204TH BRIGADE SUPPORT BATTALION
Rough Rider Connection V O L U M E
I S S U E
A U G U S T
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Greetings, Task Force Rough Rider Families and Friends!
SPECIAL POINTS OF INTEREST:
A Message from Cobra 6
Trailblazer’s Radar Personnel Attachment
Assassin’s Load Team
BG Dahl’s Visit to FOB Walton
Black Knights’ Safety Improvement
Give a Little Hope Project
I am CPT Jessica Maxim, Commander of the Charlie Company Cobras. Although I have been a member of the Rough Rider family for the better part of nearly four years, returning to Charlie Company was like returning to one’s hometown. Like all command teams, 1SG Chanda Gaines and I have been working together to facilitate mission success while taking care of Soldiers and Families. We are pleased to report that morale is high and Soldiers are striving everyday to improve their individual and unit fitness by making strides towards educational advancement, career progression opportunities, and enhanced physical fitness. Cobra Soldiers are motivated as they operate throughout Kandahar Province and western Afghanistan to preserve the fighting strength both on and off the FOB while providing cultural support to special operations missions in the Kandahar region. Trust that all Soldiers in the Warhorse footprint are safe under the watch of the Cobra medical team. In addition to the accomplishments within our company, Soldiers throughout the Rough Rider Battalion are working hard to provide sustainment support to the Warhorse mission. The Trailblazers keep the battalion functioning by providing overall command and control for the battalion, ensuring Soldiers’ have all the support they need in regards to intelligence, administrative action, supplies and equipment, and communication. They are also making vast enhancements everyday at FOB Walton, improving living conditions and providing vital life support to nearly 1300 tenants. The Assassins continue to provide daily support to the Warhorse brigade and all other supported units by receiving and pushing vital supplies and equipment in the timeliest manner possible. They are in the warehouse and on the roads providing world-class logistical sustainment to all supported units in our area of operations. In addition to maintaining the battalion’s equipment and all equipment on FOB Walton, the Black Knights provide vital recovery assets to all Rough Rider routes and operations. Furthermore, the Black Knights strive everyday to improve FOB security making FOB Walton a safer place for Rough Rider Soldiers. The Rough Riders are also partnering with Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) assisting our Afghan partners to accomplish their logistical and national stability and security missions. Our goal is to enable the Afghan forces to provide a more secure nation for their people and deter terrorism worldwide.
CPT Ashlea Cleveland 1LT Betsy Arndt
As Rough Rider Soldiers work diligently to accomplish their duties serving our country, it is imperative that we remember the importance of our Families and Friends at home who allow us to focus on the tasks at hand. Without your unconditional understanding and support, we would not be able to optimally perform our missions. Thank you for your unwavering courage and strength on the home front and we look forward to returning to you when our mission is complete.
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
Attached to HHC: EQ-36 Firefinder Radar, HHB 3-16 FAR By SFC Christopher Neher, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery (HHB), 3-16 Field Artillery Radar KANDAHAR, Afghanistan—HHB 3-16 Field Artillery Radar personnel, located at Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) Walton and Farah, provide radar coverage against hostile indirect fire for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team in Kandahar and Farah Provinces. Coverage is provided by scanning, detecting, and accurately reporting any originating/impacting rounds that occur in the Warhorse area of operations. The Soldiers of Radar work 24 hours a day on three shifts. While monitoring systems for acquisitions, the Soldiers conduct problem solving training and various tasks to facilitate a 100% operational rate. Top: SGT David Dorris in the Radar Operations Focal Point. Right: SGT Dorris and PFC Joseph Folmar conduct maintenance on radar equipment.
Photos to the right from top to bottom: PFC Ryan Moreland working, PFC Matthew Clew and PFC Andrew Brown eating, and PFC Brown relaxing.
“Whether they are working, eating or relaxing, Radar is covering everyone.”
Spotlight on the Assassin’s Load Team, FOB Walton By 1LT Christine Breckenridge, Alpha Company Public Affairs Representative areas in the most efficient manKANDAHAR, Afghanistan— This week the Alpha Company ner. After the planning phase, Assassins would like to recogthe Load Team spends their nize the especially hard work of day physically locating unitthe FOB Walton Load Team. ordered supplies and materials The four-man team includes and packing them for onward SSG Ysidro Arredondo, SGT movement on commodity vehiDaniel Ponce, SPC John Young, cles. Along with various and PV2 Terrill Gillyard with supclasses of supply, the Load port from members of the DistriTeam also stages equipment bution Platoon. Tasked with shipped from Fort Carson for building and preparing loads that movement across the Battle The Load Team straps down a quadruple will be pushed on Combat Logis- container onto a rack to ensure it is secure Space. Through their organizatics Convoys (CLC) to all For- for a future convoy. tion and planning with the ward Operating Bases (FOBs) Truckmaster and SPO, the Load the Alpha Company Truckmaster and Combat Outposts (COPs) all Team is able to build loads over Regional Command – and the Support Operations (SPO) quickly and is able to continue South, Kandahar, Afghanistan, Section to determine the priority of support to each Battalion, Comthey remain more than busy. loads and plan which classes of pany, and Platoon within the Daily, the team coordinates with supply can be pushed to outlying Warhorse Brigade. Roll Hard!
Charlie Company’s CNS Nightriders By SPC Ryan Kirkwood, Charlie Company Medic K AN D AH AR , Af ghan ist an — Charlie Company night shift Medics, some call them the backbone of the Medical Treatment Facility. They stand ready to respond at a moment’s notice to set off the alert to all of Charlie Medical Company to prepare for whatever is thrown at them. A fully functional trauma room is usually not how it is portrayed on television. Nights here at Camp Nathan Smith (CNS) are usually quiet. ―We operate with a heightened sense of awareness at all times,‖ states PFC Justin Foster, one the Charlie Cobras night shift Medics. There’s always the possibility of a knock at the door or a phone call throwing you into a high pressure situation. ―You never know what could walk through the door in the middle of the night,‖ says SGT Carlos Sesena. There may be a laceration injury that needs attention, a Soldier with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or a shipment of medical supplies to be picked up overnight. In general, time overnight can go by slow, but these medics find many ways to fill in their days and nights with constructive activities. Correspondence courses are one way to sharpen one’s skill and knowledge of providing top notch medical care. SGT Sesena tenaciously leads the way with the highest number of
courses completed. He is always pushing everyone around him to knock out as many correspondence courses as possible. Topics are regularly assigned to Medics for him or her to study. After gathering enough information on their assigned topic, Medics are then required to instruct classes to the entire company. Classes taught by Medics and providers alike are scheduled monthly and can be attended by anyone on CNS if desired. Another thing this overnight crew at the Medical Treatment Facility takes very seriously is the standard of cleanliness set by their NCO’s. It’s important to know that at any given time your equipment will be clean, orderly, and ready to use. Regular duties of cleaning, checking equipment, inventorying, and stocking much needed medical supplies really sets the tone for the rest of the day at the Medical Treatment Facility. It’s not all work all the time for these Medics. Whether it’s turning in laundry, working out, eating, or cleaning their rooms there is never time wasted. These Medics find new and fun ways beyond just lifting weights and running to keep them in shape for their next physical fitness test. Recently a slack line was installed behind CPT Marshall Glenister’s patient hold area of the Medical Treatment Facility. Slack lining is a
SGT Carlos Sesena, a Medic in Charlie Company educates himself in medical courses to improve his and his Soldiers’ knowledge in healthcare.
drill in balance that typically uses 1 inch nylon webbing tensioned between two anchor points. ―It’s a fun way to work your core and strengthen your body through stabilization,‖ claims PFC Rob Gilliam. Also in the afternoon you can usually find the morning shift Medics religiously completing another ―Insanity‖ workout on DVD. As time goes by, Soldiers of Charlie Company together gain knowledge and grow into true healthcare providers. This staff of Soldiers is ready to treat any life threatening condition that comes through the door. Training not only prepares them for the coming months of this deployment, but it also prepares them for the rest of their lives.
BG Dahl Recognizes Soldiers for Excellence
BG Dahl speaks to the formation after presenting awards to the Soldiers that stand out in front of their peers.
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan—On August 3, 2011 Brigadier General (BG) Kenneth Dahl, Deputy Commanding General of Support for Regional Command-South (DCG-S, RC-S) visited FOB Walton and recognized some of the Rough Riders for their excellent performance. Josue Vallejo from Alpha Company was promoted from the rank of Sergeant to Staff Sergeant, SGT Jesse Payton also from Alpha Company was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his achievement as the Non-commissioned Offi-
cer of the Quarter for the Battalion, SPC Matthew Cowan was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for earning Soldier of the Quarter for the Battalion, and the following Soldiers received coins for their outstanding performance: PV2 Matthew Burgan from Alpha Company, PFC Andrew Brown from the Radar Team, PFC Emily Valle from HHC, PFC Joshua Jackson with Bravo Company, SPC Natasha Gaskins of Bravo Company and SPC Albert Patterson from HHC.
Bravo Company Setting the Standard for Safety By SPC Natasha Gaskins, Bravo Company Public Affairs Representative KAND AH AR, Afghanistan—Safety is very important to maintain while being deployed. That safety is not just about The old POL/HAZMAT site. FOB security, but also about the safety of the Soldiers while they are working. One Soldier in particular, SPC Matthew Cowan, 91B, of the maintenance section of Bravo Company took initiative to help maintain that safety for his fellow peers. SPC Cowan built the POL (Petroleum Oil Lubricant)/ Hazmat (Hazardous Material) site located in the expansion, where new and used oil can be kept or discarded. The 204th Battalion works closely with OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). OSHA sets and enforces protective workplace safety and health standards. OSHA derives from ―The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970‖ (OSH Act), which prevented workers from being killed or seriously injured on the job. Bravo Company wanted to ensure that they had the same OSHA standards in Afghanistan as they did in Fort Carson. ―We don’t want to disrespect Afghanistan by leaving a big mess when we leave,‖ Says Mark Kennedy, Bravo Company’s First Ser-
geant. OSHA does not only contribute to the cleanliness of FOB Walton, but also towards the health of the Soldiers. The POL/Hazmat site located in the new expansion is
SPC Matthew Cowan at the new POL/HAZMAT site.
helpful because it gives the Soldiers in 204th and the AC 1st civilians working on FOB Walton a place to discard their oil from the Military Vehicles and equipment. Will Worral, Environmental Engineer of the 533rd Engineer Attachment, came out a few weeks ago inspecting the POL/HAZMAT site. Mr. Worral appointed SPC Cowan as setting the ultimate standard for all of the POL/HAZMAT sites, while also surpassing all of the other RC(S) (Regional Command South) sites he had previously inspected. ―Safety in the motor pool is Bravo Company’s number one priority; with the HAZMAT site being built that makes everyone’s job easier and less stressful,‖ Says SFC Marlon Drakes of Bravo Company. Upon arrival to FOB Walton, SPC Cowan noticed that the previous Unit’s
method of containing the oil would not to be able to contain a large oil spill if one were to happen. SPC Cowan took the initiative and took an innovative approach when he began building a construction that would maintain a larger oil spill. A total of twelve hours were spent building the 8X12 POL/HAZMAT site. SPC Cowan made sure that his construction would hold 55 gallon drums of oil, fitting approximately twenty barrels on the construction. ―I wanted to ensure that I built the construction large enough to accommodate all the fluids,‖ Says SPC Cowan. The site is elevated so that if any oil were to leak, it would leak away from the containers that are located in the expansion. A drainage tarp was elevated on the side which is about two sandbags high, directing the oil to a designated area. SPC Cowan is the epitome of a hard working Soldier. He not only took initiative on his own to build the POL/ HAZMAT site, but also noticed a problem and found a method to fix it. His POL/ HAZMAT site is not only beneficial to the disposal of oils, but also is a preventative way to ensure that a possible oil spill would not become detrimental to the Soldiers and equipment located on FOB Walton. SPC Cowan set the standard for any future construction of a POL/ HAZMAT site.