The Muleskinner Team Mo Agri-Business Development Team IV V O L U M E
I S S U E
M A R C H
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DRIVING THE TEAM Commander Col. Fortune
Message from the Commander
Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Charles
Just a quick note to the Families and friends of Missouri ADT IV. Well, it is now the end of March and the team is still chugging away, trying to accomplish as much as we can during our last couple months in theater.
Senior Enlisted Advisor Senior Master Sgt. Blankenship www.facebook.com /MONG.ADTIV
INSIDE THIS SECTION: Seniorâ€™s Space
The Nightmare on S1 Street
The rewards of the job: a trip to Dari Nor
Meet the Team
Life at the FOB
From the Field
Back at the Homestead
I think it was about the middle of December when Master Sgt. Bob W eber, one of the team's Unit Mobilization Officers, first came to me to discuss our redeployment back to the States. I remember asking him, "Is it already time for us to st ar t t hink ing about that?" His r ep l y . . . " I t ' s already that time, sir." Since then, I have been dealing with more and more issues associated with our handoff of the mission to ADT V and our trip back to Camp Atterbury.
Just to give you an idea of the kind of weather we're having, Nangarhar is probably two months ahead of Missouri as far as the temperature is concerned. W e've already been up in the mid-90s several times during the month of
people, "On average it's like St. Louis plus ten. But on some of the worst days, it's more like St. Louis plus 20, and j ust as hum id." And that's before you add the 50-60 pounds of gear that we carry around with us on missions.
ADT IV members stand in front of the SFC Robert W Pharris Memorial Pavilion dedicated on March 6.
March. Fortunately the humidity has been fairly low but we don't expect that to be the case for much longer. Describing summers here in Jalalabad, Senior Master Sgt. Blankenship tells
Whatever the case, I can't see the team complaining much because the increasing temperatures will be an ever-present reminder that we will soon be on our way home.
Eat right with color By Senior Master Sgt. Jerry Blankenship
“Another simple thing – add color to your dinner plate. The fruits and vegetables will be in season very soon. A variety of colors tends to promote good health.”
ello and “Happy N e w Year’s resolution broken-by-nowmonth.” Did you know onet hir d of new year s resolutions are broken by the end of January and 80% overall? If you were one of those people who chose to join a gym and get in shape, you probably lasted until March – but by now you’ve t r ied t o delet e t he location of your workout facility out of your GPS system.
The lady keeps trying you, “No, the gym is the other way,” but you just “keep on trucking”. I applaud your desire to make improvements in your life and I give you a hearty cyber pat-onthe-back. The sad fact is, though, that statistically speaking you’re almost certainly doomed to failure bef ore you’ve even started. I know that’s not what you wanted to hear, but hey – don’t shoot the messenger. The average American gains about a pound during Christmas and New Years. That doesn't sound like much, but most people continue to hold on to the extra weight permanently. So over time, that can add up to some fairly substantial padding.
Those are just the normal holidays, what about Mardi Gras and St. Patty’s Day… another pound. OMG, that’s 2 pounds, I am getting older, there’s another pound…. STOP the March Madness! I know it is hard to stay fit, but let’s think about it for a minute. Is it really that hard? Start by changing your eating habits. It will not only help you but your entire family. I know what you are thinking- there is no way they will eat all that healthy stuff and you will have to prepare two meals. Not really- take small steps, change one meal per day and leave the rest of your food alone. Start with breakfast since it is the easiest. (Continued on page 3)
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Add some eggs, oatmeal or a protein fruit smoothie. The kids will love having a frozen treat for breakfast. They won’t even know it’s good for them. Another simple thing – add color to your dinner plate. The fruits and vegetables will be in season very soon. A variety of colors tends to promote good health. Perhaps you can ask the kids what color they like, and make a game out of it. They will eat what’s on their plate because they got to choose the colors. While you are thinking about eating healthy, don’t forget to do some type of physical activity. The wild winter weather is gone; you are chomping at the bit to get outside. A very popular activity is walking for 30 minutes a few times a week. Once you start, it will be hard to quit. Before you know it, you will have made a real impact on your overall health and quality of life. Walking is a good time to think and a great stress reliever. After your nice walks you will be less inclined to eat any unhealthy snacks. The time is here, March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme: “eat right with color.” There is all kinds of great information on eatright.org. Just remember to take baby steps – and realize that small changes will get you big results. Have a great time decorating your plate. Food for thought: did you know drinking two 8 ounce glasses of water per day will help you lose weight? That’s because the water begins to fill the stomach and makes you less hungry.
Capt. Paluczak demonstrates his interpretation of “eating with color.” He also runs after work to keep fit and minimize daily stress.
Capt. Huenink demonstrates another tenant of Senior Master Sgt Blankenship’s food philosophy– indulge in a controlled treat on a weekly basis to beat cravings. Senior encouraged “healthy” control by serving up ice cream at a unit cookout on Mar. 27.
The Finley-Shields dining facility offers many colorful choices for diners– the trick is to pick out the healthy ones. Which do you think the ADT members are most likely to choose?
The Nightmare on S1 Street By Sgt. Eric Fizer
collect all the unit mail and distribute it to the team. This alleviates them from having to report to the mail room and wait in line like gt. 1st Class Dana other Soldiers on the base. Squires and Sgt. Eric Fizer S1 and the other mail make up the S-1 section of clerks on ADT also take the headquarter platoon shif ts working the m ail within Missouri ADT IV. room, handing out mail to
S Sgt. Eric Fizer works at his computer to maintain unit members records and track all personnel activities.
The S1 section is the personnel department of t he m ilit ar y. W e have similar duties and responsibilities to that of a typical human resource employee in a civilian business. The primary difference is that we wear this great uniform; there is no dress code here other than Army Regulation 670-1.
the other units on the FOB. The S1 shop works hard staying on top of mail duty because it is critical for morale.
“The best part of this job is that we really get to know every Soldier and Airman on the team.”
We share many of the same mundane tasks: checking e-mail, online Speak ing of m or ale, gaming, and shopping on anot her cr it i cal j ob we walmart.com…just kidding, perform is controlling and we stay far too busy to p l a n n i ng Rest and play around. Recuperation leave (R&R). Seriously, the best part S1 handles everything from about this job is that we r e q u e s t i n g d a t e s , really get to know every coordinating with higher Soldier and Airman on the headquarters, and briefing team. A D T m em b er s pr i o r t o O n e o f t h e m o s t departure. The S1 also i m p o r t a n t d u t i e s w e tracks unit members as perform is mail duty. Mail they travel through their c l e r k s a r e t r a i n e d a n d many stops to get to their certified to handle the mail final destination and then a c c o r d i n g t o f e d e r a l back to the FOB. regulations. Every day we go to the mail room and THE
Tracking personnel is also a daily S1 function, in which we report to higher headquarters exactly where each member of the team is located at all times. The S1 shop spends countless hours talking with other units, calling all over Afghanistan and back to Jefferson City to hash out business. This coordination can be for various tasks including: prom ot ions, evaluation reports which are critical for promotions and future assignments, awards, career boards, medial issues, pay, and keeping personnel records updated. Not a day goes by that we do not have an issue we are trying to solve. Sometimes the constant influx of issues can seem like a nightmare, but the satisfaction of taking care of our fellow Soldier and Airmen makes it all worthwhile.
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The rewards of the job: a trip to Dari Nor By Sgt. 1st Class Dean Travis
hen the Security Force Platoon goes out on a mission we focus on the safety of the Team. But on many days, we are rewarded with not only a safe mission, but a vision of the natural beauty found in Nangarhar. A recent trip to Dari Nor represents one of these experiences. The mission starts the day b ef or e wh e n we h ave t h e briefing and discuss the details of what is expected to happen while we are out. We also go over the many different threats in the areas we may encounter including difficult traffic or some new types of bombs. The agriculture team informs everyone on the mission what they are planning to accomplish and they also provide information about the area we are about to visit. Mission assignments are made during at this time as well. For example, we assign drivers to trucks, gunners and their weapons; identify the truck commanders, and the convoy commander. The convoy commander will take responsibility to make sure everything runs smoothly and leads the personnel which will dismount from the trucks and walk to the project sites.
The next day we wake up bright and early to get a solid breakfast since we do miss lunches on occasion and we further prepare the trucks and our equipment. At this time the weapons are mounted into the t ur r et s an d am m u ni t io n is readied, navigational routes are prepared and put into the GPS systems, radios are checked to make sure we can talk with everyone else, and last but not least, extra water is loaded into the coolers. Before we leave though, we have one last briefing to make sure that everyone still knows where we are going, put out extra information and safety advice, have a word of advice from the medic accompanying us, and receive any new information that came out since the previous night. Dari Nor is a one and half to two- hour drive depending on traffic and our speed. It is considered one of the most pleasant and diverse locations we visit. We drive along the Kabul River for most of the route, hugging the side of a mountain. The full river provides for plenty of vibrant greenery and plentiful livestock. People can also be seen floating down the river on makeshift rafts from time to time. As we make the slow climb further up the terrain, while
retaining its greenery, it becomes rockier and large boulders line the route. If we could continue up the steep inclines we would eventually find ourselves weaving through the snow-capped mountains we often stare at from our forward operating base. When we finally reach our destination we are greeted by a friendly village full of inviting people imbued with Pashtu, Dari, and Kuchi cultures. We g at her a crowd of cur ious villagers and young boys that follow us around. In order to walk through the area to our objective for the day we had to ford shallow, but very f a st m o vi n g s t r e a m s , a n d numerous man made terraces cut into the hillsides. Ahead of us the local people moved easi l y t hr oug h t he r ug g ed terrain like mountain goats. Though the drive up was long, the climb was difficult, and the terrain seemingly inhospitable, the view down into the valley and surrounding regions was simply outstanding and worth every drop of sweat it took to get there.
Extreme sports and art By Capt. Marie Orlando
“ I w o r k o n commissions mostly and do paintings. I have p e c . Z a c h a r y done some portraits, Cronk is a member of master class models t h e S e c u r i t y Fo r c e ( c a r s a n d a i r p l a n e s Platoon. He serves in usually) and also I do a v a r i e t y o f r o l e s body paintings. I paint i n c l u d i n g g u n n e r , people using henna and driver, and dismounted sometimes when people security. are considering a tattoo Cronk has been in the I will paint if for them Missouri National Guard first.” wit h t he 1/129th Field Cronk graduated Artillery for the past four from Maryville High years. He is assigned as a School. His parents forward observer. Scott and Holly live in
Spec. Zachary Cronk pulls a long, hard duty outside the Governor’s mansion next to the swimming pool guarding the glass – walled lounge area.
Cronk works at Walmart as a freezer associate. For the past three years he has also been a self-employed artist.
Skidmore. He says he feels this d ep lo ym ent h as t h e potential to help the Afghans.
In addition to painting, Cronk enjoys many other activities. He likes extreme sports, paintball ( he shoot s a cust omized Tippman 98), mountain biking, and wrestling. He also likes to read and enjoys science fiction and horror genres. Cronk is currently enrolled and taking classes from Northwest Missouri State University at Maryville through distance learning. He is s e e k in g a b a ch e lo r ’ s degree in Art Education and hopes to teach high school art.
Gore learns what he can By Capt. Marie Orlando
pec. Larry Gore is a member of the Security Force Platoon. He has been an infantryman with the Missouri Army National Guard for three years and is assigned to 1/138th Infantry in St. Louis. He says, “I learn what I can. It’s been interesting meeting the people and seeing the differences in our culture, like the multiple wives. We find some common ground when working with the Afghan THE
guards. They ask how many kids we have and I’m surprised by how many kids they have; eight to twelve kids is normal whereas you don’t see that back in the states.” Gore likes to visit Kama the best. He says, “ The locals seem pretty happy to see us and when we get out and walk around they have pretty good food.” Gore is married to Carla and they have two children. He likes to fish and go camping.
Adrenaline junkie By Capt. Marie Orlando
pec. Thomas Brown is a medic that joined the ADT from the 1/138th Infantry Regiment. He has been in the Missouri Army National Guard for three years. Brown is employed by CST, Inc. as a salesman. He has attended school at Mineral Area College, Missouri Valley College and he is now working on his
nursing degree with Ozark Technical College in Springfield. Brown said the deployment has been great for him. “I love helping the Afghan people and I feel like I am making a difference. I figured that this deployment could jump start my medical career and help with RN school.” He loves sports, “anything for an adrenaline rush”. He plays basketball, baseball, softball and he golfs. He also likes to go camping,
canoeing and likes to travel. Brown said, “I’m an adrenaline junkie. I’ve whitewater rafted seven rivers across the U.S., did a 900 mile canoe trip in 47 days, and I like spelunking. Next up is skydiving when I get back.” He added, “I always enjoy learning. I will go to school until I’m six feet under!” He is looking forward to spending time with his son and girlfriend when the deployment is over.
Ski keeps the unit in shape
taff Sgt. Victor Sekscinski is the ADT motor sergeant and keeps the unit equipment in shape. He has been in the Army for 15 years and has served five years with the Missouri Army National Guard. He is assigned to the 1107th AVCRAD in Springfield as a power plant mechanic. Sekscinski has traveled around the world with the Army as an infantryman and motor sergeant. He has served in Iraq, Africa and Kosovo. His goals during this deployment have been to complete phase one of BNOC and to get his weight under 200 pounds. He says, “I don’t know much about the Ag mission and this is the first time I have deployed as a support person but it is pretty neat that the team gets along really well and the young Soldiers are willing to learn.” He works as a truck driver for Turnbull Trucking and is a farmer. He graduated from Marionville High School. His family lives in Marionville including his father, Victor, wife, Gena, and their two children. Sekscinski likes to spend time with his son rodeoing. He also likes to break horses and go hunting.
Around the world and back again
By Capt. Marie Orlando
t aff Sgt . Eli Colson has participated in Operation Iraqi F r e e d om , Op e r a t io n Enduring Freedom, and is now returned to the other side of the world to serve as a squad l e ad e r w it h Se cu r it y Force Platoon. He has been in the Army 13 years with the last five served in the Missouri Army National Guard. He is assigned to D 1/129 Field Artillery as
Colson is an a Howitzer section admissions advisor at chief. Grantham University in Colson says, “I aim Kansas City. to get hearts and minds Colson is dedicated every day. My goal is to t o wo rk i ng o ut an d be the supreme ruler of the dark underworld considers it his hobby. and to continue to lead, He says when he goes train, and mentor home on leave he intends to indulge in Soldiers.” some high octane cereal His troops have malt and barley learned to smile at his beverages and plans on underhanded jokes and spending quality time realize that he is very with his family. serious about their He is married t o safety and well-being. Amber Colson and they He is also known to have two children. make the best coffee on the FOB.
Get the job done and get home By Capt. Marie Orlando
p e c . Johnnie Sims is a member of the Security Force Platoon. He has been i n t h e Missouri A r m y National Guard almost five years. He is a heavy equipment operator with the 880th MULESKINNER
Engineer Haul Team in Perryville. Sims is from Illinois and graduated from Du Quoin High School, Illinois. S ims sa i d, “ I t is stra nge to me that they have cell phone towers throughout the province but they don’t have electricity.” He adds that he likes the mountains and that it is a lot less dry and much greener than he initially expected.
He says, “I feel that we are helping the people here. My goal is to do my job here and to get back home.” Sims likes to ride four-wheelers and he enjoys wood working. He does home remodeling and builds furniture– just about anything that deals with wood. He most recently built a 16’ x 20’ deck he is proud of.
Life at the FOB Sgt. Rios joins the Girlâ€™s Outreach Program to present a class on planting a lima bean to the local Afghan girls and boys that visit us each Saturday on the FOB. Each child decorated a planter and planted a bean to take home.
Sgt. John Larsen is awarded the Combat Action Badge, earned from his deployment with ADT II, by Col. Mike Fortune.
Spec. Soles was part of the shaving cream fun.
Spec. Fletcher may have lost this round with the shaving cream but she is planning her revenge.
Bless the cooks and the servers, each and every one.
You can find these photos and more on the unit Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/MONG.ADTIV.
SGT Armour works hard to complete the sign for the pavilion dedication to SFC Pharris.
MSG Bradley and SSG Fox at Shinwar
The ADT dismounted members pose at Dari Nor. MSG Bradley in a field at Kama.
SPC Garcia pulls security at Mohmand Dara.
SSgtTaggart at Kama.
1st Lt. Pyatt happy to be back from RR in Germany.
SFC Travis and SGT Campbell with kids from Rodat.
SMSgt Counts on mission at Behsood.
MONG ADT IV Give us a holler!
A HEARTY THANKS TO ALL THE FOLKS THAT HAVE SENT DONATIONS TO THE UNIT MEMBERS AND AFGHAN CHILDREN: Angela Lanaker Hero Hugs Missouri 4-H USO Maloney Family Jim and Katie Roberson Dennis O’Leary, Local 136 Fenton Rick and Mary Rutledge James Tinder Holly Cronk Alice Howard Dr. James Maxwell and Staff. Crestwood Dental Group Michelle Paluczak Operation Gratitude Janice Beydler Safety National Odessa, MO Ram Trucks Bank of America Innoventor Sabreliner Corporation Operation Christmas Tree Operation Care Forrest Keeling Nursery
Name (NO RANK) MONG ADT IV FOB Finley-Shields APO, AE 09310
Celebrating Birthdays in April SPC Ashley Soles
Anniversaries ● Jeremy and Cayla Chapman ● Ian and Amanda Clouse ● Ethan and Jazzy Coulson ● Guadalupe and Jessica Rios
MONG ADT IV
The Muleskinner is an unofficial publication authorized by AR 360-1. It is published monthly by the Missouri Agribusiness Development Team IV to provide important information re-
The Muleskinner Team provides a
lated to their deployment for the Soldiers and
monthly update for families and
Airmen, their Families, units and commands,
friends of the Nangarhar Missouri
the Army, DOD and the public. Views and opinions expressed in the
National Guard Development Team.
Muleskinner are not necessarily those of the Department of the Army or DOD.
The Muleskinner Report provides If you would like to receive this publication to your email or have questions or comments concerning ADT IV please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
insights and analysis on the Nangarhar Missouri National Guard Development Team’s mission. If you have questions or comments on the
Public Affairs Officer Capt. Marie Orlando ADT IV
Muleskinner Report, please contact Col. Mike Fortune at Mike.Fortune@afghan.swa.army.mil
.call . . e m l l a C
Who do I call? Where do I go?
Back at the homestead • Family Readiness Group Leader Paula Ann Maloney 417.250.1703 or 417.683.3711 • ArmyOne Source 800.342.9647
• 131st Fighter Wing Coord. 314.527.6362 • 139th Fighter Air Lift Wing Coord. 816.236.3511 • Military Family Life Consultants
• Family Program Office 800.299.9603
- Child/Youth (Amy Bledsoe) 573.418.3588
• Family Assistance Center 877.236.4168
- Adult (Phil Pringle) 573.418.3588
• Deployed Pay Issues 877.276.4729 • Employer Support of Guard and Reserve 573.638.9500 ext. 7730
• JFHQ-MO Chaplain 573.638.9618