs Office. CPT Kupcho ensured the 15 to 30 page BN Newsletters were sent out each month. She was the primary photographer at all unit ceremonies, reenlistments and BN functions. CPT Kupcho also turn-in over 20 storyboards to the BN for command information.
The replacing unit, the 117th CSSB is currently on ground and ready to take ownership. The 117th CSSB will be the unit to complete the relocation to Deep South for the duration of their tour. “I think it will be a challenge and a good thing to start in a new area,” says CPT Joshua Yorgey, the incoming HHD Commander for the 117th CSSB. The new unit is coming in with fewer Soldiers so that within itself is a challenge. “HHD supports the Battalion, all subordinate companies and everyone in our AO in everyway we know how. Even if we don’t know how, we ask, find the answer and make it happen. HHD is and will be forever supporting, always,” says Kupcho.♣
SGT Arthur Marino, SFC John Greynolds and SGT Nurlin Tarrant stand inside their smaller Large Area Maintenance Vehicle Tent (Maintenance Tent) in Deep South Motorpool.
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1297th CSSB Battalion Commander It has been my privilege to lead and serve with the fantastic team of Warriors in Task Force Raven. Thanks to your individual and collective energy, we have ensured that the Maneuver Commanders enjoy freedom of action unconstrained by logistics. Leading and being a member of a mixed component Task Force has been a tremendous experience. I encourage all of you to take advantage of this opportunity for professional growth and learn more about your brothers and sisters in other components. We are the Total Army in this Formation. When your end of tour approaches and you take time to reflect on the good/bad/ugly of your individual tour and efforts, I suggest that you not only look to lessons related to counterinsurgency, logistics and leadership tradecraft, but that you also consider the valuable experience of working in a Total Army Formation. This may be the first time you have worked together, but it will not be the last. I am grateful to the 1225th CSSB (MIARNG) for setting us up for success. They are a great unit. Handing the baton to the 117th CSSB (NJARNG) is indeed a relief. I have no doubt that they will continue to improve the foxhole and advance the Commander’s Intent. For those remaining, remember… Be Professional, Be Polite, The Afghans are our Friends, But, always maintain…… For those returning home, thank you for your service, you have earned the privilege of sleeping beneath the blanket of protection provided by other Warriors for a spell.♣ “Support The Battle”
1297th CSSB Battalion Commander LTC K. Weedon Gallagher
1297th CSSB Battalion HOW DO YOU LIVE YOUR DASH by Linda Ellis and edited by CSM Willett I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of his best friend. He spoke of the dates on her tombstone from the beginning…to the end. He spoke of her date of birth and death while he wiped away his tears, but he said what mattered the most was the dash between the years. This dash represents the time spent alive on earth… And only those who love you know what that little line is worth. It does not matter how much we own, such as cars, houses and cash but what matters most is how we live, love and spend our DASH. So think long and hard, are there things you’d like to change? Because you never know how much time you have to fix things and rearrange. If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real, and always try to understand the way other people feel. We must be less quick to anger, but show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before. If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile… Hopefully this will help us remember that this special dash may only last a little while. So, when your eulogy’s being read with your life’s actions to rehash… will you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash? I read that poem for all of you because I want you to think loud and clear about how you are currently spending your DASH. Yes the POO Pond kicks up now and then and really smells like; ASK yourself truthfully when you
smell that POND. Would you have a problem smelling that POO Pond for the rest of your life if you could take back the events of that Faithful day? Raise your hand if you would jump in that POO Pond right now if that would take away the pain, the hurt, and the anger that was caused on that day. For those of you that had to think about it; do yourself a favor and never walk near the POO Pond when I am around. Because if it takes you going into the POO pond to take away the hurt and pain caused on that tragic day of 911. Best believe you are getting pushed in and I will deal with the consequences when you get out. So the next time you catch yourself complaining about the long days and nights!
1297th CSSB Battalion Command Sergeant Major CSM Craig Willett
Complaining about the fact that you miss your loved ones! Complaining about The constant running back and forth on these dangerous roads! Complaining about The food that is nowhere near the food that your mother makes! Complaining about The laundry that sometimes comes back smelling the same way that you turned it in! Complaining about The dirt, the sand, and the grit that is filling our lungs on a daily basis! Complaining about the SMELL OF THAT POO POND RIGHT OUT THERE!!!!! REMEMBER THAT ALL OF THAT IS NOW PART OF YOUR DASH………………….
See 1297th CSM page 18
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CSM 1297th words Continue……. BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT SECTION OF THAT PART OF YOUR DASH IS THE FOLLOWING FACT: YOU WERE HERE WINNING THE SKIRMISHES, WINNING THE BATTLES, WINNING THE WAR AND MAKING THE WORLD A SAFER PLACE FOR ALL MANKIND. So I don’t know about any of you but I am officially proud to have the FUNKY, NASTY, SMELLY, STINKING POO POND AND WILL ALWAYS CHERISH IT AS PART OF MY OFFICAIAL DASH AND I WOULD NOT TRADE IT FOR ALL OF THE FEBREEZE IN THE WORLD. IN closing I would like to say; GREAT JOB TO ALL OF THE SOLDIERS OF THE 1297TH! YOU HAVE DONE AN OUTSTANDING JOB DURING THIS DEPLOYMENT! I AM PROUD TO HAVE SERVED WITH EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU AND WOULD GIVE MY LIFE TO DO IT ALL AGAIN!!!
SFC James Fleming stands with CPT Chantal Fogarty holds his 3rd Quarter “Biggest Loser” award. Afghanistan, Kandahar Air Field 28 April 2012
!!!PROTECT THIS HOUSE!!!♣
CPT Asa Coates awards SPC William Davis with a “Certificate of Achievement” for outstanding performance in the S3 Section. Afghanistan, Kandahar Air Field 28 April 2012
TASK FORCE RAVEN
Toby Keith USO Tour Photos by Lauren Rinaudot and Annotation by CPT Cara J. Kupcho Soldier is the 1297th CSSB was awarded the chance to be a part of the Toby Keith USO Tour 27 April 2012. SPC Steven Burroughs was one of the security guards for Toby Keith. All the Soldiers and personnel on Kandahar really enjoyed the concert. Toby Keith played with his full band for more than two hours. Some of the favorite song like “Red Solo Cup” were among the few great songs he preformed. He also played songs not on his record. Toby Keith is one of the great American Country Song Artists who has been supporting the American Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airman even before 9/11. He truly increased morale on Friday afternoon. Some Soldiers had tears in their eyes when he came back on stage to play his encore, everyone's favorite. “American Soldier”. Thank you Toby Keith for coming to Kandahar Air Field. You have truly made an impact on our lives and it is great to have this kind of support. ♣
TASK FORCE RAVEN
Inside the CSSB
The 515th Transportation Company welcomes a new 2nd Platoon Leader in April. 2LT Awbrey Lowe commissioned from West Point in May 2011 and recently graduated from Transportation Basic Officer Leadership Course. Her platoon hosted a bar-b-que event. SPC Kendrick of 2nd Platoon coordinated for a grill and supplies to host the event. The occasion was held at the company living area and several neighboring Soldiers and contractors joined in the festivities. The platoon coordinated a projector screen with surround sound stereo for movies and incorporated several social events including board games, card decks and horse shoes. Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan 4 March 2012. (left photo) 2nd Platoon’s Platoon Leader 2LT Lowe and Platoon Sergeant Michael Toyco. (right photo) 2nd Platoon’s BBQ at the company’s living area.♣
Soldiers from the 1297th CSSB attend the Toby Keith Concert. Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan 27 April 2012.
HHD, 1297th CSSB guidon is crossed with the 117th CSSB to represent the start of the â€œRelief in Placeâ€? process. 28 April 2012