Wolfpack Howler Issue 2
1 MARCH 2013
From the Commander
Inside this issue: 1ST PLATOON
Greeting Wolfpack! This edition of the Wolfpack Howler will be read from Hawaii to the far edges of the Pacific. In the last 30 days, we have had soldiers in Thailand, Guam, Palau and the Marshall Islands. And we are just getting started.! As always, I’d like to thank the soldiers and their families for supporting our missions. 643rd truly has global reach and a strategic impact.
643rd Change of Responsibility
Our 1st Platoon Roughnecks made that impact in Phitsanulok, Thailand. After five weeks of blistering heat and relentless mosquitoes, our troops completed a multipurpose building consisting of three classrooms. In the Army, there are many days you don’t see the impact of your actions right away. This was not one of those days. This structure will immediately improve the quality of life for 71 students and four teachers in Phitsanulok. You could see it in their smiles and their genuine gratitude for our soldiers hard work. Though they traveled far from home and left their own loved ones, the Roughnecks made lives better for those less fortunate. They worked alongside Thai and Sing engineers to make this project happen. Our Wolfpack soldiers returned safely several days ago and I am glad to have them back. It never fails to impress me how a platoon of disciplined, motivated US Army engineers can accomplish so much under difficult conditions, tough timelines and a secluded location. Well done! I’d also like to welcome 1SG Kenneth McKinney Jr and his lovely wife, Linnie. 1SG McKinney brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our formation. We are lucky to have him. At our FRG meetings, please take a moment to introduce yourself and your spouse the newest members of our team. Honor the Service This month we talked about President Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address”. Lincoln was dedicating the cemetery at the battlefield in memory of the sacrifice of more than 40,000 casualties the battle claimed. While this speech is famous for many reasons, the last few sentences remind the Wolfpack to honor the service of those who have gone before us: “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
PROMOTIONS Congratulations to the following soldiers for being promoted:
Happy Birthday to the following: SSG, Baptiste 4 Mar , SPC Benard 1 Mar, PV2 Coffin 11 Mar, SGT Cullin 29 Mar, SGT Edwards 31 Mar, SPC Guerra 26 Mar, SSG Hagar 6 Mar, SPC Hale 3 Mar, SPC Irby 7 Mar, SPC Jim 25 Mar, SSG Lanning 5 Mar, SPC Lira 16 Mar, SPC Murcia 17 Mar, SPC Perry 19 Mar, SPC Petty 17 Mar, SPC Quirindongo 14 Mar, PVT Romero 9 Mar, PFC Shiver 21 Mar, SGT Smith 16 Mar, SPC Tran 29 Mar, and SGT Williams.
1ST PLATOON Roughnecks Roughnecks Return Home, train, prepare to redeploy After only thirty-two days in Thailand, the Roughnecks completed all construction activities for the Ban Hua Wang Krang School kindergarten building on the 18th of February, 2012. Before celebrating, the platoon packed its belongings, personal and professional, cleaned up the site and the building, and prepared for the dedication ceremony on the 21st of February. Prior to the dedication ceremony, the Roughnecks received their first break from construction and an opportunity to enjoy some of the culture of Thailand. The first trip would be to the Wat Yai temple in the heart of Phitsanulok. One of the most famous temples in Thailand, the Wat Yai boasts the most elegant Buddha image in all of Thailand. After the temple the platoon traveled to a local Elephant sanctuary to pet, feed, and ride some Thai elephants. Finally on 21 February the dedication day arrived, and a full cavalcade of visitors greeted the brand new building. From the US Ambassador to Thailand to the Commanding General of US Army forces in Japan, every VIP in attendance was impressed by the spectacle of the new building. Only two days later, the Roughnecks redeployed and returned to Hawaii. After 42 days in Thailand the Roughnecks are now ready for some short down-time before the head out to the Philippines to continue building alongside our partner nations overseas.
SOLDIER OF THE ISSUE: SPC Ethan Mustain -Born February 12, 1983 in Olathe, Kansas, where he plans to return to after the Army -Learned Carpentry growing up, began framing houses when he was 16, spent eight years in the Carpentry union before joining the Army -Became a Carpentry & Masonry Specialist after graduating AIT in June of 2010
-From the 643rd EN CO, he has been sent to Thailand in support of Cobra Gold 2011 and to Guam to work in conjunction with Navy Seabees Roughnecks Build Community relations (COMREL) in Thailand
SPC Guardiola presents a bike to a local student during community engagement on 15 February.
Though experts in construction, the Roughnecks do have a few other skills at hand. During Cobra Gold 2013 we showed how much we cared about the local community at every opportunity. Community relations was never far from the job for 1 st Platoon. There were many opportunites to bond and enjoy the company of the local community, whether at the local flee market, or the karaoke party thrown by the village in celebration for the school. But during Cobra Gold 2013 we had two great opportunities in particular that stood out. SPC Guardiola, upon noticing one of the school children rode a bike with no tires, raised the money from within the Platoon to present the child with a brand-new bike to go to school everyday on. And not long after, several members of the Roughneck family were given the opportunity to visit the local school for special needs children to join them in a two hour long dance session. Getting their physical training in for the day. After the dancing, the Roughnecks were able to enjoy lunch with the children prior to heading back to the project site. Though the project itself would greatly benefit the community, the Roughnecks were proud to be able to give every little bit they could to Phitsanulok, Thailand.
3RD PLATOON We Ready
Hello Wolfpack! February seemed to fly by as the “We Ready” Platoon continued to stay busy and have an incredible impact on the Battalion and the Post. We spent time training on construction at the East Range Air Assualt Course rappel tower, training physical and mental toughness on the South Range obstacle course, and relentlessly preparing to deploy to the Marshall Islands in support of the Battalion’s mission in Guam. With the end of April as the likely deployment date for the Platoon minus an advance element, we did an exceptional job in reading ourselves to take off for the mission at the drop of a hat. The “We Ready” Platoon cemented a successful February by continuing to avoid SIRs, displaying the type of maturity and discipline that makes the Army proud. We even found some time to conduct a Change of Responsibility to say farewell to 1SG Hector Medina and to welcome in 1SG Kenneth McKinney. And let’s not forget to congratulate SPC Julio Murcia for winning the Soldier of the Month board! March is shaping up to be a great month for training and for having a little fun on the job. We are reinforcing Warrior Tasks and Skills training at the beginning of the month, spending a day at the M16 range on the 6th, and training on Pre-Engineered Buildings from the 11th through the 28th. Even with all those requirements we are still going to push PT hard this month in order to surpass the company goal of a 260 APFT average. March is also filled with birthdays and anniversaries in the Platoon: SPC Daniel Hale turns 26 on March 3rd, SPC Julio Murcia turns 27 on March 17th, and SGT Richard Johnson celebrates his 4th wedding anniversary on March 4th. Congratulations to them and We Ready!
SOLDIER OF THE ISSUE: SPC Julio Murcia Age: 26 Hometown: Los Angeles, California Favorite Sports Team: Los Angeles Lakers Hobbies: Working out, playing soccer Quote/Interesting fact: Dreams of one day competing on “Dancing With the Stars.”
4th PLATOON Hafa Adai (the Guam equivalent of Aloha) 4th Platoon Followers! We have made our way to Guam where in-processing, classes, physical training, project planning and a new Navy influenced style of living has taken over our day to day activities. After having spent two weeks on ground, the Platoon can finally say it has acclimated to the hotter, more humid climate here in Guam (although our drenched uniforms after PT may state otherwise). For projects, we have been given two assignments here in Guam in preparation for our mission in Micronesia. First, SGT Bryan Boyd will be taking over as crew leader for a project on Camp Covington that will consist of a 30’x 12’ concrete pour with a masonry wall rising 6 feet along its edge. It will be used as a trash containment system for the Camp. Other crew leaders, including SGT Andrew Schmidt and SGT Mathew Reese (a 4th PLT attachment), have been working hard to produce a project packet for a larger effort up at Anderson Air Force Base on the northern part of the island. There, the Platoon has been tasked to plan and construct three separate MOUT buildings for an air force training facility. Two of the buildings are two stories and present a new challenge for the Soldiers. In addition to the planning going on for the projects here on Guam, SSG Jeremy Lanning has been working hard with his team planning the Malem Village project. SGT Wesley Snead has been doing the same with his team on the Kosrae High School Gymnasium project. Later this week, our group of highly trained NCO’s will be participating as judges in a JROTC competition with the University of Guam showing a commitment to the “Soldiers of Tomorrow.” Additionally, Soldiers have begun preparation for the AIRDET mission which 4 th platoon has become a part of after being called upon to fill voids in the formation. Soldiers here are eager to begin their scuba certification and almost every night you can find members of 4th Platoon working on their fitness at the Gym on camp. Both the Base Bowling Alley and Gab Gab Beach have been favorite spots for Soldiers to visit on their Sundays off. In addition to leading troops in the field, SFC Ramant Stewart has also been perfecting his skills in the kitchen where he prepared and cooked a delicious pork entrée for all to enjoy. Congratulations to 1LT Robert Leedham for coming in second at the Anderson Air Force base’s Golf scramble! Overall, the climate is tolerable, the food is growing on us and the PT is PHENOMENAL!
SOLDIER OF THE ISSUE: SPC Noel Ruiz -MOS: 12N -Hometown: Deltona, Florida -Hobbies: Surfing, Church Guitarist, Reading, Cooking -Thoughts on Guam: Nice. The island is friendly. Looking forward to the opportunity to explore the island more. -Goals: Save money, start my own business, attend a trade school and utilize my GI Bill.
CAT PALAU They’re called the Army CAT 84-01. Here in Palau the CAT is widely known for the skills and assistance it’s members provide. A CAT is a Civic Action Team, a small group of Soldiers who deploy to a region to provide technical engineering assistance, medical support and community outreach. The end goal of these tasks is to forge relationships between U.S. service members and the host nation community. Since its arrival, the team has taken on a wide variety of missions and has seamlessly immersed itself in the local culture. A large part of the mission in Palau is the Community Engineer Projects. Currently, the team is scheduled to complete construction on the Fire/Police Station or Pre Engineered Building (PEB) in the state of Ngardmau, install/ construct pull up bars, dip bars and sit up benches for the SPC Hall conducting site survey for Palau NaPalau National Olympic Committee, grade roads for the tional Olympic Committee Exercise Station. states of Melekeok and Aimeliik as well as to construct an Environmental Quality Protection Board storage facility. The impact of these projects are obvious as the team receives regular recognition and praise from the people. SSG Vegafria, SPC Hall, SPC Rew and SGT Terrazas all have their work cut out for them as they resume unfinished projects. Our vertical and horizontal Soldiers share the Palauan enthusiasm and are anxious to continue to show the people the skill set they bring to the island. Another partnership that the CAT has with the country is the apprenticeship program. Young adults apply for jobs and are hired on by the CAT through the Palau Community Action Agency. CAT 84-01 currently has 7 apprentices and is still looking to hire more in the months to come. The apprentice program helps locals to find employment upon successful completion of the curriculum. It is a highly sought out job opportunity. We hire and select based on work ethic and potential. Kaluu Bruce is an apprentice who graduated from the program as a Steel Worker and had perfect attendance. He continues to demonstrate initiative and is now applying to learn carpentry for an additional year. Jason Aderiano is also an outstanding apprentice who is learning to become an automotive specialist. He is also engaged in teaching our boat operators how to maneuver through the waters of Palau. SSG Pettitt and SPC Kelly are becoming great boat operators thanks to him. Learning is a continuous process in Palau and it is very fortunate that locals are as willing to teach us as they are willing to learn from us. Finally, perhaps the most rewarding aspect of the CAT Mission is Community Relations (COMREL). In a few months the team will participate in the 10th Annual Palau National Marathon where the Soldiers will run a relay marathon. The teams consist of 4 personnel running a total of 6.5 miles per person. SPC Rew, SPC Gonzalez, SPC Kelly and SFC Fregiste will spear head this fun event. The great thing about Palau is the genuine appreciation the people have for us. Just our presence alone makes people happy and more so because we are the “ARMY Team”, as the locals say.
Maintenance The Backbone February proved to be anything but a routine month for the Wolfpack family. First and foremost let us take the time to welcome back all of our heroes and heroines serving proudly in Thailand and putting forth their best efforts to help serve the people of Thailand. We at the Wolfpack family are thankful for all of your sacrifice and your safe return. The Back Bone of the Company, 643rd Maintenance, would like to thank our very own SPC Jesse Ramey for his successful efforts in maintaining the fleet in a land for away from his wife and family. SPC Ramey served proudly besides his fellow soldiers tirelessly to see that, not only from a maintenance perspective, but as a whole, the mission was a total success. At this time the Backbone would like to also applaud the efforts of Motor Sergeant SGT Thao and Squad Leader SGT Rutledge, on the continued successful pace of the Maintenance Platoon. Since the budget shifts, both SGT Thao and SGT Rutledge, have been able to use their various skill sets to continue servicing vehicles. The Backbone of the Company completed its first successful month of fully reintegrating STT. Most of the first STT missions have been a success, however they have been limited to Motor pool operations in an effort to catch up on scheduled/unscheduled services. Yet there have been some very bright spots within STT. The last week of January involved training soldiers on proper â€œEntering and Clearingâ€? procedures. After several runs through the set up at the KR Shoothouse, the maintenance team began to work together as a team and learn from their mistakes. This STT was one of the most successful the MNT PLT has conducted since the BDAR/Recovery Operations a few weeks back. The other emphasis put out by the 643rd EN Company Commander CPT Todd A. Mainwaring is to return to basics. In the case of 643 rd, a return to basics has involved the revitalized effort to become, not only a humanitarian based vertical engineering company, but a war fighting engineer based company that has both the skills to provide needed aid as well as war fighting proficiency to win on the battlefield. On a more somber note, The Wolfpack Ohana bid a much deserved farewell to 1SG Hector Medina, which has served the Wolfpack and the 84 th EN BN with pride and dedication the last two years. We would like to welcome his predecessor, 1SG Kenneth McKinney, which transferred from HHC, and has vowed to continue the tradition of the Wolfpack leading and preparing troops for the daunting missions ahead, in which the Wolfpack is always up for the challenge.
Seen here: 1st Squad (Rutledge, Warthon, Grivoskbi, Cheeseboro) during an Entering and Clearing exercise 28JAN13
SOLDIER OF THE ISSUE: SPC Jesse Ramey, 91B Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic
Operations This month, the Wolfpack "Operators" have been busy behind the scenes and leading from the front. We praise SSG Uriel Reyes, SPC Mikael Hutchings, SPC Jeremy Perry and SPC Benjamin Ponchetti for showing their dedication to the traditions of our Army while orchestrating and directing preparations for the Change of Responsibility between outgoing First Sergeant Hector F. Medina II and incoming First Sergeant Kenneth McKinney. The ceremony was a rousing success and we are glad to welcome First Sergeant Kenneth McKinney to the Wolfpack Ohana. As we said goodbye to one familiar face, we were fortunate to welcome another! The “Operators” welcomed SGT John Sanders back to the team where he assumes his former position and lends some stability, experience and mentorship that he proved not so long ago. We also welcome PFC Michael Edman to the training team! One of the highlights of this month was the welcome home ceremony and reintegration of 1 st Platoon, “Roughnecks”, from their mission in Thailand. SPC Jamie Rose Aquiningoc, SPC Brittany Keyser, SPC Franklin Brower and SPC Mikael Hutchings dedicated their Saturday to welcoming home our Soldiers and whisking them through some necessary reintegration tasks. SGT Thomas Njuguna photographed the warm smiles as families welcomed home their loved ones. Stay tuned to the Facebook page for some photos of the event! Dedication is something you can expect from the “Operators”, and that was certainly true for SSG Uriel Reyes, SPC Kenneth Bakholdin and PV2 Christopher Fry. The trio spent their Sunday firing one of the most adrenaline pumping weapons systems that the Army has to offer. PV2 Christopher Fry celebrated his birthday the same weekend! As we head in to the next month, we prepare to deploy more Soldiers from the Wolfpack to Guam, including SSG Nicholas Hagar and SPC Franklin Brower. We must also say goodbye to a true veteran of the “Operators” team, SPC Mikael Hutchings. He moves on to his next assignment at Fort Carson, Colorado. Lastly, a big Mahalo goes out to SPC Franklin Brower for demonstrating his aptitude for journalism and helping write this article!
SSG Uriel Reyes (Not Pictured), SPC Mikael Hutchings, SPC Jeremy Perry (Not Pictured), SPC Benjamin Ponchetti and SPC Franklin Brower prepare for the Change of Responsibility Ceremony.
SPC Brink, SPC Hurst, and SPC Thaxton dance along with the children of a local special needs school
US Ambassador to Thailand poses in the new class-
In just 32 days the school is transformed from a pile of dirt to 1680 square feet of classroom, complete with lights, fans, windows, and a two-stall latrine.
Completed school building with Singapore, Thai, and US Soldiers standing behind the children and staff of the Ban Hua Wang Krang School
SGT Albarico, SPC Quirindongo, SPC Mayberry, SPC Tremper, and SPC Mardanov enjoying the fruits of their labor after completing renovations to HHC’s picnic table in the Motor Pool.
PVT Aquino and SPC Mauser navigate through the Medical Obstacle Course on South Range during
SPC Bruderer, his wife Amanda, and their three children with CPT Mainwaring and 1SG Medina during his reenlistment ceremony at Wheeler Army Airfield.
SPC Lewis and SPC Leucht sit on a Mock Board held by 4th PLT NCO’s honing their skills in hopes of becoming the Army’s next E5s.
Portion of a MOUT site building 4th PLT is currently planning to finish. The MOUT site is located at Anderson Air Force base on the northern tip of Guam.
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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:
Visit us on FaceBook! 643rd EN CO—Wolfpack!
FRG Meeting March 20th at 530pm in the Battalion Classroom
Battalion Spring Festival on March 23rd, please see the attached flier for all the details
Post Fun Fest on March 30th at Sills Filed (Large field by the pool and main post flag). Lots of games and activities for the kids and adults! The FRG will be doing a food booth as a fundraiser, if you are interested in helping please contact Traci for more details!
Key Callers will be calling! Please be aware during the next week spouses will be receiving a phone call from their Key Caller. We are just calling to verify that your contact information is correct and to introduce you to your Key Caller. This person will be the one to contact you during the deployment if needed. Also feel free to contact your Key Caller with questions or concerns and they can help direct them to the correct person.
FRG Training with ACS Master Resiliency Training – March 5 @ 0900-1100 FRG Essentials (FRG 101, Key Caller, Fundraising, VMIS) – March 12 @ 0900-1345 FRG Essentials (FRG 101, Key Caller) – March 26 @ 1800-2015 FRG Essentials (Fundraising, VMIS) – March 27 @ 1800-2015 Master Resiliency Training – April 2 @ 0900-1100 FRG Essentials (FRG 101, Key Caller, Fundraising, VMIS) – April 9 @ 0900-1345
FRG Committee Contacts: FRG Leader: Traci Kendall (253)720-2033, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary: Gabrielle Johnson Treasurers: Kristina Spohn and Beatrice Marshall Activities Coordinator: Position Vacant Fundraising Chair people: Deanna Zulkoski Hospitality Chairperson: Kristina Spohn Points of Contact/Key Callers: Deanna Zulkoski (570) 472-8262 email@example.com Kristina Spohn (810) 516-1550 firstname.lastname@example.org Soldier Liaison PPOCs: SPC Fernando Gaeta