7th Engineer Dive Team
Monthly Newsletter Issue 10: November 2011
Published on 28 November 2011
From the Commander’s Desk by CPT Scott Sann
Inside this issue:
Aloha to the friends and families of the 7th Engineer Dive Detachment! The month of November has come and gone, yet the calories remain. The Thanksgiving tradition of Senior Officers and NCOs serving chow to the troops was kept alive in Kuwait, while Service Members dined on a bounty of smoked turkey, cornbread dressing, all kinds of vegetables and of course, pumpkin pie. While a Thanksgiving meal overseas can never equal a home cooked meal surrounded by loved ones, the Dining Facility performed an excellent job making sure no bellies went unfilled.
As our deployment winds down, our focus shifts to ensuring our personnel and equipment are prepared to make the journey home. Inventories will be done, boxes will be packed, and plans will be made to ensure that our replacements are just as successful as we have been in completing the Army Diver mission. The 569th Engineer Dive Detachment, out of Joint Base LangleyEustis, Virginia, have been diligently preparing for their upcoming deployment and are more than capable of carrying the torch for the dive field. We look forward to
seeing them soon.
perform above the standard.
Luckily for our expanding waistlines, members of the 7th will have plenty of opportunities to focus on fitness in December. Our Soldiers have set goals for the upcoming Army Physical Fitness Test, and the fact that many of them have been spotted working out twice a day bodes well for their progress. The team has set a goal of a 290 point average (a 300 denoting a perfect score), which is a testament to their motivation to
We are also excited to bring back the annual Commander’s Challenge, an endurance event that pits our squads (and headquarters elements) against each other to determine which is the fittest of them all. 3rd Squad has been talking the talk, but it remains to be seen if they can walk the walk… We wish everyone back home a safe and happy holiday season!
WE’RE ON FACEBOOK: “THE 7TH ENGINEER DIVE TEAM”
Mailing Address: (Soldier’s Name) 7th Engineer Dive Team APO, AE 09337 Divers from the 7th conduct a reconnaissance of a sunken tug with their Kuwaiti Diver brethren, one of several combined missions executed throughout our tour.
Care Packages Welcome!
From the First Sergeant’s Desk by 1SG William Baumgartner Greetings and salutations from the land of sand, November has passed and we now enter into our last full month (knock on wood) of this deployment. It seems appropriate that in the month of Thanksgiving I should take this opportunity to share thanks for some of the many blessings I personally enjoy.
First, I am truly thankful to the Soldiers of the 7th for their unparalleled professionalism. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of Soldiers to deploy with. Our deployment has truly brought us together in the knowledge that we can accomplish any goal put before us, and we have learned about ourselves along the way. You can’t ask for much more than that.
Second, I am thankful for the support of all of the higher headquarters that we have worked for directly. It is indeed a blessing to have leadership that values your opinions and works hard to assist you in achieving your goals. Third I am thankful to the military as an institution. Be you Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines; our country is better off for these
institutions; which do so much to promote the best of American Values throughout the world. Last, I am thankful for the bedrock of my life, my family. The love and encouragement that I receive from my wife, parents, and siblings makes me strive to earn the blessings that they have brought into my life, though I know I can never deserve it.
Notes from the Executive Officer by 1LT David Guerdan Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone has had a great November and a great Holiday weekend. Here in Kuwait we’ve been hard at work focusing a few weeks on maintenance and getting our equipment ready to be shipped back to the Hawaii. SFC Woodcox has led the charge and has been doing an outstanding job on getting all of our equipment inventoried and boxed up for the trip home, way to go SFC Woodcox!
While the unit has been hard at work, myself, SSG Dunham, SGT Hoover and SPC Bullington travelled to Afghanistan and conducted an ROV (remote operated vehicle) inspection on a dam to provide USAID information for a multimillion-dollar rehabilitation project. While there, the guys performed great and represented 7th Dive well. This picture is of the four of us at the USACE compound in Kandahar.
With the end of deployment in sight, morale continues to increase despite being separated from our families during this holiday season. Thank you for all the care packages you guys have sent it, your support has been awesome! Happy Holidays! SSG Dunham, 1LT Guerdan, SGT Hoover, and SPC Bullington visit the USACE Facility in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Insights from the Platoon Sergeant by SFC Beau Woodcox Well Hello 7th Dive’s family and friends,
every MWR event and winning a good majority of them.
The month of November has come and gone now with everybody in high spirits. SFC Prater went on his R&R and had to leave the PSG position in my hands while he’s gone. Luckily he gets back at the end of the month so he has about a month to fix what I’ve messed up before we get home.
The unit is conducting inventories and load up these next two weeks. So far the days have gone by fast and run very smoothly which can only be attributed to the NCOs and Soldiers of 7th stepping up and getting things done.
The Soldiers of 7th Dive have been keeping up their moral (or at least acting like it) very well. They have been participating in just about
All in all, the spirits are up. With a little help from the cooling weather, change in pace, esprit de corps, and the brightening light at the end of the tunnel (end of deployment) your Army’s finest Deep Sea Divers
should be pushing right through the holidays and are anxiously waiting to board the plane home. Things to do in Kuwait for Christmas:
5) Eat junk food (I buy for others so I don’t get fatter alone) 6) Physical activities (for some like myself, that’s just walking to the restroom)
1) Watch paint dry (nothing is painted) 7) Watch football (at 11pm-4am, makes for rough Mondays) 2) Rake sand (just kidding, we don’t have rakes) 7) Open mail (mom, send me mail) 3) Watch endless amounts of bad quality bootleg DVD movies
8) Hand out treats sent from home (mom, send me treats)
4) Listen to the roaring of dirt-bikes and quads outside the base all night (wishing we could ride them, or that they would crash)
9) Call home and talk to the ones we miss and cherish most Happy Holidays to all!
1st Squad by SGT Andrew Damon After a successful mission in Bahrain and SSG Rowley back from R&R, First Squad is finally back in Kuwait and at full strength. Since we arrived in Kuwait SGT Morales has spent most of his time getting ready for leave; he was so excited that both of his legs wouldn’t stop shaking. We all hope that he is enjoying his time back home with his
Dive football team in interceptions. home. I don’t think this team has The highlight of this month for SSG ever been so happy to start laying SGT Hall has been very Rowley was getting his brand new road out our equipment. So from everyone busy this month. First, he got the bike in the mail. He was like a little kid in First Squad, Happy Thanksgiving chance to attend resilience training on Christmas. The bike hasn’t left his and we hope to see everyone back and he seems to have the best of it side yet and is on display next to his home soon! even though he was sick most of the desk in the squad office for every one time. After the resilience training, to play with when they are SGT Hall was tasked out to teach the bored. He is definitely getKuwait Divers how to use water pumps, ting a lot of use out of his so that they could efficiently dewater new toy. When SSG Rowley is their partially sunken tugboat not playing with his new toy that is taking up space in the and celebrating the Browns port. Hall likes to spend most win over the unbeatable of his spare time talking to his Jacksonville Jags, he has family and watching as many been helping the Kuwait movies as possible. divers come up with a plan to dewater their tugboat and Last week SSG Rowley and SGT Hall competed getting ready for inventories. in the Camp Patriot horseshoes As for me I’m tournament. Both of them had excited to have started a blast. Even though Rowley is layouts because that only still waiting on his cutter footSSG Rowley dons his brain bucket while hard at work means one thing, we are SGT Morales is with us in spirit as he enjoys some ball gloves, he still leads the 7 th with SGT Damon. getting closer to coming much deserved R&R stateside. family.
Issue 10: November 2011
2nd Squad by SSG Jeramy Bays Goooooooood Moooooorrrrrrrning United States of Awesome! I’m still here. Let’s talk about the events of November. As usual we here at the 7th want to keep our family and friends informed about our monthly progress, and individual accomplishments. SSG Geffert, SGT Russell, SGT Varas and SPC Bullington, finished an outstanding mission in Bahrain. If I’m not mistaken, the product created was among the best this unit has ever seen and secured more missions in that area for future teams. The Bahrain mission to open new areas of the already busy port really showed the ability of our guys to accomplish such a complex and technical task in a matter of days and produce a professional product. The three young guys mentioned above, learned, executed and produced a product in just one week, during the train up for the mission to Bahrain. Well done gentleman! Our
I’m sure with Bull on the job it couldn’t have gone better. Bull also should SPC Bullington went with be recognized as the first of the Third Squad to Afghanistan to conduct junior Soldiers to receive his Salvage a Remotely Operated Vehicle mission. guys work hard and it paid off.
Diver check-offs. Good job Bull, not bad for being here for such a short time. Just shows the folks at home how B. A. Second Squad really is. As for myself, I just returned from a magical, mystical place, filled with fun and excitement called leave. It was a great and much needed break. With November coming to a close we have begun to inventory and pack our equipment for the trip home. Usually everyone despises doing lay-outs, but not this time. This time the team understands it’s for a good reason and the guys are once again busting it out, excited to get out of this sandy place and back to the lush ladies and trees of home. With that being said, I have to get back
SPC Bullington hams it up for the camera while SSG Geffert does his best to ignore him during a recent port opening mission in Mina Salman, Bahrain.
to work. Stay beautiful America!
3rd Squad by SGT Kyle Steffic Well it’s that time again, a time of family and holiday cheer. When the air is crisp and smells of apples, cinnamon and wood smoke; the trees are dropping their colorful foliage and everyone’s thoughts turn to what is most important in life: family, friends and happy homecomings.
SGT John R. Hoover is studying for his E-6 promotion board in December, already drunk with the idea of wielding such power in the
service of Das Kleine Krokodil. Back in Kuwait SGT Kyle Steffic, SGT Wesley Wilson, and SPC
SGT Kyle Steffic is still feeding his brain, having earned a total 33 college credits over the past year. SGT Wesley Wilson received a shiny new Nintendo Wii along with copies of Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. This combination is sure to result in many wasted hours, displays of poor sportsmanship, crushed egos and ruined friendships; but man is it fun!
This month saw 3rd squad once again sending members to Afghanistan. SSG Jeb Dunham and SGT John R. Hoover along with 1LT David Guerdan and SPC Tim Bullington performed an ROV inspection of the Darunta dam in Jalalabad for USAID. We are happy everyone came home safely and the 7th comported itself with professionalism. SSG Jeb Dunham finally overcame his crippling incontinence, saving him a fortune on new pants, chairs, carpets and friends.
Kevin Karraker all finished their Salvage Diver check offs, due in part to SGT Wilson’s river recon class.
SPC Kevin Karraker left on the 13th on emergency leave due to a personal tragedy, our thoughts SSG Dunham and SGT Hoover prepare the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) while conducting inspections on a dam near Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
OPERATION NEW DAWN 2011
and well wishes go out to him and his family.
Issue 10: November 2011
4th Squad by SGT Gabriealla Nnabue boats (Just to be clear, I didn’t push Tony in the water while we SGT Nnabue: Her continwere placing the outboards…I just ued effort to keep our spirits high can couldn’t catch him and hold the be seen by her recent decoration of outboard at the same time. Sorry the OPs office. While some may see Tony). Due to the fact that I have her Christmas decoration as premabeen in this unit for a little over 4 SSG Rohde: In continuature, because she decorated before years now, I am pretty familiar tion of setting the 4th squad standard, Thanksgiving, I appreciate the festive with the equipment and am able to successfully supervised his portion of feeling I get every time I walk into help our team get through this the mission we completed in the King- the office. Another worthy mention is monotonous process of counting and The ‘life blood’ of our dom of Bahrain. With no mishaps of the fact that she was 100% on two packing up everything our unit owns. th company (also known as 4 squad) any kind, he and SGT Wilson organized important reports. She told me what Time will probably slow has continued our long tradition of over 1000 pictures taken of 1200 they were and what they were for, but making ‘awesome’ a habit. This is meters of Bahrainian pier. This gave she blew my mind with her big words. to a crawl because of anticipation, proved by what follows (starting with the Army Corps of Engineers vital Even though I might not know what but at least we are out of the triple information concerning the structural the heck she does, I feel that it is the most important): digits of days left. Just two more integrity of a pier that is used by 5 important to give credit where its due. SPC Joe K. Moore: I monthly newsletters after this one! different countries’ Navys and/or Good job SGT Nnabue. know that I am not the first to say, Coast Guards. Rohdog keeps it real. nor is this the first place it has been SGT mentioned, but congratulations SPC SSG O’Brien: Has been Martinez: I’ve Moore in winning the Area Support working hard to keep our property just been Group-Kuwait Soldier of the month books, hand receipts, and supply stuff “getting in where board! He is a hard worker and took in general, organized to ensure that I fit in”. That is the board seriously and was rethe next set of inventories goes to say I help warded by a well deserved win. SPC smoothly. This is an important step to when and where Moore has the most heart out of our return home and so her work in I can. During our anyone I know and I am proud to this area is very appreciated . She Bahrain mission know and work with him. Even though also has continued to inspire fitness I tended divers, he isn’t perfect, if I had to go to a through her Zumba instructing at our recorded picture distant planet with limited supplies gym. While I have never attended a information, got and personnel to fight an advanced Zumba session, I would like to comice for our alien race, SPC Moore would without mend her for what I have seen; no cooler, and even a doubt be on that short list. He matter how many or few show up, she helped put out4th Squad embraces the Holiday Season with a plastic tree doesn’t give up when things get has the same enthusiasm in each of boards on our (reminiscent of A Charlie Brown Christmas) in their office. Even though the end of this deployment isn’t as close as we would like it to be, the light can be clearly seen at the end of this year long tunnel. The light is about 9 or 10 weeks, 4 or 5 paychecks, or roughly 1800 hours away. Not ideal but a certainly a doable amount. After all, we have made it this far. What’s another 1800 hours?
rough. Even though his departure from this unit is a ways off, I would like to take this time to say that I probably will not be alone in missing our “Midget from the South”. Good job and keep up the good work Moore-phine!
Soldier’s Article by SGT Robert Russell It’s difficult for me to discuss with all of you back home how awesome we are all doing out here without sounding big headed, however, we are in fact kicking butt on a level that Operation Enduring Freedom could never have expected. There’s no doubt you have all read the previous articles that covered our monthly work calendar. I’d like to take a moment to briefly touch on something that deeply affects each and every one of our lives in the unit. That thing is fantasy football, coupled obviously with the NFL. It’s true, exactly one half of the 7th Engineer Dive Team’s soldiers are active participant in
these leagues that have single handedly managed to keep yahoo afloat. At any given moment you will hear passionate conversations being conducted about who in fact has the best roster, why a trade should be accepted or why a certain persons record is a symbol of their obvious superiority to those who rank below them. This friendly competition spills over into the late night with those tracking their stat lines and rooting for their teams from back home. Teams from all over the nation are represented in our common area on Sunday and Monday nights. Attire from teams ranging from the mediocre New England Patriot’s, lackluster
Cincinatti Bengals or the extremely dominant Dallas Cowboys you will find being worn by nearly everyone occupying the room. Some people are occupying Wall Street getting pepper sprayed, but we’re out here occupying the television area and getting sprayed with the occasional extra duty. We have also put together a flag football team that competes with other teams around the base. Although we have the number 1 and 2 overall NFL combine champions on our team, Kyle ‘the lightning bolt’ Steffic (self-proclaimed) and Rob ‘Optimus Prime’ Russell, the team has gotten
OPERATION NEW DAWN 2011
off to a start that makes even the Indianapolis Colts look like football players. Fortunately we’re still number one in our hearts and hopefully in yours as well. I’d like to wish you all back home our best from out here in Kuwait and happy holidays! Until next time. . .