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Governor of Rhode Island and Captain General of the Rhode Island National Guard: Gina M. Raimondo Adjutant General and Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard: Brig. Gen. Christopher P. Callahan

Lines of Effort


Managing Editor: Lt. Col. Peter Parente, State Public Affairs Officer Layout & Design: Staff Sgt. Peter Ramaglia, Public Affairs Specialist Contributors:

Recruiting & Retention


Master Sgt. Janeen Miller 1st Lt. Megan Burmeister Lt. Col. Michael Comstock Tech Sgt. Jason Long Tech Sgt. Sage Maker 1st Lt. Victoria Tolbert-Bravor Sgt. Terry Rajsombath

Also in this issue: WaterFire Providence’s Salute to Veterans 56th Troop Command’s NCO Induction Ceremony Trident Juncture 2015

39 Years Well Served


110th PAD Supports USAREUR ESGR & 143d Host Bosslift Founders & Patriots Honor Civil Engineers Squadron Military Family Halloween Party A Decade of Partnership Women’s Warrior Luncheon Operation Holiday Cheer

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LINES OF EFFORT By Lt. Col. Peter Parente, State Public Affairs Officer


enior leaders from the Rhode Island National Guard gathered recently at the Quonset Air National Guard Base to hear the Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. Christopher P. Callahan discuss our organization’s Lines of Effort. A key message during the discussion focused on organizational priorities. Immediately following September 11, 2001 and over the past fourteen years,

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the RI Guard was focused on training for deployments in support of overseas missions which necessitated increased collaboration with our federal partners. With the departure of ground forces from Iraq in Dec. 2011 and the drawdown of forces in recent years in Afghanistan, focus and objectives have once again shifted to pre-war status. In turn, the priorities and collaborative partners have now shifted. Callahan was very clear in his initial comments to the audience that our number one priority will always be our wartime mission and to ensure our Soldiers and Airmen are trained to

execute their federal mission requirements. He did however indicate that times have changed in this very challenging environment with respect to resources and the future viability of forces. The debate continues within Congress regarding proper force structure levels and capabilities of both the active and reserve components. This has triggered a response from all Adjutants General, all vying for force structure stability while maintaining an eye towards future opportunities for new mission sets to remain relevant as an operational force. To ensure the RI National Guard is well-positioned as the landscape continues to change and a host of metrics are debated, Callahan has set the organization’s course through four “Lines of Effort,” designed to focus each RI Guard service member. As a result, increased collaboration with our state elected officials, state agencies, local towns and communities has occurred. To plan for these changes, the organization will utilize the Lines of Effort that will serve as the roadmap for meeting our future goals and objectives. Each line of effort is critical to our success and nested within our national and state strategic plans. They are:

hensive recruiting and retention and the list of potential adverplan. Callahan emphasized that saries grows, the protection of recruiting and retention is the critical infrastructure networks responsibility of everyone who has become a state and nationwears the uniform. al priority. The cyber threat is Any successful organization real and has already affected focuses on leadership, effective many citizens throughout the management, communication, nation. Although this threat is and the tools needed to sucnot kinetic in nature, its conseceed. These quences are concepts are far reaching “If your future the cornerand possibly training or messtone of Line more devasThe goal of Line of Effort 1 is of Effort 3. tating. As a saging to your to educate major stakeholders Placing leadresult, the RI units do not posin the state about our capabilers in the best Guard’s vast ities beyond wartime mission position to itively effect one experience in sets. Increased community succeed, and the realm of outreach, a robust social media ensuring they of these Lines of cyber defense plan, collaboration within our have the best Effort, then you and communicities and towns are examples equipment, cations posiof how the organization plans to manning, and need to refocus.” tions, the force achieve this goal. functioning faas a leading As discussed previously, cilities to maximize training time contributor and partner within training and equipping each are critical. Effective leadership the state to defend against imunit for war will always remain and a commitment to mission mediate and future threats. The the primary focus and is the success, demonstrates to each long term goal is to increase focus of Line of Effort 2. But in service member that an organi- the footprint in this arena and addition to its wartime mission, zation is leaning forward and is to provide Rhode Island with a the RI Guard will capitalize committed to the best possible skilled and professional force on years of experience as the work environment. The recently capable of threat detection in state’s first military responder completed construction of the an ever increasing environment during a crisis to further part63,000 sq, ft. United States that depends on network conner with our federal, state, and Property and Fiscal Office at nectivity. Line of Effort 4 will local agencies by maximizing Camp Fogarty and the flight ensure strategic cyber partners our efficiency in support of the simulator building currently are well aware of the organizacitizens of Rhode Island. To under construction at the Quon- tion’s capabilities in this arena. ensure readiness well into the set Air National Guard base are Callahan closed his comfuture, senior leaders are also examples of this vision. ments to the audience by sayactively engaged in a compreAs the battlespace increases ing, “If your future training or messaging to your units do not positively effect one of these Enhance Awareness of RING Capabilities and Value Lines of Effort, then you need to refocus. I don’t expect each Recruit and Retain, Train and Equip individual service member to be able to recite each Line of Optimize Organizational Structure and Management Effort, but I do expect them to understand the importance of Expand Cyber Capabilities them for our future.” 1. Enhance Awareness of Rhode Island National Guard Capabilities and Value 2. Recruit, Retain, Train, and Equip Service members to provide a Ready Force 3. Optimize Organizational Structure and Management 4. Expand Cyber Capabilities

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By Staff Sgt. Peter Ramaglia, Public Affairs Specialist

WaterFire Providence honored veterans with their 3rd annual WaterFire lighting on Nov. 7, 2015 at the Waterplace Park Basin in Downtown Providence. A ceremony held at the Rhode Island State House opened the event where guest speakers and state officials recognized veterans, recruits were sworn into their respective branches of service, and torch bearers took part in a torch-lighting ceremony. The speaking portion of the ceremony culminated with a parade from the Rhode Island State House to the Waterplace Park Basin. Upon entering the basin, approximately 450 torch bearers broke off to their respective positions where they placed their torches completing what is known by WaterFire Providence as the Ring of Fire. Across the basin, on Memorial Blvd., a large United States Flag was suspended in the air by two Providence Fire Department vehicles. The Blue Star Moms, a support group for mothers of service members, were positioned on a bridge on the Eastern part of the basin where they held blue stars that glowed bright in the darkness. Positioned to the left upon entering the basin, the “Governor’s Own” 88th Army Band and the Navy Band Northeast performed the songs of each service branch as well as other patriotic music throughout the event. Thousands of people gathered in the city and watched as this special WaterFire honored our veterans ahead of the Veterans Day holiday. “It combines two things that are great about Rhode Island,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “One is WaterFire, and the other of course is our veterans.”

1st Sgt. Soares, 88th Army Band, performs during WaterFire Providence’s Salute to Veterans on Nov. 7, 2015 in Providence. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Ramaglia)

(Right) Brigadier General Christopher P. Callahan, Adjutant General of Rhode Island and Commanding General of the RI National Guard, speaks during WaterFire Providence’s Salute to Veterans on Nov. 7, 2015 in Providence. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Ramaglia)

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By Staff Sgt. Peter Ramaglia, Public Affairs Specialist

First Sergeant Martinelli from the 861st Engineer Company lights a blue candle during the 56th Troop Command’s NCO Induction Ceremony on Oct. 4, 2015 at the Quonset Air National Guard Base’s P1 Auditorium. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Terry Rajsombath)

The 56th Troop Command inducted 60 Rhode Island Army National Guard non-commissioned officers into the NCO Corps on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015 at the Quonset Air National Guard Base in North Kingstown, RI. The NCO induction ceremony is an Army tradition that celebrates newly promoted NCOs joining the ranks of a professional non-commissioned officer corps, It emphasizes and builds on the pride shared as members of such an elite corps. The ceremony also serves to honor the memory of those men and women of the NCO Corps who have served with pride and distinction. Due to deployments, this is the first NCO Induction Ceremony in many years for the 56th Troop Command. “With deployments slowing down, we were able to put this ceremony together, “said Master Sergeant Amy Slater, 56th Troop Command. “This is the first time in a long time that we have the majority of the 56th home and not deployed. This event has been a long-time coming.” Newly inducted NCOs recited the NCO Creed as a group and upon hearing their name called, they walked across the stage under cross swords officially inducting them as non-commissioned officers. At the end of the ceremony, newly inducted NCOs received a copy of the Army Noncommissioned Officer Guide and a copy of the NCO Creed.

Command Sergeant Major Christopher Dyer leads a group of non-commissioned officers prior to their induction at the 56th Troop Command’s NCO Induction Ceremony on Oct. 4, 2015 at the Quonset Air National Guard Base’s P1 Auditorium. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Terry Rajsombath)

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Two C-130J Super Hercules aircraft and twenty-eight Airmen from the 143d Airlift Wing recently operated from Zaragoza Air Base, Spain and Beja Air Base, Portugal in support of NATO’s Exercise Trident Juncture (TRJE15). The Airmen departed from Quonset Air National Guard Base, North Kingstown, Rhode Island on Oct. 19, 2015 and included personnel from a cross-section of operational, support and maintenance specialties. Upon successful mission completion, the Airmen returned to Quonset on Nov. 7, 2015. The largest NATO exercise in over a decade, Trident Juncture is a EUCOM-supported, NATO-led By Master Sgt. Janeen Miller, 143d Airlift Wing, Public Affairs exercise that involved 33 countries performing maneuver warfare, amphibious assault and other large-scale combat practice in Portugal, Spain and Italy. 36,000 troops, more than 230 units, 140 aircraft, and 60 ships took part in the exercise. The participant nations focused on information sharing, threat prediction, mobility and adaptability of forces, identifying areas that need built-in resiliency, strategic communications and each nation’s security network. Exercise Trident Juncture aims 10| Rhode Island National Guard

to train the troops of the NATO Response Force (NRF) and other Allied forces, to increase their readiness to respond to a wide range of challenges. It will ensure that they can work seamlessly together, collaborate with partners and engage in crisis response together with international organizations. The 143d AW was the only Air National Guard unit and one of the few United States Air Force mobility units participating in TRJE15. The aircraft and Airmen from the 143d AW participated in several tactical missions, resupply of forward operating bases, and providing key logistical support for the exercise. Upon arriving in country, the Rhode Island Airmen were ready to get to work. They were scheduled to participate in a multinational formation personnel airdrop in Spain. Under the leadership of the Mission Commander, Major Marc Vincequere, 143d AW Airlift Squadron, the RI Airmen expertly crafted a plan and briefing which led to complete mission success for a 6-ship, 5-nation, Rhody-led formation that dropped over 340 multinational paratroopers. In addition, the Rhode Island Airmen were also very active in Portugal, airdropping personnel and container bundles, landing at unfamiliar landing zones, and flying through an Electronic Warfare range. For the Rhode Island Air National Guard and the 143d Airlift Wing, the mission was a complete success. The Airmen, as usual, stepped up to ensure mission success and completion

for national and multi-national partners using the vast knowledge the “Rhodies” always bring to the table. The exercise itself ran from Oct. 3 to Nov. 6, 2015. Part One, Oct. 3-16, tested command and control elements and highlighted NATO’s ability to work with external partners. Part Two, Oct. 21-Nov. 6, was a live exercise, hosted by Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Trident Juncture 2015, NATO’s biggest exercise in more than a decade, has ended with a show of force in Spain and Portugal. 36,000 troops from 28 Allies and nine partner nations were involved in the month-long training across Italy, Spain and Portugal. Click the picture below to see NATO’s video: “Exercise ends in show of force”

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USAREUR By 1st Lt. Megan Burmeister, Public Affairs Specialst

In October, the 110th Public Affairs Detachment traveled to Germany on a two-pronged mission. The first part of their month-long annual training was to provide command information for the European Best Squad Competition. The Soldiers of the 110th PAD provided near 24/7 still and video coverage of the weeklong event. After rigorous challenges and fierce competition with squads composed of the best Soldiers in Europe, the German team received the first place award and the 110th PAD was there to record the historic event. Following the competition of that mission the 110th PAD shifted gears, moving into a support function acting as civilian media during the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division’s participation in the Combined Resolve V training exercise at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center. Combined Resolve is a series of U.S. Army Europe exercises designed to train participants to function together in a multinational and integrated environment and train U.S. Army rotational forces to Europe to be more flexible, agile and better able to operate alongside allies and partners in the region.

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The 110th PAD assumed the role of journalists for the exercise, tasked with reporting the news to the civilian population. Reporting events of the exercise; showed how the media can effect the overall combat effectiveness of the participating units. The need to incorporate “journalists� into exercises is reflected by the nature of recent conflicts. Junior enlisted Soldiers in all military occupational specialties in direct contact with civilian media can have a profound effect on perception and mission success. These encounters can be overwhelming to Soldiers without experience dealing with civilian media and incorporating training that focuses on their interaction is essential. The 110th PAD provided real-time coverage which allowed the participant commands to develop communication strategies to positively effect relationships with the civilian population through use of the civilian media as messengers. The annual training period allowed the 110th PAD to train individual Soldier skills, Mission Essential Tasks and reinforced that the Guard is an essential piece of our military organization. The support the 110th PAD provided the U.S. Army Europe command , reinforced the fact that public affairs is a combat multiplier.

(Left) A U.S. Soldier carries a simulated casualty during the European Best Squad Competition at the 7th Army’s Joint Multinational Training Command’s, Grafenwoehr training area, Bavaria, Germany, October 20, 2015. The European Best Squad Competition is an Army Europe competition challenging militaries from across Europe to compete and enhance teamwork with Allies and partner nations. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Megan Burmeister)

(Right) Italian OR-6 Andrea Cocca of the 3rd Alpini Regiment listens to a briefing during the European Best Squad Competition at the 7th Army’s Joint Multinational Training Command’s, Grafenwoehr training area, Bavaria, Germany, October 18, 2015. The European Best Squad Competition is an Army Europe competition challenging militaries from across Europe to compete and enhance teamwork with Allies and partner nations. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Terry Rajsombath)

(Left) A U.S. Soldier places a 155mm artillery training round on the back of a teammate during the 2015 European Best Squad Competition, at the 7th Army’s Joint Multinational Training Command’s, Grafenwoehr training area, Bavaria, Germany, Oct. 19. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Terry Rajsombath)

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Employers pose with their employees by a C-130J Super Hercules following their orientation flight at the ESGR Bosslift event held at Quonset Air National Guard Base November 18, 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Janeen Miller)



By Tech Sgt. Sage Maker, 143d Airlift Wing, Public Affairs

Employers from manufacturing, hospitality and tourism sectors; as well as employers of RI Air National Guard members were given a behind the scenes look at the daily operations of the 143d Airlift Wing on Nov. 18, 2015. “Exposing RI employers to the wide pool of skills and talent that lie within the walls of the RI Army and Air National Guard is an excellent way to help bridge the veteran unemployment gap,” said Brian LaFauci, RI Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Program Manager. The behind the scenes look was capped off with an orientation flight on the C-130J cargo plane flown by the RI Air Guard. Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 750,000 Guard and Reserve service members across the United States have left their families and employers to serve in overseas contingency operations or come to the aid of fellow citizens, including 5,700 members of the RI National Guard. Many of these Guard and Reserve members serve, work, and live among us. The outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming. None of this could have been possible 14| Rhode Island National Guard

without the strong backing from civilian employers of the brave men and women who serve this great nation, and the state of Rhode Island. ESGR, a Department of Defense (DoD) office, seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. ESGR facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, recognizing outstanding employer support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, resolving potential conflicts between employers and their service members, and acting as the employers’ principal advocate within DoD. Paramount to ESGR’s mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce. For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call 1-800336-4590 or visit

FOUNDERS & PATRIOTS HONOR 143d Major Jeremiah Buckenberger accepts the Founders and Patriots award plaque during a ceremony at Quonset Air National Guard Base, North Kingstown, Rhode Island on December 5, 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech Sgt. Jason Long)

In 2015, the 143d Civil Engineering Squadron (CES) was recognized as the Founders and Patriots of America honoree at a ceremony held on December 5th at Quonset Air National Guard Base. The Rhode Island Society of the Founders and Patriots presents a variety of awards each year to outstanding National Guard units, ROTC programs and Cadets. The Rhode Island Society of the Founders and Patriots is a patriotic and historic organization founded in 1896. They are comprised of 1200 members across the United States that can trace their ancestry back to the first colonist and whose forefathers in the same male line that served in the American Revolution. In attendance from the Rhode Island Society of the Founders and Patriots of America were Mr. Carlen Booth, Mr. John Eastman, Mr. Herbert Adams and Mr. Robert Baxter, who presented the award. This year’s recipient, the 143d Civil Engineering Squadron distinguished themselves through several outstanding

CIVIL ENGINEERS By Tech Sgt. Jason Long, 143d Airlift Wing, Public Affairs

accomplishments. One of the many responsibilities of the 143d CES is to manage all military construction ventures and all base maintenance projects to include sustainment and renovations. The unit has excelled and has been awarded $115M over 3 years to complete these projects. In recent years, the unit has deployed 74 members in support of Operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom as well as numerous federal and state missions. The 143d CES has also supported our state partnership program by sending 38 members to Coral Harbor Base, Bahamas to assist in the construction of several facilities. In 2015, the Airmen of the 143d CES conducted their annual training at Quonset Air National Guard Base, completing 34 work orders, saving the state of Rhode Island $28,000. The unit revamped the base environmental program, placing themselves in the top 10 in the Air National Guard by eradicating 54 deficiencies in one year. also provided support for the New England chemical, biolog-

ical, radiological, nuclear and high yield explosive enhanced response force package. While supporting the New England CERF-P mission, they participated in the three exercises and hosted three evaluations. The team received a 100% compliance score on all methods of operations. Major Jeremiah Buckenberger received the award on behalf of the men and women of the 143d CES. During his remarks, he thanked the Airmen for their hard work and dedication to the 143d AW and the mission. “To see a base that is transformed from the old ways to the new is a direct result of the hard work of the Airmen of the 143d CES,” said Buckenberger.

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By Staff Sgt. Peter Ramaglia, Public Affairs Specialist

Unit referrals, bring a buddy to drill, benefits, retention, these things are only a fraction of what the Rhode Island Army National Guard’s (RIARNG) Recruiting and Retention Battalion (RRBN) are faced with every day as they strive to generate enlistments from a narrow pool of Rhode Islanders. Seeing the National Guard Recruiting and Retention Force patch on a Soldier’s sleeve doesn’t simply mean that that Soldier is a recruiter. There is much more that goes on behind the patch at the Rhode Island Army National Guard’s Recruiting and Retention Battalion. Let’s start with looking at the numbers… QUALIFIED MILITARY AVAILABLE Not to be confused with the Army’s policy of 35 being the maximum recruitment age, Qualified Military Available (QMA) is an estimate of the 17- to 24-year-old youth population in the United States who would qualify for military service without needing a waiver and be available 16| Rhode Island National Guard

to enlist. reasons related to health, physical limiting qualIn a state like Rhode Island with more than 1 ities and their educational backgrounds. This million people, one would think there shouldn’t be means that only approximately 40,000 of the 1.1 a problem generating at least 12 million Rhode Islanders are enlistments a year per recruiter “If referrals and QMA. in the RRBN. In actuality, generSubtracting the number of ating just one enlistment can be leads were preQMA aged personnel that are a daunting task. cious metals, for currently serving with the Rhode According to the United State Island National Guard and the recruiting, unit Census Bureau, Rhode Island’s 11 other service branches, population is estimated to be referrals are plati- Rhode Island is left with a very 1.1 million, approximately 48 small pool of potential QMA num.” percent male and 52 percent aged recruits. Now, toss in the female. fact that those 11 other service With the QMA age being 17- to 24-years-old, branches are working just as hard for the interest approximately 88 percent of the 1.1 million Rhode of everyone in that pool, then a person can unIslanders are automatically eliminated from this derstand the life of a recruiter. equation. That brings the potential recruiting pool to approximately 132,000. RETENTION & COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES According to the Pentagon, approximately 70 percent of people who fit in the QMA age bracket In a state like Rhode Island where the averwould not qualify for military service because of age age of its populace is 39 years old, and the Chariho High School Assistant Principal Craig MacKenzie volunteers to be part of the the National Guard sponsored Rise Above BMX Ramp Show on Nov. 5, 2015 at Chariho High School. The BMX Ramp Show is a recruiting event used to generate leads for the recruiter whom is assigned that area of responsibility. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Ramaglia)

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Staff Sgt. Ronald Spears, a recruiter with the RRBN, addresses a crowd of Chariho High School students on Nov. 5, 2015 prior to the start of the National Guard sponsored Rise Above BMX Ramp Show. Chariho is one of Spears areas of responsibility. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Peter Ramaglia)

Army’s recruitment cut-off age being 35, unit retention is extremely important. There a number potential life changing Guard benefits that can be used to retain a Soldiers as well as enlist a new one. Through programs such as the State Tuition Assistance Program (STAP) and the Minuteman Scholarship, a Soldier or potential Soldier can receive free college classes, while continuing to benefit from the everyday experience from being a Soldier. The STAP program is available to all Rhode Island Army National Guard Solders who are pursuing an Associates, Bachelors, Master’s Degree, or certification from the Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and the University of Rhode Island. STAP covers up to five tuition-free classes per Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. 18| Rhode Island National Guard

The Minuteman Scholarship offers a Soldier four years of full tuition and fees or $10,000 for room and board at colleges and universities served by an Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Program. The Guard also offers the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) where ROTC cadets get the unique opportunity to drill with Soldiers for whom they will lead upon completion of the ROTC program. Unlike any other branch of service, the National Guard offers high school students the opportunity to join the Guard while they’re still in school. To benefit from this program, a student would enlist during their junior year, and attend Basic Combat Training (BCT) during the summer prior to their senior year. The student would return to school for their senior year, drill with their unit throughout the year, then ship to Advanced Individual Training (AIT) following graduation. The Recruit Sustainment Program (RSP) is another benefit that only the Guard can provide. RSP is a program that is designed to introduce new recruits to the fundamentals of the U.S. Army before leaving for BCT and AIT. “It’s very exciting to witness a high school graduate go through the Soldiering process,” said Sgt. 1st Class Yagna Echevarria, RSP NCOIC. “Seeing them month-to-month and watching as they build both physically and mentally is very rewarding. It’s a great experience because you know A recruiter participates in pre-game activities between two local Rhode Island high school football teams wearing Rhode Island Army National Guard sponsored uniforms. (photo courtesy of the Rhode Island Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion)

you’ve impacted their lives in a positive way.” SEEING THEM THROUGH For some, the perception in the past was that a recruiter was only about their enlistment goals and once you raise your right hand and swear the Oath of Enlistment they would vanish into thin air, out to enlist the next potential lead. This couldn’t be further from the truth. After a recruit enlists into the RIARNG, the recruiter maintains contact during the RSP period, after they return from BCT and AIT, and until the Soldier reports to their assigned unit. “Taking care of Soldiers even after they’re in boots is important,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Vingi, the RRBN Recruiter of the Year. “I receive calls from Soldiers I have recruited up to 18 months after they’ve been with their units with questions they have from being a new Soldier.” In addition to their enlistment and retention goals, recruiters help recruits in each phase of the civilian to Soldier process, from initial contact in the form of a lead until the Soldier is established in their unit.

“If referrals and leads were precious metals, for recruiting, unit referrals are platinum,” said Major Jason Lafferty, Executive Officer, RRBN. The “bring your buddy to drill” program allows Soldiers to invite friends to accompany them on a drill weekend to get an idea of what being in the RIARNG is all about. This is an important tool in a commander’s toolbox, and a great way to generate unit referrals. For more information on how to bring a buddy to drill, contact your unit readiness NCO, or contact your unit’s recruiter. For more information on joining or referring someone to join the RIARNG feel free to call their Providence office at (401) 275-1231, their Warwick office at (401) 275-1230, or visit them on the web at (photo courtesy of the Rhode Island Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion)

REFERRALS A generic lead is literally just a name and a phone number. Without being able to tell if that generic lead would fall into the QMA criteria mentioned earlier, it is estimated that a recruiter would have to generate 750 generic leads to enlist one Soldier per month for a calendar year. To do the same for all of the RRBN’s 20 recruiters, that figure jumps to 15,000 generic leads. With 56 high schools in Rhode Island, 15,000 is nearly every high school junior and senior. Recruiters would have to talk with almost every high school junior and senior in Rhode Island to generate 12 enlistments per year for each of the RRBN’s 20 recruiters. It is estimated that it takes five unit referrals to produce one enlistment. Unit referrals require 99.3 percent less leads than generic leads. So one can see how valuable a unit referral can be for the RIARNG. “Referrals are one of our major bloodlines in the recruiting force,” said Echevarria. “We are grateful for every referral we receive.” Ocean State Guardian |19

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By 1st Lt. Megan Burmeister, Public Affairs Specialst

For a decade Soldiers and Airmen of the Rhode Island National Guard experienced the unique opportunity to train in the Bahamas. The opportunity is part of the Guard wide State Partnership Program (SPP). The SPP builds relationships between a developing country and a state’s National Guard. The two participant organizations are chosen based of multiple factors but Rhode Island and the Bahamas was an easy choice. In 2005 the National Guard Bureau, State Department, and both organizations agreed to the partnership. “The Rhode Island Guard is similar in size to the Bahamian Defense Force, they both have large amounts of coastline, are vulnerable to hurricanes and finally; they have a deep historical connection through British colonialism,” said Maj. Jeffrey

Floyd, the Plans and International Affairs Officer for the Rhode Island National Guard. The primary focus is military-to-military engagements with the Royal Bahamas Defense Force to support theater security cooperation goals. “We have conducted over 150 subject matter expert exchanges both in the Bahamas and in Rhode Island,” said Floyd. “We focus in areas like computer network defense, First Aid, Civil Disturbance Operations, Engineering, and logistics.”

Recently Brig. Gen. Callahan, Adjutant General and Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard traveled to the Bahamas to discuss what goals the organizations can work towards together. Our ongoing partnership with the Bahamas keeps us relevant around the globe and relevant in the U.S. Northern Command’s Area of Operations. The SPP now includes every state’s National Guard and 65 countries.

(Left to right) Lieutenant Commander Patrick Davis Senior Defense Official/Defense Attaché, Lisa Johnson, Chargé d’Affaires U.S. Embassy, Captain Tellis Bethel, Acting Commander Defence Force, Brigadier General Christopher P. Callahan and Clyde Sawyer, Captain of Coral Harbour Base. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Victoria Tolbert-Bravo)

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Integral to the “Total Force” Concept By Major Alex Arroyo, 43d Military Police Brigade


he 43d Military Police Brigade recently participated in Warfighter Exercise (WFX) 16-2, a significant corps-level training event that exemplified the Total Force concept envisioned by United States Armed Forces Command Commander, General Robert B. Abrams. The exercise included more than 2,000 Soldiers comprised of the headquarters element of the XVIII Airborne Corps., two division headquarters and numerous brigade and battalion headquarters units representing the Active Component, US Army Reserve, and Army National Guard. The significance of the training was highlighted by visits from the FORSCOM commander as well as the Acting Secretary of the Army, Hon. Eric Fanning, the Director of the Army National Guard, Lt. Gen. Timothy Kadavy, and Adjutants General from several states to include Rhode Island’s own Brig. Gen. Christopher Callahan. 22| Rhode Island National Guard

“FORSCOM is by design a ‘Total Force’ command -- Army National Guard, U.S. Army Reserve, and the Active Component. We are one Army, one Army, working together -- shoulder to shoulder to build and sustain highly trained and disciplined Soldiers and formations in accordance with Army standards -- we are expert in our warfighting skills -- ready to deploy and win in ground combat against any enemy.” - Gen. Robert B. Abrams After 18 months of planning, the 15-day simulated combat scenario commenced on Nov. 9, 2015 with the XVIII Airborne Corps performing as the Combined Forces Land Component Commander (CFLCC) from Fort Campbell, KY. Division participants included Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, KY., and the 29th Infantry Division operating from Camp Atterbury, IN. The Rhode Island Army National Guard’s 43d Military Police Brigade’s warfighter mission was to provide direct support to the XVIII Airborne Corps. The unit’s specific tasks were to conduct Security and Mobility Support and Detention Operations in the Corps Support Area. In the simulated war environment, the brigade’s battle staff provided mission command

for five Military Police Battalions representing more than 3,500 Soldiers, and employed among the most advanced technological command systems in the world. The 43 MP BDE also embedded a Liaison Officer (LNO) team within the XVIII Airborne Corps tactical operations center (TOC). This team integrated with the CFLCC staff and strengthened the working relationship between the two organizations. They also assumed the additional role of LNO support to the 158th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB) Col. James Vartanian, G3, Rhode Island National Guard, discusses future teaming and training opportunities with the 16th MP BDE commanders. (photo courtesy of DCOG, OPS GRP “C”, Ft. Leavenworth, KS)

Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Kadavy, Director, Army National Guard, visits the 43d MP BDE’s Tactical Operations Center (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Brandon Rex)

which partnered with the 43d in operations directly supporting the Corps rear area of operations. FORSCOM’s Total Force Partnership Program aims to develop relationships that integrate the Army’s Active, Reserve, and National Guard, maximizing the strengths that each component brings to the fight and synchronizing those organizations into a total operational force. Unique to this warfighter was the 43d’s “road test” of its Total Force Partnership with the 16th Military Police Brigade. The 16th, based in Ft. Bragg, NC., as well as members of the 181st Infantry Brigade, First Army, based in Fort McCoy, WI., were embedded within the 43d’s staff during the exercise. Although the 16th and the 43d have a strong history among their senior staff, the true success of this partnership effort during WFX 16-2 was forged in the front row of the Brigade Tactical Operations Center. When the 16th MP BDE Sol-

diers arrived, they were relatively unknown. By their second day, their strengths and skill sets were identified and matched to staff positions which provided them the best opportunity to excel and to support

the operation. By the second phase of the exercise, external observers found it difficult to ascertain which members were not organic to the 43d. Without influence from the senior staff, the NCOs and junior officers of both units assimilated into one synchronous and effective battle staff. Even on days of intense activity, the team demonstrated the true tenants of Mission Command. The relationship between the 43d and the 16th MP Brigades was initially forged in 2006, when they conducted Reliefin-Place Operations at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Members of these two OIF units, to include both current brigade commanders, reunited at Camp Atterbury. This culmination of a year’s joint effort in planning and coordinating for WFX 16-2 was the restoration

of a long and enduring partnership. “We have embraced this initiative,” said Colonel Alex Reina, the 43d MP Brigade Commander. “Our strong relationships are underscored by the mutual commitment and trust developed through this exercise. Members of the 16th and 181st Brigades joined our team with no reservations, became bonafide members of the staff, and developed what I believe to be life-long professional relationships. These incredibly talented Solders substantially contributed to the 43d BDE’s success in WFX 16-2.” WFX 16-2 served to build a cohesive brigade battle staff in a stressful and challenging environment. This accomplishment serves to move the headquarters forward, and fortified the unit in its readiness to take on Mission Command responsibilities in support of federal and state contingency missions. Protect the Right! Col. Eugenia Guilmartin, Commander, 16th MP BDE, poses with members of the 43d MP BDE with whom she served at Lost Lake, Victory Base, Baghdad, Iraq. (photo courtesy of DCOG, OPS GRP “C”, Ft. Leavenworth, KS)

Ocean State Guardian |23


LUNCHEON The fifth annual Operation Stand Down Rhode Island (OSDRI) Women Warriors living history luncheon was held at the Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown, on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2015 to benefit the Cpl. Holly Charette Home in Johnston. The money is to be used to provide temporary financial assistance with rent, utilities and childcare, a comprehensive employment and training program, legal assistance and access to basic human needs such as food and clothing for the residents of the

(left) Specialist Kimberly Pitts-Wiley, Trooper RI State Police and Sergeant, 169th Military Police Company opens the event with the singing of the national anthem during the 5th Annual Women Warriors Luncheon on Nov. 11, 2015 at the Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown, RI. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Janeen Miller)

Holly Charette House. This year’s luncheon coincided with the 10th anniversary of the death of Cranston Native L/CPL Holly Charette, USMC, killed in action on June 23, 2005 when her convoy was struck by a suicide bomber in Fallujah, Iraq. OSDRI’s annual event honors the many women who have served our country and typically feature a female warrior panel and a keynote speaker telling their stories of leadership and service.

(right) Colonel Robert Marciano, Chaplain, Rhode Island National Guard gives the invocation during the 5th Annual Women Warriors Luncheon on Nov. 11, 2015 at the Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown, RI. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Janeen Miller)

Attendees at the 5th Annual Women Warriors Luncheon, on Nov. 11, 2015 at the Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown, RI, included Lucy Amat who served in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II and several Gold and Blue Star families. The luncheon included a speaker’s panel of women warriors. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Janeen Miller)

24| Rhode Island National Guard

FEATURE ARTICLE Chief Master Sergeant Lorraine Casucci addresses the men and women of the Rhode Island Air National Guard and her guests during a retirement her retirement ceremony held at Quonset Air National Guard Base, North Kingstown, RI on December 2, 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Janeen Miller)

39 Years

Well Served! By Master Sgt. Janeen Miller, 143d Airlift Wing, Public Affairs

North Kingstown, Rhode Island – A retirement ceremony, held here at Quonset Air National Guard Base, North Kingstown, Rhode Island, celebrated the prestigious career of Chief Master Sergeant Lorraine Casucci of Joint Force Headquarters, Rhode Island Air National Guard. Chief Casucci is leaving the at the end of December after 39 years, five months and 18 days of selfless service to the Air National Guard – a majority of that time with the RIANG. Chief Casucci’s career is a unique and impressive one. She began her career in 1976 in the same way as all Airmen do, with a trip to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

The Chief stated that she was a little older than most trainees were and therefore a little more resistant to change. She noted, “The most challenging part of being the new guy on the block was the fact that I was a gal.” The times were different in 1976. During basic training while her male counterparts were learning their warrior skills, she attended a class on how to put on makeup! And, while the males were being issued fatigues and combat boots, the Chief was fitted for a special blue uniform “for everyday office wear.” However, upon her return to the newly established 282d Combat Communications Squadron she was issued

fatigues and combat boots and expected to get to work. Recognizing her first supervisor, Sergeant Rick Conti, she said, “Sergeant Conti made it ok to be a female in an all-male wideband communications shop.” She stated that thanks to Sergeant Conti she learned how to shoot a weapon and drive a 40foot flatbed tractor-trailer in lead of a convoy. Even though she was too thin to wear the climbing belt needed to climb to the top of the 80-foot antenna array and despite that she needed to post a sign on the single bathroom door in the shop to alert that there was a lady inside, her time serving under Conti was the foundation for her military Ocean State Guardian |25

career. Chief Casucci went on to become the first female wideband radio team chief, the first state human resources advisor, the first female Chief Master Sergeant in the Rhode Island Air Guard, and the state’s first female State Command Chief. Outside of Rhode Island, in Washington DC, Chief Casucci served as the first Rhode Island representative and first female to serve as the Chairman of the National Guard Enlisted Field Advisory Council. The ceremony began with Chief Casucci recognizing her family. She presented flowers

to her mother Terry and her daughter Carla and military challenge coins to her husband Dave, son Michael and stepfather Harold, a World War II veteran. Additionally, her husband Dave received a certificate of appreciation from the United States Air Force and a gift from Joint Force Headquarters for his support of his wife’s career and for all of his contributions over the decades to the RIANG Family Program. General Matthew Dzailo, Assistant Adjutant General for Air presented Chief Casucci with a Meritorious Service Medal and a Rhode Island Star during the official

awards ceremony. Following the official presentations, Chief Casucci received many gifts from the RIANG Chief’s Council, the men and women of Joint Force Headquarters, the 102d Network Warfare Squadron, and the 282d Combat Communications Squadron. The Rhode Island Air National Guard Select Color Guard performed a flag folding ceremony reserved for those members who have served over 30 years in the Armed Forces. The flag passed through representatives from each of the ranks that Chief Casucci held and a ceremonial passage was read. Chief

Brigadier General Matthew Dzailo, Assistant Adjutant General - Air, Rhode Island National Guard presents Chief Lorraine Casucci with a shadow box on behalf of the men and women of the Joint Force Headquarters staff during a retirement ceremony for Chief Casucci, Joint Force Headquarters, RIANG, held at Quonset Air National Guard Base, North Kingstown, RI on December 2, 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Janeen Miller)

26| Rhode Island National Guard

Master Sergeant Michael Brady, Command Chief, Rhode Island Air National Guard, presented the folded flag to Chief Casucci for her dedicated service. The ceremony wrapped up with the reading and presentation of the retirement order and Chief Casucci’s remarks. During her remarks, she recognized those who came to celebrate her retirement with special recognition to retired Chief Jean Halsell, who is a friend from Basic Military Training. Chief Casucci spoke about her experiences in the Air National Guard mentioning that all of her training and all of her firsts pale in her memory compared to all of the unique experiences with which only another Guard

member can identify. She spoke about experiences such as starting an unplanned ability to survive and operate (ATSO) event at an Operational Readiness Inspection by reporting an unusual odor that turned out to be someone innocently opening a handi-wipe at the other end of the tent. Also, having to learn through a trip to the grog bowl about the secret pocket in a woman’s mess dress jacket that is sized perfectly for a challenge coin (and nothing else). She said, “These are the experiences I’ll remember. And of course, the people – I’ll always remember the incredible people I’ve met along the way.” She closed her remarks by thanking her family for supporting her

throughout her experiences with the Air National Guard. The men and women of the Rhode Island National Guard wish Chief Master Sergeant Lorraine Casucci and her family the best in their next journey. Her expertise, friendly disposition, and ability to be the epitome of the Guard mantra “always ready, always there” will be missed greatly by all. We thank you, Chief, for your outstanding service to our state and nation.


Ocean State Guardian |27

The Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee stands with volunteers outside of the Warwick Armory in Warwick, RI on Nov. 22, 2015 as packages are assembled for RI service men and women overseas.

OPERATION HOLIDAY CHEER PACKAGES ASSEMBLED FOR RI SERVICE MEMBERS By Mario Hilario, NBC 10 Warwick — More than a hundred volunteers gathered at the National Guard Armory in Warwick on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015 in an assembly line to put together care packages going to Rhode Island service members currently overseas. “It’s that time of year, you’re looking over your shoulder ‘what would I be doing if I was home for Thanksgiving, home for the holidays,” said Brigadier General Christopher Callahan of the Rhode Island National Guard. Lt Governor Dan McKee and Mayor Scott Avedisian were among those helping out at the thirteenth annual Operation Holiday Cheer. Among the groups volunteering, the Blue Star Moms, who were busy placing stuffed Christmas stockings into the care packages. “We have candy, Itunes gift card, and an inflatable pillow that has a special star on it,” said Blue Star Mom Cindy Gac28| Rhode Island National Guard

cione. The care packages also contained items uniquely Rhode Island. “You can’t get Dunkin’ Donuts further south never mind a different country; the Del’s lemonade, autocrat coffee, it was great to have that kind of stuff,” said Michael Dalmazzi with the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, one of the many groups volunteering. Dalmazzi says he remembers getting a care package when he was deployed. “It was a little bit of home in a place that was hostile,” he said. Veteran Johanna Bravo also remembered getting a care package when she was deployed to Iraq with the 1207th Transportation Company. “I got a

Dunkin Donuts cup, I kept it for a month because I didn’t want to throw it awayit was like having Rhode Island in Iraq, it just really chokes me up, it’s so great people care about us,” said Bravo. The roughly four hundred packages assembled were loaded onto a United States Postal Service truck and were expected to be shipped out on Monday. You can find this article online on the website here. Operation Holiday Cheer packages assembled at the Warwick Armory Sunday for RI troops serving overseas.

Ocean State Guardian |29

Ocean State Guardian - Online Issue #6  

In this issue of the Ocean State Guardian, we outline the Adjutant General's Lines of Effort, learn about Recruiting and Retention, say fare...

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