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3rd Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment Texas Army National Guard 700 Spring Creek Pkwy. Wylie, TX 75098 785-568-5689


Hooaa 4 HOA is an authorized yearbook publication for members of the Texas Military Forces and the Department of Defense. Contents of the yearbook are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, the National Guard Bureau, the State of Texas, the Adjutant General’s Department of Texas, the Texas Military Forces, Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, or the Department of Defense. The editorial content of this publication is the responsibility of the Task Force Raptor (3-124) Public Affairs Officer. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts or supplements, does not constitute endorsement of the products or services advertised by the U.S. Army. Content was edited, prepared and provided by the Task Force Raptor (3-124) Public Affairs Officer.

Table of Contents Squadron Commander Squadron Command Sgt. Maj. Texas Cavalry History Task Force Raptor Time line The Troopers Command Team Staff Sections Headquarters Troop Alpha Troop Bravo Troop Charlie Troop 702 MP Co. 712 MP Co. Pre-Mobilization LDESP PMT Camp Swift Annual Training Ft. Bliss Mobilization Casing Ceremonies Camp Atterbury Deployment Transfer of Authority Entry Control Point Flight Line Quick Reaction Force Port Security Site Security Team Manda Bay, Kenya Dire Dawa, Ethiopia

4 5 8 14 17 18 20 23 27 31 35 41 45 51 52 53 58 63 64 66 69 70 72 73 74 75 76 78 79

Military to Military Exchanges Djibouti Uganda Tanzania Rwanda Mozambique Comoros Kenya Burundi Training in the Horn of Africa Raptor Challenge(Spur Ride) Airborne Ops Warrior Leader Course Combatives French Desert Survival Under the African Sun Capt’s Cup Volunteer work MWR Coming Home Transfer of Authority Homecoming

81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 91 92 94 95 96 97 99 100 104 106 109 110 112



Squadron Commander

he 3rd Squadron, with the 702nd and 712th MP Companies, has added another successful chapter into the distinguished history of the 124th Cavalry Regiment. Though the 124th Cavalry is the youngest of the combat regiments within the Texas Army National Guard, it has arguably been the most deployed in history. Our Horn of Africa deployment adds to the list of previous deployments by this Regiment, to include the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the Multinational Forces and Observers mission in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. Since the formation of Task Force Raptor 01 April 2011, I have been very proud and impressed with our initiative, tenacity, and execution in all that we have done. We created and equipped our team in record time and subsequently completed all required pre-mobilization training 90 days prior to mobilization date. As an encore, we unilaterally planned, prepared, and conducted an exceptional gun-truck gunnery at Fort Bliss, TX in which we qualified 100% of our 70 crews with over half qualifying ‘Distinguished’. We moved the Task Force, with minimal assistance, from home station armories to Camp Swift and Fort Bliss in Texas, to Camp Atterbury, Indiana and onto Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti with 100% accountability of all personnel and equipment. This Task Force was so ready and well-prepared that our brief stay at Camp Atterbury and subsequent validation was a matter of formality. Throughout our deployment to the Horn of Africa, we effectively integrated ourselves into almost every facet of operations across all four service components and civilian agencies within CJTF-HOA. We provided force protection for enduring missions in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya and re-wrote and improved upon every process in which we were involved with. We conducted nearly 60 military-to-military missions in nine different countries training over 25,000 Soldiers for operations in Somalia and Darfur. We were the first airborne unit from the Texas Army National Guard to conduct active airborne operations in a combat zone. We conducted four Raptor Challenge Spur Rides awarding nearly 80 sets of Silver Spurs, graduated over 80 Soldiers in the US Army Warrior Leader Course, and completed nearly 300 promotions and advancements. In all, we far exceeded the accomplishments of any of our predecessors in the history of the HOA mission. Of course, it was the Soldiers and leaders within this Task Force who were instrumental in making all of this success possible. It is they who enabled this Squadron to make a significant impact within the Horn of Africa and leave behind a defining legacy for followon units to aspire to. I am confident that this unit has earned its place in the annals of the 124th Cavalry Regiment and I am convinced that we are one of the greatest units from the Texas Army National Guard to deploy in the post-911 era.

Tom L. Hooker 6

Ta S k fo rC e r a p To r


Squadron Cmd Sgt. Maj.

s we come to a close on our deployment to the Horn of Africa, I cannot help but reflect on the many challenges and accomplishments we’ve had along the way. From the freezing weather at Camp Atterbury to the sweltering final road march of the Raptor Challenge, from the intricate HOA joint environment to the legacy stigmas we amended “on board” Camp Lemonnier – Task Force Raptor has endured more than most units. Every Soldier should be proud of the way we came together to accomplish the mission: improving the force protection on Camp Lemonnier (and other remote FOLs), touching the lives of many African partner-nation Service Members, and returning home with no serious injuries. Although not by design, our Task Force, consisting of two Cavalry Scout Troops, one LRS Troop, two Military Police Companies, a diverse Headquarters Troop and volunteers from different units all over the state, seemed to be the perfect fit for our mission. Throughout the year, the Soldiers of Task Force Raptor endeavored to improve themselves physically, mentally and professionally and departed HOA better than they arrived. As I tracked our Soldiers’ personal improvements, the Squadron Commander and I were sincerely impressed to see how our Soldiers surpassed all expectations. During the nine months we were in Africa, our Task Force has accumulatively lost 4,529 pounds, improved 12,971 points on the Army Physical Fitness Test, completed 879 college hours, completed 7,554 hours of Army Correspondence Courses, volunteered 3,122 hours towards African community programs, and 73% completed the Army’s Self Structured Development (SSD) courses. This was all accomplished primarily during off-duty time and while completing our HOA mission above the standard. Additionally, many of our Soldiers jumped at every opportunity to attend courses and training offered while deployed, including: Raptor Challenge Spur Ride, French Forces Desert Survival, Combatives Level I, and the German Marksmanship qualification (Schutzenschnur) to name a few. Our supporting staff played a critical role in keeping the mission rolling along. The operations, administrative, communications and logistic sections gave 110% to provide the best support possible, often working long hours to complete their mission and even worked to support other Army units on Camp Lemonnier. Although their work was mostly unseen, many of the accomplishments mentioned above would have not been possible without them. I truly believe nearly every Soldier grew from the Horn of Africa deployment and I am honored to have served as the senior enlisted leader to the great men and women of Task Forces Raptor. As we return stateside, some will stay with our unit while others will move on to future assignments, ETS or retire. However, all of us have the great distinction of serving with one of the Texas Army National Guard’s most historic and storied units- and now all are a part of the 124th Cavalry history.

Dwight D. Sparks 7


Te x a S C ava L ry H i STo ry



“a man afoot is half a man.” - a Texas Civil War cavalryman


he history of Texas is the history of cavalry. The Texas Army National Guard traces its lineage back to the year 1822 and the Republic of Mexico’s Militia Act organizing two militia districts along the Brazos and Colorado Rivers. In 1823 Stephen F. Austin, the Father of Texas, issued a call for mounted volunteers to “range” the colonies for local defense. With the onset of the Texas Revolution, the Texas Permanent Council in Nov-Dec 1835 reorganized and expanded the existing militia companies into a regular infantry and artillery regiment, a cavalry battalion and auxiliary forces. During the revolution, Texas Cavalry units fought at Gonzales, Béxar, The Alamo, Goliad, and San Jacinto (the decisive battle of the war). After the independence of Texas, Comanche raids along the Republic’s frontier in 1841 resulted in congressional authorization of “Minute Companies” manned by individual volunteers under the county judge’s jurisdiction. The Texas congress additionally authorized the creation of regular troops and the 1st Cavalry Regiment was organized. The 1st never reached full authorization and probably remained at battalion strength. During the republic era, Texas Cavalry, both regular and militia, fought at Plum Creek, Salado, and numerous Indian campaigns and with the Mier and Santa Fe Expeditions. With Texas’ annexation to the United States and the threat of war with the Republic of Mexico, U.S. Major General (Brevet) Zachary Taylor called upon the governor of the new state of Texas to provide volunteers. Texas raised eight cavalry regiments and battalions, most notably the 1st and 2nd Regiment’s of Mounted Rifles. Texas Cavalry fought in the Texas, Monterrey, Buena Vista and Mexico City campaigns. In 1861 Texas seceded from the United States and contributed 129 Cavalry organizations to the Confederacy and two for the Union. In the Civil War, the Texas Cavalry fought in every campaign in the Western and Trans-Mississippi theatres. Over 60,000 Texans served in the Confederate military. The monument to Texas’ Confederate soldiers on the capital grounds in Austin has a simple monogram upon it; “Died for States’ Rights.” Inscribed upon a monument to fallen Confederate soldiers in Richmond, Virginia is the following epitaph: Not for fame or reward, not for place or rank, Nor lured by ambition or goaded by necessity, But in simple obedience to duty as they understood it, These men suffered all, sacrificed all, endured all and died.

Te x a S C ava L ry H i STo ry With the defeat of the Confederate States of America and Texas’ occupation by United States’ reconstruction forces, all state military organizations were disbanded. After reconstruction and the withdrawal of US occupation forces from Texas, new militia organizations were created. From 1876 to 1879 a new regiment of Texas Cavalry was raised, the 1st Texas Cavalry. Company A, “Gillespie Mounted Rifles,” was headquartered at Fredericksburg; Company B, “Prairie Rangers,” at Oyster Creek; Company E, “San Bernard Mounted Rifles,” at Brazoria; Company G, “Montel Guards,” at Montel; Company H, “Heads Prairie Guard,” at Heads Prairie; Company I, “Dimmit Rangers,” at Carrizo Springs and Company K, “Frio County Volunteer Guard.” The unit moved and was reorganized many times during the 19th Century and never exceeded squadron level strength. In January 1918, the US Secretary of War authorized Texas to organize two brigades of cavalry, to replace the US Army’s 15th Cavalry Division patrolling the US-Mexican border. The 15th Division was needed in France. During this mobilization, the Armistice ending WW I was signed and the Texas units were returned to state control. In December 1920, the 1st Texas Cavalry BDE (Houston) was reorganized as the 56th Cavalry BDE and the six Texas Cavalry regiments consisting of; the 2nd Cavalry Regiment (San Antonio), 3rd Cavalry Regiment (Brenham), 4th Texas Cavalry Regiment (Amarillo), 5th Texas Cavalry Regiment (Dallas), 6th Texas Cavalry Regiment (Texarkana), and the 7th Cavalry Regiment (Houston), were reorganized into the new 1st Texas Cavalry Regiment. The 1st Texas Cavalry Regiment was re-designated the 112th Cavalry Regiment, which together with the 56th Machine Gun Squadron (Texas) and the 111th Cavalry Regiment (New Mexico) made up the 56th Cavalry BDE. The original 1st Cavalry Regiment dating back to post-Civil War Texas was deactivated, never to return. In March 1929, the Machine Gun Squadron and the 2nd Squadron of the 112th Cavalry Regiment were re-organized into the 124th Cavalry Regiment. 124th Cavalry Regimental HQs was in Austin, the 1st Squadron in Ft. Worth (A and B Troops, formerly E and G Troops/2nd Squadron, 112th Cavalry Regiment) and the 2nd Squadron in Houston with E Troop at Brenham and F Troop at Mineral Wells. The regimental Band was also at Mineral Wells, with the Machine Gun Troop in San Antonio. All elements of the 124th Cavalry Regiment were federally recognized 20 March 1929. This action released the 111th Cavalry back to New Mexico’s control and made the 56th Cavalry BDE an all Texas organization. Prior to World War II, the 124th Cavalry Regiment was complete with all three squadrons and the 112th Cavalry forming the 56th Cavalry Brigade. In October 1940 the 56th Cavalry Brigade had the only purely “Horse Regiments” left in the National Guard. All other National Guard Cavalry Divisions and Brigades were inactivated and their regiments converted to Field Artillery, Coast Artillery, and Horse and Mechanized Regiments. Of the nine National Guard Brigades from which to choose, the 56th survived and entered active Federal Service. This decision was based on the caliber and training of the Brigade men and officers. The former 56th Cavalry BDE, in 2001, serves as 2nd BDE, 49th Armored Division.

Early in February 1941, the Brigade received orders to change stations with the 1st Cavalry Division stationed at the lower border posts. The 56th Cavalry Brigade Headquarters and moved to Fort McIntosh at Laredo, Texas. The 112th Regiment relieved the 5th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Clark, Texas. The 124th relieved the 12th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Brown in Brownsville and Fort Ringgold at Rio Grande City, Texas. The troops were becoming acquainted with barracks life when the Brigade was ordered back to Fort Bliss for desert maneuvers in June 1940, with the 1st Cavalry Division in Texas and New Mexico. The largest review of Horse Soldiers since the Civil War took place while at Fort Bliss, made up on the 1st Cavalry Division and the 56th Cavalry Brigade -- some 13,000 mounted men. Major General Innis P. Swift stated, “Of all the regiments participating, the 124th was the most outstanding, both in appearance and performance.” Just seven months earlier they had been weekend civilian soldiers. The 124th was sent to Fort Brown in Brownsville, Texas where it remained, patrolling the border. On May 10, 1944, the 124th Regiment moved by train from the border posts to Fort Riley, Kansas, taking all horses and horse equipment. At Fort Riley, the Regiment received an A-2 Priority Rating for procurement of controlled Items of equipment. Personnel adjustments were made, and they received new men and officers in order to be “combat ready.” On July 7, 1944, the Regiment departed Fort Riley via rail for Camp Anzio, California, a port of embarkation near Los Angeles, California. Prior to departure, the Regiment turned in its horses to the Quartermaster at Fort Riley, but loaded all saddles and other mounted equipment for shipment overseas. On July 25, 1944, the Regiment boarded the U. S. Ship General H. W. Butner, a troop transport, bound for India and the ChinaBurma India (CBI) theatre of war. The voyage ended in Bombay, India on August 26, 1944. From Bombay, the unit moved by wide gauge rail across the country to the Ramgarh Training Center in the Province of Bihar, India, some 150 miles West of Calcutta. Here the Regiment learned that it would be dismounted, but would retain its Cavalry designation. Orders were received to reorganize into a long-range penetration unit; and the unit was re-designated the “124th Cavalry (Special).” Mounted equipment was stored and dismounted type items of clothing were issued. The Regiment departed Ramgarh, India for Burma on October 20, 1944. Transportation was on primitive railroad and river steamer up the Brahmaputra River to Gauhatti, India, then by narrow gauge rail through the Assam Valley to Ledo; from Ledo to Myitkyina, Burma by C-47 aircraft, then to Camp Landis by truck. The Regiment arrived in Burma on October 31, 1944. It was here that the Mars Task Force was formed. This organization contained the 124th Cavalry, the 475th Infantry, a Chinese Combat Team, two Battalions of Field Artillery, some Quartermaster mule pack troops, and medical and other miscellaneous units needed in a combat force of such magnitude.

Te x a S C ava L ry H i STo ry The Mars Task Force was given the mission of clearing Northern Burma of Japanese forces and opening the Burma Road for truck traffic to China. In order to accomplish this mission, the force moved more than 200 miles by foot over the most hazardous terrain in Burma, over mountainous jungles, steep trails, swift streams and rivers on hot days and cold nights, in rain and mud, coupled with the ever fear of mite typhus. This was all done while being cut off completely from friendly forces and having to depend entirely upon air supply. The 124th established contact with the enemy on January 19, 1945, and fought continuously for 17 days. With the objective secure, an administrative bivouac was declared around February 15, 1945. The only Medal of Honor awarded for ground action in the CBI Theater was presented posthumously to Lt. Jack Knight for heroic action in battle. Lt. Knight was commanding “F” Troop of the 124th Cavalry at the time of his death. The hill on which he was killed was named Knight’s Hill by order of Admiral Louis Mountbatten. The Regiment departed the combat zone for Lashio on February 28, 1945; and after a short stay in Lashio was flown over “The Hump” to Kunming, China, completing the move on May 14. On June 11, orders were issued for inactivation of the Regiment, and on July 1, 1945, the 124th Cavalry Regiment (Special) was deactivated. With the onset of World War II, to meet the demand for increased anti-armor capabilities, the 36th (TEXAS) Division organized the 636th Tank Destroyer Battalion (TD) from the antitank and antiaircraft elements of the 131st, 132nd and 133rd Field Artillery Regiments in December 1941. The 636th TD fought in the Mediterranean, Italian and European Theaters of War with the 36th (TEXAS) Division. Following the war, the 636th TD was reorganized and redesignated the 136th Heavy Tank Battalion. Following WWII, numerous reorganizations occurred in the Texas Army National Guard with the 124th fulfilling both cavalry and armor roles and serving in both the 36th (TEXAS) and 49th Divisions. In 1959, the US Army’s regimental system was modified and all but three active Cavalry Regiments (2nd, 3rd and 11th ACRs) were reorganized into multiple battalion level organizations. The former A TRP/124th Cavalry Regiment was reorganized into the current 1st Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment. Should there be a need to mobilize more squadrons of the 124th Regiment, the pre-1959 troops would be activated and expanded to form subsequent squadrons, i.e., B TRP/124th Cavalry Regiment would from 2nd SQD/124th Cavalry Regiment, etc. In the event of full-scale mobilization, this will allow each former army regiment to produce up to fifteen battalion level organizations from the original unit. The 1st Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment was reactivated and reorganized in 1973 and headquartered in Waco. In 2001, the Brigade Reconnaissance Troops (BRT) were activated for each BDE in the 49th Armored Division. These troops (G, H, and I/124th Cavalry Regiment) proudly fly the 124th guidon, carrying with them the same lineage and honors of the original regiment. In early 2004, 180 Troopers were mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, they conducted one year of operations and returned home with no loss of life. In September 2005 the Squadron was once again mobilized, this time in support of the Multi-National Force and Observer mission on the Sinai Peninsula in the Arab Republic of Egypt. The Squadron is now part of the 36th Infantry Division since the 49th Armored Division was reflagged in 2004.

Ta S k fo rC e r a p To r


August 26, 2010

December 22, 2010

April 1, 2011

3rd Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment receives notification of sourcing for possible deployment.

3rd Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment receives alert order to prepare for deployment.

3rd Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment receives 702 & 712 Military Police Companies to form Task Force Raptor.

Ta S k fo rC e r a p To r

June 20, 2011

August 6, 2011

January 4th, 2012

Task Force Raptor (3-124 CAV) receives its Department of the Army mobilization order to the Horn of Africa.

Task Force Raptor (3-124 CAV) begins formal pre-mobilization training at Camp Swift, TX. Task Force Raptor (3-124 CAV) reports to mobilization platform at Camp Atterbury, then on to the Horn of Africa.


T h e T ro o p e r s



Squadron Commander LTC Tom L. Hooker

s q u a d ro n co m m a n d Te a m

Executive Officer Major Edward Dextraze

Command Sgt. Major CSM Dwight D. Sparks

CPT Yates, Douglas S1 OIC CWO2 Smallwood, Carolyn S1 Asst. OIC SFC Williams, Tommy S1 NCOIC

CPT Grimm, Bradley S2 OIC SSG Holland, William S2 NCOIC

MAJ Amerson, Timothy S3 OIC SGM Roach, Charles S3 NCOIC

CPT Alba, Alexander SQ PA CPT Renfrow, Trent SQ PA 1LT Bautista, Vicente SQ PA CPT Anderson, Brett SQ Chaplain

sTa f f s ecT i o n s CPT Belsaas, Laurel S4 OIC CWO2 Cox, Timothy S4 Asst. OIC SFC Lopez, Federico S4 NCOIC

CWO3 Berryman, Jerry SQ Maintenance OIC WO1 Belsaas, Jason SQ Maint. Asst. OIC SSG Zuniga, Sergio SQ Maint. NCOIC

CWO2 Patterson, Zachary S6 OIC SSG Derusha, Christopher S6 NCOIC

s p ec i a l sTa f f

MAJ Hull, Patricia SQ LNO MAJ Turner, Jon SQ JAG SSG McClendon, Malcolm SQ PAO

h e a d q u a rTe r s T ro o p

CPT Sedtal, Christopher Headquarters Troop Commander

1LT Escoto, Laurent Headquarters Troop Executive Officer

1SG Morton, Louis Headquarters Troop 1SG


Alejos, Erik Almendarez, Michael Anderson, Aaron Anspaugh, Robert Azande, Boaz Baldwin, Kenneth Barker, Michael Becmer, Jonathan Benavidez, Juan Bizzell, Miles Blackshear, Curtis Brooks, Kevin Buentello, Jose Davis, Johnathan Davis, Kenneth Dobbins, Dallas Edgefield, James Espinoza, Samuel Filbeck, Andrew Fraser, Cortland Godwin, Jeffery Gray, David Gresbach, Katelyn Grimsley, Robert Grisso, Brian Harwell, Justin Havens, Joshua Holmes, Christopher Jacobs, David Ketter, Michael Lauersdorf, Victor Leahy, Anderson Lewis, Joshua Marion, Isaiah McMullen, Jeffery Morgan, Joshua Nelson, Travis Oates, Stephen Orchard, John Patterson, Robert Riley, Amanda Salazar, George

h e a d q u a rTe r s T ro o p Schumann, James Scott, Christopher Sekula, John Shamburger, Joseph Smiley, Brendan Smith, Jason Solis, Jeremy Spires, Brian Stoddard, Duane Tilson, Melissa Tofte, Erik Towles, Jonathan Webster, Andrew Wesolowski, Steven Young, Frank Young, Matthew Zigler, James

headquarters Troop promotions

CPT Anderson, Brett Ryan SFC Azande, Boaz Miidu SGT Becmer, Jonathan Gregory CPT Belsaas, Laurel SPC Blackshear, Curtis Andrew MSG Brooks, Kevin Christopher CW2 Cox, Timothy Russell

SGT Davis, Johnathan Daniel SSG Derusha, Christopher Brian SSG Edgefield, James Terrance 1LT Escoto, Laurent Jelani SFC Filbeck, Andrew Lee SGT Fraser, Cortland Scott SGT Godwin, Jeffery Allen

SGT Harwell, Justin Dwayne SSG Holland, William Ray SSG Jacobs, David SGT Ketter, Michael Robert CPT Nelson, Travis Lee SGT Oates, Stephen Daniel SGM Roach, Charles Raymond

SGT Schumann, James Stuart SSG Smith, Jason Troy SSG Tofte, Erik David SPC Webster, Andrew Lee 1LT Wesolowski, Steven Louis

a l p h a T ro o p

CPT Newcomer, Todd Alpha Troop Commander

1LT Brown, Ashton Alpha Troop Executive Officer

1SG Hardman, Timothy Alpha Troop 1SG


Adame, Gustavo Alban, Fabian Aleman, Robert Brooks, Debra Brown, James Brown, Rebecca Bryant, David Cardenas, Michael Carten, Joseph Cline, Aaron Collins, Carlton Conn, Gregory Cormack, Christopher Coyne, Clifton Cright, Dennis Crissey, Patrick Cummings, Tommy Davis, Elgin Davis, Roderick Dominguez, Teofilo Eberlin, William Ellis, Cory Fowler, Matthew Garcia, Luis Garcia, San Juanita Garrett, Don Gobin, Jake Guiette, Luke Hall, Kevin Hardy, Jeremy Harris, Jim Hinojosa, Mario Holden, Aaron Holland, Roger Horton, Patrick James, Andrew Jaramillo, Carlos Johnson, Kattathu Johnson, Stacy Kerr, Gregory Latinbaldon, Robert Ledlow, Loren

a l p h a T ro o p Lee, Rose Luper, Joshua Mahoney, Malcolm McIntosh, Christopher Mendoza, Cassandra Mims, Timply Molano, Manuel Munoz, Josue Oneal, Eddie Pena, Johnny Perez, Arthur Perkins, Lamont Plata, Patrick Puckett, Michael Ramirez, Angel Riley, Kevin Rios, Jaime Rodriguez, Josue Ruiz, Marcus Ryan, Timothy Shivram, Joseph Sorrells, Duston Speights, Archie Spickard, Dickie Staggs, Jared Stokes, Sidney Valencia, Tatiana Villareal, Jesus Werner, Adam White, Joshua Wiley, Melissa Williams, Brady Womble, Levy Zacharias, Lisa Zamora, Juan Zuniga, Megan

SPC Adame, Gustavo Julian SPC Aleman, Robert Jonathan SSG Brown, James Douglas SPC Cline, Aaron Michael SSG Conn, Gregory Allen SPC Coyne, Clifton Edward SSG Cummings, Tommy Joe

a Troop promotions

SGT Garcia, San Juanita SPC Garrett, Don Alan SSG Gobin, Jake Richard 1SG Hardman, Timothy Alan SGT Holden, Aaron Bryce SFC Holland, Roger Earl Ii SGT Horton, Patrick Richard

SGT James, Andrew Carnell Jr SPC Jaramillo, Carlos Nicholas SFC Ledlow, Loren Richard SPC Lee, Rose Mae SGT Mcintosh, Christopher Louis SGT Pena, Johnny Leo SFC Perez, Arthur Valdez

SPC Ramirez, Angel Javier SSG Staggs, Jared Layne SGT White, Joshua Matthew SPC Wiley, Melissa SSG Womble, Levy Aaron SFC Zacharias, Lisa

b r avo T ro o p

CPT Branford, Karim Bravo Troop Commander

1LT Cummings, Charles Bravo Troop Executive Officer

SFC Stille, Curtis Bravo Troop 1SG


Attaway, Jonathan Batki, Cyrus Birmes, Gary Bransom, Dustin Bruce, Henry Burden, Rodney Cadigan, Gary Caudill, Jason Chidester, David Cohen, Dak Corniel, Kenneth Cox, Travis Dendy, David Edmon, Bobbye Estepp, Kevin Flores, Enrique Flores, Larry Gonzales, Christopher Green, Jason Hamblin, Steven Harmon, Marcus Harrington, Marco Hinojosa, Arturo Kern, Justin Kincy, Michael Langford, Jessica Langley, Clinton Lee, Michael Lopez, Aaron Lopez, Chris Lynch, Danny Lynn, Nickolas Maloch, Delwin Marquez, Juan Martinez, Emmanuel McIntyre, Dustin Mckee, Alphadel Mehta, Nikki Nelson, Caleb Nelson, Jeffery Patterson, Michael Phillippus, Paul

b r avo T ro o p Quebedeaux, Joseph Quiroga, Rogelio Rabb, Jeffrey Ramseier, Benjamin Roder, Christopher Roder, Corey Rojas, Roland Rubin, Kevin Sanchez, Heather Smith, Vicente Sorenson, Candace Stone, Christopher Stovall, Alfrado Strickland, Michael Taylor, Alonzo Tolliver, Marvin Tomota, Taz Torres, Ricky Townsend, Kristopher Trevino, Richard Vaca, Luis Vela, Joe Waites, Brittany Watkins, Chase Watson, Cole White, Eva Willis, Jeffery Willis, Robert Womack, Roosevelt York, David Young, Ronald Zamora, Simon Zapata, Shane Zigmond, Taylor (not pictured)

SPC Attaway, Jonathan David SPC Batki, Cyrus 1LT Bransom, Dustin Allen SPC Cohen, Dak Tupper SPC Green, Jason Wade SPC Harrington, Marco D SPC Hinojosa, Arturo

b Troop promotions

SSG Lee, Michael Paul SPC Lopez, Aaron Michael SSG Marquez, Juan Javier SPC Nelson, Jeffrey Connor SPC Patterson, Michael David SPC Philippus, Paul Ryan SGT Quebedeaux, Joseph Wayne

1LT Ramseier, Benjamin Jeffrey SSG Roder, Christopher Aaron SSG Roder, Corey Allen SPC Rojas, Rolando Medrano SFC Sanchez, Heather Leanne SPC Sorenson, Candace Denise SGT Strickland, Michael Jermaine

SPC Tomota, Taz Duran SSG Townsend, Kristopher Erik SPC Vela, Joe Angel SGT Watson, Cole Lynn SSG Willis, Robert Christopher SFC Zamora, Simon Lee SPC Zapata, Shane Nicolas

c h a r l i e T ro o p

CPT Cowart, Robert Charlie Troop Commander

1LT Hanrahan, Timothy Charlie Troop Executive Officer

1SG Max, Christopher Charlie Troop 1SG


Acovio, Paul Andersen, Jonathan Ator, Corey Ausborn, Jeffrey Ausborn, Jonathan Belver, Matthew Blackwell, Mark Briseno, Matthew Brown, Christopher Cantu, Ricardo Chavarria, Cesar Chewning, Christopher Clavel, Joseph Cook, Leighton Cutbirth, Andrew Del Rio, Luis DeLeon, Alan Diaz, Jaime Dolbin, Christopher Doolittle, James Dougherty, Todd Drell, Timothy Dunham, Jordan Edgar, Joel Encinas, Raul Espitia, Vince Estrada, Jesus Everett, Joshua Fernandez, Terrell Flores, Steven Gamez, Trinidad Garcia, Carlos Gilbert, David Gomez, Rudy Gray, Richard Gressett, Larry Grobe, Kristopher Guerra, Gilbert Haines, Brannon Hallford, Jaylon Hasten, Carey Hergert, Tyrell

c h a r l i e T ro o p Hernandez, Cameron Hernandez, Enrique Herrera, Carlos Hinojosa, Rumaldo Hogue, George Honkus, Nichlos Hurd, Ryan Jackman, Chad Jenkins, Curtis Johnson, Ravean Letke, Joshua Lewien, Joseph Llanas, Julian Lopez, Heriberto Lopez, Saul Marr, Justin Martinez, Rafael McKinney, Xavier Medina, Anthony Merriman, Vincent Molina, Jeremy Munsinger, Corey Neiderhauser, James Nussbaum, Jonathan Ozuna, Valdemar Perez, Gregory Perez, Joseph Peterson, Jason Pickens, Christopher Quinn, Shawn Ramirez, Anthony Richter, David Roberts, Aaron Roberts, Jason Robinson, Daniel Robledo, Tomas Rodgers, Ramon Rodriguez, Luis Rosario, Adam Ruales, Marcel Russell, Aubrey Salazar, Danyel

Salgado-Vindel, Emerson Saltmarsh, Christopher Sanchez, Enriquez Sandoval, Luis Santiago, Gilbert Seefluth, Chance Shultz, Joe Siwecki, Thadeus Smith, Brandon Soye, William Tatum, Dylan Thompson, Joshua Thompson, Zachary Tyreman, Adrian Valdez, Victor Vanderlick, Francis Vanmeter, Victor Vasquez, Gil Villalobos, Alejandro Ward, Jack Welborn, Andrew Welton, James Williams, Antwon Williams, Eric Williams, Peter Yarnell, Paul

c Troop promotions SSG Andersen, Jonathan Luther SPC Ator, Corey Thomas SGT Ausborn, Jeffrey Michael SPC Ausborn, Johnathon Mitchel SSG Belver, Matthew Wayne SFC Cantu, Ricardo SPC Chewning, Christopher M SGT Cutbirth, James Andrew SPC Delrio, Luis Manuel SPC Diaz, Jaime SPC Dolbin, Christopher Wayne SGT Doolittle, James Scott SGT Dougherty, Todd Owen

SPC Dunham, Jordan Mitchell SPC Edgar, Joel Trevor SFC Encinas, Raul Valdivia Jr SPC Estrada, Jesus Adrian SSG Everett, Joshua Glenn SSG Gomez, Rudy Jr SGT Guerra, Gilberto Jr SSG Hasten, Carey Ray SPC Jenkins, Curtis Neale SGT Letke, Joshua Trent SPC Lopez, Saul Ernesteo Jr 1SG Max, Christopher H SGT Mckinney, Xavier Jamal

SGT Munsinger, Corey Shane SPC Niederhauser, James Michael SPC Nussbaum, Jonathan Daniel SPC Ozuna, Valdemar Iii SGT Perez, Joseph Manuel SSG Pickens, Christopher Jerry SPC Quinn, Shawn Matthew SPC Richter, David Francis SGT Roberts, Jason Dale SGT Robinson, Daniel SGT Rodgers, Ramoan Tramell SSG Rodriguez, Luis SPC Russell, Aubrey James

SPC Salgadovindel, Emerson Enman SPC Sandoval, Luis Geovanny SSG Santiago, Gilbert Jonathan SPC Soye, William Douglas Jr SPC Tatum, Dylan Scott SPC Tyreman, Adrian Johannes SGT Vanmeter, Joshua Ryan SPC Vasquez, Gil Jr SSG Welborn, Andrew Steven

c h a r l i e T ro o p

7 0 2 m i l i Ta ry co m pa n y

CPT Ortiz, Jeffrey 702 MP Co. Commander

1LT Colia, Matthew 702 MP Co. Executive Officer

1SG Stephens, Gregory 702 MP Co. 1SG


Andino, Noel Arredondo, Adam Avent, Joe Baer, Chad Barton, Patrick Berry, Curtis Brazell, Stephen Brown, David Brown, Jerrick Chhun, Mark Christian, William Christmas, Jerrod Coleman, Damone Colter, Gerlisa Corsiga, Danilo Curry, Emma Dias, Aaron Earles, Krystal Easdon, Michael Elder, Kyle Faulkenberry, Matthew Fisher, Darrell Fitzgerald, Ryan Gregory, Adam Grosshuesch, Steven Harrison, Seth Hatch, Candy Hernandez, Idalissa Holland, Margorie Jenkins, Anthony Johnson, James Johnson, John Laureano, Juan Leon, Jamie Lewis, Matthew Lopez, Humberto Martin III, Marvin Matthews, Alayna McKelroy, Brandon Mejias, Tommy Messer, Jake Mills, Daniel

7 0 2 m i l i Ta ry co m pa n y Morgan, Kerry Morton, Matthew Mott, Eric Norman, Todd Obregon, Juan Oshay, Forrest Pacatte, Robert Patterson, Dane Payne, Kyle Peters, Trevor Powell, Matthew Rasmussen, Jesse Roach, Travis Robertson, William Romo, Joseph Segura, Ricardo Smith, Sheldon Stidham, Kevin Stowers, Andrew Swiney, Jessica Talasek, Michael Thorpe, Michael Tinsley, Beau Torres, David Turner, Daniel Vance, Seth Vaquera, Cody Vega, William Vohs, Joshua Walters, David Washington, Amir Williams, Dale Winkelman, Heath

SSG Berry, Curtis Edward Jr SPC Coleman, Damone Gregory CPT Colia, Matthew Carey SPC Colter, Gerlisa Lashay SPC Corsiga, Danilo Perez

702 mp co. promotions

SPC Faulkenberry, Matthew Mersho SSG Johnson, John Derek SSG Leon, Jamie Jeremiah SSG Lewis, Matthew Wade SPC Mckelroy, Brandon Ray

CPT Ortiz, Jeffrey James 1LT Patterson, Dane Evan SPC Rasmussen, Jesse Bryan SPC Smith, Sheldon Lovell SPC Swiney, Jessica Antionettede

SPC Vaquera, Cody Joseph SPC Vega, William Richardo SSG Walters, David Devon MSG Williams, Dale Edward

7 1 2 m i l i Ta ry co m pa n y

CPT Houston, Nicole 712 MP Co. Commander

1LT Jaimez, Juan 712 MP Co. Executive Officer

1SG Louis Smith 712 MP Co. 1SG


Abshire, Cody Aguiniga, Oscar Aguirre, Henry Allen, Randale Atwood, Jessica Baker, Vern Banda, Edith Barona, Erik Bedell, Marisa Black, Xavier Blair, Errick Blair, John Boyle, Charles Bradford, Tony Briggs, Tamatha Byrd, Laertes Calvert, Barry Campbell, Courtney Carbajal, Juan Cardona, Maricela Chapa, Cynthia Clements, Charles Cole, Nicholas Conlee, Albert Coronado, Laura Croft, James Delaney, Morgen Deleon, Regina Demarest, Jolyn Desoto, Thomas Dickerson, Steven Doremil, Richardson Dove, Nanesha Elizee, Edwin Espitia, Esteban Ettayeb, Mouncef Fitzgerald, Marcus Flowers, Joshua Forrester, Stephen Garcia, Daniel Garcia, Tanya Garcia, Yolanda

7 1 2 m i l i Ta ry co m pa n y Gibson, Emanuel Glaze, Carissa Gonzalez, Anthony Grant, April Grant, Johnathan Gross, Earl Guevara, Diana Hargrave, Denton Harmon, Larry Harrelson, Jim Harris, Michael Harrison, Troy Hayes, Thomas Hefner, Robin Hernandez, Pablo Icedo, Enrique Johnson, Quincy Jones, Steven Karalles, Benjamin Kent, Cory Keyte, Charles Kirk, Jared Kline, Kyle Lara, Anthony Laureano, Jessica Leon, Tanisha Lewis, Brandon Lewis, Corrington Llewellyn, Jared Lott, Clayton McPike, Kyle Ornelas, Juan Parker, Christopher Pena, Nancy Perez, Candice Perez, Christopher Phillips, John Porter, Kelly Powell, Anthony Price, Denesha Quinton, Laura Radley, Geoffery

Rangel, Jacinto Ray, Jessie Rivera, Amanda Rodriguez, Anthony Runnels, Eric Sanmiguel, Samantha Sandefer, Ricky Schmidt, Jeff Scruggs, William Shaw, Michael Sifuentes, Gernaro Smith, William Smothermon, Kyle Stafford, Linda Stoddart, Nagina Swimmer, Zachary Szumowski, Vincent Thompson, Lauren Titley, Paul Trower, John Vanwave, Shad Vazquez, Jeff Veilleux, Chad Walsh, Brian Weaver, Trey Wingo, Harold Wingo, Lisa Young, Julian

712 mp co. promotions SSG Abshire, Cody Ryan SSG Banda, Edith SPC Barona, Erik SPC Boyle, Charles Allen SPC Cole, Nicholas William SPC Delaney, Morgen Maurine SPC Dove, Nanesha Jonae SPC Ettayeb, Mouncef SGT Garcia, Daniel Jr SPC Garcia, Tanya Lizbeth SPC Garcia, Yolanda

SPC Gonzalez, Anthony Michael SPC Grant, April Elisa SSG Hayes, Thomas CPT Jaimez, Juan SGT Kline, Kyle Forrest SGT Lara, Anthony SGT Laureano, Jessica Lois SPC Lewis, Corrington Craig SSG Llewellyn, Jared Sanderson SPC Lott, Clayton Andrew Jr SFC Mckee, Alphadel

SGT Ornelas, Juan Alaniz Jr SSG Perez, Candice Marie SPC Quinton, Laura Lucia SPC Sandefer, Ricky Lynn Jr SSG Sanmiguel, Samantha Rae SSG Scruggs, William Franklin SPC Shaw, Michael David SPC Sifuentes, Gernaro Ii SPC Smothermon, Kyle David SGT Stoddart, Nagina Renee SPC Swimmer, Zachary William

SPC Thompson, Lauren Anne SSG Trower, John Wesley SPC Vanwave, Shad Christopher SGT Vazquez, Jeff SGT Weaver, Trey Lee

7 1 2 m i l i Ta ry co m pa n y


P r e- m o b T r a i n i n g

136th Regiment, Regional Training Institute, Texas Army National Guard



Leader Development education for Sustained Peace


JULY 23-25, 2011

fficers and noncommissioned officers from Task Force Raptor attended the Leaders Development Education for Sustained Peace seminar in Dallas, TX. The seminar was designed to give the Soldiers a better understanding of the culture, geography, and political climate in the Horn of Africa.

P r e- m o b T r a i n i n g

Pre-mobilization Training Camp Swift

AUGUST - SEPTEMBER, 2011 ask Force Raptor soldiers arrive at Pre-Mobilization Training at Camp Swift, TX. For three weeks in the hot Texas weather the Soldiers brushed up on their basic marksmanship skills, mounted and dismounted tactics, urban operations, and land navigation skills.


“It was without a doubt hot, but it added value to the training; it pushed you (BELOW) WO1 Jason Belsaas, WO1 Tim Cox, SPC Jonathan Davis, SGT Kenneth Davis and SGT Joshua Havens, Headquarters Troop, plot out their grid points. The Soldiers from the Task Force sharpen their navigational skills in the Land Nav Course.

(RIGHT) Soldiers from C Troop at Combative Class.

(ABOVE) SSG Jeffrey Smith, 712 MP Co., provides outside security as a second team clears the rooms inside, during urban operations training. (ABOVE) SSG Sergio Zuniga, Headquarters Troop, launches a dummy grenade at warrior tasks lane.

P r e- m o b T r a i n i n g

C a m P S W i FT

to the limits physically while still having to concentrate on what was being taught...�


(BELOW) Soldiers from A Troop, carry an injured soldier during dismounted drills. (BELOW RIGHT) SPC Johnny PeĂąa, A Troop, signals for gas at a chemical, biological, radiological and/or nuclear attack training scenario.

(ABOVE CENTER) PFC Yolanda Garcia and PV2s Morgan Delaney and Nicholas Cole, 712th MP Co.,navigate towards their next grid point. (ABOVE) 1LT Josue Rodriguez and Spc. Kevin Hall, A Troop, call in to higher headquarters during dismounted drills.


marksmanship Training

(BELOW) WO1 Jason Belsaas, Headquarters Troop, qualifies with the M4 rifle.

(ABOVE) Task Force Raptor Soldiers qualify at the M4 range.

(RIGHT) Task Force Raptor Soldiers disassemble and reassemble crew serve weapons during Pre-Marksmanship Instruction.

mounted and Dismounted Lanes

A Troop Soldiers carry an injured soldier during a mock gas drill at dismounted drill training.

SPC Patrick Crissy, A Troop, scans the road side as his platoon moves through an IED detection training environment.

SPC Eva White, B Troop, stands guard as a fellow Soldier searches an enemy prisoner of war for contraband or weapons at dismounted drills training.


P r e- m o b T r a i n i n g

C a m P S W i FT

“We don’t teach them how to beat somebody up, we teach them enough to hold on till their buddy comes, and that’s how we win the fight...”

(CLOCKWISE) SPC Andrew Cutbirth and SGT Christopher Brown, C Troop; SSG Harold Wingo and SPC Denton Hargrave, 712 MP Co.; and CPT and WO1 Belsaas, Headquarters Troop, practice their Army Combatives Skills.

1LT Juan Jaimez, 712 MP Co., talks to the village elder in a mock training scenario during mounted drills training

SSG Sergio Zuniga evacuates a battlefield casualty, SFC Federico Lopez, Headquarters Troop, during dismounted drills training.

SPC Jacinto Rangel, 712 MP Co., covers his six as his squad begins dismounted drills training.


“Firing a 240 from atop a moving Humvee rocks...�

(BELOW) Soldiers from C Troop pull security while conducting night urban operations.

(RIGHT) Task Force Raptor up early preparing their gun trucks for the ranges.

(ABOVE) SPC Humberto Lopez, 702 MP Co., and a fellow Soldier practice weapons maintenance before their team hits the gun truck gunnery lane. (ABOVE) SGT Christopher Pickens from the Site Security Team, C Troop, exits a building he and his team have just cleared during urban operations training.

annUaL Training

Fo rT b L i S S

“It takes a steady arm to get the gun on target while the vehicle is moving”

mCgregor range

(BELOW) Soldiers from Site Security Team, C Troop, practice their skills on the M9 range. (BELOW RIGHT) SPC Richard Gray from the Site Security Team, C Troop, launches off the rappel tower.

(ABOVE CENTER) SPC Richardson Doremil, 712th MP Co., shows PV1 April Grant, what he needs her to do during an Entry Controlled Point exercise. (ABOVE) SSG Edith Banda, 712 MP Co., takes mass from Squadron Chaplain, CPT Brett Anderson, before the gun truck gunnery lane begins.


Site Security Team

SPC Danny Robinson, Site Security Team, C Troop, rappels off the rappel tower.

PFC Gil Vazquez, Site Security Team, C SPC Dylan Tatum, Site Security Team, C Troop, prepares to launch off the rappel Troop, launches off the rappel tower. tower.

SPC Enrique Hernandez from the Site Security Team, C Troop, kicks in the door as his team prepares to rush in and clear the building.

SPC Jaylon Hallford from the Site Security Team, C Troop, pulls security while his team members search the remaining rooms behind him.

Site Security Team members, C Troop, get ready to make their next move as they go from building to building, clearing each one.

Soldiers from 2nd platoon, C Troop, conducting urban night operations. These ops require the Soldiers to wear night vision goggles so that they may move around freely and unnoticed in the dark.

annUaL Training

Fo rT b L i S S gun Truck gunnery

At McGregor Range in Fort Bliss, Texas the Soldiers from Task Force Raptor qualified on Gun Truck Gunnery. The exercise prepared the Troopers for the upcoming force protection mission they would be responsible for on the deployment.

(CLOCKWISE ON LEFT) - Soldiers from the 712th MP Co., take a moment for a photo op as they wait their turn to light up the Gun Truck Gunnery range. - A Soldier from 712th MP Co. prepares his weapon for the Gun Truck Gunnery range. - Soldiers await their turn to get some on the Gun Truck Gunnery range. - PV2 Lewis Corrington, 712th MP Co., checks his sites as he prepares to qualify on the Gun Truck Gunnery range. - PV2 Mike Shaw, 712th MP Co., siting in as he prepares for the Gun Truck Gunnery range.

(ABOVE) PFC Valdemar Ozuna, C Troop, sites-in in preparation to qualify on the range.


m o b i L i z aT i o n


“It’s the families whom are left to worry and deal with the same day-to-day things.

Casing Ceremonies and Home Station activities

On January the 4th, 2011, Task Force Raptor reported for duty at the different home armory locations. Ceremonies included the casing of the unit’s colors and a final chance for the Troopers to say their good-byes to family and friends.

(ABOVE) Friends and family from Charlie Troop come to see their Troopers off at the unit’s deployment ceremony.

m o b i L i z aT i o n

I know that’s hard, and we will make sure to always remember their sacrifice as well.” (FAR LEFT) SPC Kevin Riley, A Troop, high fives his son as he prepares to deploy. (LEFT) 1LT Vicente Bautista, Headquarters Troop, says goodbye to his family at the unit’s deployment ceremony. (BELOW) 1LT Brian Grisso, Headquarters Troop, poses for a quick picture with his children at the unit’s deployment ceremony.

Casing of the Colors

(BELOW) LTC Tom L. Hooker and CSM Dwight D. Sparks prepare to case the colors as Headquarters Troop waits to follow suit.

(ABOVE) 1SG Timothy Hardman, A Troop, and his family at the unit’s deployment ceremony. (ABOVE) SPC Jordan Dunham, C Troop, says his good byes at the unit’s deployment ceremony.


“Here it’s the cold, in Africa it’ll be the heat, so either way (BELOW) SGT Marisa Bedell, 712 MP Co., waits for the command to shoot on target at the Reflexive Fire Range.

(RIGHT) SPC Patrick Plata and SPC Adam Werner, A Troop, providing security at Base Defense Training.

(ABOVE) Members of the Site Security Team, C Troop, wait to be picked up at their extraction point after conducting sensitive item recovery training. (ABOVE) Troopers from A Troop brave the cold weather to conduct over watch duties from a watchtower at Base Defense Training.

J mTC C a m P aT Te r b U ry

we’re going to experience extreme weather, might as well to learn to deal with it.” (BELOW) SPC Brandon McKelroy, 702nd MP Co., stands guard while conducting flight line security ops.

baSe oPeraTionS

(BOTTOM RIGHT) SGT Christopher Brown, Site Security Team, C Troop, and his fellow team members head back to their exfil point after a training exercise

(ABOVE CENTER) CPL Cole Watson, B Troop, passes out training materials to students playing the role of foreign military personnel. (ABOVE) SPCs Jerrod Christmas and Emma Curry from the 702nd MP Co., stand guard while conducting flight line security ops.



D e p loy m e n t to t h e horn of africa



“Attention aboard Camp Lemonnier. Attention a board Camp Lemonnier.” transfer of authority with 1st Battalion, 161st field artillery CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – For the past few weeks, Texas Army National Guardsmen have heard “welcome aboard,” an unfamiliar phrase in a long list of U.S. Navy terminology the soldiers will have to learn as the they took the reins here, Feb. 16.

Texas soldiers to take advantage of the unique opportunities the Kansas Guardsmen enjoyed, such as sharing best practices with host nation militaries in the East Africa region. “This is a great opportunity for our men and women to not

The transfer of authority ceremony ended with a prayer by U.S. Army Capt. Brett Anderson, Task Force Raptor (3-124th Cavalry) chaplain, encouraging the men and women to take charge of their new responsibilities. He believes the Texas soldiers have a special advantage as they work with the East African people.

On that day, at a transfer of authority ceremony, Task Force Raptor, U.S. Army 3rd Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment, Texas Army National Guard, took over the security forces role here from the U.S. Army 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery, Kansas Army National Guard. The ceremony, held at the camp’s turf field, involved the casing of the 1-161st Field Artillery’s colors, signifying the completion of the unit’s deployment. The battalion’s Command Sgt. Maj. Ricky Matticks commented on the end of a successful mission. “My soldiers exceeded expectations—not only in our security force role, but in the military-to-military missions we were able to be part of,” Matticks said. “I’m very proud of what they accomplished.” Matticks also encouraged the

“The fact that we get to do partnership training, I think, is going to be very educational,” said U.S. Army Maj. Timothy Amerson, Task Force Raptor (3-124th Cavalry) operations officer. “That we can possibly have an impact on foreign military relations and make a difference in a country is always a positive thing.”

only mentor and learn from our counterparts, but to learn about the culture as well,” Matticks said. “They need to get out and really get to know the people they are working with. This is the best advice I can give the task force.” The soldiers from Task Force Raptor then uncased their own colors as they officially assumed duties and expressed excitement about the missions ahead.

“Having traveled with the military to several different places around the world, the one thing that other nations know about the United States is Texas,” Anderson said. “I encourage the soldiers to use that as an in-road to accomplish their missions. This is their chance to represent not only our nation, but our great state as well.” Immediately following the ceremony the soldiers took heed and raised the Texas state flag at the unit’s main building, clearly showing that Texas is, as the Navy says, “on deck.”

camp lemonnier horn of africa

“Texas is on deck and has assumed command and control of HOA mission...” (LEFT) LTC Tom L. Hooker and CSM Dwight D. Sparks uncase the unit’s colors to signify they have taken command of the mission. (BELOW) Task Force Raptor stands ready to uncase the colors at the transfer of authority ceremony.

(FAR LEFT) CPT Robert Cowart, C Troop, stands at parade rest at the transfer of authority ceremony. (LEFT) VIP visitors at the transfer of authority ceremony. (ABOVE) LTC Tom L. Hooker and CSM Dwight D. Sparks uncase the unit’s colors to signify they have taken command of the mission.


entry control point O

“It was a good feeling knowing that what I was doing here on the ECP was keeping everyone on camp safe.” SPC Thompson, 712 MP Co.

ne of the most important responsibilities Task Force Raptor assumed on its deployment to the Horn of Africa was the Entry Control Point (ECP) mission. This required 24/7 vigilance and safeguarding of the entrance to Camp Lemonnier. The 712th MP Co. took charge of the task and maintained it throughout the entire deployment. Soldiers manning the post were required to work long hours to make sure all vehicles and personnel were safe to come aboard the camp.

(ABOVE) SPC Yolanda Garcia, 712 MP Co., stands watch over the ECP

(ABOVE) The soldiers from 712th MP Co. work on Camp Lemonnier’s Entry Control Point. (TOP LFT) SPC Nicholas Cole inspects the undercarriage of a vehicle. (TOP RGT) SPCs Charles Clements and Genaro Sifuentes waiving a vehicle through. (CTR) SPC Tony Bradford checks IDs. (BTM LFT) SPC Jolyn Demarest standing guard. (BTM RGT) SPC Amanda Rivera signaling a vehicle to stop.

camp lemonnier horn of africa

flight line The weather on Camp Lemonnier was

easily over 100 degrees Fahrenheit on any given day from May to September. The weather on Camp Lemonnier’s flight line was, let’s say, sligthly higher. Reports stated that on the hot tarmac, temperatures reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit, giving the Task Force’s Soldiers plenty reason to keep hydrated before and during shifts. Troopers from Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie Troops, as well as the 702nd MP Co., rotated the task throughout the deployment. This mission required these troopers to pull 8 to 12 hour shifts to safeguard the aviation assets on camp.

(ABOVE) The soldiers from Task Force Raptor guard Camp Lemonnier’s Flight Line. (TOP LEFT) SSG Jake Gobin remains vigilant on post.

“I remember it being unbelievably hot on the tarmac. As an NCO you really had to step up your game and make sure your soldiers were staying hydrated and resting.” SGT Steven Hamblin, A Troop.

“One of the most memorable stories from the flight line was when PFC Fitzgerald got out of her truck and stood in front of a humongous C130 stopping it right in middle of the runway” SGT Krystal Earles, 702 MP Co.

Quick reaction force The mission to protect Camp

“It was educational to work with the Djiboutian military. It gave us a look at how they worked.� SSG Henry Bruce, B Troop.

Lemonnier extended beyond its boundaries. The Troopers commanded a Quick Reaction Force to respond to any outside situation or threat to the camp and its assets. The QRF additionally carried out patrol missions outside the wire in conjunction with Djiboutian military to search for illegal activity in old WWII bunkers built around the city.

(ABOVE) SPC Alonzo Taylor, B Troop, checks his comms in preparation for a QRF mission out in the surrounding areas of Camp Lemonnier. The QRF regularly patrolled the areas with Djiboutian military.

(ABOVE) Task Force Soldiers patrol old WWII bunkers with Djiboutian military. (CTR) 1LT Benjamin Ramsier and SGT Michael Strickland. (BTM LFT) A look inside a bunker. (BTM RGT) SSG Marvin Tolliver, B Troop, inspects the interior of the bunker.

camp lemonnier horn of africa

port Security The Djiboutian port is one of the

most important ports in the Horn of Africa. The U.S. Navy uses this as an strategic stop for supplies, refuelling and a little R&R for its Sailors and Marines. The Task Force provided the much needed security for these vessels while they were in port here.

“The mission at the port was indeed an important one. We worked along side U.S. Navy personnel to ensure their ships were safe while in port here.” SGT David Bryant, A Troop.

ammo Supply point P

robably the least thought about mission the Task Force assumed was the Ammo Supply Point (ASP). Like the other the missions on Camp Lemonnier, this point needed to be manned 24/7 as the Soldiers guarded the camp’s ammo cache.

(ABOVE) HOA CSM Gary Smith, visits with Soldiers at the ASP.

“The ASP mission, because of its location and minimal activity made for a long day on shift.” SGT Chance Seefluth C Troop.

Site Security team Charlie Troop’s Site Security Team (SST)

provided airborne capable security 24/7 to the Combined Joint Personnel Recovery Task Force in the Combined Joint Area of Operations. During the nine month deployment, they not only provided constant security coverage but also conducted regular training to include over 10 airborne training missions, seven fast rope training insertions and live fire exercises from buddy team through squad attack day and night. SST’s professionalism and hard work enabled the platoon to gain the respect and trust of the CJPRTF. Consequently, they were utilized in more contingency courses of action than any previous National Guard Unit in their position.

camp lemonnier horn of africa

manda Bay, Kenya 712th MP Co., 3rd Platoon’s mission was

to provide force protection to Camp Simba, a small naval camp located in Manda Bay, Kenya. There, the Soldiers completed well over 40 escort missions to and from the local airport making sure U.S. personnel arrived and departed safely. They also provided security at the front gate, which saw roughly 30-40 personnel passing through each day. The platoon worked closely with the Kenyan Navy to ensure their camp remained secure by providing random patrols around the perimeter and suggesting ways to improve perimeter security. A select group of soldiers also worked alongside NCIS to provide a personal security detachment to Major General Baker, commander of HOA, during his visits to Camp Simba. Keeping in line with Task Force Raptor’s standards, 3rd platoon completed 100% weapons qualification on both the M4 and M9, and kept up with physical and professional developments - all while maintaining its mission.

“The fact that we were apart from the rest of the Squadron, made us a much tighter unit.” SPC Nanesha Dove, 712 MP Co.

(ABOVE RGT) Troopers in Manda Bay aim to better their marksmanship scores at the rifle range. (CENTER) 3rd Platoon sits down for a meal together and discuss their day’s mission. (BTM) Soldiers at Manda Bay enjoying time off, pose for a softball team photo.

B eyo n D c a m p l e m o n n i e r horn of africa

Dire Dawa, ethiopia Alpha Troop was responsible for

force protection in the area of Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. Their responsibilities included fixed site security of Camp Gilbert, site force protection for Navy Seabee well-drilling teams and mission force protection for Army Civil Affairs Teams. The Civil Affairs Team missions included VETCAPS, MEDCAPS and bed net distributions. During their force protection mission, they actively sought out relationships with the local police. All of these missions helped increase the good-will between the Ethiopian population and the U.S. military mission there. The Troop’s females were instrumental in enhancing the CAT Women’s Discussion Groups which saw an increase attendees from around 25 to well over 200. This success was recognized by the U.S. Ambassador and Ethiopian Government Officials. Many members of the Troop became involved in the St. Augustine Girl’s Orphanage during their free time. Their involvement enhanced and enriched the lives of the girl’s at the orphanage. (ABOVE LFT) SPC Michael Cardenas takes time to visit with a girl at the local orphanage. (CENTER) SPC San Juanita Garcia visits with local leaders to discuss ways to improve assistance to women at a local college. (BOTTOM) Soldiers from A Troop visit a local village to deliver bed netting.

“It was a great experience to work with the people of Ethiopia, in particular the young girls at the orphanage.” SPC Rose Lee, A Troop.

“My experience working with the women’s initiative group in Ethiopia helped me better understand the importance of our mission here.” SGT San Juanita, Garcia, A Troop.

m i l i ta ry to m i l i ta ry e x c h a n g e s horn of africa

the men and women of task force raptor had the unique opportunity to exchange best practices with several partner nations in the horn of africa. exchanges included basic marksmanship skills, basic infantry skills, mortar skills, mechanized infantry maneuvers, combat lifesaver skills, tactical combat casualty care, noncommissioned and commissioned officer development, small unit maneuvers, military operations in urban terrain, and a post command exercise. soldiers from the task force were selected to participate in these exchanges based on their military job skills and experience. in the end, the soldiers participating in these exchanges expanded not only their own military knowledge, but gained a better understanding for each other’s cultures. the following pages tell a pictorial story of their experiences


Djibouti armed forces

MAJ Hull, Patricia CPT Sedtal, Christopher CPT Yates, Douglas SFC Filbeck, Andrew SFC Holland, Roger SSG Baker, Vern SSG Schmidt, Jeff SPC Hinojosa, Rumaldo

m i l i ta ry to m i l i ta ry e x c h a n g e s horn of africa

Uganda People’s Defense force

CPT Alba, Alexander CPT Cowart, Robert CPT Grimm, Bradley CPT Renfrow, Trent 1LT Lauersdorf, Victor 1LT Welton, James CW3 Berryman, Jerry 1SG Max, Christopher SFC Baldwin, Kenneth SFC Stille, Curtis SSG Barker, Michael SSG Holland, William SSG Lewis, Matthew SSG Smith, Jason SSG Zuniga, Sergio SGT Becmer, Jonathan SGT Earles, Krystal SGT Icedo, Enrique CPL Stickland, Michael SPC Gamez, Trinidad SPC James, Andrew SPC Quinn, Shawn SPC Roberts, Aaron SPC Saltmarsh, Christopher

tanzania People’s Defense force

CPT Jaimez, Jamie CPT Newcomer, Todd 1LT Escoto, Laurent 1LT Holmes, Christopher SGM Roach, Charles 1SG Morton, Louis 1SG Max, Christopher MSG Spires, Brian SFC Aguirre, Henry SFC Radley, Geoffery SSG Alban-Montalvo, Fabian SSG Bizzell, Miles SSG Ledlow, Loren SSG Rubin, Kevin SGT Horton, Robert SGT Willis, Robert SPC Morgan, Joshua

m i l i ta ry to m i l i ta ry e x c h a n g e s horn of africa

rwandan Defense force

MAJ Amerson, Timothy MAJ Dextraze, Edward CPT Ortiz, Jeffrey 1LT Cummings, Charles SSG Abshire, Cody SSG Alban-Montalvo, Fabian SSG Roder, Corey SSG Staggs, Darrin SSG Thomas, Jon SSG Wingo, Harold SSG Zamora, Juan SPC Morgan, Joshua SPC Webster, Andrew

mozambique armed Defense forces

CW3 Berryman, Jerry SGT Espinoza, Samuel SGT Fraser, Cortland SGT Jacobs, David SPC Sorrells, Duston

m i l i ta ry to m i l i ta ry e x c h a n g e s horn of africa

comoran Defense force

1LT Bransom, Dustin 1LT Hanrahan, Timothy 1SG Smith, Louis 1SG Stephens, Gregory 1SG Yarnell, Paul SSG Gilbert, David

Kenya armed services

SFC Filbeck, Andrew SPC Hinojosa, Rumaldo

m i l i ta ry to m i l i ta ry e x c h a n g e s horn of africa

Burundi national Defense forces

1LT Bautista,Vincente 1LT Colia, Matthew CW2 Patterson, Zachary MSG Williams, Dale SFC Hardman, Timothy SFC Marr, Justin SFC Rosario, Adam SFC Siwecki, Thad SSG Easdon, Michael SSG Zamora, Simon SGT Brown, Christopher SGT Cox, Travis SGT Cummings, Tommy SGT Hernandez, Idalissa SGT Jacobs, David CPT Branford, Karim CPL Oates, Stephen SPC Ramirez, Anthony SPC Solis, Jeremy PFC Leahy, Anderson


training in the horn of africa

in addition to the workload and the missions task force raptor was in charge of, the Soldiers managed to maintain a high level of training to keep their skills sharp. Junior leaders had the opportunity to develop professionally by attending the Warrior Leader course. new and experienced caV troopers partook in an ageold cavalry tradition to earn their Silver Spurs. airborne Soldiers kept up with their rigging and jumping skills. and all troopers participated in Marksmanship training, the army Physical fitness test, and combatives training to keep mentally and physically focused.


raptor challenge/Spur ride

The tradition of earning one’s spurs reaches back

to the beginning of the cavalry. When green Troopers first arrived at their new cavalry assignments they were in need of extensive training, especially in the area of swordsmanship from atop a horse. During this phase of training, the Troopers were not allowed to wear spurs because this would only serve to compound their problems. Only when they were able to prove their ability to perform with their horse and saber were they awarded spurs. In the deserts of Djibouti, Task Force Raptor Troopers were given the opportunity to earn their spurs by displaying their abilities in modern basic combat infantry skills... minus the horses.

training in the horn of africa

airborne ops

LTC Tom Hooker and MAJ Timothy SPC Xavier McKinney from C Troop checks Spc. Curtis Jenkins’ gear before Amerson ready to jump. their jump.

SGT Jason Roberts from C Troop awaits to be given the “green light” to jump.

Task Force Raptor Airborne Troopers jumping over the deserts of Djibouti.

SSG Victor Valdez, C Troop, heads to the rally point after a jump.

Task Force Raptor Airborne Troopers jumping over the deserts of Djibouti.

Task Force Raptor Soldiers honing their marksmanship skills at the various ranges held throughout the Arta Desert outside Djibouti City.

training in the horn of africa

Warrior Leader course Junior and up-and-coming leaders from Task

Force Raptor participated in a Warrior Leader Course (WLC), which teaches the fundamentals of leadership. The course curriculum includes instruction in Leadership Skills, Training Skills and Warfighting Skills. (CLOCKWISE ON LEFT) - SPC Joshua Thompson, C Troop, runs to set up firing position during a base patrol training event. - WLC Candidates recite the NCO creed. - WLC Candidates receiving instruction in a classroom setting. - SPC Enrique Flores from B Troop lays down suppressive fire during a base patrol training event. - SPC Matthew Fowler from A troop leads his squad through maneuver drills.

(ABOVE) WLC graduates awaiting to receive their certificates of completion at their graduation ceremony.


combatives course

1SG Christopher Max, C Troop, teaching a Combatives Course participant how to defend himself.

SGT Aaron Holder, A Troop, practicing holds on fellow Combative Course participants.

SPC Curtis Jenkins, C Troop, placing a hold on a fellow Combatives Course participant.

SSG Candice Perez escapes from a hold.

Task Force Raptor Warriors going at it.

Task Force Raptor Warriors going at it.

Throughout the deployment, the Troopers did their best to keep their bodies in the best physical shape possible in preparation for the Army Physical Fitness Test.

training in the horn of africa

french Desert Survival course A select few from the Task Force participated

in the French military’s 10-day Desert Survival Combat Course, which spanned more than 50 miles. The participants were taught combat lifesaving skills, field tactics, land navigation, proper hydration and water source location, survival cooking, fire building, setting traps, caravanning and weapons training.

(CLOCKWISE ON LEFT) - SPC Aaron Cline, A Troop, training next to a French military counterpart. - SPC Jeffery McMullen, HHT, and a French Soldier take a break from the hot Djiboutian sun. - SGT Stephen Oates, HHT, leads his squad during one of the course’s long road marches. - French and U.S. Soldiers preparing dinner. - French Marine instructor giving a class in the field to the courses participants.

(ABOVE) A graduation class of U.S. and French Soldiers pause to take a photo at the completion of French Desert Survival Course

army Physical fitness test

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the men and women of task force raptor stood guard long hours manning camp Lemonnier’s front entrance, flight line and ammo supply points. the Quick reaction force and the Site Security team constantly prepared for the call that would take them into harms way to protect the camp’s personnel and equipment. their time off was valuable; the personnel at the Moral, Welfare and recreation made sure the troopers had plenty of activities and fun to get their minds off of work for a while.



amp Lemonnier hosts a bi-annual Captain’s Cup in which Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and Marines are invited to compete in various events such as softball, kickball, water basketball, volleyball, tired tire, 9-ball, hand-bag toss, and even a local Djibouti Idol. The Troopers from the Task Force suited up, cleared their throats and went forth taking many victories. So many in fact, that the presiding officials had to place a handicap on our teams in order to be fair to the other less talented groups. In the end the men and women of the Task Force came through with 12 1st and 2nd places in the various events.

1 1

1st Place Kick Ball


1st Place hand bag toss


2nd place water bball

3 SGT Christopher Derusha & CW2 Timothy Cox, HHT


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4 1st place soft ball 1st Place 5 Men’s Djibouti Idol

1st place 6 women’s Djibouti Idol

2nd place 7 women’s Djibouti Idol


CPT Laurel Belsaas, HHT

SPC Larry Harmon, 712 MP Co.



SGT Debra Brooks, A Troop

8 2nd Place women’s tug of war 9 2nd place men’s tug of war 3 2nd place women’s tired tire 8



SSG Candice Perez, 712 MP

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SGT Gilbert Guerra C Troop


SSG Henry Bruce & 1SG Danny Lynch, B Troop

11 2nd Place 9-Ball 12 1st Place shuffle board 13 2nd place Men’s tired tire

CPL Archie Speights A Troop


a helping hand T

hroughout the deployment, Task Force Raptor Troopers used their time off to help the local communities. Whether it was re-painting a basketball court, visiting children at an orphanage, cleaning up a wildlife rescue, or participating in an English discussion group so that local Djiboutians could practice their English, selfless Soldiers donated their time and efforts for great causes across the Horn of Africa.

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LEFT PAGE (Clockwise) - SPC Anderson Leahy, HHT, checks the health of a local Djiboutian during a medical exchange with Djiboutian clinics. - SPC Casandra Mendoza, A Troop, spends time with the girls at a local orphanage in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. - SSG Jason Smith, HHT, CPL Andrew James, A Troop, and SGT Enrique Icedo, 712 MP Co., visit Ugandan Soldiers’s children at a school in Singo, Uganda. -SGT Dallas Dobbins, HHT, prunes the hedges at the DECAN Wildlife Rescue in Djibouti. - MAJ Edward Dextraze, HHT, helps with clean up efforts at a local school in Djibouti. - SGT Debra Brooks, A Troop, repaints the basketball court at a local Djiboutian school. - SGT Debra Brooks, A Troop, holds the ladder as SSG James Edgefield, HHT paints the backboard at a local school in Djibouti. CENTER and RIGHT PAGE (Clockwise) - MAJ Timothy Amerson, HHT, helps with clean up efforts at a local school in Djibouti. - SPC Angel Ramirez, A Troop, plays volleyball at a girls orphanage in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. - SPC Jeremy Solis hands out backpacks to children at a Djiboutian school. - SGT Enrique Icedo, 712 MP Co. visiting with school children in Singo, Uganda. - SPC Cory Ellis takes time to play his favorite songs for local children in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia.

bove, Soldiers from the Task Force explore the waters off the coast time to unwind ofADjibouti. The Gulf of Tadjoura is home to many species of coral and

marine life. On the opposite page, Troopers take time to visit wildlife refuges and safaris in the Horn of Africa. Djibouti offered amazing vistas on way to Lac Assal (salt lake), one of the saltiest on earth. Soldiers also took advantage of the many MWR trips available to visit places like Uganda, Tanzania, Mt. Kilimanjaro, South Africa, Europe, and even Thailand.

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co m i n g h o m e

Since redeployment, Soldiers from Task Force Raptor have gone their separate ways, returning to family, friends, work, and school. The deployment made a significant interruption in their civilian lives, and as time moves on, the Troopers will readjust to ‘normal’. The Soldiers made acquaintances and developed relationships on camp Lemonnier, in the local Djiboutian community, and in the numerous countries the Squadron conducted military-to-military exchanges. Regardless of the language, it is clear the Soldiers of the Texas national guard made an impression on the people across the east Africa region. Soldiers developed friendships and created memories that won’t fade with time. As the Squadron cases its colors in Africa and prepares to uncase them back in Texas the men and women of Task Force Raptor should be proud of their accomplishments, recall the bonds they made, and remember the lives they touched.


Transfer of Authority with 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery. “The casing and uncasing of the flags today marks a big day for the 3-124th CAV and for the 2-138th FA. It marks the outstanding job the CAV did and the big shoes the FA will have to fill. The leaders and the super Soldiers of the 3-124th CAV did a fantastic job, there wasn’t a day that went by that we didn’t have something good to say about your Squadron. You provided support to the camp, to HOA, and to the JFLIC. You should be proud of your accomplishments and remember it for years to come. After you get back home, remember that you did a lot of great things for the Army, the Army National Guard, HOA, and the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen here at Camp Lemonnier. Thanks for all the support and all you’ve done.” COL Masaki G. Kuwanis, CDR JFLIC

co m i n g h o m e

co m i n g h o m e

A homecoming to remember

n oTe S

n oTe S

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HOOAH4HOA Yearbook  

Task Force Raptor, 3rd Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment, Texas Army National Guard, Deployment to the Horn of Africa yearbook.

HOOAH4HOA Yearbook  

Task Force Raptor, 3rd Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment, Texas Army National Guard, Deployment to the Horn of Africa yearbook.