Wolfpack Howler Issue 4
1 JUNE 2013
From the Commander Inside this issue: 1ST PLATOON
4TH PLATOON CAT PALAU MAINTENANCE OPERATIONS
The Wolfpack is on the move this month! Gathering my thoughts for this month‘s Wolfpack Howler, I couldn‘t believe how many moving pieces we have going on at once. I‘ll do my best to convey how awesome it is that we have the right soldiers and leaders to handle such a turbulent, complicated mission! 1SG McKinney and I have been gathering the ‗Pack back together for the last several weeks. After his arrival to Guam with 3rd Platoon, the 643rd Engineer Company made a memorable first impression. Our operations section established our headquarters cell, complete with camo nets, maps and report trackers. Our Soldiers wake up Camp Covington each morning with loud and thunderous recitations of The Soldiers’ Creed. We welcomed back our brothWolfpack 6 and 7 in the new 643rd ers and sisters in 2nd Platoon—who have been detached to 523rd for 9 months. Within days of establishing our operations center, your troops were TOC executing construction projects all over Guam. Whether it is formwork for a massive overhead concrete pour, or an urban operations training facility on Andersen Air Force Base, 643 rd is showing the battalion what we can do—just give us the mission! Of course, our teams in Palau and Micronesia continue to impress. CCAD Micronesia is up and running at full speed. They have already begun two projects and volunteered several times with the local youth groups. In addition, they are tutoring Kosraeans for the armed service entrance exam. On a lot of the islands our soldiers are serving, the military is an opportunity for many locals to better their lives. Doing well on this test will improve their chances at that achieving that future. 1SG McKinney visited Palau and came back absolutely impressed. The ambassador of Palau sent an email that was forwarded to LTG Wiercinski, the USARPAC Commanding General, which said: ―[CAT-Palau]‘s dedication, commitment and expertise contributes in a magnificent way to our continued engagement in this country.‖ Your Soldier‘s impact is discussed at the highest levels; people notice how well they are doing! And even if they didn‘t, I would still be incredibly proud of what they are doing. Finally, I‘d like to extend my deepest thanks to Traci Kendall for her dedication as the 643 rd FRG Leader. Traci has been a steadfast supporter of this company and our families for over two years. There is a lot that happens behind the scenes which, without her, simply would not happen. If you see her, please let her know how much you appreciate her work. That said, the FRG position is open! My wife, Darcy, will fill the gap over the summer while school is out, but if you are interested in volunteering, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on our Facebook page. We‘ve got a really great group of families and making sure they are taken care of can be a really fulfilling experience. Honor the Service Wolfpack 6
Congratulations to the following soldiers for being promoted:
Happy Birthday to the following: CW2 Hackley– May 26 SSG Martir-June 20 SGT Landry– May 21 SPC Paredes-June 23 SPC Zulkoski-June 23
Congratulations to the following soldiers and their spouses on celebrating their anniversary! Marta and Maciej Wicik— June 6
SSG Justin Nation SGT Michael Quirindongo
1ST PLATOON Roughnecks
The Roughnecks have been busy back in Hawaii since their recent return from the Philippines. Soldiers of 1st platoon are wasting no time maintaining the company‘s fleet of vehicles and equipment. The main focus has been on operational readiness and supply discipline in anticipation for the battalion‘s motor pool move. Soldiers recently completed range density last week qualifying on the M240B, M2, and M16. 1st platoon remains ready for the much anticipated project at Diamondhead. The Diamondhead project calls for electrical infrastructure and false flooring located inside of the Hawaii Army National Guard historical tunnel. In the recent weeks the platoon has trained on communications, react to indirect/direct fire, map reading and squad movements. SGT Marshall and PFC Williams (Combatives Level II certified) instructed the platoon on combatives. SFC Miller and SGT Geib will be conducting driver‘s training for all new Soldiers in the Platoon in the upcoming week. Soldiers will be licensed on 5-ton dumps, skid steers loaders, and BHLs. The platoon would like to send a special thanks to the 12N‘s from 523rd for their hard work and dedication to the Philippine Mission: SSG Williams, SGT Yiznitsky, SGT Rausch, SPC Lira, SPC Gabrillo, SPC Kruse, SPC Richards, and PFC Bernard, 1st platoon would also like to send out a congratulations to SPC Fletcher and SPC Hurst for passing the promotion board and PV2 Dean for winning the Soldier of the Month board.1st platoon would also like to welcome two new Soldiers to the team, PVT Bass and PVT Williams.
Ocean view from Kealia Trail, Dillingham Airfield
1st Platoon Soldiers make it first to the top of Kealia Trail during company offsite PT.
Soldier qualifying on the M240B
2ND PLATOON After ten months falling under 523rd, 2nd Platoon finally rejoined 643rd in Camp Covington, Guam. No time was wasted as the platoon quickly began training on Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills. Construction on all project sites halted as the platoon took the entire day to train on semi annual tasks. Training started at the crack of dawn with Soldiers drawing their weapons from the armory. "We wanted to make the training as real as possible with our limited resources in Guam, so we set up camo nets, dispatched HMMVS, and had everyone wear full PPE," said SFC Hodge. NCOs were assigned to teach several classes, giving them the opportunity to enhance their instructing skills. SGT Bushey was one of the instructors led a class on grenade throwing, react to indirect/direct fire, and move as a squad/team. He noted that, "the training was a great refresher course since we have a lot of new Soldiers. Since we are deployed, it's rare that our Soldiers are able to train battle drills, so this was a nice change." Other classes consisted of plotting points on a map, operating DAGRs, interacting with media, and dismounting a vehicle. Construction on GM11-808, GM11-874, Andersen, and P&E on Mout Site continued immediately following the training. 808 is preparing for the much anticipated concrete roof pour while 874 is putting on finishing touches to complete the building. A small team returned to Andersen to repair a staircase and SSG Martir is leading P&E on his up and coming construction project.
PV2 Higuera makes full recovery after sugery
SPC Etta became a US Citizen
Softball team remains undefeated Congrats SGT Gonzalez & SPC Philson for passing the promotion board Platoon ran an M9 Range with 100% qualification THAAD Site Construction Complete
3RD PLATOON Greetings from Guam! Working through long days, constant heat, and dive bombing birds (yes, birds in Guam are not afraid to attack if you stray too close), the We Ready Platoon has already been able to make an impact on operations here in Guam. Almost immediately off the plane the platoon got to work in processing into Camp Covington and learning new Navy systems on maintenance, supply, and construction. Before the first week in Guam was complete the platoon had finished in processing paperwork, conducted drivers training, briefed the Battalion Commander on the capstone project in the Marshall Islands, and began planning and estimating on two newly assigned missions. As May continued to prove to be an incredibly productive month, 3 rd PLT completed staging of all tools and equipment headed to the Marshall Islands, participated in the Crew Leader Academy, briefed LTC Reisinger on a new construction project, completed a week long community service mission at Guam High School, and conducted a mission readiness exercise in order to validate the platoonâ€˜s technical competence. Through it all the Soldiers of the platoon have demonstrated great resiliency despite frequently working over 12 hours a day in 90 degree weather with high humidity. The hard work will continue to build through the month of June as the platoon constructs two separate buildings to be used as an urban operations training site on Anderson Air Force Base, Guam. Both buildings will require placing overhead concrete slabs, an extremely difficult task that has not been done by anybody in the 84 th EN BN for years. With a range scheduled for the middle of the month and a big push for Warrior Task Training prior to moving to the Marshall Islands, the platoon is dedicated to not ensuring that it is squared away upon redeployment to Hawaii. PFC Coffin and PFC Fernandez fold clothes to be Its not all work though as 3rd Platoon also gets to congratulate donated to the local orphanage while volunteering at SGT Justin Nation and SPC Michael Quirindongo on their promotions to SSG and SGT, respectively. Morale is definitely still Asan Community Center. high for the We Ready Platoon as we continue to ramp up our work schedule and make a lasting impact whether it be in Guam, the Marshall Islands, or wherever the Army calls.
PFC Fernandez, PFC Hardy, PFC Aquino, and SPC (P) Quirindongo run string lines to ensure the footers spaced at 25 feet apart are square.
SPC Tremper, SPC Murcia, and PFC Aquino (left to right) work on fabricating the formwork for a 10 ft x 10 ft footer during 3rd Platoonâ€˜s mission readiness exercise.
4th PLATOON Mighty Rhinos
This is the month we‘ve all been waiting for as 4 th Platoon arrived on Kosrae and began its first two construction projects beginning with the High School Gymnasium Renovation led by crew leader SGT Wesley Snead and the Malem Elementary School Drainage Improvement project under SSG Jeremy Lanning. After a longer than anticipated wait to receive our equipment and an even longer wait to receive materials, the team has worked long hours and maintained an impressive work pace to manage to get back on our originally planned construction schedule. Each of the two projects is now its final stretch towards completion and ribbon cutting ceremonies. While working at the Malem Drainage site, the team was presented with a formidable challenge as every strike of their shovel uncovered more and more mounds of coral and a previously existing foundation. Every foot of Earth dug on that site was hard earned and every Soldier‘s effort is worthy of recognition. The team is happy to say that they have completed digging at the site and have moved on to placing pipe and gravel as they wait for the remaining materials needed to complete the project. The crew working on the gymnasium awning showed great resolve after receiving most of their materials an alarming 3 weeks after the originally expected delivery date. Showing remarkable resiliency and adaptability, the team has managed to overcome the obstacle and is now near the end of construction. Early into the mission, the platoon was visited by the US Ambassador to Micronesia who showed her great appreciation for all our Soldiers are doing here and provided words of guidance and support. After completion of the first two projects, SGT Adam Fickel is looking forward to taking the reins as crew leader for the third site and beginning work at Tafunsak Elementary School. In addition to the construction projects, community relations events have been a primary focus for the team as shown by our ongoing COMREL events including a skills transfer program (led by SGT Landry), ASVAB tutoring program (led by SGT Snead, SPC O’Sullivan, SPC Lee, and SPC Simangan) and medical training program (led by SGT Fickel and PFC Welch). We‘ve also completed a field day at Malem Elementary School where over 120 students showed up to play games with the platoon. Additionally, the team participated in a school fundraising event which included local dance and music and were also honored guests at the high school graduation ceremony. On Memorial Day, the team held a BBQ and game day at the high school where over 80 local students attended. The local community has welcomed us with open arms, providing us with local culture and inviting us to multiple graduation ceremonies and holiday activities. We hope to continue with the momentum we‘ve built over the month of May and carry it over into June and throughout the rest of our mission.
SGT Fickel and SPC Tran working late to finishing putting up the girders at the high school gymnasium renovation site.
SPC Simangan takes advantage of a rare opportunity away from work to go kayaking.
Soldier of the Week:
PFC Cody Schultz Hometown: Booneville Goals: To take SFC Stewart‘s job. Favorite Musician: Brantley Gilbert Favorite Sports Team: Buckeyes
The team at Malem digs through coral and rock to achieve the proper slope needed in order to place pipes in the inner ditches at Malem Elementary School.
CAT PALAU Halfway done and CAT Palau continues to persevere through their deployment. With projects and COMREL keeping them busy, the CAT Palau team pushes forward with a positive attitude and a ―get after it‖ mindset. In the past month the team has accomplished so much in so little time. SPC (P) William Hall spearheaded the Aquarium tech assist project where he and his apprentices cleared, grubbed and placed concrete for a sidewalk. The sidewalk is used as a wheel chair access way to give disabled visitors a chance to experience the Aquarium just as those who are fortunate enough to walk around the different exhibits. With little supervision from SSG Vegafria and much confidence in his skill set, SPC (P) Hall performed phenomenally when tasked with the Aquarium project. Meanwhile, SPC Gonzalez and his apprentice tackled a tech assist for the Long Island Park playground. The play ground was unsafe for children to play on because it was rusting away. The team discovered this project from reading a local news paper article and decided to take it upon themselves to assist the community and help fix a high traffic play area for children. SPC Gonzalez refurbished the entire seesaw set by grinding off all of the rust, and replacing the seats and handle bars that were rusty and unsafe for children to enjoy. Today, the children of the Palauan community can enjoy the playground and parents do not have to worry about their children getting hurt while playing at the playground. The CAT Palau team currently is constructing an expedient road for the Ngardmau SPC Hall, William Soldier of the Month, reGovernment. This road project is spear headed by SSG Pettitt and executed by SPC Kelly ceived promotable status after successfully and the apprentices. The road stretches at .90 miles and is the route to the Ngardmau Dock completing the board. SPC Hall was the where fishermen, families and tourists travel on a daily basis. The project includes basic gradcrew leader on the completion of the Aquaring, compacting and cutting v- ditches for a drainage system. The team is progressing very well and is doing a phenomenal job. On a separate note, the team participated in the 10th annual Palau Marathon. Coached by 1LT Monroe, she sent off 4 team members to represent the CAT Palau team in the half marathon relay category. Starting off the relay was SPC Gonzalez, then off to SSG Vegafria for the second leg of the race, who then turned it over to SFC Fregiste and finishing the race strong was SGT (P) Terrazas. The team ran the relay in 1:15:23 earning them first place overall in the half marathon relay category. A big congrats and a job well done to our outstanding athletes. Later in the month of May, the team was saddened by a surprising twist to their deployment. CPT Gomez, the team‘s medical officer on site, received news that he would return to Guam to assist the BN in their overall scheme of the medical program. The team celebrated CPT Gomez’s hard work and showed their appreciation by enjoying a BBQ on Memorial Day. Not only did we Honor those who came before us, but also those we still serve along side with. Today, CPT Gomez is replaced by MAJ Hibbard whom the team has warml welcomed. The team is happy to have him on board. We look forward to an exciting remainder of the deployment with MAJ Hibbard as our medical officer. Closing out the month of May, the team sent two Soldiers to the promotion board. Both SPC Hall and SGT Terrazas did an excellent job and they both earned their promotable status. Congrats! What a great way to end the month. We look forward to continuing a legacy here in Palau as well as making our families and chain of command proud of us.
Ribbon cutting for Aquarium Aquarium Pad
Maintenance During the month of May, 643rd Maintenance Platoon, the Backbone of the company, continued working on the fleet. In early May, we went to Keana Point for a morning of offsite Physical Training. After we got to the turnaround point, the soldiers of the Backbone started picking up trash along the trails of Keana Point State Park turning good PT into a great chance for community service. Furthermore, on the 29th of May the Backbone planned a company offsite PT hike up the Kealia Trail behind Dillingham Airport, where everyone got a chance to see a part of the North Shore that most havenâ€˜t seen. In reference to actual maintenance work, the Backbone has begun a new dispatching procedure where all vehicles will be taken out of the motor pool at least once a month. This new focus on maintenance days will take more time and energy, but it will greatly assist the company in ensuring that all of its vehicles are fully mission capable and ensuring any maintenance issue are spotted early before they become a bigger problem. Furthermore, the Backbone had to say goodbye to quite a few of its soldiers this last month. First, Specialist Grzibovski and Specialist Taylor received Army Achievement Medals for the dedicated service they provided to the company while serving as mechanics during the last three years. Specialist Taylor left the island already for his PCS to Germany and Specialist Grzibovski has nearly finished out-processing and will bid farewell to the company by the first week of June. These hard workers will be missed, but they will go on to prove their skills elsewhere. Also, the Backbone wants to wish the best for Specialist Louis-Jeune who will be leaving the army in order for him to pursue his family needs. We will miss the mentorship that he has provided for all of the lower enlisted soldiers, the skill sets he brought to the table and the â€•can doâ€– attitude that he is best known for. For this upcoming month of June, the Backbone plans to do the best it can while being short staffed of mechanics. We will continue to implement our company level maintenance activities with the help of the rest of the company. Furthermore, in regards to physical training, the Backbone plans on doing another offsite PT at Haleiwa Beach Park later in June, this will allow us to experience great views while rucking through deep sand. Finally, the Backbone will also be assisting the move of the motor pool to its new location on Trimble Road due west of its current location. This will take a lot of hard work and late nights, but this essential move will benefit the company and the battalion in general greatly. Finally, the Backbone family wants to wish SGT Rutledge a happy 36th birthth day, who turns such on the 9 of June. SGT Rutledge is doing an excellent job deployed across the Pacific assisting the company in a variety of maintenance tasks, but we want him and his family to know that we celebrate his drive and willingness to help others and as such will keep him in our hearts on the 9 th of June. The Maintenance Platoon pauses for a photo at Kaena Point
Operations Aloha! Greetings to the friends and family of our hardworking operations section! As always, may has been a busy month for this dedicated crew. By the first of May, the last group from the company that would deploy to Guam departed. 1SG McKinney and CPT Mainwaring stood up a new company operations element in Guam, and that team has been working closely with the operations section in Schofield Barracks to keep the company running… on four separate, far-flung islands! One huge focus for Headquarters this month has been weapons ranges. Different companies throughout the battalion have been running various ranges to get our Soldiers qualified on our weapons systems. From the M16 range to the M240 range, headquarters has been enabling the company‘s effort to increase our weapons readiness every step of the way! Special thanks go out to SPC Kyle Sexton, our armorer, for his hard work and dedication. Though he has not been our armorer for long, he has still been working around the clock in that arms room! Whether it‘s waking up uncomfortably early to facilitate a weapons draw or spending days taking weapons in for repair, this Soldier is making it happen! Every three months, companies throughout 8TSC start working around the clock to prepare themselves to brief their higher headquarters on where they stand in regards to training. 643rd is no exception—the Wolfpack team has been striving tirelessly to complete required training and keep accurate, up-to-the-minute records of it. While this may sound simple, these are actually very difficult tasks due to the Army‘s sometimes not-so-user-friendly computer program used to track training! It takes a special kind of patience, dedication, and even tenacity to get this job done—and our Training team has what it takes! SGT Jonathan Ayers has been leading the charge, with the help of PFC Michael Edman and SPC SPC Sexton provides armorer support to firers on the M240B range that Danielle Scouden. Their hours and hours of work the Wolfpack ran for the battalion inputting training information into the Digital Training Management System and assembling information to send to our battalion has paid off—our training statistics are looking really good! Thanks to SSG Nicholas Hagar in Guam who has been working just as hard to get training numbers up over there. Well done! Unfortunately this month a few members of the HQ team have moved on. SGT Chris Sanders has moved on to his next assignment at Fort Bragg, NC. SGT Ali Ebrahimnejad has finished his Army service and will be staying on the beautiful island of Oahu. SGT Thomas Njuguna is moving on in his journey to become a CID agent. SPC Benjamin Ponchetti has also moved on to his next unit, still here on Schofield Barracks. Best of luck to these great headquarters Soldiers as they move on to their next big things! You will be missed!
SGT Ayers and SSG Reyes pause for reflection on the company‘s recent offsite PT on the North Shore.
SFC Miller poses for a picture on Kealia Trail
PV2 Myers and PV2 Heath climbing Kealia Trail
SPC Petty puts his pick axe to use trying to break up rocks at the Malem Elementary School drainage site.
The team sits and watches the high school graduation ceremony inside the same gymnasium we are building an awning for.
Chief Hackley conducts QC checks after the team finished placing posts at the high school gymnasium awning renovation site.
A view of the inner ditches being dug by Soldiers and skills transfer workers at the Malem Elementary School Drainage site.
SPC Tran cuts the posts to the proper length for the gymnasium awning at the high school gymnasium awning renovation site.
The new gymnasium awning well on its way towards completion. Only plywood, tin roofing, and electrical work remain.
Board for SGT Terrazas and SPC Hall
SPC Kelly operating the grader
The Wolfpack in Schofield Barracks paused after reaching the top of the Dillingham Switchbacks trail on the North Shore. Good PT!
FRG NEWS! IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS Army Community Services: (808) 655-4227 Army Substance Abuse Programs: (808) 655-8700 Battalion Chaplain: (808) 655-1297 Military Family Life Consultant: (808) 226-7307 Military One Source: 1-800-342-9647 Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 Tripler Trolley: (808) 433-1200 Tripler Trolley: (808) 433-1200 Headlines: FRG Meeting: The next FRG Meeting will be Wednesday June 19th at 5:00pm in the Battalion Classroom! Come find out about the upcoming activities and what is going on in Guam and the surrounding project sites! Visit us on FaceBook! 643rd EN COâ€”Wolfpack!
FRG Training with ACS July 2 Master Resiliency Training for FRGs, FRSAS, and Family Members 0900-1100 July 9 FRG Essentials (FRG 101, Key Callers, Fundraising, VMIS) 0900-1345 July 30 FRG Essentials (FRG 101, Key Callers) 1800-2015 July 31 FRG Essentials (Fundraising, VMIS) 1800-2015
FRG Committee Contacts: FRG Leader: Darcy Mainwaring (205)310-3515, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary: Gabrielle Johnson Treasurers: Kristina Spohn and Beatrice Marshall Activities Coordinator: Vacant Fundraising Chair people: Vacant Hospitality Chairperson: Kristina Spohn Points of Contact/Key Callers: Traci Kendall (253)720-2033, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Kristina Spohn (810)5 516 1550 email@example.com Soldier Liaison POC: SPC Fernando Gaeta