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A CO. 640TH ASB \ JAN 2011 \ VOL. 01

THE KNIGHT LIFE HEADED EAST \ MEDAL OF HONOR \ MRAP EGRESS N I N E T Y - T WO-FOX \ KUWAIT \ DEPLOYMENT SAVI N G S


THE KNIGHT LIFE THE DEPLOYMENT ISSUE \ FEB 2011 \ VOL. 01

01\INTRODUCTION A letter from the Editor and Command Team.

02\HEADED EAST From the Golden S t a t e t o t h e G re a t P l a c e .

03\MEDAL OF HONOR Staff Sgt. Salvatore Guinta - November 16, 2010

04\NINETY-TWO-FOX MOS Description: 92F Petroleum Specialist.

05\GRID : KUWAIT A Brief look at The Jewel of the Persian Gulf.

06\DEPLOYMENT PAYS OFF The scoop on the Savings Deposit Program (SDP).


THE KNIGHT LIFE \ A CO 640TH ASB


01\INTRODUCTION Welcome to The Knight Life

Just a few months ago I was sitting comfortably in my office. Jeans, t-shirt, my favorite pair of Chucks, casually sipping a cup of coffee while sketching up new branding or advertising concepts. Just a few months ago I was sitting in my office as Principal and Creative Director of a small design studio in Los Angeles.

We wanted to create something that went beyond your typical newsletter, that would read just as proudly off a newsstand as it would in your hands (or screen). It’s not just about aesthetics though, and as much fun as I have diving into the design of this, the bottom-line is that this is for you.

Although my location and attire has changed drastically, my passions and interests have not. Somewhere in all that is how this newsletter developed from a sporadically distributed three-page document to what you are reading right now. Welcome to The Knight Life.

Consider this the “pilot” issue, a test-fire, or dry-run. It is a constant work in progress and with your feedback and input we hope to tailor it to what you want. On that, let us know what you want, what needs to be added or removed, changed or improved. Your opinion is what is important here because again, The Knight Life is for you.

EXECUTIVE OFFICER / EDITOR

1LT JOSH TERRY

a CALL TO ARTS We need YOU to contribute to The Knight Life. We are accepting input and submissions of all kinds be it stories, articles, photos, drawings, designs, illustrations ideas, concepts, and just about anything you would like to be seen or read amongst these pages.

If you have or can produce any of the mentioned items we are looking for then just let us know. If you would like to be a regular contributor or think you could be a valuable part of our team then again, just let us know.

Please send in your submissions, comments, and ideas to: theknightlife@twentyfivemike.com

THE DEPLOYMENT ISSUE \ FEB 2011 \ VOL. 01


01\ COMMAND COMMENTS Alpha Company Soldiers. It is truly amazing the transformation I’ve seen since we started this journey back in California. I have seen work ethic, motivation and teamwork over the last two months that has impressed me greatly. You have been proving to me daily that you are prepared to take on nearly any situation that may come about in Iraq. It’s my opinion (and that of others) and that we have some of the best junior officers and senior enlisted personnel in the Guard today. This was evident in our validation exercises and I received many compliments on your abilities and determination. With that said, don’t let your guard down because this is only the beginning. As we head into theater, I need you to stay focused and vigilant. My goal is to complete every mission we are given to the highest standards and then bring you all home safely. I’m looking forward to moving on to Kuwait and Iraq and to working for all of you over the next year.

Families. You have the toughest job throughout this deployment. You must take care of everything at home that is normally handled with your Soldier around and you often have to worry and wonder about his or her safety and welfare. I promise you that I will do everything I can to keep your loved ones safe and will look out for them as if they were my own family. Please stay in touch with your Soldier as much as possible. throughout the year. Any contact from you boosts morale and helps them through the tough times. I commend you on your sacrifice and look forward to seeing you when we return.

Families. I want to say Thank You all for the support that you all have given to your soldier and the soldiers of Alpha Company 640th ASB. It has been over two months since we were activated to go to Iraq. It has been a wild ride here in Fort Hood Texas, but we are making it. I know the soldiers have a lot of stories to tell about the time spent here in Texas.

for years to go and do the jobs that we had signed up for in the Guard. I can say that I am proud to be the 1SG of the company and all of the soldiers that are in it.

We have a short time left here and we are anticipating the time to getting on the plane to fly to Iraq. The time is flying by fast. We all will be coming home safe. We have trained

THE KNIGHT LIFE \ A CO 640TH ASB

COMMANDER

CPT SION DETTRA

I will keep Leading the soldiers of Alpha Company making sure that all of them will be returning back to their loved ones. Keep us all in your prayers, as we Pray for our Loved ones. God Bless. FIRST SERGEANT

1SG RODDRICK PULLEN


02\HEADED

EAST

From The Golden State to The Great Place November 15th 2010, the 640th Aviation Support Battalion began their journey to Iraq to support Operation New Dawn. For many the day had been a long time coming, looming in the horizon and in the back of their minds. For many it was the beginning to an end, the first step to getting back to the families, friends and lives they were leaving, the first hurdle in returning home. The morning started with a flurry of activity and movement, rows of green duffel bags and equipment moved expediently to awaiting planes, rows of soldiers moving quickly

from formations and details to spend their remaining time in the company of their loved ones. The hours on ground passed with laughter, embraces, hand-shakes, tears, and anxious discussion. 1SG Pullen’s voice boomed through the noise, “Alpha Company let’s go!” and on command a final procession formed, snaking from the runway back towards the staging area and crowds. Shuffling forward towards the awaiting airliner, loved-ones waived, blew kisses, and snapped photos to capture the fleeting moment. Goodbyes are always bittersweet but spirits were high. Leaving is the first step to coming back home.

LOS ANGELES, CA FORT HOOD, TX

KUWAIT


03\

Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta received the Medal of Honor - the nation’s highest medal for valor - from President Barack Obama during a White House ceremony on November 16th 2010. Staff Sgt. Giunta is the third Soldier to receive the Medal of Honor for service in Afghanistan, and the first living recipient for the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since the medal’s inception during the Civil War, more than 3,400 Americans have received the award; more than 2,000 of them were Soldiers. Official Narrative: Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta On Oct. 25, 2007, Spc. Giunta’s platoon was conducting a movement to contact to interdict enemy forces on the Gatigal Spur, in order to provide over watch for 2nd and 3rd platoon’s exfil back to Combat Outpost Vimot, and the Korengal Outpost. While conducting their exfil from the platoon’s blocking position, Spc. Giunta’s platoon was ambushed by 10 to 15 enemy personnel who utilized an “L” shaped, near ambush that was within 10 meters of

THE KNIGHT LIFE \ A CO 640TH ASB

the platoon’s main body. The enemy fired 10 Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) and three PKMs (machine guns) from the apex of the ambush and additional AK-47s from throughout the ambush line. The enemy initiated the contact with an RPG and a burst of PKM (fire), which immediately hit and wounded two members of the lead team, Sgt. Brennan and Spc. Eckrode. Another RPG in the initial volley hit extremely close to >


THE DEPLOYMENT ISSUE \ FEB 2011 \ VOL. 01


“Specialist Giunta’s selfless disregard for his own safety while defeating a determined enemy ambush and rescuing his comrades was of the quality and nature of previous Medal of Honor recipients. His demonstrated valor was in keeping with the finest traditions of military heroism.” - Gen. David Patreus Spc. Giunta’s position. While Staff Sgt. Gallardo moved back to his Bravo Team to get situation reports, Spc. Giunta provided covering fire by leading his team in suppressing enemy positions, assigning sectors of fire and commanding his M-203 gunner to engage close targets. While advancing toward Spc. Giunta’s team, Staff Sgt. Gallardo was struck in the helmet by an AK-47 round, which caused him to fall to the ground. Despite being under heavy fire by PKM, RPG, and small arms, Spc. Giunta immediately left his covered

THE KNIGHT LIFE \ A CO 640TH ASB

position in order to render aid to his squad leader. As he moved to provide assistance, Spc. Giunta was struck by two bullets; one of which impacted his chest area but was stopped by his Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert (ESAPI) plate, and one round which impacted the ShoulderLaunched Multipurpose Assault Weapon-D (SMAW-D) rocket he was carrying across his back. Without hesitation, Spc. Giunta recovered from the impacts and ensured his squad leader was not injured. He then began bounding his team forward in an attempt to maneuver on the enemy. Spc. Giunta and his fire team were quickly pinned down by effective enemy machine gun and small arms fire from multiple positions at close range. Spc. Giunta, along with Pfc. Clary and Staff Sgt. Gallardo, quickly prepared fragmentation grenades and continued the assault by throwing two volleys of them at enemy positions that were approximately 15 meters to their west. They then assaulted forward through those positions, secured Spc. Eckrode, and began treating his wounds. Realizing that Sgt. Brennan was missing, Pfc. Clary and Spc. Giunta continued to push forward along the enemy’s ex-filtration route, despite taking small arms fire from enemy personnel who were attempting to cover their withdrawal. Moving in the lead and rapidly closing with the enemy, despite receiving effective fire, Spc. Giunta overtook two enemy combatants attempting


to drag off Sgt. Brennan, who had been incapacitated by his wounds. Spc. Giunta engaged one enemy combatant at close range and killed him, which cause the other enemy combatant to drop Sgt. Brennan and flee. Spc. Giunta then began immediate first aid on Sgt. Brennan, and also helped his squad leader to adjust security, further consolidate casualties, and prepare for Medical Evacuation operations. Spc. Giunta’s selfless actions and personal courage were the decisive factors in changing the tide of the battle, ensuring that Sgt. Brennan was not captured by the enemy, and preventing the lead fire team from being destroyed by the enemy’s near ambush. Despite bullets impacting on and around himself, Spc. Giunta fearlessly advanced on the enemy and provided aid to his fallen comrades. His actions saved the lives of multiple paratroopers and changed the course of the battle in his platoon’s favor. For exceptionally valorous actions during Operation Enduring Freedom VIII while assigned as a rifle team leader in Battle Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry. Spc. Giunta’s unwavering courage, aggressiveness, selfless service, and leadership while under extreme enemy fire were decisive in his platoon achieving fire superiority, defeating an enemy near ambush, and preventing the capture of a fellow paratrooper by the enemy. His actions reflect great credit upon himself, the Rock Battalion, the Bayonet Brigade Combat Team, Combined Joint Task Force-82, and the United States Army.

“I know heroes. I have met heroes. I have met some of the bravest people in the entire world. And I have had the privilege to serve with them. I have had the privilege to serve with them. And when someone comes and says, you know, “Hey, you know, you’re the man; congratulations; you’re an American hero,” I just take it in stride, and I think about all my heroes and all the people I look up to and all the people who have given so much and taught me so much.” - Staff Sgt. Salvatore Guinta Article and Photos courtesy Army.mil and WhiteHouse.gov THE DEPLOYMENT ISSUE \ FEB 2011 \ VOL. 01


1

2

EGRESS I N

S E Q U E N C E

It doesn’t always cost $30 and up per person to experience the gut-wrenching excitement of theme park thrill rides. The Army has it’s own version of the roller-coaster void of the cost, lines, and gum stuck to the bottom of your shoes. Although it’s not exactly fast the MRAP Egress Trainer (MET) does flip you upside down, scares many, and

5

THE KNIGHT LIFE \ A CO 640TH ASB


3 sickens some. The MET training helps soldiers prepare for vehicle accidents by simulating an actual vehicle rollover. Although combat activity has drastically been reduced in theater, accidents are still a serious threat and vehicular safety is of the upmost concern of the Army and it’s Soldiers. Buckled into their positions within the MET, the simula-

4 tor rotates around, finally coming to a halt upside down. Disorientated, Soldiers must maneuver themselves and equipment out of toppled vehicle safely, while checking for any injuries and maintaining security.


04\

NINETY MOS SHOWCASE

TWO FOX 9 2 F - P E T R O L E U M S U P P LY S P E C I A L I S T By the book: Petroleum Supply Specialists are primarily responsible for supervising and managing the reception, storage and shipping of bulk or packaged petroleum-based products. Receives and stores bulk and package petroleum, oils, and lubricants products (POL). issues and dispenses bulk fuels and water from storage and distribution facilities to using units. Selects and submits samples of petroleum, oils, and lubricants to laboratory for testing. Performs petroleum and water accounting duties. operates equipment associated with petroleum and water distribution system and multiproduct pipeline system. Fuels and defuels vehicles, aircraft, and stationary equipment. Takes emergency precautions to prevent harm to self and facilities in event of petroleum spillage or fire. THE KNIGHT LIFE \ A CO 640TH ASB

Glorified gas station attendant? Wrong. 92Fs are literally the fuel behind every single operation in the Army both ground and air. Without them helicopter blades don’t spin, tank treads wont turn, vehicles can’t start, and the entire military machine is at a complete stand still. Specifically as the backbone of the Aviation Support Battalion without fuel “pilots are pedestrians.” With a single burst of radio transmission they rush out to the flight line dawning their protective equipment en route. Prepping the myriad of pipes, hoses, pumps and fittings they standby and orchestrate inbound helicopters into position through a series of visual signals. The minute they touch down a team darts expediently towards the fuselage with aluminum blades still cutting through the air ferociously just feet above their heads. Hooked up and keeping low, 100s of gallons of highly-flammable fuel pour into the tank and within minutes the helicopter rockets off into the sky, full, and ready to rejoin the fight.


THE DEPLOYMENT ISSUE \ FEB 2011 \ VOL. 01


05\ GRID : KUWAIT

/ku:’wert/ Dawlat al-Kuwayt


 THE KNIGHT LIFE \ A CO 640TH ASB

The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab nation situated in the northeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south, and Iraq to the north. It lies on the northwestern shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the Arabic “akwat”, the plural of “kout”, meaning fortress built near water. The emirate covers an area of 17,820 square kilometres (6,880 sq mi) and has a population of about 2.7 million.


Historically, Kuwait’s history is significantly tied in with Iraq’s history, from the days of Mesopotamia until the Neo Babylon Empire. The region was the site of Characene, a major Parthian port for trade between India and Mesopotamia. The Bani Utbah tribe were the first permanent Arab settlers in the region and laid the foundation of the modern emirate. By the 19th century, Kuwait came under the influence of the Ottoman Empire, and after World War I, it emerged as an independent sheikhdom under the protection of the British Empire. Kuwait’s large oil fields were discovered in the late 1930s. After Kuwait gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1961, the nation’s oil industry saw unprecedented economic growth. In 1990, Kuwait was invaded and annexed by neighboring Iraq. The seven month-long Iraqi occupation came to an end after a direct military intervention by United States-led forces. Nearly 773

Kuwaiti oil wells were set ablaze by the retreating Iraqi army resulting in a major environmental and economic catastrophe. Kuwait’s infrastructure was badly damaged during the war and had to be rebuilt. Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government, with Kuwait City serving as the country’s political and economic capital. The country has the world’s fifth largest oil reserves and petroleum products now account for nearly 95% of export revenues, and 80% of government income. Kuwait is the eleventh richest country in the world per capita. In 2007, it had the highest human development index (HDI) in the Arab world. Kuwait is classified as a high income economy by the World Bank and is designated as a major non-NATO ally of the United States. Courtesy Wikipedia.com THE DEPLOYMENT ISSUE \ FEB 2011 \ VOL. 01


07\ DEPLOYMENT PAYS OFF FINANCIAL BRIEF: Savings Deposit Program (SDP) The Savings Deposit Program (SDP) was established to provide a place to deposit money for savings purposes to members of the Uniformed Services who serve in designated combat zones. Eligibility: Army National Guard Soldiers deployed in combat zones, qualified hazardous duty areas, or certain contingency operations outside of the United States are eligible to participate in the SDP. The Soldier must serve in the designated area for more than 30 days. Interest: The SDP provides Soldiers the opportunity to deposit money into a savings account with a higher interest rate than normal. On these accounts, interest accrues at an annual rate of 10% (per Executive Order 11298) and

compounds quarterly. Although federal income earned in hazardous duty zones is tax-free, interest accrued on earnings deposited into the SDP is taxable. Deposits: Eligible Soldiers may deposit all or part of their unallotted pay into a Department of Defense savings account. Up to $10,000 may be deposited in this account during a single deployment. Unallotted pay is the amount of money a Soldier is entitled to receive less authorized deductions. Deposits cannot be less than $5.00 and must be in multiples of $5.00. Soldiers are asked to contact their financial office to open the account and to make deposits. The last day to make a deposit into the fund is the date of departure from the assignment. However, interest will accrue for up to 90 days after return from deployment. Withdrawing the money before leaving the combat zone is not authorized, unless there is an emergency. Courtesy SaveandInvest.org, DFAS.mil

10% Adds Up! The table shows the impressive gains from even short-term deposits to an account earning 10 percent, compared to placing it in a CD, Savings, or doing nothing at all. INVESTMENT SDP

Average CD* Average Savings* Duffel Bag

DEPOSIT AMOUNT $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000

INTEREST RATE 10%

1.29% 1.10% 0%

TERM 10 Months 1 Year 10 Months 10 Months

INTEREST EARNED

TOTAL

$857.91 $129.62 $110.45 $0.00

* Rates based on National Average found at Bankrate.com on January 10th, 2010. Rates do not reflect any taxes or fees associated with accounts.

$10,857.91 $10,129.62 $10,110.45 $10,000.00

For more information about the Savings Deposit Program, please visit the local finance office or the Defense Finance and Accounting Service website: www.dfas.mil/army2/investmentoptions/savingsdepositprogramsdp.html THE KNIGHT LIFE \ A CO 640TH ASB


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THE DEPLOYMENT ISSUE \ FEB 2011 \ VOL. 01


THANK YOU FOR

YOUR SUPPORT. If you made it this far then that means you probably looked through all the content and for that we thank you. Ultimately The Knight Life is for you, and if you see anyway that you would like this publication improved then your feedback is welcome and encouraged. This is something new and in a state of constant improvement to give you, the reader, exactly what you’re looking for.

PLEASE CONTACT US with any comments, questions, or concerns at

theknightlife@twentyfivemike.com


THE KNIGHTS ARE

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Logon and add us. Post your pictures, add comments, invite your friends, and expand the Alpha Company family. Just Search for “Alpha Company Knights” or simply copy the link below. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=107342392631195

The Knight Life - "The Deployment Issue" Feb 2011  

The Deployment Issue

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