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204TH BRIGADE SUPPORT BATTALION

Rough Rider Connection V O L U M E

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Greetings once again from FOB Walton, Afghanistan, This Thanksgiving, though we are away, please know that we are thinking of you often and appreciate your love and support. The mission here in Kandahar continues to keep us busy and time continues to move quickly. Our Soldiers continue their outstanding efforts and we are proud of their support and work to keep the WarHorse Brigade successful. At any time day or night, we find Rough Riders executing Forward Logistics Element tasks in support of TF 1-67, building the WarHorse Oasis, completing several aerial resupply missions, fabricating culvert denial systems, and stabilizing patients for movement to facilities of higher levels of care. The efforts of your loved ones here in Afghanistan are humbling and CSM Tuten and I are very proud of the quality of work they continue to execute. Many people worked together this holiday to make sure our Soldiers even at the most remote locations received a meal that reminded them of a traditional Thanksgiving. From whole turkeys and smoked ham to fresh green beans and sweet potatoes, everyone was sure to have full stomachs by the end of the meal. Don’t forget the pumpkin and pecan pie! We thank the food service staff who put in countless hours to create immaculate carvings from fruit and ice and other works of art crafted from various types of food. This past week we had some great people take time away from their loved ones to spend the holiday with us. Dr. Joseph Westphal, the Under-Secretary of the Army along with New York Yankees star, Nick Swisher and his wife, actress Joanna Swisher. Soldiers received a heartfelt thank you and had a great time with the Swishers. Dr. Westphal was very impressed with the work our Soldiers have been doing. Let us all take a minute to reflect on and give thanks for our blessings. Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers; we are so thankful for our family and friends and their support—Happy Thanksgiving!

This newsletter contains official and unofficial information. The inclusion of some unofficial information in this newsletter has not increased the cost to the Government, in accordance with DOD 4525.8-M


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Warhorse Brigade Tele-behavioral Health Capability By CPT Cory Gerould, 2nd Brigade Combat Team Psychologist KANDAHAR, Afghanistan—As the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Psychologist, using the tele-behavioral health (TBH) system to conduct consultations has significantly increased my ability to provide services to a greater number of Soldiers in a more efficient and timely manner. Additionally, TBH has helped reduce some of the challenges that arise in connecting Soldiers with health providers downrange. For commanders, determining when a Soldier may be in need of behavioral health services is not always readily ascertainable, particularly when a Soldier denies having problems or is not ready to ask for help. The thought of taking a Soldier out of the fight for several days would have considerable impact on the mission, not to mention the logistical challenge it would place on the platoon. TBH provides for real-time video conferencing and grants an atmosphere similar to that of face-to-face interactions experienced in more traditional settings. As a result, the Soldier doesn't need to be moved or

be held back from going on a mission to meet with an incoming provider, enabling units to maintain their combat strength. In instances where the Soldier in need is not co-located with a TBH system, evaluations and follow-up services are easily coordinated around the unit's schedule; supporting both the unit and the Soldier. While there have been a few minor growing pains in establishing the TBH systems, the benefits continue to be realized on a regular basis. I have found TBH greatly bridges the gap in accessibility and allows me to quickly assist commanders in constrained situations. When I meet with a Soldier via TBH, at the outset of the interaction I make it a point to explain the nature of the TBH system, including the potential limitations in connectivity. I also make sure I obtain the Soldier’s consent to proceed with receiving behavioral health services via TBH during the first interaction. Taking the time to do this helps the Soldier feel more comfortable and provides an opportunity to discuss any concerns they might have

with using this system. This further engages the Soldier in the process and starts facilitating a therapeutic relationship. The desert terrain coupled with the decentralized operations made it quite a challenge to move Soldiers or the health care providers to outlying locations, but TBH has proven to be a reliable and effective platform of increasing access to behavioral health providers despite these factors.

SPC Jeffery Villar, a 68X, Behavioral Health Specialist from Charlie Company 204th BSB speaks with a Soldier from a distant location on the telebehavioral health system located on FOB Walton.

HHC 204th BSB Radar Section from 3-16 Field Artillery By SFC Christopher Neher, Radar Section Non-commissioned Officer in Charge

Radar remains vigilant to ensure that every troop under our watch stays safe, completes the mission, and redeploys safely.

Left photo: PFC Andrew Brown was recognized with a Coin of Excellence by the Deputy Commanding General of Support for his dedicated performance and work ethic. Center photo: Promotions are a great honor and privilege to be a part of. After a long wait, PFC Joseph Folmar was promoted to SPC by SGT (P) Frank Rash, and we know SPC Folmar is well on his way to accomplishing his goals and preparing himself to join the ranks of the NCO. Right photo: Operations couldn’t remain consistent without the diligent monitoring and system analysis of our Field Service Representatives, Doug Dempsey and Mike McClure (pictured with SPC Folmar) they are one of the reasons we have remained 100% operational.


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Making Maintenance a Priority By SPC Natasha Gaskins, Bravo Company Public Affairs Representative

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan— The essentials of maintenance begin with having repair parts readily available. 1LT Eric McGinty, the Brigade Maintenance Officer (MCO) assigned to Bravo Company plays a vital role in assisting the mechanics that complete the services on a variety of equipment. The MCO oversees the maintenance not only in Bravo Company, but also the maintenance operations for 204th BSB and Combined Task Force Warhorse. Daily tasks of the MCO include reviewing over print-outs from the system where orders are made by the Bravo Company Prescribed Load List (PLL) shop. He must ensure that each piece of equipment or1LT Eric McGinty re- dered has the ceives a deployment correct status, coin for excellence from the BSB Commander, such as Backordered or LTC Todd Bertulis. Shipped. Using the correct status helps avoid any delays in receiving the parts. 1LT McGinty also ensures that mechanic work flow is in accordance with 204th policies. It is very important that the correct amount of hours is dedicated to each piece of equipment. A mechanic has a required amount of hours that they must work within when providing services for a vehicle or piece of equipment so that it can be immediately put to use. While making sure that a piece of equipment is fixed on time, he must ensure that the mechanics are servicing the ve-

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hicles correctly. If a vehicle that is not fixed correctly there is not only a risk during vehicle operation, but also mission completion time. 1LT McGinty believes that giving precedence to mechanics is important because if a mechanic is not given enough time to fix a vehicle, the overall maintenance of the vehicle can be at risk. One of the main areas that 1LT McGinty focuses on is the availability of particular parts and making sure that they are on hand and ready for use when needed. When ordering parts, he must assess the trends in usage of parts needed for vehicles, this prevents any backordered parts and increases availability. One of the systems which requires parts more frequently is vehicle air conditioning systems. 1LT McGinty makes sure that parts such as these are preordered so they are available if the air conditioning becomes inoperable in a Mine Resistant Ambush Protectant (MRAP) or MAXXPRO. When ordering or preordering parts, the problem may arise that the parts are on backorder and the unit must find an alternative route to receive parts as soon as possible. The first step the MCO completes is a thorough search of Army websites to find parts; he also works with the Supply Support Activity (SSA) to assist in acquiring parts. Many times Bravo Company Soldiers must search for parts at Kandahar Airfield (KAF), SGT Micah Mayo, SGT Jose Guerrero, and SGT Thomas McShane use their resources to locate parts that are difficult to order and receive in a timely manner. Sometimes parts cannot be ordered at all because they are unavailable in a variety of locations,

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this is when he must network through various other units in an attempt to acquire the parts. CW4 Artis Ponds assists Bravo Company in locating and expediting parts through other units or any local civilian agencies, such as Armor Material Command. Another issue which requires assistance from other units, specifically higher in command, is when the mechanics are unable to fix a discrepancy with a vehicle or to locate a part. Specifically, Bravo Company mechanics are running into problems installing parts in newer equipment, such the Raven, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), and its components. The largest challenge that 1LT McGinty faces is finding enough time to manage the maintenance in Bravo Company, 204th Brigade Support Battalion and CTF Warhorse. He believes that enhancing the communication with the individual companies in 204th BSB will be more helpful in accomplishing his daily maintenance tasks. The companies can begin by letting 1LT McGinty know that a part might need to be preordered due to an expected problem. 1LT McGinty may not actually do the hands-on maintenance of the vehicles or the installation of parts, but he definitely helps make the job easier for Bravo Company mechanics. Not only does he make sure parts are more available, he also does the research to assess trends so that he knows what parts need to be preordered. By going the extra mile, the MCO ensures no time is wasted waiting for parts in order to repair equipment which sustains combat power for all of CTF Warhorse.


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Assassins Represent the Rough Riders in the Forward Logistical Element By 1LT Nicholas Greco, Officer in Charge of the Forward Logistics Element K AN D AH AR , Af gh a nist an — Recently a team of 12 Soldiers from A Company and HHC, 204th Brigade Support Battalion has been asked to temporarily assist Task Force (TF) Dealer (1-67 Armor Regiment) in providing logistical support to their Forward Support Company (FSC) as a forward logistical element, or FLE. F Company, 1-67 FSC is in the process of relocating and expanding their elements and is utilizing the support battalion’s expertise through the FLE in assisting the set up of operations. This team of Soldiers, headed by 1LT Nick Greco from the Support Operations (SPO) Section will initiate sustainment operations in coordination with the FSC and BSB. The FLE is executing tasks that include vehicle maintenance, setting up operations for fuel, food and water, mail and preparing loads for movement to other units within TF Dealer or to be backhauled to TF Rough Rider at FOB Walton for Clean Sweep. FSCs operate similarly to BSBs,

but on a smaller level. As the BSB supports the brigade, the FSCs support their Battalion. Simplistically, the BSB delivers to the FSC who delivers to companies within their battalion. The FLE is making incredible progress and leaders are amazed at how hard the Rough Rider Soldiers have been working. Two of the Soldiers were awarded coins from the FSC Commander and 1SG during a Company Coin Ceremony. PFC Jasey Nelson and PFC Ashley Waller received coins for their dedication and work ethic. These Soldiers have and continue to represent the professionalism and expertise of the Rough Rider Battalion. In the photos— Top: SGT Dylan Gray gives direction to SPC Nathan Jackson. Center: CPL Joshua Oliver and PFC Abdul Malcolm load a container onto the back of a truck to be transported to an outlying location. Bottom: SPC John Young, PFC Ashley Waller and SPC Javic Grach load a container onto a truck.

By SGT Harold Self, Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of the FOB Walton Helicopter Landing Zone

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan—The flag that now hangs on FOB Walton's HLZ was sent from the hard working ladies (Michele, Toni, Gigi and Ann) at Fort Carson MWR. They sent me two flags from the 2nd Brigade families with messages to their Soldiers, from "be safe” and “I love you” to “come home soon". I worked with these ladies at several events prior to deployment either through the BOSS program or volunteering with the MWR. Initially we were told I would keep on working on the MWR side of things out here in Afghanistan. They sent me the flags with the intent of me hanging them up at the MWR building, so everyone could enjoy looking for their loved ones’ signature/message. Since I was reassigned to the to the HLZ I decided to hang a flag on the flight line, which the Soldiers have enjoyed either reading the messages or getting their pictures taken in front of the flag and FOB Walton sign.


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Rough Rider Connection Issue 17  

News, stories and information from our Rough RIder Soldiers

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