HeadHunter evolves into tight-knit family KABUL, Afghanistan – It would seem fitting that the 1st of the 167th‟s Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) would choose the name “HeadHunter” as its call sign. After all, a company that includes its own various assortments of specialty platoons and sections and capped with the battalion headquarters and its staff and can have the leadership losing its own head. But a company that is supposed to be splintered by design found remarkable resilience and unity during this nine-month deployment to Afghanistan, according to its company leadership. “I have seen this unit become a family. They look out for each other. The soldiers have each other‟s backs, the platoons have each other‟s backs,” said Capt. Dwain Hinman, HeadHunter Company commander. HeadHunter even had reason to be more divided than most HHCs because of the way it was put together prior to deployment. “We pulled people together from pretty much every company in the battalion,” said
Task Force Centurion Prime’s HeadHunter (HHC) is commanded by Capt. Dwain Hinman (left) and 1st Sgt. Randy Folsom.
from pretty much every company in the battalion,” said HeadHunter 1st Sgt. Randy Folsom. “It was a little painful at first until we got everybody where they were going to be. But we had good leadership at the platoon level and it was obvious the soldiers really wanted to do well. It really became a cohesive unit. They did turn into a family.” For the deployment, HeadHunter had one of the most
HeadHunter had one of the most active and diverse set of missions among the “Fourth Alabama” units of the 167th. The company‟s responsibilities included providing personal security and maneuver in support of NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan, to include key leaders, trainers, advisors and inspectors. It also conducted a regular “gun run” of critical logistics security support for the Afghan National Security Forces. HHC operated out of a forward operating base in Kabul, Afghanistan, where it conducted more than 1,500 missions, safely moved approximately 5,000 personnel and traveled more than 24,000 challenging miles. Of the more than 110 men and women assigned to HHC, 27 soldiers earned the Combat Infantryman Badge and around a dozen soldiers the Combat Action Badge for enemy contact during the deployment. “I think when we first built SEE HEADHUNTER PAGE TWO 1
HEADHUNTER CONTINUED FROM PAGE ONE
this company, it was seen as more of a support company and, due to the mission, it evolved into something else,” Capt. Hinman said. 1st Sgt. Folsom said those platoons conducting the “guardian angel” and security movement missions could not have done so without the superb support from the company support sections. He said the battalion staff sections were also a big help to the company in many respects – a welcome alternative to staff sections that sometimes become an added burden to the companies they belong to. “We honestly could not have done all that we did without everyone‟s contribution across the board,” he said. That is often the case when you‟re dealing with family.
More than 100 soldiers made up HHC during the deployment to Afghanistan, where they conducted guardian angel and security movement missions in support of NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan in the Afghan capital.
„Fourth Alabama‟ ends historic Afghan mission KABUL, Afghanistan – The Alabama National Guard‟s 1st of the 167th Infantry Battalion, the “Fourth Alabama,” cased its colors May 1, 2013, signifying the end of its operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In a ceremony, the “Fourth Alabama” passed the mission to Guam‟s 1st of the 294th in support of NATO Training MissionAfghanistan. “The successful completion of this mission is a historical event for the „Fourth Alabama,‟” said Lt. Col. J.R. Bass, commander of the 1st of the 167th. “Each soldier and family member of this battalion should feel tremendous pride in this achievement. Not since World War II have our battalion colors stood on foreign soil and we each are deeply proud to have played a part in this deployment.”
Lt. Col. J.R. Bass, left, commander of the 1st of the 167th Infantry, cases the battalion colors with Command Sgt. Maj. John Black 2
Lt. Col. J.R. Bass Commander Task Force Centurion prime Soldiers, families and friends of Task Force Centurion Prime, As I begin writing this final newsletter article, we are somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean and our Boeing 747 will be landing in Gulfport in just a few hours. Like every other member of the Battalion, my family and I are preparing for the transition period as we adjust to a normal way of life together again. Cyndi, John Allen, and I realize that the change will take place gradually over several months and I am thankful that we will be receiving information to help us guard against unrealistic expectations. My advice to both family members and Soldiers is to be strong enough to reach out for help as you go through this very demanding event. Over the last few weeks, as we prepared to turn over the mission and bring everyone home, Command Sergeant Major Black and I have discussed the accomplishments of these Soldiers. Let me just say, the “Fourth Alabama” has left quite an impressive legacy across Afghanistan. Even as we were preparing to board our plane to leave Kabul, a U.S. Air Force Major came over and praised the professionalism of our Soldiers and the protection they had provided his team. Those same types of comments came to me almost daily from every Regional Support Command about Soldiers from every Company and Platoon. In sports, we measure success with numbers, and there are plenty of numbers that apply to our service in Afghanistan. With over 12,000 security missions accomplished, we have set a new precedence that even Task Force Guam‟s Commander admitted to me will be difficult to match. More important than the number of missions is the fact that we traveled over 140,000 miles while moving 42,000 advisors who trained the Afghan National Security Forces so that they can provide a secure future for their citizens. However, the most important number to mark our time in Afghanistan is zero, because no one who was under our protection was lost during this mission and all 600 “Fourth Alabama” Soldiers are returning home to their families. This is a definite result of the prayers that were lifted up and the blessings that He poured down on us. I have delayed completing this article so that I can include the latest information regarding our return to Alabama. Today is May 13th and we just received confirmation from the Camp Shelby staff to plan on returning to our armories next Monday, May 20th. Major Tomberlin will post the exact times and locations for each company on the final page of this newsletter. This is one day earlier than we were expecting and we welcome the change. We must ensure each Soldier completes every requirement by Sunday to allow our Monday departure so there will be no other passes for the Soldiers and I ask that families stay at home and prepare for our return. Although we are returning to our individual lives both as Soldiers and families, the experiences of this deployment will continue to shape us in many ways. One significant impact on each of us is the bond we will always feel having completed this accomplishment together. Now, when one of us is in need, you are expected to call upon those friends and leaders that you relied on during this challenge. The enemy that we trained to fight is now 7,000 miles away but the new enemy we face has names like depression, suicide, and PTSD, among others. The Soldiers and family members of our Battalion must continue to work together to fight these new threats as successfully as we overcame attacks in Afghanistan. As we enter this joyful but also challenging transition, may God continue to bless and protect the “Fourth Alabama!” We Shall Drive Forward! J. R. Bass
Csm John black Command sergeant major Task Force Centurion prime Hello and thank you, or in the words of our new comrades from Task Force Guam, “Hafa adai Si yu‟us ma‟ase.” Please allow me to take this opportunity to thank Lt. Col. Tougher, Command Sgt. Maj. Hennegan and all of Task Force Guam for a good Relief in Place and Transfer of Authority. I wish them well and Godspeed with their mission and Christ‟s peace to their families. There are many people to whom I owe a great deal of gratitude. First and foremost is our Chaplain, Capt. Rob Jackson, who has been a dear friend to me and all the Soldiers and families of the 167th Infantry as well as the many friends he made in Afghanistan. He is a true liaison for God and a great conduit for His word. The countless hours of coffee and conversation in my office were priceless and lessons I will honor unto my death. Secondly, my thanks goes out to Lt. Col. J.R. Bass for being a solid leader and always open to advice from his staff and myself in his decision making process. It was not meant for us to always agree but to conclude and drive on. I believe that occurred successfully more times than not. It is a privilege to serve with you, sir. This mobilization could not have been as manageable without the support and peace of mind we were given by the families and members of the Family Support Groups. Your efforts and support as well as from each community were truly felt among us and had a significant impact on reducing the stress and anxiety that often come with combat tours. Every bit of kindness and generosity from each family member, church, school or organization was sincerely appreciated. I love you all from the bottom of my heart. I offer a special thanks to Maj. Mike Tomberlin for his truly countless hours of work in many capacities. I‟ve never met a more passionate “Bama” fan and I thoroughly enjoyed watching football games with him this season. A great credit to him for his many writings that kept the whole world in touch with the “Fourth Alabama” and putting the Soldiers‟ faces and messages out there for everyone. Lastly I will offer my utmost gratitude to the wonderful Soldiers who have carried the lineage of the 167th Infantry through the current chapter of our history. To the first sergeants, Soldiers and leaders; I am honored and humbled to be a part of this organization and to stand among you as the Command Sergeant Major of the 167th Infantry Regiment. FOURTH ALABAMA! CSM John Black 10
Cpt Robert jackson chaplain 000 Force Centurion prime Task “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”-- II Timothy 4:7 As the deployment ends I am reminded of what Brig. Gen. Hall, here at camp Phoenix, said to us Chaplains at a recent gathering. He said “end with honor.” This Battalion has done a great job! God's grace has been evident many times, and I hope that you have felt his sustaining hand upon you. As I look back on the past nine months I can't help but thank my Lord and Savior for his mercy. There is no doubt that by God's mercy we can return home to our loved ones, proud of the work that has been done. You can carry a satisfaction that does not come through accolades, or the applause of others, but simply comes from within, knowing you did your best – that you served a cause greater than yourself. The mission is complete and it has been handed to Guam, but there is still one more thing left to do. That is, end with honor. May God bless you and your loved ones! May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ cause his face to shine upon you and keep you! It has been my honor and joy to... Serve Those Who Serve, Chaplain Jackson
POST-DEPLOYMENT YELLOW RIBBON EVEN TS THESE SAVE
Great gift for your soldier!
Bottom will have “4th Alabama” tab and “OEF 20122013” along with custom serial number (167INF###) BEER SOLD SEPARATELY!
MANDATORY DATES!!!! Yellow Ribbon I: July 13-14 Yellow Ribbon II: August 10-11 Birmingham Sheraton Hotel
Task Force Centurion Prime is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TaskForceCenturion
A “Fourth Alabama” edition of the Battle Mug is being offered for $150, nearly half the retail price, to mark the 1st of the 167th Infantry‟s OEF deployment. It comes with an M16 handle and rails that can be tricked out the same as a weapon‟s rails. Contact your company rep or Maj. Tomberlin at firstname.lastname@example.org before 18 May to reserve your Battle Mug. 11
HHC, Echo Company and Foxtrot Company Talladega Superspeedway 3366 Speedway Blvd., Lincoln, AL May 20, 2013 at 2:00 PM Alpha Company National Guard Armory 6448 Fairfax Bypass, Valley, AL May 20, 2013 at 2:00 PM Alpha Company Detachment Fort McClellan Parade Field Fort McClellan, Anniston, AL May 20, 2013 at 2:00 PM Bravo Company National Guard Armory 1000 Yeager Parkway, Pelham, AL May 20, 2013 at 1:00 PM Charlie Company National Guard Armory 1000 23rd Street SW, Cullman, AL May 20, 2013 at 1:00 PM Delta Company Legion Stadium (across from Sylacauga High School) 701 North Broadway, Sylacauga, AL May 20, 2013 at 1:00 PM (Inclement weather location: J. Craig Rec Center) 12