Kansas Sentinel November 2012

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Contents Departments From the Commander ............................................ 3 Guard News......................................................... 6-9 ►731st participates in Vibrant Response 13 ... 6 ►A tanker’s love .............................................. 6 ►Better communication and coordination ........ 7

►Pawlosky accepts command ........................ 7 ►AASF receives much needed upgrades ....... 8

Features

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he Kansas Sentinel is an authorized, official publication of the Kansas Army National Guard (KSARNG). It is published to provide command and public information about the KSARNG and its Soldiers, at home and deployed. It is published by the 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment (MPAD), out of Topeka, Kan. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and subjects, and do not necessarily reflect the official views, opinions, or constitute an endorsement by the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense or the Department of the Army. This publication does not supersede information presented in any other official Army or Department of Defense publication. The Kansas Sentinel reserves edited rights to all material. Published works may be reprinted, except where copyrighted, provided credit is given to the Kansas Sentinel and the authors. Distribution of the Kansas Sentinel is electronic. The submission of articles, photos, artwork, and letters is encouraged. Please address to: Editor, Kansas Sentinel, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, 2722 SW Topeka Blvd., Topeka, KS 66611. Telephone: 785-274-1896, or by e-mail at: phillip.witzke@ng.army.mil

KSNG aids U.S. Security Assistance Program ....... 4

Assistant Adjutant General-Land Component: Brig. Gen. Eric Peck

KSNG revs it up at NASCAR races ...................... 10

Publisher: Maj. D. Matt Keane, 105th MPAD Commander

TAG APFT brings returning challengers ............... 12 KSARNG demonstrates CBRN skills................... 13 Guard welcomes new officers to ranks................. 14

Mark Anthony Butcher II, 9, returning athlete, is getting ready to perform his two minutes of push-ups at the Adjutant General’s Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) Fitness Challenge, Sept. 22 at the Great Plains Joint Training Center, Salina, Kan. This was his second year of competition at the Adjutant General’s APFT Fitness Challenge. Photo by Pfc. Anna Laurin, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

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Editors: Capt. Michael Sullivan Capt. Benjamin Gruver Sgt. 1st Class Phillip Witzke Sgt. 1st Class Bill McGinnis Staff Sgt. Jessica Barnett Spc. Jessica Haney Graphic Design and Layout: Capt. Michael Sullivan Capt. Benjamin Gruver Spc. Jessica Haney Pfc. Anna Laurin


FROMTHE COMMANDER As I write this we are more certain based on the election outcomes that we will experience reduced funding impacting both our time and ability to operate our equipment as much as we have in the past ten years. However, I want to qualify the emphasis on the reduced funding with the recognition that we will still have funding to perform critical tasks to maintain our critical capabilities. What does this mean to you? Each of us will have to routinely look at what we are doing and determine if the time and resources we are investing are truly “critical” or if we are continuing to perform tasks that are “fun” or that are “what we like to do” and there is a difference between the two. What are the things that we are doing that if not done would allow us to fail at our individual, team, squad, or company levels. If the task performance will in fact cause us to fail then we need to perform the task on some consistent basis otherwise we may not need to perform the task until we are mobilized. For example – weapons firing – critical or nice to do (to me this one is both fun and critical), Periodic Health Assessment (PHA) – critical or nice to do, Battalion maneuver – critical or we like to do this? (Squad and platoon are critical; Battalion maneuver would be nice to do if we have time and operational funding, but not critical). We will also have to consider how critical the task is for our domestic response mission, a mission that currently we have more potential to perform than many of our rapidly dwindling deployment missions. While many of the tasks are similar, but performed under different conditions, some are unique to our domestic response missions – we rarely have to fire our weapons when responding to a blizzard or flood, but we may have to understand how to drive in the snow or how to rescue people by driving through flooded streets. I ask that each of you think about what your duties and tasks are as you start to think about the training we are doing, while keeping in mind where your unit is in the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) model. We are rapidly approaching the holiday season, so please take time to enjoy your family and spend some time with them, more time than you normally do with your busy, productive schedule. One of the things we have to do routinely is ensure there is balance in our lives, just as we focus more on our National Guard duties during annual training; we must shift the focus during the Holiday Season to our Families. I ask that you reflect on what you have done over this last year, while thinking about what you want to accomplish, as a family, over the next year. We enjoy many blessings as Americans so take the time this Holiday Season to enjoy those blessings. May each and every one of you enjoy your family and friends over this Holiday Season.

Very Respectfully,

Eric Peck Brig. Gen. Eric Peck Kansas Army National Guard Commander Assistant Adjutant General-Army

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KSNG aids U.S. Security Assistance Program

Kansas governor, Sam Brownback, poses with the current International Military Education Training class from Fort Leavenworth, Kan., After their tour of the Capitol in Topeka, Kan., July 19, 2012. Photo by Sgt. Mike Mathewson, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment By Staff Sgt. Heather Wright, 35th Infantry Division

More than 65 officers from more than 60 different countries spent the day in the state capital learning about Kansas state government and meet with various state officials on Thursday, July 19. Kansas National Guard International Affairs Officer Lt. Col. Brent Salmans facilitated the International Military Education Training (IMET) program’s class meeting with Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Brig. Gen. Erick Peck, commander of the Kansas Army National Guard - Land Component. The visit was part of a broader effort of the IMET Field Studies Program to expose international military students to the American way of governing. “This is one small part of an overall effort to provide a good experience for the future leaders of their countries,” said Salmans. “They get a chance to see the interaction of the state government and the National Guard. Perhaps they can use what they learn here today to positively impact their countries in the future.” After an informal breakfast at Memo-

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rial Hall, the group was greeted by Peck, who gave a brief presentation on the Kansas National Guard and how the state military organizations differ from federal military organizations. After the presentation, students were given the chance to ask questions. Most were curious about the differences in funding and interaction between the two organizations. Maj. Victor Rossiytsev from the Ukraine wanted to know how natural disasters were funded. Representing Latvia, Maj. Edmund Svencs was curious as to how the Guard addressed budgetary cutbacks. Indonesian representative, Maj. Frega Ferdinand Wegas Inkiriwang, asked where National Guard Soldiers and Airmen trained for deployment and who managed the training. Following Peck, Kansas Deputy Secretary of State Ryan Kriegshauser gave the group an overview of the differences and similarities between the state and federal government systems. An example is the difference between the office of the Federal Secretary of State which focuses on foreign policy and the Kansas Secretary of State office which acts as a public forum and focuses on state elections and

business filings. The group was then treated to a tour of the Judicial Building, the Capitol and a meeting with Brownback. “Welcome to Kansas. For those of you from the Middle East and Africa, it’s not so hot,” joked Brownback, referring to the recent heat wave in the Midwest. He explained the significance of the John Brown mural before posing with the group for a photo in front of the famous piece. The governor and the group then traveled to the Kansas State History Museum for lunch. Immediately following lunch, and before heading back to Fort Leavenworth, the class was given a Native American presentation and time to explore the museum. “This is the first time I get to know how other countries think, make decisions and plans,” said Israel representative Lt. Col. Uzi Klieger - referring to both the state government visit and the military school. This is just one of the reasons the IMET program was created. Since 1892, with a modest class of one, international officers have been attending advanced leadership training at


Fort Leavenworth, Kan., to provide tactics, strategy and military decision making in support of U.S. “security assistance” doctrine. According to the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command, security assistance promotes regional stability, deters aggression, maintains alliances, enhances coalition partnerships and disseminates democratic values between the United States and its Allies. The Federation of American Scientists, a non-profit, non-partisan think tank providing analysis of government programs, states that the specific goals of the U.S. security assistance training programs are to promote self-sufficiency, encourage the training of future leaders, support enhanced relations between the United States and foreign countries and expand foreign understanding of the United States and its culture and values. The International Military Education Training program at the U.S. Army command and General Staff College has expanded from its humble beginnings. The current class features more than 65 officers from over 60 different countries from the six U.S. Army regional commands. These lucky officers are selected through a rigorous process. The first step in the selection process

is the Department of the Army and combatant commanders ranking the countries in order of importance. The two collaborate on creating a final list, and the DA assigns slots to the regional commands. Michael Brettman, Field Studies Program manager for IMET, explained the selection process. If the U.S. African Command gets 10 seats in the course, then the combatant commander uses his priority list to invite the first 10 countries to participate in the program. Based on the response, the commander works his way through the list in order of precedence. From there, participants are selected in various methods by their countries. This usually involves a selection board. Most countries use a combination of rank, experience and English fluency to determine who should attend. In addition, to attending command and staff college in the United Arab Emirates, Maj. Kjhamis Alkaabi, head of research and studies at the Liberty Supreme Commander’s Office, was also ranked on his education and performance. Lt. Col. Ghulam Mustafa Wardak, security executive officer for Afghanistan’s Deputy Minister of the Interior explained that to apply for the two available seats, one for the police force and one for the army,

applicants must have good English, take an exam and are further weighted on rank and experience. Once the fortunate students arrive at Fort Leavenworth, they are given a month to settle in and take care of administrative issues. Since the school is almost a year long, married officers often bring their families. The program provides three sponsors to the student – one from Fort Leavenworth, one from the local community and one from Kansas City. “The big thing is that back home, just as here, (the students are) limited to the media sources … what they say about the United States and then the Hollywood image that comes out of our popular culture, and a lot of time that does not match up with our reality, “ said Brettman. The sponsorship program allows students to “interact with normal American families, see how they live and dispel a lot of those rumors about us that they hear back home.” The daily interaction of the international officers with their sponsors, professors, international colleagues and other Americans over the 11-month class initiate the specific goals of the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command.

Brig. Gen. Eric Peck, assistant adjutant general and commander of the Kansas Army National Guard, and Michael J. Brettmenn, International Military Education Training Field Studies Program manager, lead the current International Military Education Training class to the Capitol after their tour of the Judicial Building in Topeka, Kan., July 19, 2012.. Photo by Sgt. Mike Mathewson, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

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Guard news

731st Transportation Company participates in Vibrant Response 13

The Kansas National Guard’s 731st Transportation Company provided line-haul transportation support during exercise Vibrant Response 13 in Camp Atterbury, Ind. Photo by Sgt. Katherine Dowd

Sgt. Katherine Dowd 167th Theater Sustainment Command

Kansas Army National Guard’s 731st Transportation Company joined the Vibrant Response 13 exercise for the first time this year. “The 731st is providing line haul transportation assets to the 167th Theater Sustainment Command in support of Vibrant Response 13,” said Capt. Jay Simecka, company commander, 731st Transportation Company. Line-haul transportation support units

provide the means of transporting equipment, food, water, ice and other supplies to and from warehouses, distribution points, forward operating bases and other areas in support of the mission. The 731st started their annual training by convoying to Camp Atterbury from Kansas. “This was training in itself,” said Simecka. “We completed 20 to 30 METL (Mission Essential Task List) Tasks during the convoy.” They drove 11 vehicles and 10 trailers during that convoy. Some challenges

they were faced with included inclement weather and driving through big cities while trying to keep the convoy together. Simecka said the professionalism of the drivers made it a great experience and they arrived here with no problems. Vibrant Response 13, for the 731st, means more than just being prepared to respond to a nuclear disaster. This helps them prepare for disasters close to home such as tornadoes, floods and harsh winters. “We have responded to hurricanes in Louisiana, tornadoes, and floods close to home,” said 1st Sgt. Tim McClure, 731st Transportation Company first sergeant. “We’ve also provided support to local farmers during icy winters,” he said. Some Kansas winters can be so cold that hay bales put in the pastures for live stock become covered in ice, putting the animals in danger of starvation. The Kansas National Guard provided vehicle support to transport dry hay to the cow pastures. “This mission ties in to our real world mission,” said McClure about Vibrant Response 13. “It gives us the chance to practice our normal operations, to train on new operations and to give soldiers experience with what they signed up to do. “And our soldiers are doing a great job.”

A tanker’s love: the story of one Soldier’s commitment By 1st Lt. Edwin Stremel, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 137th Infantry Regiment

For most Kansans, June is a time for river festivals and trips to the lake, but for Company C, 2nd Combined Armed Battalion, 137th Infantry Regiment, it’s time for their annual training, which means a trip to Fort Riley, Kan., and a motor pool full of 67-ton war machines. Before anyone took the M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks for a tactical road march, the unit spent two days completing preventive maintenance checks services to make sure they were road ready. “I’d rather spend a couple days making sure my tank will work than [get] out to the field and have something break,” said Spc. Craig Brown, an armor crewman with Company C. Once the company got out to the training area, they

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conducted maneuver and combat drills. During day time operations, the company worked to train new drivers on the formations they would use in combat. “I’m getting paid to drive the deadliest land vehicle in the world,” said Pfc. Zachery Wiedner, an armor crewman with Company C. “I love my job.” During night operations, the training consisted of familiarizing Soldiers with the use of night vision optics and convoy tactics. During one of the missions, one of the platoons was joined by an OH-58D Kiowa helicopter from Fort Riley, which scouted out and reconed designated areas. “This is the type of training I love,” said Sgt. 1st Class Bryan Clark, an armor crewman with Company C. “The new privates get valuable experience on the tank and the older guys get a refresher course.”


Better communication, coordination for JFHQ Battalion Pfc. Anna Laurin 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Joint Forces Headquarters Kansas, is in the process of changing from a Table of Distribution and Allowances (TDA) Battalion to a Support Battalion. The change is being implemented during the next 30 days. “It’s still under that umbrella of what a TDA is, but it has a more specific role,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Steven Harmon, command sergeant major for Joint Forces Headquarters Support Battalion. Lt. Col. Tom Barnett, support battalion commander for Joint Forces Headquarters (JFHQ), Kan., described JFHQ before this change as many people working both at a company level and a battalion level instead of dividing tasks accordingly. “Companies conduct individual

training, which comes together like building blocks,” said Command Sgt. Maj. James Moberly, Kansas National Guard - land component command sergeant major. “Like a single block of a pyramid, a company level task would be similar to the battalion level task just on a smaller scale. While a company does a task working with three platoons, the battalion will do and see the overall task with four in-line companies.” The company’s task would be nested with the battalion task, supporting the battalion. For example a company’s Army Physical Fitness Test supports the battalion task of physical readiness. “We can separate the work load, get more focus on it and get more purpose behind it. They won’t be distracted, which should speed things up,” said Barnett. Before this change was implemented, Soldiers working in the administrative department would have to juggle battalion

level and company level tasks - now there will be specific people assigned to each level. When talking about junior enlisted Soldiers, Harmon said they should not notice a change, but their leaders will have more time to focus on their missions and less on the administrative side. “Right now we have everybody doing great things independently without the structure in place for them working together,” said Harmon. “With the decreasing resources and increasing tasks for homeland defense, it’s important that we actually do work as a battalion to take care of each other, to support the headquarters.” “This should make Joint Forces Headquarters more efficient and increase the individual readiness,” said Moberly. “Joint Forces Headquarters needs to set the standard.”

Pawlosky accepts command from Inskeep 1st Lt. Collin Welch 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 137th Inf. Reg.

During a change of command ceremony, Capt. Jason Inskeep relinquished command of Company D, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 137th Infantry Regiment to Capt. Adam Pawlosky August 11, 2012 at the Emporia, Kan., armory. Inskeep, now the operations officer for 235th Regiment, Kansas Regional Training Institute, Salina, Kan., completed a successful two year command in Emporia, including command of the rear detachment while the battalion was deployed to the Horn of Africa and Afghanistan. Pawlosky originally commissioned into the active component and moved to Kansas with his family after completing his tour of duty. Most Capt. Adam Pawlosky, recently, Pawlosky served as an Ofcommander of Comficer Candidate School platoon trainer, pany D, 2nd Comhelping to train the future officers of the bined Arms Battalion KSARNG. 137th Infantry Regi“I am honored to be counted amongst ment, and Capt. Jathe company’s ranks, and am looking son Inskeep pose for forward to the exciting and challenging a photo. Photo by Sgt. months ahead,” said Pawlosky. Katherine Dowd

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Guard news

Army Aviation Support Facilities

Cadet Kaleb Gilmore, a flight operations specialist for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 108th Aviation Regiment, is working in the new flight operations office area at Army Aviation Support Facility #1 located in Topeka, Kan. Photo by Sgt. Michael H. Mathewson By Sgt. Michael H. Mathewson, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

The 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation Regiment’s facilities in Salina and Topeka, Kan., received some major upgrades. With small finishing touches left on the first phase, personnel are already enjoying and utilizing the new additions. Army Aviation Support Facility #1 Remodeling Building 636, Forbes Field, Topeka, Kan., has served as the Army Aviation Support Facility #1 for many years. It has seen many different unit changes and aircraft including the 137th Transportation Company (Heavy Helicopter) flying the CH-54 Tarhe (Skycrane), and Detachment 1, 24th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) using the UH-1 Iroquois (Huey). However, the building itself has remained the same over the years, but that is now changing. The new flight operations/ 8 KANSAS SENTINEL

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flight planning room became operational July 25, the first part of an extensive building remodeling program. The AASF #1 currently supports elements of the 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation Regiment and Company G, 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), who both fly the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The facility also houses Detachment 37, Operational SupportAviation Command, the Kansas Army National Guard’s fixed wing flight detachment, who fly C-12s. Flight operations is now operating out of a space that was a vehicle garage and sheet metal shop. “The new office has combined into a very functional area what was once contained in four or five different rooms spread throughout the building,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Timothy Brundage, tactical operations officer for 108th Avn. Regt., of Tonganoxie, Kan. “Now

the crews have their aviation life support equipment locker rooms, flight planning, weather and flight operation all in one area. This has sufficiently improved our ability to support the state.” “Although we are still moving in we are fully operational and are supporting missions,” said Brundage. The north-facing wall, once solid, now has windows that face the flight line. “This allows us to monitor the flight line,” said Staff Sgt. Scott Rohrs, operations noncommissioned officer for Co. G, 2nd Bn., 235th GSAB, of Gladstone, Mo. “In the old room, to do a ramp check, we used to have to walk down the hall and then go outside to visually check the aircraft. Now I can view the flight line from my desk.” Monitors have been mounted on the walls in both the flight planning and operations area. This allows for various methods of tracking aircraft while on


receive much needed upgrades missions. It may also be used for message boards for crew and passengers. There are plans for computer kiosks where traditional Soldiers could work on their computerbased training. “The 127th Weather Flight will be providing weather briefers during drill weekends,” said Rohrs. “We have set aside an area just for them. It will provide us weather and training for them.” The rest of the building will be Phase II of the remodel, which should be complete during Fiscal Year 2013.” The formal dedication of the new flight operations is scheduled for Aug 7. Rededication of Army Aviation Support Facility #2 The Kansas National Guard’s Army Aviation Support Facility #2, Salina Municipal Airport, Salina, Kan., was rededicated in a ceremony Aug. 17. This total renovation started last October and was completed in June. The facility is

home to Company B, 1st Bn., 108th Avn. Regt. and Detachment 2, Company C and Detachments 4, Companies D and E, 2nd Battalion 211 Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion). In remarks to an audience of current and former aviation members, Brig. Gen. Eric Peck, commander of the Kansas Army National Guard, spoke about the history of the facility and how it took the efforts of many people to remodel the facility. Following his remarks, Peck cut the ribbon opening the facility. For the ribbon cutting, Peck was assisted by Lt. Col. Steven O’Neil, acting State Army Aviation Officer and facility commander of AASF #1 in Topeka, Kan., and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Leo Blasi, acting facility commander of AASF #2 in Salina, Kan. “We received this facility from a fixed base operator more than 10 years ago,” said Peck. “Over those years we have

done a number of self-help projects to improve this facility. So it was time to empty the building and start from scratch.” “This remodel will greatly improve our ability to support our mission, whether it is in support of training or in the event of a state emergency,” said Blasi. “The operations section is now in a more functional location,” said Sgt. 1st Class Richard Bowman, a flight operations specialist at AASF #2. “We have flight planning, operations, with radios and aircraft dispatch all within the same area. We can now see the ramp, which allow us to monitor aircraft movement.” In addition to the office for the facility commander and operations section, there are classrooms with up-to-date projectors and monitors, along with offices for the instructor pilots and safety officers, an Aviation Life Support Equipment locker rooms, break room and an area for the aviation technical supply.

Brig.Gen Eric Peck, assistant adjutant general and commander of the Kansas Army National Guard cuts the Army Aviation Support Facility #2’s dedication ribbon as Lt. Col. Steven O’Neil, State Army Aviation Officer and facility commander of AASF #1 (left), and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Leo Blasi, acting facility commander of AASF #2 (right), hold it steady during the dedication ceremony Aug. 17. Photo by Sgt. Michael H. Mathewson

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Kansas National Guard revs By Pfc. Brandon Jacobs, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

A line of cars pulled up to the white starting line as the stands vibrated with energy. At the changing of a light from red to green, they surged forward in an unbridled display of speed and power. Thus began the 12th Annual Hollywood Casino 400 race at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., Oct. 21. Spectators included approximately 3,000 National Guardsmen, families and friends who received free tickets from Kansas Speedway to the Hollywood Casino 400 race. “We appreciate the sacrifices the men and women of the Kansas National Guard and their families make to let us be able to host races at Kansas Speedway,” said Pat Warren, president of Kansas Speedway. “These tickets represent a small thank you of our deep appreciation for what they do and I hope they are able to enjoy an exciting day at the

races.”Drivers and race fans from around the country began arriving as early as the morning of Oct. 18. Recruiting and Retention Battalions from the Kansas and Missouri Army National Guard partnered together for the race weekend to display many facets of the Guard. “It’s pretty awesome to get to be out here,” said Pvt. Kyle Wilkeson, Company A, Recruiting and Retention Battalion, of Overland Park, Kan. Wilkeson, who celebrated his birthday at the track, spent the weekend assisting civilians with the National Guard’s Physical Training Challenge booth and answering questions about the many military vehicles on display outside the track. “It was cool to get to see the equipment,” said Wilkeson. “It helps civilians put things in perspective, maybe gives them a sense of security.” The Kansas Army National Guard hosted the pre-race events. Crowds of people swarmed around the fan walk to get their picture taken next

to the National Guard Patriot Chopper, a motorcycle designed by Orange County Choppers of Orange County, Calif., and the Number 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. race car. The National Guard had 15 vehicles on site, including a Kansas National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and two Missouri National Guard AH64 Apache helicopters on display, with Soldiers standing by to answer any questions. Pfc. Christian McGraw, a helicopter maintenance specialist with Company G, 2nd Battalion,135th Aviation Regiment, Kansas National Guard, from Wichita, Kan., was on the field to answer questions about the UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter. “I like interacting with civilians and telling them about the Franken hawk,” said McGraw. “I wouldn’t fly in any other aircraft to be perfectly honest.” McGraw explained it is called it a Franken Hawk due to the larger upgraded engines, which were taken from a UH60L Black Hawk and added on to increase

Soldiers with Company A, Recruiting and Retention Battalion, Kansas Army National Guard, smile for a photo opportunity with two civilians behind the Patriot Chopper on the fan walk at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. The Patriot Chopper was built by Orange County Choppers of Orange County, Calif., as part of a public relations campaign. Photo by Pfc. Brandon Jacobs

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s it up at NASCAR race power and mobility in desert environments. “NASCAR is the perfect event for the Army to show off its helicopters and vehicles,” he said. “People can hear the race cars engines on the track and get to see ours as well.” Also on display from the Kansas National Guard were an M-2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle and M1A1 Abrams tank provided by the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 137th Infantry Regiment, and a M109-A6 Paladin howitzer from Battery B, 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery. The events of the weekend were spotlighted on national television as part of a campaign by the National Guard Bureau to promote awareness of the National Guard. “We are getting lots of national media attention at this event. Everyone will be watching what we do,” said Staff Sgt. James Hubbard, the marketing and advertising noncommissioned officer for the Recruiting and Retention Battalion, Kansas Army National Guard. Despite a bit of wind and cold weather thousands of NASCAR fans were able to stop by and see what the soldiers of the Kansas Army National Guard do, as well as enjoy a few days at the races.

NASCAR fans wander around the National Guard’s display located on the fan walk outside Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan. Oct. 20. The static display on the fan walk was part of the National Guard sponsored pre-race events, Oct. 18 to 21. Photo by Pfc. Brandon Jacobs

NASCAR fans tour a UH-60A Black Hawk static display provided by Company G, 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment, Kansas National Guard on the fan walk outside Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., Oct. 21. The Black Hawk stood as part of the National Guard’s static vehicle display during the race weekend. Photo by Pfc. Brandon Jacobs

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TAG APFT brings returning challengers By Pfc. Anna Laurin,

Brig. Gen. Eric Peck, assistant adjutant general and commander of the Kansas Army National Gaurd, and Maj. Gen. John E. Davoren, 35th Infantry Division commander, stand with the winning team during the awards ceremony for the Adjutant General’s 17th Annual Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) Fitness Challenge, Sept. 22 at the 235th Kansas Regional Training Institute, Salina, Kan. The winning team, “35th ID #1,” consisted of Staff Sgt. Wespe, Sgt. 1st Class Green, Lt. Col. Thompson and Lt. Col. Johnson. Photo

105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

The Adjutant General’s 17th Annual Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) Fitness Challenge was held Saturday Sept. 22 at the 235th Kansas Regional Training Institute in Salina, Kan. The event consisted of a timed two minute push-up endurance, a timed two minute sit-ups endurance, and a two mile race for personal best times. All events were scored according to the standard APFT regulations and completed within two hours, making the event credible for the competing soldiers’ personal records. This year many faces were recognized from the previous years. A returning competitor who gained recognition last year for being the youngest performer, Mark Anthony Butcher II, performed for his second year in a row. The 9-year-old is a full-time athlete and enjoys the competition of the APFT. Being a returning competitor, Butcher knew what events he liked and disliked. “The sit ups were the easiest,” said Butcher. He also liked his first mile, but to keep himself motivated he used the visuals

by Pfc. Anna Laurin, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

of runners in front of him. Although he is a year older and wiser, he did not top his performance from last year. He was three points shy of last year’s performance with 88 push-ups, 94 sit ups and 12:53 minutes on the two miles. Butcher was just one competitor of about 200 athletes and many sponsors. Lo-

One hundred eight-six Soldiers, Airmen and civilians launch from the starting line of the two-mile-run event during the 17th Annual Kansas National Guard Adjutant General’s Physical Fitness Challenge, Sept. 22 in Salina, Kan. The Challenge consisted of push-ups, sit-ups and the run. The fastest runner, Forrest Dreyer of Ell-Saline High School, came in at a time of 10:47. Photo by Sgt. Dustin Furrey, 235th Regiment UPAR

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cal partners and sponsors included Salina Running Company, Genesis Health Club, Fox Fitness, The Enlisted Association, The Bank of Tescott, Lincoln County, Candlewood Suites and Salina Airport Authority. Local high schools also had students involved, to include St. John’s Military School of Salina, Kan., and Abilene High School of Abilene, Kan. Involvement from the community is great aspect of this event. “It’s great to get the civilians and high schools involved,” said Brig. Gen. Eric Peck, assistant adjutant general and commander of the Kansas Army National Guard. “It’s the outreach to the community that’s important because this is what we have to do as Soldiers and Airmen – is stay fit to fight in wars, and we want to encourage them to do the same thing.” After the performance of all competitors, awards were given in several categories based on military and civilian involvement, the highest repetition for each athletic performance, and a final overall award for the team with the highest score. Once the awards were presented, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held near the finish line of the two mile run, where the future Physical Training Cluster will be built. The training cluster will be a small area used for physical training, including a push-up and sit-up area, and as well as


a rope climbing area. At the ribbon cutting, a picture was presented of what the future PT Cluster would look like. “I am pretty excited about it, not only because visually it’s going to be very impressive, but it just adds an entire element to our training capabilities here,” said Col. Robert E. Windham, 235th Regiment Commander. With the addition of the new training cluster and the continuance of the annual TAG APFT, the Great Plains Joint Training Center will stand as a growing physical training site that not only trains and recognizes the Soldiers and Airmen who pass through but invites in the surrounding community to encourage physical fitness for everyone.

Leaders of the development of the Physical Training Cluster, Vern Hopkins, vicechair of the military affairs council; Dennis Lauver, Salina Chamber of Commerce; Randy Hass, Senne & Company; Brig. Gen. Eric Peck, assistant adjutant general and commander of the Kansas Army National Guard; and Col. Robert Windham, 235th Regiment commander; cut a ribbon symbolizing the start of construction, Sept. 22 at the Great Plains Joint Training Center, Salina, Kan.Photo by Pfc. Anna Laurin, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

KSARNG demonstrates CBRN skills By Sgt. Terence Ewings, 24th Press Camp Headquarters

Kansas Army and Air National Guardsmen assigned to the 73rd Civil Support Team (Weapons of Mass Destruction) conducted a decontamination training exercise as part of Vibrant Response 13 at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Ind., Aug. 6. As chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear response team specialists, the 73rd CST service members were responsible for identifying, assessing, assisting and providing CBRN information to their incident commander as part of Joint Task Force Civil Support. “After almost two full-days of training, this has exceeded our expectations as an excellent training venue,” said Lt. Col. Dirk Christian, commander of the civil support team. “The unit completed a lot of collective training events preparing for the Vibrant Response exercise, and it’s all really starting to pay-off.” During the exercise, Christian’s team was responsible for identifying possible hazardous contaminants in three separate facilities around the training center. Once contaminants were identified the chemical specialists were responsible for assessing the situation and evacuated civilians in the immediate area. This is 73rd CST’s first rotation and

ed back the information that he collected, is the second Kansas National Guard unit so other teams could go through the area to participate in the Vibrant Response to prevent the spread of the hazardous exercise. contaminants and evacuate the civilians. In the event of a man-made or natural Using the information received by disaster in country, the 73rd CST stands Williams, the team was able to quickly ready to implement their CBRN skills to and efficiently navigate through the support civil authorities. buildings and rescue the role-players and “While we’re downrange conductmannequins, posing as injured civilians, ing operations, 40 minutes that we spend during the exercise. downrange “I’m very proud could save “I’m very proud to be to be apart of this 40 people team; it’s really an or it could apart of this team ...” save 40,000 - Sgt. Claude Williams amazing feeling,” people,” said 73rd Civil Support Team first responder said Williams, a naChristian, tive of Topeka, Kan. emphasizing Williams, who the importance of his CBRN first respond- comes from a long-line of family members ers and reporting the information up to the who served in the Kansas National Guard, incident commander. believes the 73rd CST is more than ready Sgt. Claude Williams, one of the first to support the American people in the event of an actual disaster in country. responders assigned to the 73rd CST, It’s really an amazing experience is responsible for entering the facilities to see what would happen if something with possible contaminants, identifying the contaminants and finding any injured like this were to occur,” said Williams. “I personnel within the area who may need know a lot of people are afraid of things assistance. like this, and it makes me really proud to “We have a lot of talent on our team, say if something like this ever happened it and just like any team you have star playwould be partly my responsibility to help ers that shine and bring their A-game; fix it.” Williams is one of those people,” said The 73rd CST will continue to supChristian, a native of Topeka, Kan. port JTF-CS while conducting the Vibrant After assessing the overall situation Response exercise, which is schedule to during the training venue, Williams report- end later this month.

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Guard welcomes new officers to ranks

Ten of the 11 Kansas Officer Candidate School candidates pose with retired Col. Clifford M. Silsby. The retired colonel was honored by the OCS Hall of Fame as the newest inductee, before the graduation ceremony. He received a plaque and offered words of wisdom to the young new officers. Photo courtesy of 235th Regiment, Kansas Regional Training Institute By Pfc. Anna Laurin, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

The Kansas Army National Guard second lieutenant roster increased by nine Aug. 18 when the Kansas Officer Candidate School graduated and commissioned its newest officer candidates. The graduation and commissioning ceremonies were held at the Great Plains Joint Training Center (Kansas Regional Training Institute), Salina, Kan. The newest lieutenants are Paul Aelmore, Craig Bloom, Jeremy Brolhorst, Michael Byerly, Earl Collyar, Nathan Cordell, Edwin Flores-Alvarado, Tatianna Mateo-Gomez and Charles Schmitt. Officer Candidates Jacob Durkes and Guven Yay will receive their commission at a later date. The official party included Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, Kansas adjutant general Brig. Gen. Eric Peck, commander of the Kansas Army National Guard – Land Component; Col. Robert Windham, commander of the 235th Training Regiment; Lt. Col. John D. Clark, commander of the

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Silsby added. “I personally never accom1st Battalion, 235th Regiment; and Maj. plished one thing by myself as a leader in Kimberly Young, commander of the Kana unit. If I would not have had non comsas OCS Company, 1st Battalion, 235th missioned officers and other officers, we Regiment. would have gotten nowhere. Before introducing the cadets, the After administering the Oath of OfOCS Hall of Fame honored its newest fice nine cadets, inductee, retired Tafanelli Col. Clifford M. Silsby, for “You’re about to be entrust- reflected on past generation a career of ed with this nation’s most of officers and outstanding precious resources -- its recognized the leadership and new generation achievements sons and daughters.” as a Kansas - Maj. Gen. (KS) Lee Tafanelli before him, Adjutant General passing down National Guard knowledge officer. that had been Silsby gave passed onto him as a cadet. the new officers a word of advice on their “Once you pin on that gold bar, it’s new found responsibility, challenging the not some magical mystical thing that cadets with one word. “Pride,” said Silsby. “What I mean by there’s now this new found knowledge that you’re going to have bestowed on that is look sharp, be sharp and set a stanyou,” said Tafanelli. dard. Maintain your equipment because “You’re going to be the same indiyou may need it; maintain your facilities because they’re the face to the community. vidual, with the same strengths, same “Use the ‘we’ word, forget about weakness, and all of those attributes that the ‘I’ word, unless it’s ‘I screwed up.’” you had just before. You will have an


awesome responsibility once that bar goes on.” Tafanelli recounted several of the difficulties and obstacles that the nation has gone through, including the attack of 9/11 and the later capture and elimination of those responsible. The general told the new officers that what they have learned at OCS and carry with them will help them, as leaders and Soldiers, to overcome future obstacles. “You’re about to be entrusted with this nation’s most precious resources, its sons and daughters,” Tafanelli concluded. “Don’t let them down.” After Tafanelli’s remarks, several awards were given to candidates that have shown outstanding achievements. The Noble W. Drake Academic Achievement Award: For highest academic average during the course. Highest average for OCS Class 56 was 95.85 percent by Officer Candidate Jeremy Brolhorst. The Physical Fitness Award: For highest average on Army physical fitness tests while at the course. Highest average for OCS Class 56 was 297 points by Officer Candidate Guven Yay.

The Tactical Proficiency Award: Given to the candidate that demonstrated the most tactical proficiency and leadership ability during Phase III field training at Fort Lewis, Wash. This was awarded to Officer Candidate Charles Schmitt. The Erikson Distinguished Graduate Award: Awarded to the candidate who achieved the highest combined overall score in the OCS program. This individual does not necessarily have the highest score in any one area but consistently scored highly in all areas of assessment. This was awarded to Officer Candidate Charles Schmitt. The Association of the United States Army Leadership Award: Awarded to the candidate who achieved highest score in leadership during course. Leadership scores are determined by the instructors using the Leadership Assessment Program, which includes 16 evaluated areas called “Leadership Dimensions.” They are: oral communications; written communications; oral presentation; initiative; sensitivity; influence; planning and organizing; delegation; administrative control; problem analysis; judgment; decisiveness;

technical competence; physical and mental stamina; followership and mission accomplishment. This was awarded to Officer Candidate Charles Schmitt. The National Guard Association of Kansas Award: Awarded to the candidate who, according to the school cadre, displays the leadership; integrity; knowledge; dedication to duty; military bearing and appearance; communications skills and attitude desired in an Army officer. The recipient must possess and display the highest standards and characteristics of a leader. This was awarded to Officer Candidate Nathan Cordell. Each graduate received a National Guard Association of Kansas membership for the first year. This was presented by Lt. Col Steve Denney, representing the NGAKS Membership Committee. They also received a complimentary set of second lieutenant bars and a their first year’s membership to the Military Officers Association of America, presented by retired Brig. Gen. Ronald Tincher and retired Chief Warrant Officer 5 Delbert Hill, representing the Kansas Council of Chapters for MOAA.

Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, Kansas adjutant general, swears in the nine Kansas Officer Candidate School graduates, at the graduation and commissioning ceremonies held Aug. 18, at the Great Plains Joint Training Center (Kansas Regional Training Institute), Salina, Kan. Two of the 11 candidates choose to receive their commission at a later date. Photo courtesy of 235th Regiment, Kansas Regional Training Institute

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