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Rhode Island National Guard

The Ocean State Guardian Summer 2011

The Governor of Rhode Island and the Captain General of the Rhode Island National Guard

Commander’s Column . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Deployed Rhode Island Soldiers proving their worth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 43rd MPs deploy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 R.I. Air Guard partners with FEMA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Alpha Company 1-182nd Infantry deploy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Diversity Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 EANGUS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

The Honorable Lincoln D. Chafee The Adjutant General of the State of Rhode Island and Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard

Maj. Gen. Robert T. Bray Assistant Adjutant General for Army and Deputy Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard

Brig. Gen. Brian W. Goodwin Commander, Joint Force Headquarters, Rhode Island National Guard

Col. Marcus Jannitto Assistant Adjutant General for Air Rhode Island National Guard

Brig. Gen. Paul L. Ayers Managing Editor State Public Affairs Officer

Lt. Col. Denis Riel Public Affairs Specialists

Sgt. Megan Burmeister Sgt. Peter Ramaglia Public Affairs Office (401) 275-4038

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PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE • (401) 275-4038 •


Justin Ritter Graphic Designer

Major General Robert T. Bray

Marie Lundstrom Editor

Cover Composed by Army Sgt. Peter Ramaglia, Public Affairs Specialist

Chris Kersbergen Darrell George Advertising Sales

CORPORATE OFFICE: 8537 Corbin Dr., Anchorage, AK 99507 (907) 562-9300 • (866) 562-9300 Fax: (907) 562-9311

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Freedom Award Recognition dinner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Chaplain’s Corner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Chemical exercise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Maj. Gen. Bray moves on . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Team represents Rhode Island at the 2011 National Guard Combatives Tournament . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Transition Assistance Advisor ready to help . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 R.I. National Guard Soldiers support military values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Warrior Challenge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 A proud tradition begins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Feedback on The OSG content, please e-mail:

Bob Ulin Publisher

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The Ocean State Guardian is published by AQP Publishing, Inc., a private firm in no way connected with the Rhode Island National Guard, under written contract with the Rhode Island National Guard. This Rhode Island National Guard magazine is an authorized publication for employees and military members of the Rhode Island National Guard. Contents of this publication are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by, the state of Rhode Island, the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, or the Rhode Island National Guard. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts or supplements, does not constitute endorsement by the state of Rhode

Island, DoD, the Rhode Island National Guard, or AQP Publishing, Inc. of the products or services advertised. Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use, or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other nonmerit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. Editorial content is edited, prepared, and provided by the Office of Public Affairs, Joint Forces Headquarters – RING. All photographs and graphic devices are copyrighted to the Rhode Island National Guard unless otherwise indicated.

Summer 2011 / Rhode Island National Guard



Ocean State Guardian / Summer 2011

Commander’s Column As we enter into the final months of Training Year/Fiscal Year 2011, we can look back on numerous achievements. The mobilization of F Company, 1/126th Aviation Battalion, 43d Military Police Brigade and A Company, 1/182 Infantry, and the preparation for deployment of the 1/126th Aviation Battalion, C Company, 143 Infantry, and D Company, 126th Aviation, shows that the Rhode Island Army National Guard remains a viable and relevant force. The tremendous efforts displayed by everyone throughout this process continues to impress me and prove that you are the most dependable, dedicated and reliable force anywhere in the nation. While accomplishing this, let us not forget our state mission. During the past several months while preparing these units, we faced several snow emergencies that required the stand up of the Joint Operations Center as well as units. These steps were taken to ensure the safety of the citizens of this great state and to assist those state agencies as they battled the elements. Now as we enter into these final months our strength goal as set by National Guard Bureau for Training Year 2012 is 2,145. As I write this we are at 2,127 (-18). It is imperative that we meet the 2,145 goal to ensure that we

retain the present force structure. I am asking everyone to dig in a little deeper and assist the Recruiting and Retention Command in attaining this goal. Qualified referrals, GRAP and the retention of Soldiers are critical to meet both our federal and state missions, and I need the help of everyone to accomplish this. Safety is also paramount during the summer months. Activities such as boating, swimming, bike riding and operating motorcycles are just some of the more popular events of the summer. They are also some of the most dangerous. Please ensure that you take the proper precautions prior to embarking on these activities to ensure that proper protective equipment is worn, that equipment is mechanically sound, that a buddy system is utilized, no one swims alone. We need each and every one of you to accomplish our mission, you are the vital link that keeps this organization together. Again, I want to thank you and your families for all your dedication, devotion and selfless service. Brig. Gen. Brian Goodwin Assistant Adjutant General for Army and Deputy Commanding General, Rhode Island National Guard

Deployed Rhode Island Soldiers proving their worth By Command Sgt. Maj. John J. McDonough IV, 5th State Command Sergeant Major, RIARNG

Over the last several weeks I’ve been on the road observing unit training and visiting our deployed units. My conclusion was the same no matter the unit or the event I observed. The Rhode Island National Guard Soldiers are among the finest Soldiers anywhere. Both Maj. Gen. Bray and I recently returned from Kuwait where we visited our Warrior’s from the 1st Battalion, 103 Field Artillery, and the 1270th Forward Support Company. Both organizations’ fall under the 197th Fires Brigade of the New Hampshire Army National Guard. No matter who we talked to, we received numerous accolades on the performance of Rhode Island

Guardsmen. Both units are in the ninth month of their deployment, and as they move to within 90 days of their redeployment morale is extremely high. All that we talked to are excited about returning home to their loved ones, but remain vigilant in their environment and focused on their duties at hand. Our warriors are performing a variety of missions, many of which they never performed until they received such training at their Mobilization Station at Fort McCoy, WI. None the less, our soldiers excelled in training, adapted to mission change and successfully perform operations critical to the Global War on Terror. As our currently deployed unit

conducts “Right Seat Rides” with their replacement units, many other Rhode Island units continue to prepare for future deployments. We will continue our commitment to providing the BEST trained, BEST equipped and BEST led Soldiers to the cause. I am extremely proud of our men and woman who give all in defense of this great country. Both Maj. Gen. Bray and I returned from Kuwait elated with the feedback of Rhode Island Soldiers performance. Our heroes continue to set the standard for success, and bring great credit upon the State of Rhode Island.

Summer 2011 / Rhode Island National Guard


43rd MPs deploy Approximately 100 Soldiers of the 43rd MP Brigade Headquarters deployed to Afghanistan in support of the War on Terror in the beginning of March. The year-long deployment will take the Soldiers to Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan where they will assume control of detention operations in partnered mission with the Afghan National Police at the Detention Facility in Parwan. The DFIP, a state-of-the-art theater internment facility, was completed in September 2009 and occupied by detainees in late December 2009. The DFIP is equipped with a medical facility, on-site family visitation center, vocational facilities and 4

Ocean State Guardian / Summer 2010

educational classrooms. The design of the DFIP accommodates detainee reintegration efforts and enables Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 to better align detainee operations with the overall strategy to defeat the extremist insurgency in Afghanistan. “The 43rd Military Police Brigade has extensive experience in the detention operations arena and commanded more than 6000 Soldiers during their last deployment to Iraq.” said Brig. Gen. Charles Petrarca, commander of the 43rd MP Brigade. “Many of our Soldiers will be deploying for a second time in this capacity and the unit is incredibly well postured for success as we take over this high visibility and critical mission in Afghanistan.” The 43rd MP Brigade previously deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 2002, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. They deployed to Iraq in 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where they exercised

command and control of all Theater Internment Facilities in support of Task Force 134 and Multi National Force Iraq and oversaw the Iraqi Corrections Officer Academy.

Summer 2011 / Rhode Island National Guard


R.I. Air Guard partners with FEMA Airmen from the Rhode Island Air National Guard’s 143rd Airlift Wing participated in a daylong, no-notice training exercise with the Federal Emergency Management Agency Incident Management Assistance Team personnel. FEMA IMAT personnel from FEMA’s Region I Headquarters in Boston were alerted early on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, that they would be deployed to Tennessee in support of a simulated disaster in that part of the country. IMAT personnel convoyed their team and equipment to Quonset State Airport, North Kingstown, R.I.. Upon arrival at Quonset, the FEMA team received a detailed situation briefing and prepared three FEMA response vehicles for airlift on a RI Air National Guard C-130J transport aircraft. Airmen of the 143rd Airlift Wing briefed the team on all safety requirements, inspected the cargo and personal baggage and guided each vehicle operator during the loading and tie-down of the three vehicles on the C-130. Once the vehicles were loaded and secured, the team boarded the aircraft. The exercise control personnel then informed the participants that this was a test of their ability to prepare for an emergency deployment by military aircraft and that they would not actually be flying out. “This is another great example of the critical type of support the Rhode Island National Guard, in support of the


Ocean State Guardian / Summer 2011

Members of the 143rd Airlift Wing, Aerial Port Flight, supervise the loading of Federal Emergency Management Agency’s, Incident Management Assistance Team equipment onto the unit’s C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at Quonset Air National Guard Base, North Kingstown, on Wednesday, April 20.

R.I. Emergency Management Agency, continues to offer to the state,” said Maj. Gen. Robert T. Bray, Adjutant General of Rhode Island and Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard.


Approximately 130 Soldiers of Alpha Company 1-182nd Infantry deployed to Afghanistan in support of the War on Terror in March. The unit mobilized for deployment in Camp Atterbury, Indiana. The year-long deployment will take the Soldiers to Afghanistan where they will perform a provincial reconstruction team security mission. “Alpha Company 1-182nd Infantry (AVENGER) has trained very hard for the past year,” said Capt. Devin Ciminero, commander Alpha Company 1-182nd Infantry. “We are ready and eager to protect the freedoms that we hold so dear.” A provincial reconstruction team is a unit introduced by the United States government, consisting of military officers, diplomats, and reconstruction subject matter experts, working to support reconstruction efforts in unstable states.

Summer 2011 / Rhode Island National Guard


From Left to Right Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Coyne, Chief, Media Engagement Division, Air National Guard Training and Education Center, Tennessee, and former member of the 143d Airlift Wing, North Kingstown, R.I.; Chief Master Sgt. Michael Brady, RIANG, Human Resources Advisor; Colonel Robert Germani Jr., Vice Commader of the 143d Airlift Wing, Maj. Gen. Robert Bray, Adjutant General, Commanding General, RING; Command Sgt. Maj. John McDonnough, Senior Enlisted Advisor, RING; Mr. Carter, RING, Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Hart, Human Resources Advisor, 143d Airlift Wing; and Lt. Col. (Retired) Matt Santos, RIANG, pose for a photo after the presentation of the 2010 Excellence in Diversity Air National Guard Wing Award to the 143d Airlift Wing. The presentation took place at the 2011 National Guard Diversity Conference Awards Luncheon in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo: Master Sgt. Janeen Miller

Diversity Award During the week of 14-18 March 2011 National Guard Leaders, and representatives from each state’s National Guard units gathered together in Boston for the 2011 National Guard Diversity Conference. The theme of the conference was “Where It All Began”, referring to the roots of the National Guard beginning in Massachusetts nearly 375 years ago. Throughout the week these leaders and representatives attended various breakouts and general sessions to discuss the importance of diversity in the National Guard. At his opening address, General Craig McKinley, Chief, National Guard Bureau, reminded the attendees why they were there; “Diversity isn’t a program you do for a specific period of time and declare 8

victory. It’s an everyday thing,” McKinley said. “Take advantage of the opportunity to meet and learn from each other while you are here.” In remarking on the theme of the conference, McKinley offered this, “I know your theme this year is ‘Where it all Began’, and that’s a great theme,” he said. “But if I can take some creative license, I suggest to you that this conference is where it all begins again. “Go back and redouble your efforts, keep the focus on diversity and help make the work place better and more effective.” During the conference, on Wednesday, 16 March, the Diversity Awards Luncheon was held and attended by all conference attendees and the National Guard Leadership. At the luncheon General McKinley

Ocean State Guardian / Summer 2011

recognized individuals from the Army and Air Nationa l Guard, one Army National Guard unit, one Joint Force Headquarters unit, and an Air National Guard Wing for excellence in diversity. We are proud to announce that the 143d Airlift Wing was awarded this prestigious award! This is the first time this award has been given and we are more than honored to be the first Wing to receive it. Accepted by Major General Bray, RING Adjutant General and Colonel Germani, 143d AW Vice Commander, other members and some former members of the RI National Guard stood by and cheered loudly. This is another testament to the “excellence in all we do” shown by the men and women of the 143d Airlift Wing! Congratulations to you!

EANGUS Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States EANGUS is the largest Enlisted Reserve Component organization. For over a decade, they have been a leader in the military coalition which consists of 35 military and veterans organizations that represent over 5.5 million members. Some of the rights that EANGUS has fought for us include: Retired pay at age 60, PX/BX Commissary privileges for you and your spouse, VA Home Loan program, Space “A” travel on Government-owned aircraft, Montgomery G.I. Educational Benefits Post 9-11 GI Education Benefits and so much more. To learn more about EANGUS and all that they do, please go to:

RI State EANGUS Board of Directors: President of the RI Chapter: William Smith, email: Vice President: Georgina Kalwak, email: Secretary: Tonya Montella, email: Treasurer: Nancy Sherman, email: May 2011 membership Drive: 100 new members per state. The following excerpt is from the National Membership Committee Chairman, Don Wood on the membership drive; When a Soldier or Airman asks “Why should I join”? Here are the five reasons: 1. You are identifying yourself as a professional member of a professional organization. 2. Your dues help pay for legislative advances at the state and federal level to keep the National Guard strong. 3. If you get into a severe financial crisis, you may receive a grant of $500 from our “We Care for America” Foundation, in 2010, the WCFA Foundation provided more than $88,000 in emergency grants to deserving Guard members and their families. 4. EANGUS members and family members are eligible to apply for several educational scholarships valued from $500 to $2,000, and one full four- year scholarship valued at $36,000 5. New members will receive a frame-worthy certificate of membership, and a letter will be sent to your commander, advising him/her that you have stepped up in leadership by joining a professional association.

General Officers’ Promotions

Membership dues are $15 annually; please contact any of the Board of Directors to get a Membership Application by the end of May 2011.

Colonel Charles E. Petrarca promoted to Brigadier General Colonel Charles E. Petrarca was promoted to brigadier general on Sunday November 14, 2010 at the Rhode Island State House. Brig. Gen. Petrarca is currently deployed as the commander of the 43rd Military Police Brigade and is responsible for overseeing detention operations in the Detention Facility in Parwan and its conditions-based transition to the Afghan government.

Colonel Richard F. Keene promoted to Brigadier General Col. Richard F. Keene was promoted to brigadier general at the Rhode Island State House on Saturday February 5, 2011. Brig. Gen. Keene is currently serving as the Assistant to the Vice Commander, United States Special Operations Command, responsible for representing United States Special Operations Command and the Component Commands to the Joint Staff, Service Staffs, Office of the Secretary of Defense and other governmental agencies in the National Capitol Region.

Colonel Marcus E. Jannitto promoted to Brigadier General On Sunday March 27, 2011 Col. Marcus E. Jannitto and family gathered at the Rhode Island State House for his promotion to brigadier general. Brig. Gen. Janitto is a 34-year veteran of the 143rd Airlift Wing of the Rhode Island Air National Guard. He is the commander of the Joint Force Headquarters of the Rhode Island National Guard.

Summer 2011 / Rhode Island National Guard


Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee attended the Rhode Island Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Freedom Award Recognition dinner, where civilian employers of members of the Rhode Island National Guard were recognized for their continued support of their employees. During the dinner, Chafee signed a statement of support, vowing that the state of Rhode Island will continue to provide the requisite support to their citizen warriors.

Maj. Gen. Robert Bray and Rhode Island chairman for ESGR John Burns pose with two state police officers after awarding them with Freedom Awards for the state police’s continued support of their Guard employees.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Congressman David Cicilline recognize Rhode Island’s finest employers at Freedom Award Recognition dinner

The Rhode Island Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve hosted a recognition dinner for the 24 employers nominated for the 2011. Three nominations from Rhode Island have been forwarded for consideration at the national level. Only 15 of these very prestigious Department of Defense-sponsored awards are given nationally each year to those employers deemed to be the most outstanding in their support of their employees who are also members of the National Guard or Reserve. The three nominees from Rhode Island are Amica Insurance, Banneker Industries and the Woonsocket School Department. Over dinner, employers were addressed by the Rhode Island chairman for ESGR, John Burns. Chairman Burns’ comments to the 10

audience were poignant and informative as he addressed the tremendously beneficial impact these companies have had in support of the defense of our country. He further outlined the crucial role the companies will play as partners in ESGR’s new employment initiative program. The chairman’s final comments provided the perfect segue to a resounding address by Maj. Gen. Robert Bray, The Adjutant General of the state of Rhode Island, in which he regaled the audience with facts, statistics, observations and anecdotes that clearly demonstrated how much Rhode Island’s military reserve community, including employers, has gone “above and beyond” to support our country’s global efforts in defense of freedom. Gov. Chafee then led the group of employers in a simultaneous signing

Ocean State Guardian / Summer 2011

of ESGR Statements of Support, in which employers vow to provide the requisite support to their citizen warriors. Looking out at some of his employees, uniformed state police officers who are members of the National Guard, the governor commented that, per capita, Rhode Island’s military reserve forces are the second most deployed of all states. Congressman David Cicilline also addressed the audience. He thanked both employers and their military reserve employees for their support of the nation’s defense, and promised to work hard in Washington to ensure sufficient resources remain in place. One of the more touching moments of the evening came when Senior Master Sgt. Ian Hyatt, first sergeant for Rhode Island Air National Guard’s 143rd Airlift Wing, spoke of the many

The dinner tables held statements of support for employers to fill out simultaneously with Gov. Chafee. Three Rhode Island employers were submitted for consideration at the national level for their support of Guard employees.

instances when he experienced outstanding support from his employer, GTech. Hyatt received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his description of the service he was able to complete due, in large part, to his employer’s support. Culminating the evening’s activities, Burns and Bray presented the nominees with Above and Beyond Awards, ESGR Coins and Congressional Letters and Proclamations from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Rep. Jim Langevin. The top three candidates, Amica Insurance, Banneker Industries and Woonsocket School Department, received Pro-Patria Awards.

THE 24 COMPANIES NOMINATED WERE Amica Mutual Insurance Company Banneker Industries Best Buy Butler Hospital Chelo’s Citizens Bank Coca Cola Refreshment Cox Communications CVS CVS/Caremark Gilbane Building Company GTECH John Strafach and Sons

Johnson & Wales University Landmark Aviation North Providence Police Department Rhode Island Hospital Rhode Island State Police Saint Elizabeth Home Shred-IT Providence Tasca Automotive Group US Naval War College US Naval War College Woonsocket School District (Woonsocket Middle School) Summer 2011 / Rhode Island National Guard


Chaplain’s Corner

By Chaplain Capt. C. H. Bourquin

What you wear says a lot about you My Army uniform says a lot about me. Sometimes while putting my patches on a clean set of ACUs, I like to go in order of importance. The first patch I adhere is the cross. Of first importance in my life is my faith. After earning a bachelor’s degree, a master of divinity degree, and serving as a pastor, I pinned on the cross in July 2007. The second patch I place on my uniform is my name tape. After my faith, my family is most important in my life. It reminds me of my childhood in Hampton, Conn., and of my beautiful, supportive wife who

Capt. Bourquin and his wife after officiating at a wedding, July 4, 2009.

is a wonderful mother to our four children—Alaina, Kaitlyn, Trey and Wyatt. Since family is so important to

Building Ready Families

Capt. Bourquin and his oldest daughter, Alaina (now 4 years old) at Family Day.


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me, I also want to help others have satisfying family relationships. The third hook patch I attach to my ACUs is the flag of the USA. It represents the country I love and defend. Every other patch is significant as well. I have volunteered to serve with the U.S. Army. I am currently assigned to the 1-126th Aviation Battalion and I was deployed with the 3-157th FA, earning my parachutist badge while chaplain of the 5-19th SFG(A). I am proud to wear this uniform and honored to serve as your fulltime support chaplain.

Getting married and raising a family presents many challenges. Add a military career and deployments to that, and difficulties increase. The Army recognizes the need to train Soldiers to effectively handle these challenges and has created the Strong Bonds program toward that purpose. Strong Bonds is a chaplain-led, non-religious program providing training for singles, couples, and families on how to thrive in relationships. After a decade of overwhelmingly positive results in the Army, the Air Guard has also made this training available to Airmen. Upon completion of Strong Bonds training, service members report greater satisfaction in family relationships, which impact all areas of life. Service members with a successful family life have greater retention and effectiveness, an increased rate of promotion, and are more dependable. The Strong Bonds program offers proven training in a retreat-like atmosphere, all at no cost to the service member. Whether you are single, married, or have kids, there is training for you. To learn more about Strong Bonds, visit www. and click the Events tab to view upcoming events. You can also reach C.H. Bourquin, fulltime support chaplain, at 275-4070.

Chemical Exercise Master Sergeant Janeen Miller, 143 AW/PA Photos by: Master Sergeant John McDonald, 143 AW/PA

During the April 2011 UTA, the 143d Airlift Wing held a Base Chemical Exercise in preparation for the upcoming Operational Readiness Exercise and Operational Readiness Inspection. During the exercise the Airmen of the 143d were tested on their Ability to Survive and Operate (ATSO) in a hostile environment, as well as their knowledge of their Air Force Pamphlet 10-100 or Airmen’s Manual. The ATSO portion of the exercise was designed for individual and collective unit training efforts in preparation for the ORE/ORI. As expeditionary Airmen we must stay ready to deploy anywhere in the world on short notice. Regardless of location we must be prepared to position the force, employ the force, and sustain the force. We must remain ready to survive and operate in an environment where chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) threats

exist. It is imperative that we conduct exercises of this nature regularly to keep our Airmen ready to fight. In addition to ATSO skills, the Command and Control centers were put to the test. The Installation Control Center (ICC), the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the Command Post and the Unit Control Centers (UCC) must be able to work together flawlessly to ensure the base maintains the ability to conduct air operations in a deployed environment and also maintain and prolong combat support. Decisions are made under pressure of impending or ongoing attacks on the installation about how to ensure these missions are maintained. As a result of this exercise and the exercises of the future, the Airmen of the 143d Airlift Wing will not only be ready to pass an Operational Readiness Inspection with flying colors but also be ready to deploy at a moments notice. Summer 2011 / Rhode Island National Guard


Leaving a mark forever MG BRAY MOVES ON

“Farewell address from Major General Robert T. Bray” To the Soldiers, Airmen, Emergency Management Agency employees, and members of the Historic Militia: Please accept this letter as my futile effort to express my sincerest appreciation of my love of the State of Rhode Island and my association with you all. It has been my distinct pleasure and honor to have worked with, and for, the outstanding Soldiers, Airmen, and civilians of the Rhode Island National Guard (RING), the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) and Historic Militia Commands these past 5½ years. I will be eternally grateful for having had this incredible opportunity. The honor and privilege of commanding these organizations, particularly during a time of war and national emergency, has been the chance of a lifetime. I can only hope that I have lived up to your expectations and performed my duties and responsibilities with honor and integrity. Upon being appointed by former Governor Donald Carcieri, he told me that there would be many challenges

ahead for me and for the office of the Adjutant General. He wasn‘t kidding. The challenges have been daily and have spanned an unimaginable range of issues. Force structure changes in the Army and Air Force, mobilization and deployment of Soldier’s and Airmen, military construction projects, statewide inter-agency conflicts, even natural statewide disasters, all seem to be normal and expected in this job. A great many successes have been realized these past 5 ½ years: too many to name in this space. However, a few big ones that immediately come to mind are: • Saving field artillery structure within the state’s Army National Guard, which I will credit COL Joe Rooney and BG Brian Goodwin with. • The reorganization of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency, under the leadership of Mr. Dave Smith. • Increasing and maintaining end strength in both the Air and Army National Guard, a true team effort by all.

• The progress made by RIEMA with 800mhz radios, improving situational awareness through WebEOC, and the successful multi-agency and multijurisdiction response and recovery of several snow storms, a couple of nearmiss hurricanes, and especially the management of the 2010 Spring floods. • Military construction projects that have brought several new buildings and facilities to the State, made successful by many hard working military and civilian employees working for the J4 and the USPFO. The most notable success for me, however, has and will always be the mobilization, deployment, and redeployment of over 3,500 Rhode Island Army and Air National Guard personnel. The professionalism and

(Left) Capt. Mark Bourgery, 103rd FA, gestures to the border while briefing Maj. Gen. Bray about the mission while on Annual Training on the U.S./Mexico border. Maj. Gen. Bray worked to ensure the Rhode Island National Guard would maintain a Field Artillery presence during a force restructuring, ensuring that RI holds onto critical legacy mission. (Center) Maj. Gen. Bray speaks at the promotion of Col. Richard Keene to Brig. Gen. in March of this year. During his time as Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Bray has overseen the promotion of nine general officers from the Rhode Island National Guard. (Right) Maj. Gen. Robert T. Bray prepares to receive the flag of command from Lt. Gen. Reginald A. Centracchio during a change of command ceremony at the Rhode Island State House.


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dedication of our Soldiers and Airmen, as CSM John McDonough, my Battle Buddy, and I recently witnessed of our 1/103d Field Artillery deployed to Kuwait, makes us all not only proud, but indebted to those who serve. The State CSM and I have witnessed first-hand the technical and tactical competence of both our Soldiers and Airmen in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Guantanamo Bay, Germany, and many places here in the United States. We frequently receive compliments and accolades from senior military and civilian leaders about our Rhode Island service men and women. Our Soldiers and Airmen are led well-equipped, welltrained, and well led. Quite simply, the Rhode Island National Guard is a World Class organization. HOOAH! As I survey our accomplishments these past 5 ½ years, I recognize that none of that would have been possible without the active involvement and support of our families and employers. Supported by the best Family Assistance Center staff in America, our spouses, family members, neighbors and friends continuously make a difference through a commitment and dedication equal to that of their service members. Equally remarkable, after almost ten years of persistent conflict, our employers continue to step forward without hesitation to provide benefits, to retain or provide jobs, and allowing us to take their employees

for multiple deployments. Families and Employers are the true heroes of this nation’s long war. They are the combat multiplier on the battlefield, allowing our warrior’s to focus on the mission for success, so they can be assured that the home front is being taken care of during their absence. We have had our challenges and despite our best efforts, we continue to engage things like shrinking state and federal budgets. But we need to continue making the argument that the National Guard and Emergency Management Agency are, without question, the best value-added agencies within state government. Both agencies provide the most economic impact, for the least amount of investment, while providing unparalleled service for the people of Rhode Island and the Nation. For roughly 3 percent of its total operating and capital budget (an average of $250 million annually), the agency provides approximately 4,000 full time and part time jobs with benefits, 19 installations with over 100 buildings, and grant funding in excess of $35 million to communities and individuals. It has brought approximately $100 million in new military construction for each of the past three years to the state, responds to emergencies in support of the local community agencies, and fights our nation’s wars. Yet, in these times of austere budgets, all of that is at risk for the lack of sufficient

funding. On this front, we must continue the fight and drive our messages home. Among the challenges I leave to my successor, are: Acquiring a home for the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency to house its administration, training, equipment storage and state emergency operation center. RIEMA has earned better and it is overdue. Establishing the Department of Defense (DoD) sponsored Youth Challenge Program for high school aged youth with juvenile and social problems, which exists in 27 other states.. For want of a suitable facility and 25 percent state matching funds, Rhode Island misses this unique and incredibly successful program. Influencing the repair of key state infrastructure to prevent such catastrophic flooding from hurricanes, snow melt and severe rain fall which we noted during the Floods of 2010. Dams, bridges, levees, roadways, and river ways throughout most of the state remain in disrepair or at risk with no plans for their remedy or no funding to proceed with mitigation efforts. There will always be challenges and problems to address and resolve. Essential to that resolution are the need for people to lead, and be led, with the energy to address the issues and overcome the roadblocks., Rhode Island has been a great state and I believe it can be again as its people

(Left) Five Soldiers from 1/103rd FA received a coin from Maj. Gen. Robert Bray, the Adjutant General of the Rhode Island National Guard, for outstanding performance during a May 4 formation at Camp Virginia, Kuwait. The Rhode Island Soldiers included Spc. Joshua Connolly of Woonsocket, Spc. Alissa Simoneau of North Providence, Spc. Sean Murphy of Cranston, Sgt. Ben Prum of Cranston, and Sgt. Carlos Vasquezdiaz of Pawtucket. Photo: Chief Warrant Officer Gregory Stack, 1/103rd FA PA. (Left Center) Maj. Gen. Bray and Gov. Carcieri sign the Family Covenant. The Family Covenant is an agreement between the State of Rhode Island and the National Guard to continue to provide support the Families of servicemembers. (Right Center) Maj. Gen. Bray addresses the media with Governor Lincoln Chafee and Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts. Ensuring the safety of the public through information as well as support is an essential task of the Adjutant General. (Right) Maj. Gen. Bray and Brig. Gen. Matthew Dzialo receive a briefing during the Exercise on March 1, 2008.

Summer 2011 / Rhode Island National Guard


have the heart for it. I am confident it will overcome its current challenges and rise to prominence. I have had the benefit of several mentors during my tenure. First and foremost, numerous Soldiers and Airmen have candidly guided my path. Governor Donald Carcieri, my predecessor, Lt. Gen. (RI Ret) Reginald Centrachio, Civilian Aide-to-the-Secretary of the Army Mr. Ted Low, Brig. Gen. (Ret) Jay Waller, Colonel Chaplain Father Robert Marciano, RIEMA Executive Director Dave Smith, Chief Financial Officer for the RING, Todd Tinkham, my former Aide-de-Camp, Maj. Mike Gryzbowski, Ms. Tonia Kaplan, my most-capable personal secretary, and Col. Ed Hebert from our militia, have all been quick to answer my questions, provide me with advice, or just plain square my sorry ass away. Brig. Gen. Brian Goodwin and Command Sgt. Maj. John McDonough have not only been compatriots, but advisors, battle buddies, and good friends. These, and many more, have helped to make many of the bumps in the road a little easier to take, to accomplish, and to enjoy. Thanks to them all. I cannot fail to recognize the many supporters of the agency, who also are there whenever needed, whether a ceremony, a statewide emergency, or day-to-day business. They are the Patriot Guard Riders, the Combat Motorcycle Veteran’s, professional organizations like the Police and Fire Chiefs Association and the Emergency Management Council, the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, and the many Veteran and military associations that exist in the state. The exceptional patriotism, civic action, and collaboration they provide contributes significantly to our successes. Rhode Island is incredibly patriotic and special in many ways; none more-so than our great Historic Militia Commands. They are truly underappreciated. This group of volunteers not only provides wonderful pageantry with their formations at public functions, but even more importantly, ensures that we do not forget our history and those who have served and sacrificed for the freedom, security and opportunity that we enjoy as Americans. They are selfless volunteers. They have been great friends to us all, but especially to my wife 16

Members of the official party stand during the playing of the National Anthem during the departure ceremony of F Co 1/126th Aviation in April, of this year.

Donna and I, for which we will always be grateful. Lastly, but most importantly, I want to recognize the love and appreciation of my wife, Donna, son Major Matthew (currently deployed for his second tour), our daughter in-law Captain Polly, our two grand children, Thomas and Katie, and our son Sean. Like all Guard families, they all have shared in my sacrifice. We’ve been on this journey now for almost twelve years. They’ve supported me at every step. They truly own any personal success I’ve ever had. I love them unconditionally and am so proud of them. My wife Donna and I will always cherish our time in service to this great state and will forever have the selfless

members of the National Guard, the Emergency Management Agency, and the Historic Militia commands in our hearts. I will always be indebted to former governor Donald Carcieri for having given me this great opportunity to make a difference. Donna and I will continue to care and pray for our brave Soldier’s, Airmen, and their families who are in harm’s way. We expect to remain in contact with the many friends and acquaintances we have made. Though we are not sure what the future has in store for us, we trust in the Lord and support of our family for what that future may be. We wish you all well. May God bless you and may God bless the United States of America.

Maj. Gen. Robert T. Bray and Command Sgt Maj. John McDonough visit Soldiers of the 103rd Field Artillery in Kuwait deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Ocean State Guardian / Summer 2011

Team represents Rhode Island at the 2011 National Guard Combatives Tournament Story and photos by Sgt. Peter Ramaglia, Public Affairs Specialist, Rhode Island National Guard

Six Soldiers, from the Rhode Island Army National Guard Combatives Team, competed at the fourth annual Army National Guard Combatives Tournament March 19 and 20 at Fort Benning, Ga. Soldiers and Airmen from 18 states competed in the two-day bracket-style tournament escalating from no-strike grappling rounds to full contact caged final bouts. Overall, the team finished with five wins out of the 10 fights that they competed in. “Though the event was bittersweet for Team Rhode Island, the opportunity to put our training to the test against other fighters was exceptional,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jodi Dove, a member of the Rhode Island Medical Detachment. This year’s team, along with several other Soldiers that did not compete, gathered weekly in the months leading up to the tournament to participate in a combatives conditioning circuit. “We worked out for about an hour doing exercises designed for hand to hand conditioning, after which we sparred with each other,” said Staff Sgt. Luke Bonin of the 243rd Regiment (Regional Training Institute). “This prepared us for some of the long bouts we faced during the tournament.” Bonin, a middleweight, represented Rhode Island in the annual National Guard Combatives Tournament for the second straight year, and is also the combatives course manager for the Rhode Island Army National Guard. “Although anyone can compete, you need to do more than score 300 out of 300 on your physical training test to do well in this type of tournament,” said

The Rhode Island Army National Guard Combatives Team from left to right: Sgt. 1st Class Jodie Dove, Staff Sgt. Richard O’Connor, Staff Sgt. Luke Bonin, 2nd Lt. Phillip Wagoner, Pfc. Dylan Keniston and Staff Sgt. Timothy Deschene.

Bonin. “Soldiers need to know how and when to be explosive, as well as when to conserve energy, so conditioning is very important.” Along with Dove and Bonin, the Team Rhode Island members who made the trip to Fort Benning were 2nd Lt. Phillip Wagoner of C. Company 1/143rd Infantry, Staff Sgt. Timothy Deschene of the Joint Force Headquarters Rhode Island National Guard, Staff Sgt. Richard O’Connor of the 243rd RTI, and Pfc. Dylan Keniston also of C. Co. 1/143rd IN. The Rhode Island National Guard was the first state in the region to develop its combatives program. It is located in the Warrior Simulation Center at Camp Fogarty, East Greenwich, RI. The Army National Guard Combatives Program has four levels. Levels I and II can be taught by each home state. Levels III and IV are only taught at Fort Benning. Now, certified up to a Level II program, the combatives school house in Rhode Island has trained approximately 100 Soldiers and Airmen in Combatives Levels I and II this year. By the end of September 2011, 48 more students will be qualified at Level I and 24 more students at Level II. “A strong combatives program builds many of the qualities called for in the Soldier’s Creed and Warrior Ethos,” said Bonin. “Building Soldiers with these qualities is vital to the RIARNG as well as the whole of the Army.” O’Connor said that he would like to see a regional combatives tournament hosted by the Rhode Island National

2nd Lt. Phillip Wagoner clinches with his opponent in the first round of the fourth annual National Guard Combatives Tournament March 19, 2011 at Fort Benning, Ga. Wagoner’s first-round match went the lasted the longest in the tournaments history at 17 minutes and 23 second.

Guard that mirrors the same style as the national tournament. “We are central to all the states geographically and have enough mats and locations throughout the state to support a regional tournament,” said O’Connor. “We have an established program and enough qualified referees in the state to make an event like this happen.” O’Connor said that the struggles of creating a regional combatives tournament are coordination between the states and participation. He said that the annual National Guard Combatives Tournament is a great way to gain support and momentum for a regional tournament. “Combatives training, like many other types of Army training, is meant to; test your limits, teach you what you can handle, show you just how far you can push yourself to ensure victory, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat,” said Bonin.

Summer 2011 / Rhode Island National Guard


Transition Assistance Advisor (TAA) ready to help Who is a TAA? A TAA is a statewide resource advisor for service sembers of any branch and their families to help them access their many benefits, such as:

Healthcare · TRICARE entitlements · Community resources · Career-safe counseling referrals Dental issues · Job search assistance · Financial hardship assistance · Records acquisition Why the TAA will meet your needs: • Over 90% of our staff are veterans or spouses of military members. • Many have worked through the disability process themselves and receive disability compensation. • They have a strong partnership with numerous state and federal assistance services. Where is the TAA? We are located in Cranston, R.I., but we can also go off-site for large events including mobilizationdemobilizations and unit events/drill weekends. What You Mean to Us: You served your country; now let us serve you.

For assistance, please contact: Sgt. Maj. Chuck O’Connor (Retired) Contractor, Arrowpoint Corporation Transition Assistance Advisor Rhode Island National Guard, Joint Force Headquarters Command Readiness Center 645 New London Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920-3097

Office: 401.275.4198 or DSN 247.4198 Fax: 401.275.4306 or DSN 247.4306

“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war...shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”


— President George Washington

Dear Reader, To make the Ocean State Guardian the best magazine possible, we would like to hear your feedback. After all, this magazine is for you.

Would you like to see more personal stories, events, advice (finance, fitness, etc.)? How do you feel about the presentation of the magazine, photo quality, readability, etc.? Please email with your feedback. All comments are received at the Rhode Island National Guard Public Affairs Office, Cranston, RI. Also, check us out on Facebook at: and on Twitter at

We appreciate your feedback and look forward to hearing what you have to say about the next issue of the Ocean State Guardian! Thank you, OSG Staff


Ocean State Guardian / Summer 2011

R.I. National Guard Soldiers Support Military Values AIR VALUE: Excellence in all we do Senior Airmen Yanick Koenig Senior Airman Yanick Koenig, a member of the 143d Security Forces Squadron, currently deployed to the AOR, has been credited with saving the lives of two Air Force Staff Sergeants. Yanick, along with two other Expeditionary Security Forces personnel (ANG, not Rhode Island), quickly responded to a real world incident that caused serious

injury to the two NCOs. Yanick’s quick thinking, expertise and professionalism all came into play while performing the life saving procedures needed to stabilize the wounded Airmen until medical personnel arrived. The Rhode Island National Guard is extremely proud of Yanick and all our deployed members.


Selfless Service

Sgt. Antonio Sousa Sgt. Brian Santos

Put the welfare of the Nation, the Army and your subordinates before your own. The events of September 11, 2001 created an upswing in patriotism across the country. Civilians joined the military in a desire to do something, anything. Now ten years later two of those Soldiers are still here in the Rhode Island National Guard, living the Army Values. Antonio Sousa and Brian Santos listed into the Rhode Island Army National Guard in time to deploy to Iraq with the 173rd Long Ranger Surveillance Detachment in 2005. The two soldiers were introduced to the RIARNG by SFC Tommy O’Hare who at that time was serving as a Team Leader in the 173d. Upon joining the RIARNG, Santos and Sousa were assigned as scouts on SFC O’Hare’s team. Subsequently, the unit was mobilized in 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III. During their deployment the two scouts did a tremendous job ensuring that their team accomplished all missions and assigned tasks. Upon return to the U.S., they continued their commitment to selfless service by joining the New Jersey

State Police Academy where they graduated as the top two cadets out of a class of 115. At the top of their class, Sousa was chosen by the instructors as “Top Cadet” of the class and Santos was chosen by his peers to give the graduation commencement speech. The environment at the academy is designed to stress the cadets to levels they have never experienced before. “When Tony and Brian arrived at the state police academy, they were immediately identified as leaders. The training they had received in the LRS and lessons learned from combat in Iraq informed how they approached the rigorous and stressful tasks associated with the academy,” said Maj. Michael Manning, State Legislative Liaison. “These guys dominated and set the standard along the way in all areas. Why? Because that’s what LRS soldiers do; they ‘move further, farther and faster than any other soldier’, always. Tony and Brian represent what is great about the RING and America. Rangers Lead the Way!” Both Soldiers know firsthand what it means to sacrifice for another and

Sgt. Antonio Sousa and Sgt. Brian Santos show off their Ranger tabs after completing the two month long course at Fort. Benning, Ga. Rangers are the elite of the U.S. Army, trained in small unit tactics.

to put service before self. They are a wonderful example of soldiers taking their military experience and applying it to their civilian careers. We should all be proud.

If you know someone who should be profiled as living the Army or Air Force Values please contact Sgt. Megan Burmeister at 401-275-4038 or Summer 2011 / Rhode Island National Guard


Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps:


The members of Rhode Island Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) participated in the first annual JROTC Warrior Challenge hosted by the Rhode Island Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion at Camp Fogarty, East Greenwich RI on Saturday April 30. Three high schools sent two teams of ten cadets to compete in the challenge. The Cranston East High School, Rogers High School and Hope High School teams competed in a variety of events including; first aid, drill and ceremony, land navigation and a timed obstacle course. Hope High School won first place, with Cranston-East in second and Rogers High School in third. “Our JROTC Warrior Challenge was developed from the national JROTC Raider Challenge curriculum. We want to give our Rhode Island cadets the opportunity to refine their skills participating in the Raider Challenge,� stated Capt. Dennis Pineault, resource manager for the Rhode Island National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion. 20

Ocean State Guardian / Summer 2011

Summer 2011 / Rhode Island National Guard


The first 115th MP Company combat commitment;

A proud tradition begins By Former Staff Sergeant Bill Corsair (McGroarty)

For the most part, you were older, by a few years, than the rest of the passengers on Flight 703. At 28, you were one of the old timers. On landing, you follow the long green line of anxious faces out into the blinding, yellow-tinted sunlight of Bien Hoa and feel the 120 degrees of heat push heavy on your lungs, and then it climbs aboard your already damp shoulders for a year long ride. A ride that will, for the most part, be aboard the choppers and fixed wing aircraft of the “Sky Troopers” of the fabled 1st Cavalry Division, Airmobile. You’ll travel across three of the four tactical areas of Vietnam, and elsewhere when necessary, as part of the division’s assignment to interdict the build-up and execution of the second Tet Offensive, by the NVA and what was left of the VC. That was November of 1969, but May 13th, 1968 was when my Rhode Island National Guard Company arrived on assignment at The United States Military Academy. That was over forty years ago. West Point, and our service there, remains a proud memory for the five officers and the 121 enlisted members of what was the 115th Military Police Company. Not many, outside our small “Band of Brothers,” even in our home state, are aware of the Rhode Island Citizen Soldiers that served, learned and taught at the Academy and the four Officers and 66 enlisted men, several of them volunteers, who took that training and RING tradition into battle in all four tactical zones in Vietnam. It all came back to me when my wife, Janis, and I were invited to attend the “Year of the NCO” concert, featuring “Gary Sinise’s Lt. Dan Band,” held at Eisenhower Hall, by our friend, actor, humanitarian and tireless supporter of the military , Gary Sinise. “You were an NCO at The Point, weren’t you Bill?”, 22

Sgt. Maj. O’Malley, and 115th Officers Melia, Del Sesto, Rothman, Bruce, and Nelson at USMC.

my fellow thespian asked. I’m proud to say I was. The Company was mobilized for active duty at the USMA and began advanced individual training and additional basic unit training. A short eight weeks later we were “operational”. We conducted training concerning prevention of civil disturbances for the 1st Region Army Air Defense Command and assisted in training the Corps of Cadets in Reconnaissance and Commando Missions. We trained, with the 82nd Airborne Division, in night maneuvers and combat infiltration tactics. The Unit made a television film depicting the orderly transition of a National Guard Unit into a Strategic Army Force. 6,140 National Guardsmen who served on active duty in Vietnam. Of those, 101 were KIA. Five enlisted men from the Company were chosen to be part of the Army AllStar baseball team. We performed MP Duty for two

Ocean State Guardian / Summer 2011

Sgt. Maj. Robert Germani Col. Del Sesto

seasons at The Academy. Having been an air personality at WICE and the original voice of Hasbro’s Talking G.I. Joe Doll, I was honored to give voice to the traditional and important “West Point In Sound And Light,” as the narrator. On a more somber note, the Company participated in over 200 military funerals. The Unit gave a Christmas Party for needy children, in Newburgh. In July of 1969 members of the 115th assisted local authorities, both during and after a disastrous fire in nearby Highland Falls, which left over twenty families

Nicholson, McGroarty and Piatek

homeless. Just a couple of examples of how the Company contributed to the welfare of the surrounding communities. On November 22nd, 1969, the members committed to duty in Vietnam, returned to the United States and rejoined the Unit at West Point on December first. At ceremonies then Commandant of the United States Military Academy, Maj. Gen. Sam S. Walker, presented a Unit Commendation from the USMA. Also in attendance was the Adjutant General and Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard, Maj. Gen. Leonard Holland, as well as numerous other Officers and local officials. From West Point to all four tactical zones in Vietnam, members of the 115th joined such elite commands as the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), the 1st Infantry Division, the 101st Airborne, The Americal Division, the 9th Infantry, the 11th Armored Cavalry and the 18th Military Police brigade. Serving in both the Republic of South Vietnam and stateside, members were awarded eight Bronze Stars, two with Oak Leaf Cluster, fourteen Army

Commendation Medals, two Purple Hearts, and four Combat Air Medals, along with 121 Good Conduct Medals. It all became more poignant to me last year, when Sergeant Major Robert Germani and Colonel Del Sesto from the original, Vietnam Era 115th MP Company and heroes of the Vietnam War, passed on to a long awaited “Welcome Home”. “They’ll know we were here” was the Company motto that we hung at The Point and carried with us into battle. Wouldn’t it be sad if “They” didn’t? When the last of us is gone, who will speak the truth of our victory on the ground in Southeast Asia, won by two and half million patriots who “marched toward the sound of the guns,” when others turned away? We ask the citizens of the Ocean State: Do you remember us? We were the beginning of the 115th MP Company tradition of unquestioned commitment when called to active duty, and heroics under fire in combat. A 115th tradition, that continues to this day. Because we remember, with pride.

Col. Joseph R. Del Sesto in Pleiku Republic of Vietnam.

Summer 2011 / Rhode Island National Guard



Ocean State Guardian / Summer 2011

Ocean State Guardian - Summer 2011  

Ocean State Guardian Summer 2011