chaplains perform field services
warrior medics stand ready
GUARDIAN east August 2011, Vol. 19, Issue 12
The official magazine of Multinational Battle Group East
Contents Ambulance Crew of angels MNBG E’s roving medics dispatch care with competency
Meet Task Force Medical Warrior Medics are highly Soldier ingenuity skilled and trained to care for Creativity of U.S. Soldiers never ceases to soldiers and civilians amaze
10 11 12 14 15 16 17
Pilgrimage to Letnica Soldiers participate in ancient walk Novo Brdo tourism heating up Rural tourism office offering attractions for visitors to municipality Task Force Medical TF Med offers a plethora of services at the Camp Bondsteel hospital and beyond Physical therapist’s second tour Physical therapy team share second deployment as PT professionals Single leg Stance One simple exercise can aid the body in numerous ways Drink up Potable water on Camp Bondsteel award winning, clean, safe Task Force Medical Laboratory Trained laboratory technicians a vital asset to the TF Med team
Commanding Officer, MNBG E Col. Michael D. Schwartz
4 20 21 22 23 24 26 27
Sling loads bring amenities to troops Task Force Aviation performed record number of sling loads in support of troops 44th Army Band Band entertains audience German proficiency Badge Soldiers given opportunity to compete for German military awards Chaplains up north MNBG E Chaplains offer weekly field service to soldiers forward deployed Dog Town grand opening Four legged residents have a new enclosure to roam, run, relax in Football frenzy begins Cooler temps bring American pastime MWR Events Vocal competition, splish/splash fun, fitness
200th Public Affairs Detachment Commander 1st Lt. Casey Staheli Editor, Photojournalist Staff Sgt. Anna Doo Layout, Photojournalist Spc. Evan Lane
Public Affairs Officer, MNBG E Capt. Valerie Palacios
Photojournalist Spc. John A Montoya, Jr.
Front cover: Task Force Aviation delivered a generator to soldiers stationed at the Brnjak gate July 31. Austrian and French soldiers were on hand to accept the load allowing the helicopter pilots to return for another trip. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. John A. Montoya)
Fitness Safety Legal Chaplain MNBG E Commander and CSM
Command Sergeant Major, MNBG E Command Sgt. Maj. Abel Villesca
Back Cover: Thousands of pilgrims attend the religious walk in Letnica, Kosovo, Aug. 14-15 held each year in honor of the Church of the Black Madonna. The statue of the Virgin Mary is said to be over 300 years old and is housed in the twin spire church just inside the Kosovo boundary near Macedonia. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Anna Doo)
story and photo by Spc. Evan Lane
KFOR Soldier ingenuity
“Guardian East is produced for personnel of MNBG E, and is an authorized publication for members of the Department of Defense. Contents of Guardian East are not necessarily the official views of the U.S. government, the Department of the Army, 111th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, or MNBG E.”
Broadcast Journalist Pfc. David Sherwood Photo Credits for editorials: Safety, Legal, Chaplain: Staff Sgt. Anna Doo
ith the size of the U.S. Military defense budget, drone aircraft, reactive armor, and other technological and logistical marvels it is easy to forget what makes our military successful in all theaters: the ingenuity and determination of the individual Soldier, who can as easily operate a $125,000 laser range finder as he can scratch out a home amongst still-burning rubble.
As part of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, which outlines and authorizes Kosovo Forces’ mission in Kosovo, Soldiers of the Las Cruces, N.M. based C. Co., 1-200th Infantry Battalion, recently began manning Jarinje gate, also called Gate 1, at the administrative boundary line between Kosovo and Serbia. When the U.S. Soldiers relieved Polish first-responders at Jarinje, the entry point was still on fire from protestors’ incendiary devices. What was once a professionally outfitted crossing point was now the site of scorched concrete and twisted metal, ornamented with liquefied glass and aluminum. C. Co., in true infantry fashion, failed to see it as anything short of a five-star resort. “That first night it was raining pretty steadily, but I had my camp setup on the concrete next to one of the burning cars,” said Spc. Jose Cruz, an infantry team member.
“It was really nice, actually. I stayed warm the whole night,” he concluded with a smile.
Members of C. Co., 1-200th Infantry look on and spot Spc. Carlos Martinez as he performs a deadlift with a makeshift bar complete with concrete blocks for weight. Martinez and the other infantrymen improvised a gym with free weights and benches made of food ration boxes upon arriving at one of the gates in northern Kosovo amidst the unrest in the region.
this, so we only had the essentials with us,” said Spc. William Atkinson, an infantry team member. He continued that they had come to Jarinje directly from another mission. All of the Soldiers have trained extensively for scenarios similar to the one they found themselves in. They knew what types of equipment to bring to weather the nights and days.
Tents and lean-tos were constructed with ponchos and 550 cord, a high-strength nylon rope in use by the U.S. Military since World War II.
During their off hours between shifts at vehicle checkpoints, Soldiers began to design living spaces that met more than shelter and safety requirements.
After setting up a defensible position and assuring the structural safety of the site, Soldiers Using pieces of rubble that like Cruz settled in to their make- were beyond repair, the infanshift accommodations. try Soldiers designed a gym, complete with kettle bells, free “We were given only a few min- weights and a bench press, utes to get our gear together for whose component parts were
concrete chunks lashed to broken steel tubing and two food ration boxes placed end-to-end as a bench.
Several Soldiers commented on how the improvised bench press functioned even better than a real one.
“Since the weights are able to move around on the end, it shakes– stabilizing the bar takes a lot of core muscles,” said Sgt. Michael Carson, an instructor with the Combat Arms Training Company. “It really works your whole body.”
As the days progressed, the good mood of the Soldiers of C. Co. remained undiminished. The close-knit, familial feeling was noticeable everywhere in the small details of the Soldiers’ daily activities: Soldiers enjoyed games of spades, played on handmade tables and improvised benches; when one Soldier built a small fire, he shared his limited amount of hot coffee with anyone who asked; the platoon medic made Ingenuity, P. 7
MNBG E Commander CSM
t almost goes without saying that the last few weeks have been unusual for Kosovo “post 2004.” Although we have experienced situations similar to 2004 over the last several weeks, it has also been markedly different in many ways. Briefly, a snapshot of the recent events - Regional Operational Support Units was sent North to take control of the customs duties at gates Brnjak and Jarinje. Folks in the north took exception and repelled their attempt to take control of the gates and simultaneously established a series of roadblocks which impacted ground traffic ability throughout the north. Gate 1 was burned by “hooligans” July 27 and KFOR immediately responded and took control of both gates. After KFOR took control of both gates, we began implementing the rule of law, which meant an embargo of most commercial transportation from Serbia to Kosovo. KFOR sent in a contingency “over the horizon” force often called the Operational Ready Force comprised of Austrian and German soldiers and the U.S. provided additional aviation support in the form of UH-60 helicopters from the 12th CAB in Germany. The situation calmed after a week or so of intense negotiations, and an agreement was reached between the involved parties on Aug. 5. The situation is calm but tense in the north for the time, but unilateral or bold actions by either side could inflame the situation once again. So, our job is to be prepared and maintain efforts throughout the region. The overall political / military situation is more complex than I just described, but the essence is captured.
Detachment is all over the place taking photos and capturing history. The staffs are all working well together and with the units. The forward command post is performing very admirably with a highly multinational staff. All units are executing all assigned tasks to the maximum of their capabilities and are performing extremely well! I could write many paragraphs detailing the performance of all the multinational units. They have all performed very admirably and are anxious to continue providing great benefit to MNBG E as a whole. We counted on all member nations of the battle group, and they all came through! I haven’t even come close to recognizing all those who made my job much easier over the last several weeks, but I assure you, I’ve told our visitors about each of you in detail as they continue to visit our area.
Col. Michael D. Schwartz, commanding additional aviation assets, fuel blivits, intelligence surveillance reconnaissance assets, support personnel and planners in a very timely manner. I also anticipate continuation of all necessary support from U.S. Army Europe for future endeavors. The area support team has also provided enormous support from their rather austere resource pool and has worked with the MNBG E every step of the way while we responded to this crisis and are adjusting to this “new norm.”
Best of all, the soldiers assigned to MNBG E have performed marvelously! Everyone pitched in over the last several weeks to help in any manner possible. Once again, I am very proud of every soldier assigned to this task force and, once again you have exceeded my expectations. Our aviation folks did marvelous things by getting the supplies to soldiers and quickly adapting to the situation. If it were not for their quick and responsive support, we may I anticipate the current situation to be the “new have been forced to breach complex roadblocks norm” for the remainder of the deployment. Jarinje by ground with the potential of harming civilians. gate will remain a military restricted zone with The JRD sacrificed their short term sensing misthe manning of a robust force at this gate, gradual sion to assist with perimeter reaction force and implementation of an embargo along the Adminisstaff augmentation, thus enabling other forces to trative Boundary Line unauthorized entry points, respond to crises elsewhere. The Headquarters and robust sensing in Joint Regional Detachment East Headquarters Company actually sent soldiers to in order to anticipate any potential interethnic the C. Co. 1-200 formation to provide some much strife in our area of operations, increased presence needed relief and reinforcement during the last patrols, and a continuation of all “fixed tasks” asso- several weeks. The C. Co. “honeybadgers” rapidly ciated with MNBG E such as Devic Monastery, Mt. responded to Gate 1 from an escort mission to reinGoles, synchronized and border patrols, and QRF. force the Polish company and “strongly discourage” another attack on this gate by “hooligans.” They As you may guess, our forces will all be engaged immediately brought the situation under control daily in operational missions and we will accept and have done a fantastic job of bringing a sense of risk and economize forces based on the current and order and ultimately a great deal of respect by all anticipated future tasks. U.S. Army Europe has been involved parties in their “firm but fair” approach most helpful in our cause in Kosovo by providing to their duties. The four person Public Affairs
It is now my duty to bring a sense of stability and predictability to the soldiers and commanders. We will be working hard to develop a plan to cover down on all the assigned tasks and decide where to accept risk and economize over the next several days and weeks and where we need to maintain a strong presence. We must quickly adapt to the “new norm” and provide a degree of predictability to soldiers, their commanders, and families back home. In short, even in the time we had the least visibility of future events, every soldier continued on their scheduled leave, soldiers who had family emergencies were granted emergency leave, and we continued important schools such as the Warrior Leader Course. We are even conducting a smaller version of the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge and permitted soldiers to attend the local religious celebration Aug. 15 at the Church of the Black Madonna. I have suspended some programs such as the pass and some local weekend trips in Kosovo. I made the decision to keep our forces at 90 percent strength in country. That restriction will probably remain in effect at least through the end of September. After that period, we must strongly consider passes on Camp Bondsteel with preplanned events throughout Kosovo in order to retain our 90 percent strength in country. On another note, we did continue all scheduled MWR events on Camp Bondsteel and even branched out on several occasions to Camp Novo Selo. We haven’t gotten to the point of providing entertainment to soldiers at Gate 1 yet, but that may be on the horizon. I also anticipate the planning and execution of several key events this fall to include possibly receiving the Governor of New Mexico and other dignitaries in both Germany and Kosovo. We are also supporting the training of KFOR 15 at Camp Atterbury, Ind., and at the Joint Maneuver Readiness Center at Hohenfels, Germany, this fall if the tactical situation permits. At the end of the day, my intent is to get back to normal operational tempo in our new and still somewhat unpredictable future environment. Again, I cannot say it enough; I am very proud of every member of the task force. Each and every soldier continues to amaze me every day. Thank you and keep up the good work!
s of Aug. 18, we’ll have been “boots on the ground” in Kosovo for five months. You may recall that in my comments for July the period we are in now is referred to as the “Dog Days of Summer” and things outside of “normal behavior” occur during the hot, frustrating months of summer and early fall. To say that the situation in Kosovo has changed from the date the last “Guardian East” went to press is an understatement. The commander did a great job painting a picture of the events in late July and early August and how the soldiers of MNBG E have responded to the current operational environment. What we are faced with now is the “new normal” for Kosovo and for MNBG E. It goes without saying that all of the units in the Battle Group are conducting their steady state operations at a much higher tempo and many are tasked with additional responsibilities and operational requirements. Because of this higher operational tempo, we have a need to keep our “boots on the ground” strength as high as possible. That operational necessity means we will not be able to send Soldiers on pass to Thessaloniki or on MWR trips within Kosovo for the foreseeable future. The current situation will not, however, impact your scheduled R&R Leave.
Now, more than ever, all of your day to day actions and accomplishments contribute to the overall success of the mission. A lot of work has been spread around the battle group in order to ensure we have the appropriate resources available to accomplish our new steady state responsibilities in the north and have resources available to respond to short notice tasks wherever we are needed.
Situational awareness and understanding is a key ingredient to our operational success and force protection efforts. Let’s keep emphasizing the “every Soldier a sensor” mindset as we move about on our daily activities. Something you observe or hear while accomplishing your missions and activities may be key to building the picture the commander needs in order to predict where and how MNBG E soldiers should be positioned for future operations. Stay on top of anything weird and report anything unusual through the appropriate channels. You’ve all heard me remark in the previous months how proud I am of you and what an excellent job you are doing. Knowing how good you are and how well you’ve done to date is one thing, but to see you in action in support of current operations in the north and throughout Kosovo is very impressive. Your successes continue to be complimented by leaders at all levels in Kosovo, U.S. Army Europe and the United States. It makes me proud to be a member of this great team. As always I am grateful for everything that you do. Keep up the great work!
“Bata a n
KFOR responds to unrest in northern Kosovo Rapid, sustainable response by Multinational Battle Group East
story by Spc. John A. Montoya
ue to the unrest in northern Kosovo, Kosovo Forces have been called to action to uphold the statutes of U.N. Resolution 1244.
The calm of the past few years was broken and Kosovo Forces have lived up to their duties as peace keepers. Unforeseen events have pushed this peace keeping force to step up its presence in the north of Kosovo.
An infantryman with C. Co. 1-200th Infantry scans oncoming traffic at a check point in northern Kosovo as part of Joint Commitment North IV. The infantrymen control the Jarinje gate checking vehicles in both directions of travel for weapons or contraband. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Valerie Palacios)
Members of Task Force Aviation fit a package for a sling load operation. Task Force Aviation ran more than 161 missions between July 25 and Aug. 15 supporting forward deployed soldiers. (Photo courtesy of Spc. Lucreita Wilcox)
U.S. Army Europe commander, Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling toured Kosovo visiting troops stationed at the Jarinje gate. Hertling arrived Aug. 13 to see first hand the steadfast readiness of U.S. Army Soldiers. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. John A. Montoya)
Field sanitation was a problem solved quickly by the skills of citizen-soldiers who put their engineering backgrounds to work creating a field shower system. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. John A. Montoya)
A NATO helicopter lands near the Jarinje gate to bring supplies to the soldiers stationed there. Essentials such as toilet paper and water were delivered. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. John A. Montoya)
Ingenuity frequent rounds, checking the health of all of his fellow Soldiers, handing out foot powder, sunscreen and fetching anything he could to make them more comfortable. Each change of guard at the vehicle checkpoints arrived earlier than required, in order to give their buddies a break.
Soldiers from the Kosovo Forces French Contingency receive a generator delivered by a U.S. UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter at the Brnjak checkpoint in northern Kosovo. The soldiers team up and push it into place. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. John A. Montoya)
Task Force Medical dispatched a tactical care unit as part of the initial convoy of vehicles from Camp Bondsteel to the northern region of Kosovo. Two health care professionals remain with the forward soldiers. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Evan V. Lane)
Almost immediately following C. Co.’s arrival at the Jarinje gate, the U.S. Army’s support infrastructure kicked in and began around-the-clock airlift operations to supply them with food, water and more permanent facilities for the duration of their stay. The Soldiers had tasks to complete prior to those facilities arriving, though, and having spent several days and nights there with the men of C. Co., it is clear to me they can happily make do with nearly nothing and still perform their mission to the highest standards.
Joint Commitment North IV, spearheaded by Task Force Aviation and C. Co. 1-200th Infantry is ongoing and has been successful due to the Soldier’s of Multinational Battle Group East ability to adapt and overcome changing situations. They are also successful due to the support given to them by COMKFOR and the units on Camp Bondsteel, such as 111th Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Liaison Monitoring Team perimeter reaction force and the 75th Combat Support Hospital.
Col. Michael D. Schwartz, right, speaks with the leader of the French Contingency near the Brnjak gate July 27. Schwartz inquired as to the well being of the Austrian, French and Moroccan soldiers who were stationed there. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Anna Doo)
Meet Task Force Medical lashara barnes
Q: What do you like most about your job?
Q: What do you do back home? A: I worked on a dairy farm where we milked about 200 head of Holstein cows. I was a general farm hand, and my specialty was animal care.
A: I like the interaction I have with people, because I’m a people person, so it’s really nice to talk to different people every day.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: Hobbies and interests here are sleeping, watching movies, walking around post, MWR events, taking care of the dogs, chilling with friends, 550 cord projects.
Q: What do you think of the deployment so far?
story and photos by 200th PAD
ask Force Medical gives Kosovo Forces a highly trained staff full of citizen-soldiers who practice their art on a daily basis. Within Task Force Medical are veterinarians, psychologists, physicians, nurses, EMT warriors, dentists, physical therapists and much more.
Led by Col. Mary Bolk and 1st Sgt. James Lawrence, the Warrior Medics offer those on Camp Bondsteel a fully functioning hospital replete with the care necessary for continued soldier health. Meet just a few of the professionals that make up the staff and personnel behind the health care force of Kosovo Forces 14. Warrior Medics
tiyhon caldwell Q: How long have you been in the military? A: 16 years.
Q: What made you decide to be an x-ray technician? A: I knew before I was out of high school. I’d spent a lot of time in emergency rooms as a kid and just knew. Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: I go to the gym, watch movies, hang out with friends. Q: What hobbies do you have?
A: I’m a personal trainer back home, so I try to keep up with that here. I’m also into gadgets; taking electronics apart and putting them back together. Q: What are your plans for after deployment?
A: I plan to finish a degree in healthcare management and public health.
A: I volunteered to come and was really surprised to find the Human Animal Bond program when I got here. The best part so far is meeting new people and getting to introduce them to my dogs. Q: Did you set any educational goals during this deployment?
A: My education goals were to finish my Phase 1 Advanced Leadership Course, take the Army Flight Aptitude Test and put in my warrant officer candidate packet.
Q: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done in Kosovo?
michael smith Q: Why did you join the Army Reserve? A: My dad’s dad was in the Army. My dad is in the Army. It’s kind of a family tradition. Q: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done in Kosovo?
A: Definitely going up to gate one, working at the casualty collection point and working with the infantry. They’re a really great group of guys. They’re really professional. They help us out a whole lot.
A: The most interesting thing I’ve done so far was go to the national mental health institute here. It’s in Stimlje/Shtime. I always like going and looking at their facilities, because it shows that there isn’t much of a difference between our facilities and theirs. They have a lot of the same training. The only difference is they don’t have the funding to get new equipment. Q: What are your hobbies back home?
A: Back home I just started taking a salsa dancing class, which I really miss. I really like volunteering, because I like helping kids.
Q: What kind of hobbies do you have back home?
A: Wakeboarding. Games of football, anything like that, but mainly wakeboarding. Q: Where’s your hometown?
A: Memphis, Tenn., it has the best barbecue in the world.
Religious pilgrimage draws thousands story by Ardian Nrecaj Public Affairs Interpreter
story and photos by Staff Sgt. Anna Doo
The Mass was led by Kosovo Bishop Gjergj Doda, who was joined by priests from throughout the region and military chaplains from KFOR. During Mass, Bishop Doda emphasized the importance of love in our lives when he said, “Pope Benedict XVI has said that when there is not war there is peace, but no, peace is when love is ruling.”
A Chaplain (Maj.) Michael P. Lindsay addressed the crowd of thousands of pilgrims while COMKFOR Chaplain German Burkhard W. Bleul awaits his turn to share the Gospel. The KFOR chaplains attended the annual pilgrimage to the Church of the Black Madonna. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Anna Doo)
day a different priest preaches a different topic about the life of the Virgin Mary, and in the last three days, before the final day, we have Mass in Albanian and Croatian languages. After Easter and Christmas, this is one of the most important celebrations, and The celebration actually begins it is a tradition for people to walk nine days before Aug. 15. “The barefoot from Stublla, Kabash, program is organized by the Vitina and Ferizaj,” said Father Kosovo Eparchy,” said Father Lukic. Izidor Lukic a Salesian, priest from Don Bosko Center. “Every The Church of the Black Madonna is located atop the small hill above the center of the village. It is surrounded by old houses with the majority of them inhabited by a community of Croatians. The Karadak Mountains extend to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and envelop the village.
Master Sgt. David Martinez reads scripture during the annual pilgrimage to the Church of the Black Madonna. Martinez joined scores of fellow Kosovo Forces soldiers along with thousands of pilgrims to participate in the walk and service. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Anna Doo)
s clouds skittered across the tops of ancient walls peeking above the grassy hilltop, a NATO helicopter landed on a flat patch of land near the Artane Castle. The helicopter was carrying COMKFOR Commander German Maj. Gen. Erhard Buhler, Joint Regional Detachment Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Daniel Stark, and numerous dignitaries and aids. The castle, also called Kalaja, is located in the municipality of Novo Brdo/Novo Berde, Kosovo, and the purpose of the visit was German Maj. Gen. Erhard Buhler, COMKFOR commander, center, steps out to soak in the tourism draws of of the Draganac Monastery with Joint Regional Detachment Deputy Comthe region.
The priest of the Church of the Black Madonna, Father Kriste Gjergji, said that approximately 300 years ago the shrine of the Black Madonna was brought to Letnica from Skopje, Macedonia, and since then it has been a destination for pilgrimages for believers.
Through these mountains a small girl named Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhiu used to walk every year on the pilgrimage for the
mander, Lt. Col. Daniel Stark, left, after attending a saint’s day celebration.
After a meeting in the municipality building with the mayor of the area, Bajrush Ymeni, the group of leadership went to a local restaurant for lunch and continued on to the Draganac Monastery. A saint’s day celebration was underway for Saint Archangel Gabriel in the newest construction of the church built between 1865 and 1869. Hundreds of townspeople were in attendance as were the resident monks, Father Illyria and Serbian Bishop Teodosije.
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The little girl, later known as Mother Teresa, is believed to have heard the voice of God at this church, and decided to become a nun.
Lukic said, “There is a strong relationship between the Letnica Church and Mother Teresa. Here is where she felt the voice of God, had her calling and gave the oath in front of the Madonna to become a nun and serve the poor.”
While Buhler and Stark attended the solemn service in the small church along with the locals; outside, the monastery was buzzing with volunteers fer-
Andrew Midzak, a Kellog, Brown and Root air traffic controller on Camp Bondsteel, said it is good to see the diversity here in Kosovo. “The nation is predominantly Muslim, but it’s obvious that Catholicism is strong and Christianity is still strong. Just looking at the numbers, the thousands and thousands of people here today make it interesting.”
Likic explained that the Black Madonna church has been a site for pilgrimages for a long time. “They never stopped coming, during World War II or even during the conflict in Kosovo, people came, they all come no matter whether they are Albanian, Serbian or Roma,” said Lukic.
very year on Aug. 15, Catholics from Kosovo and all over the Balkans region gather in the small village of Letnica among the beautiful Karadak mountains to worship, pray and celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Among the gathered crowd are the highly recognized military uniforms of many different nations contributing to Kosovo Forces. People of different ages, gender and even religion gather at the Black Madonna Church in Letnica, Kosovo.
rying food, drinks and trinkets from their homes to the walled sanctuary.
and employees of CARE gathered just below the Artane Castle to celebrate a milestone of building up rural tourism in the region. According to the Liaison Moni- According to its website, CARE toring Team, who interact daily has been working in Kosovo since with residents of the area, future 1997. Initially, the international plans for the monastery include nongovernmental organizacontinued celebrations, as well tion assisted in a humanitarian as accommodations for peaceful fashion and then transitioned to retreats. The spring at the front focusing on creating sustainable entrance to the hallowed grounds economic endeavors. is said to have healing powers. Many of the individuals workThe following day dawned ing with CARE celebrated the with the same mild temperaofficial opening of the rural tourtures, enough cloud cover to keep ism industry in the Novo Brdo/ the crowd cool and a palpable Novo Berde region along with air of jovial excitement. A small the locals. One of the highlighted gathering of local residents, LMT aspects of tourism, in addition Soldiers, local mayors, a band Tourism, P. 12
Aferdita Vllasaliu-Ibrahimi tends the fires under the traditional Kosovo Albanian dish of flija. Certain types of cookware and a specific batter make this authentic dish what it is. Without people continuing the art of traditional cooking, the history could be lost.
Pamphlets presented to the attendees of the Novo Brdo/Novo Berde municipality regional tourism celebration showcased all the activities available to visitors. From paintball to ATV rides, hiking and historical sites, to places to stay and eat, the municipality is working diligently to bring tourists to the region.
Task Force Medical
Angels on Earth
story by Spc. Tiffany Huley, Task Force Medical Unit Public Affairs Representative
Sick Call/ EMT specialize in acute care of patients. Due to the unplanned nature of patient attendance, the department must assess patients and provide initial treatment for a broad spectrum of illnesses and injuries, some of which may be life-threatening and require immediate attention. The life-threatening injuries are treated in the EMT area of the hospital.
ometimes we see them and sometimes we don’t, but the medics at Camp Bondsteel act as angels among us who are always ready to respond to medical emergencies with a level of competency far above the standard. Instead of wings these angels have equipment, knowledge and a calming composure that lifts others through challenging situations.
Ancillary services are the support that keeps the hospital running. The Laboratory section of the hospital is responsible for setting up and sanitizing laboratories, preparing specimens, assisting in matching and typing blood for transfusions and analyzing fluid chemical content. The lab technicians are also expected to handle sophisticated laboratory equipment to search for parasites, bacteria and other micro-organisms.
These soldiers earned the right to be called warrior medics by completing a rigorous advanced individual training course.
The radiology technicians use X-ray and CT scans to spot injuries or disease. X-ray results help diagnose health conditions early and save lives.
“AIT takes 17 weeks and is great preparation,” said Spc. Brittany Cruickshank, a medic from Rio Rancho, N.M. “During that time we train for all kinds of scenarios and are well prepared for what we could potentially face.”
Behavioral Health technicians provide combat and operational stress control services for soldiers. The Combat Stress department also offers smoking cessation classes to those who want it.
The sick-call hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. During those hours, walk-ins can be seen and treated. Between the hours of 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Physical therapists treat mobility and flexibility patients with appointments can be cared for. problems and help patients regain endurance and strength. Patient administration (PAD) keeps data/medical records on all the patients seen in the hospital. Pharmacy, optometry and the dental departThey track patient admissions and discharges; they ments round out the hospital’s ability to improve also maintain daily reports for the command. PAD soldier’s quality of life. The goal here at the hospital also coordinates the medical evacuation process. is to give great patient care and customer service.
In fact, the education Army medics receive often allows them to apply for jobs as emergence medical technicians right after AIT.
he hospital here at Camp Bondsteel is a level-two facility where a wide variety of medical services are available. The different areas of operation are Emergency Medical Treatment (EMT), Sick Call, Laboratory, X-Ray, Behavioral Health, Optometry, Dental, Physical Therapy, Pharmacy and Surgery.
story and photo by 1st Lt. Casey Staheli
N.M. leadership visits Kosovo The New Mexico National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Kenneth C. Montoya, center, along with the State Command Sergeant Major, Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Adair, right, visited Soldiers from the New Mexico Army National Guard stationed in Kosovo Aug. 9-11, 2011. Montoya and Adair, along with the state human resources manager, Col. Carla Romero, spoke with Soldiers on Camp Bondsteel, Camp Novo Selo, and near Camp Nothing Hill, Kosovo. The Soldiers are currently serving as part of the NATO-led peacekeeping operation of Kosovo Forces 14. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Anna Doo)
were grilling numerous kinds of meat and volunteers served up the dishes along with Albanian salad, cheese stuffed phyllo dough called burek, and a plethora of sugary sweets. All of the food was created by local chefs who are part of the Rural Tourism Project.
The focus of the tourism industry in Novo Brdo/Novo Berde is to maintain the natural heritage of the region, preserve cultural heritage and increase jobs.
The event held was said to be the first of many to increase tourism in the area and promote the natural and manmade resources.
to all the historic sites, natural beauty and accommodations of the region, is local cuisine. A vast spread of traditional handmade food sent enticing smells over the ceremony. A local business woman, Aferdita Vllasaliu-Ibrahimi, was cooking the traditional Kosovo Albanian dish of flija on an open fire pit. Nearby, men
“In some states, once AIT is completed, that alone will qualify you to get on with an EMT crew,” said Sgt. Bud Cordova, a medic from Albuquerque. “In others you just have to pass the state test. Either way once AIT is completed you become a National Registry EMT Basic.”
Sgt. Patricia Salazar stands in the back of the ambulance she and the rest of the ground crew drive around Camp Bondsteel and beyond always ready to assist wherever the need may arise. The ambulance crew maintains the ready state by continually training whenever their skilled medic services are not immediately needed.
Even after AIT medics work hard to stay focused, keep skills sharp and maintain their military occupation skill. members’ skills,” said Cruickshank. “Fortunately we have not had any extreme incidents, but if we “Keeping up on continued education credits is the did, we could handle it. We have trained and prehardest part of the deployment,” said Cordova. “We pared.” have to maintain so many credit hours to maintain accreditation. If it lapses we have to reclass.” The goal of the medic is to get the patient to the next level of care and Salazar knows they can do The medics have found ways to do that. that.
“Here at Camp Bondsteel we continue to train by reacting to possible scenarios we may see,” said Cruickshank.
The training goes beyond working with just military members.
Sgt. Patricia Salazar, a medic from Albuquerque, said, “We train with the fire department, work with the Morale, Welfare and Recreation personnel and have great rapport with other civilians as well because we all want to help and assist each other.”
“Each medic, no matter how serious the situation, can react with confidence in their ability,” Salazar said. “My coworkers and command are all very good at what they do and we can get patients to the next level of care.”
While skills and knowledge lead to confident and capable medics, it’s their desire to help that makes them more. “I chose to become a medic because of the human interaction,” said Salazar. “Caring for Soldiers, giving them advice, keeping them healthy and following up with them is a rewarding occupation.”
The continuous preparation and training has provided the medics with a strong belief in their abilities and should provide comfort to Soldiers and Cruickshank and Cordova shared similar sencivilians who may need their help. timents stressing the rewarding experiences of assisting and helping Soldiers. “I’m confident in my skills and the other crew Ambulance, P. 19
Single Leg Stance
story by Sgt Todd Morneau, Physical Therapy Tech
wo common injuries seen in physical therapy are knee pain and ankle sprains. Aside from general strengthening and stretching, one of the most beneficial exercises for the entire lower extremity is the Single Leg Stance. SLS is a simple and dynamic exercise that engages all muscles of the leg; to work strength, endurance and balance. Balance is often over looked and taken for granted, due to the fact that you do not have to think about it. It is a system of sensors in the muscles, tendons and joints, the inner ear, as well as sight and touch all tell your brain where you body is in space.
The great thing about SLS is that it can be done anywhere, anytime. There is no required equipment or space, just some free time. To perform a SLS all you have to do is stand at the position of attention, raise one foot a few inches from the ground and bend the opposite knee slightly. The bending of the knee is very important! The knee is designed to support your body, when you unlock your knee it moves your center of gravity to just behind the knee. This shift is what activates the muscle which you will feel after just a few seconds. The goal is to hold this position for a minute or more. If you find yourself unable to balance with your arms at your sides, you can use a contact guard assist to help with balance, which is lightly touching an object to help maintain balance. A good rule of thumb is if your nail beds are turning white then you are using too much pressure on your fingers. That becomes support instead of assistance.
Lt. Col. Yvonne Ivanov, left, physical therapist, assists Sgt. Todd Morneau, physical therapy technician, with an exercise meant to create tension allowing for better alignment and increased awareness of the total environment. Ivanov and Morneau are currently on their second deployment together as physical therapy professionals.
Physical Therapists share second tour of duty
he skilled team of Lt. Col. Yvonne Ivanov, task force medical physical therapist, and Sgt. Todd Morneau, task force medical physical therapy technician, almost did not come to fruition. When Ivanov was notified of the Kosovo Forces 14 mission, the roster did not include a position for a physical therapy technician. Thus ensued a five month tug of war to justify and obtain a position for a technician. Having worked successfully with Morneau during a 2006-2007 deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Ivanov requested him by name to join her on the year-long deployment to Kosovo.
strong clinical skills, I requested him by name. I knew he was highly motivated,” Ivanov said.
Morneau’s competency with his job continues to grow as he completes coursework here to finish a physical therapy assistant degree. Morneau said the hands-on time spent in the physical therapy clinics in Iraq and here translates to civilian credits required for the diploma. Morneau said he enjoys teaching others what he has learned throughout his studies and hands-on experience.
“It’s an absolute blast,” exclaimed Morneau. “I like the fact that it all makes sense when you get down “I actually asked for Sgt. Morneau, he was not into it. I enjoy teaching and helping people and originally part of this deployment,” said Ivanov. educating them. I love when you explain something “Actually, the physical therapy technician position to them in a way they understand, you can see that was eliminated for the last three rotations. Physical light bulb go off. It’s like, ‘that was my symptom, therapy is the most used clinic in the hospital, we this is what happened, and this is what I need to do see people anywhere from one to three times per to fix it.’ Maybe through just a few treatments later week, for two to four weeks in general. It is vital they are seeing dramatic results and improvements that we have more than just myself in this clinic to and then get fully healed and recovered.” really be able to provide services needed here on Camp Bondsteel.” Many of those symptoms are an unnecessary result of certain activities said Ivanov. She said Their previous deployment to Iraq was spent in most of the ailments currently seen by the physiboth Mosul and Al Asad, and over the course of that cal therapy team include low back pain, neck and tour both Ivanov and Morneau came to know each shoulder pain, sports related injuries and injuries other’s skills and abilities with Soldiers’ physical caused by overdoing exercises. woes. This prompted Ivanov to request Morneau’s clinical skills for the KFOR tour of duty at the Camp Many of these can be avoided said Morneau by Bondsteel hospital. implementing general ergonomics into the workspace. He said to make the work environment work “The fact that we worked together and I knew his for the task at hand. Physical Therapists, P. 18
Next progression will be placing the arms straight out in the form of a “T”, this widens the center of gravity and will help stabilize while working. Work toward being able to stand for a minute or more with arms down. If you have gotten to this point and would like a challenge while performing a SLS with your arms down, close your eyes. This will put all the focus onto the nerves in the tendons, muscles and inner ear.
Sgt. Todd Morneau, physical therapy technician, demonstrates a simple exercise that can be done throughout the day, each day. The Single Leg Stance strengthens the leg muscles while allowing for increased balance and spatial awareness. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Anna Doo)
If done on a regular basis, you will find that your entire leg will be stronger; you will have better endurance and will sprain your ankles far less often. SLS will train your muscle to a reflex so that once you start to turn your ankle your muscles will know and pull you back into alignment, and you will have the strength to do it. Remember if you are going to fall, just fall. Most likely you will do less damage than trying to stop the fall.
story and photo by Staff Sgt. Anna Doo
Pure clean H2O
Camp Bondsteel’s faucet water safe for consumption story and photos by Staff Sgt. Anna Doo
hoose the faucet water, it’s more balanced,” recommends Wiley Cawthra, Camp Bondsteel’s water foreman.
primary and secondary drinking water. In 2002 it was declared the best water in Europe by a taste test performed by “Stars and Stripes”. Cawthra has been at Camp Bondsteel since 2000 and Capt. Jesse Colabine, preventive was an integral part of creating medicine officer, agrees that the the water and wastewater treatwater pumped throughout Camp ment facilities as well as meeting Bondsteel is safe for consumption. and exceeding the standards set His office tests ten random and forth by the EPA. fixed sites throughout the camp on a monthly basis. The water is At any time, a reserve of tested for bacteria, chlorine and pH levels by trained professionals. Colabine holds an undergraduate degree in biology and a master’s degree in entomology.
380,000 gallons is available for use through fire hydrants by the Camp Bondsteel fire department. Seven tanks hold 500,000 gallons of potable water for consumption by residents, said Cawthra. In addition to the potable water for use by humans, the Wastewater Treatment Plant treats water for reuse around the camp in the form of dust abatement, wash racks and sprinkler systems. Water, P. 19
Cawthra and his team perform daily tests on water from the dining facility, hospital and multiple other sites mandated by Army regulations. Additionally, Cawthra, Faton Hashani, water and wastewater supervisor, and Arton Krosa, water technician, test the water hourly for chlorine levels and daily for total dissolved solids, chlorine, hardness, turbidity and pH. The parameters are dictated by the preventive medicine office in order to maintain a level of safety for the soldiers consuming or using the liquid. At each stage of treatment water is tested from the wells to filters, treatment tanks and storage tanks. The water housed on Camp Bondsteel is sourced solely from deep wells. There are three wells on the facility which get fed through the water plant for filtration and removal of heavy metals, herbicides and pesticides said Cawthra. The water is then treated with a water softener. Cawthra said the raw ground water fed into the wells is clean, high quality hard water unimpeded by surface contaminants.
The potable water meets the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for national
Sgt. Jackie Vogelsong draws blood from a patient during a normal day of work in the Camp Bondsteel Hospital’s lab.
Task Force Medical laboratory team
story and photos by Capt. Jason Dufour
hey have made you squirm as they approach confidently adorned with gloves on, steady hands and a needle and vial at the ready all in an effort to unlock secrets contained within your blood. Garlic and holy water could not keep these “vampires” away as Task Force Medical’s mission relies heavily on obtaining their specimen and accurate results. Sgt. Jackie
Vogelsong and Spc. Marissa Brett are the behind the scenes operators who maintain the medical laboratory.
Vogelsong is a medical laboratory specialist and the noncommissioned officer in charge of the lab. As such, she oversees the clinical and diagnostic testing services completed at Camp Bondsteel’s Medical Treatment Facility. Clinical and diagnostic testing is comprised of the testing services completed in chemistry, hematology, coagulation, blood banking, microbiology and urinalysis. Essentially, the tests are looking for that anomaly which may be causing a medical issue. Maj. John Cha, Task Force Medical’s deputy commander of clinical services and general surgeon, describes cutting edge laboratory services.
From left to right, Arton Krosa, water technician, Wiley Cawthra, water foreman, Faton Hashani, water and wastewater supervisor, and Capt. Jesse Colabine, preventive medical officer, pose inside the water treatment facility. The small team keeps the potable water on Camp Bondsteel safe for human consumption.
Spc. Marissa Brett views the minute details of a specimen under a microsope in the hospital’s laboratory. Brett works diligently to identify the root causes of ailments.
Cha said, “Unlike the medicine from the dark ages when diagnoses were made simply by feeling a pulse, the laboratory is critically important in 21st Century medicine. Testing on blood, urine and other fluids can not only help make an accurate diagnosis, but in the case of bacterial infections, help choose Laboratory, P. 18
A conservationist at heart, Cawthra is proud of the recycling program on Camp Bondsteel as well as the reclaimed water use and compost cycle. Bins marked as recyclables are strategically placed throughout the base. Plastic water bottles, when placed in the recycling receptacles, are
In her civilian career, Vogelsong is a medical laboratory technician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, a Level I trauma center and cancer research facility. She has been employed since December 2009 and enthusiastically describes UAB Hospital’s support for her commitment to the Army Reserves and her Kosovo deployment as top notch.
The flexibility, continuing soldier support with care packages and emails of well wishes along with honoring her during Lab Week Annual National Recognition is just a small listing of how supportive UAB hospital has been. Vogelsong’s desire to be a registered nurse has been briefly interrupted by her deployment and she looks forward to finishing her degree when she returns home.
Brett is also a medical laboratory specialist responsible for ensuring soldiers are seen expeditiously and laboratory results are reported as soon as available to the providers. She explained that most soldiers are unaware that TF MED carries a fixed number of units of packed red blood cells to be used in the event of a serious injury. Thankfully, during her tenure here we have used none and she hopes that the trend continues. Typing and crossing of a soldier’s blood is the most essential task when it’s determined that this treatment is required.
All of the blood for the Camp Bondsteel blood bank comes from Landstuhl, Germany, and is rotated frequently. As a result of this logistical support, Task Force Medical does not need to conduct blood drives.
“We are always around, we check out events, drive around at night, stand by for flights; we are always ready to help,” said Salazar. “But the reality is that we are not always going to be the first ones on the scene.”
1st Lt. Josephine Imperatrice, emergency room nurse, at times has been called ‘Mother Imperatrice’ for her compassionate care of soldiers and at other times called the ‘Bondsteel Bully’ by those who do not want to listen to the treatment prescribed to help soldiers get better. Imperatrice described the turnaround time for laboratory results at Camp Bondsteel as extremely fast.
When medics are not around, Soldiers should be prepared.
“Pay attention to the combat lifesaver classes,” said Cruickshank. “You never know when you will be the first responder.”
“The timeliness of results provides our practitioners the ability to accurately diagnose illnesses and treat patients very efficiently,” said Imperatrice. “Our laboratory staff is very knowledgeable and provides prompt and courteous service.”
Salazar urges Soldiers to maintain situational awareness in such circumstances.
Before skillfully practicing her art here on Camp Bondsteel, Brett was a medical laboratory technician at Kennastone Hospital in Marietta, Ga. In order to deploy, Brett had to put her clinical laboratory studies at Thomas Edison State College on hold, but plans to complete the coursework upon returning home. The steady hands and extensive experience of these two laboratory technicians have combined for over 980 clinical and diagnostic tests since the KFOR 14 rotation began. So the next time you are approached by a needle and vial at the ready, do not be frightened as the “vampire” bite is all for your health.
Cawthra’s more than 40 years of experience in treating water, beginning in the 1970s, and his
So go ahead, refill the plastic water bottle with some good old fashioned faucet water and save a bottle. Or at least put used plastic bottles in the proper recycling bin for reuse.
Like guardian angels, medics try to be everywhere to help everyone.
“If you come up on an injured Soldier, get help and start initiating basic field care,” Salazar said. “Don’t stress, stay calm and make sure to get the right information and location to the dispatcher. That has the biggest impact on our response time.” The End
which medications are used to cure an illness. In cases of hemorrhage/trauma, laboratory tests help determine how much blood and plasma may be required. Gone are the days when doctors looked for lack of red color under the eyelid to see if the patient is anemic.”
Similarly, cardboard, paper, and newspaper if correctly recycled are transported directly to the Camp Bondsteel compost piles and reused on the fields around the post. All such activities set Camp Bondsteel as a leader in environmental protection.
passion for water conservation makes him a highly credible source in his field. The frequency the water is tested by Cawthra, Krosa, Hashani and Colabine upholds a level of trustworthiness in their findings of the purity and consumability of the potable water on post.
New warrior Leaders
collected and shipped to a facility that melts them down for reuse.
They also cautioned against jumping into an exercise routine too intense for a current state Both Ivanov and Morneau of physical ability, but rather belong to the 399th Combat Supincrease work load and/or weight port Hospital based in Devans, gradually. Mass., but for the deployment are augmentees with the 75th Ivanov suggested the best exer- Combat Support Hospital based cises for overall alignment and in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Ivanov has physical health include stabilizing an outpatient clinic for St. Luke’s movements such as planks, single Hospital in Virginia, Minn., and leg stands, free weights lifting Morneau works at the New and isometric exercises. England Animal Hospital in Waterville, Maine, when not Ivanov and Morneau won the deployed overseas.
Reclaimed water from the lagoons is used for the sports fields along with the compost created on post to create what Cawthra calls a green playground for people.
So the next time you are looking for your guardian angel, look no further than the calm, composed medic who stands ready to give a helping hand.
According to Sgt. Todd Morneau and his sidekick, a certain amount of humor can help the physical therapy session go well. Morneau uses his sidekick to help visually educate patients on the skeletal level of their discomfort.
tug of war battle. Ivanov said that a strong physical therapy clinic, to include a physical therapist and a physical therapy technician, is important for Soldier care as long as there is a hospital on Camp Bondsteel.
In addition, both Ivanov and Morneau preach proper lifting techniques, as well as safe lifting techniques, and the battle buddy system when exercising.
Soldiers attached to Multinational Battle Group East and Kosovo Security Forces attend the graduation ceremony of the first 2011 graduating class of the Warrior Leader Course at Camp Bondsteel Aug. 6 at the Camp Bondsteel theater. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Evan V. Lane)
story by Spc. John A. Montoya
s a response to the unrest in northern Kosovo the responsibility of operating the two main border checkpoints into Serbia has a fallen onto Kosovo Forces. For most of the past several weeks multinational soldiers manning the checkpoints have been resupplied by the air, with a lion’s share of that responsibility falling onto Camp Bondsteel’s Task Force Aviation.
In addition to supporting the U.S. contingency Task Force Aviation has been supporting the French, German and Polish contingencies since the beginning of the unrest, said Frey. This includes flying in food, water, personnel, medical supplies, generators and other types of equipment. They also fly the chaplains up to provide religious services to Soldiers and sometimes they deliver some unusual loads as well.
“We hauled up some ice cream and we’ve taken some Morale,
Welfare and Recreation equipment, projectors and screens,” said Frey. “We take them up daily hot chow, mainly dinner, but breakfast on Sundays.”
The helicopters on Bondsteel have been working non-stop since the beginning of the unrest in northern Kosovo which may help push Task Force Aviation to set flight records. “I think over the last few rotations once it’s all said and done we’ll have flown record time, hauled a record amount of equipment and people,” said Frey.
Members of the 44th Army Band from New Mexico National Guard recently joined the Kosovo Forces 14 deployment as augmentees. While serving in various capacities throughout the battle group, the band volunteers their personal time to rehearse and play music for soldiers and civilians alike.
stress added on.”
Band performs for troops
Even though Task Force Aviation went from performing mainly training operations prior to the unrest, they have taken to working support operations day in, day out and they are prepared to keep their operating pace up until it’s no longer necessary. “We can maintain this for the rest our time here if needed,” said Frey.
story and photo by Spc. John A. Montoya
erving the nation through music,” that’s the motto of the Army Band and that’s the spirit the New Mexico National Guard’s own 44th Army Band wants to bring to Kosovo, said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Wendy Franchell, bandmaster, when describing the band Soldiers volunteering their personal time to play and practice.
The operating tempo of the Soldiers from Task Force Aviation has jumped dramatically, but the Soldiers are more than keeping up with the new pace. Pilots are flying record time and the mechanics are working on the helicopters around the clock to keep them air worthy.
“They’ve been running 24 hour operations since the start of this just to keep up on maintenance, keep the aircraft flying,” said Frey. “The pilots love to fly, so I wouldn’t say they’re getting overtaxed, but there is definitely more
Task Force Aviation personnel are highly trained and skilled in properly readying loads for transportation. (Photo courtesy of Spc. Lucreita Wilcox)
anthems for all the different nations working here and they are also working on some Albanian pieces as well.
In the short time they have volunteered their time, the band has put together mixed sets of songs including military standards, national anthems, jazz, mo-town and much more. “This song set did The 44th Army Band based in Albuquerque, N.M., not exist six weeks ago,” said Sgt. 1st Class Ralph played at the Millennium lounge on Aug. 6, at Camp Harris, senior noncommissioned officer and trumNovo Selo. The band played a set which included the peter. French national anthem “The Marsellaise” and “The Army Song”. The band also used the dining facility here on Camp Bondsteel to play to the soldiers while they The primarily French audience at Camp Novo enjoyed their lunch. Franchell described their lunch Selo enjoyed the band and requested songs from time show as a boost of energy for the soldiers. “It them as well. “Their favorites were “When the takes their minds off of whatever task they’re doing Saints Go Marching In” and “Amazing Grace” of at the moment, and it just changed their mood,” said course, because they asked for that one, we’ll have Franchell. it ready to go next time,” said Spc. Stephen Segura, percussionist. “We kind of had a crowd of people gathering up at that end of the chow hall,” said Harris. Soldiers from the band believe sharink their skills can have a positive impact on the Soldiers staMaj. Omar Ruiz, operations exercise planner, said tioned on Camp Bondsteel and they can be an agent he enjoyed the music during the lunch time and he for cultural exchange between U.S. forces stationed thought they should do it more often. here, the multinational soldiers and the local people in Kosovo, said Staff Sgt. Paul McLaughlin, trumMembers of the band plan on performing as peter. much as possible while they are in Kosovo and will keep working at boosting morale and building The band has been practicing the national international relations during their volunteer time.
The UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters have been critical in supporting the operations at the two border checkpoints in the north, because ground traffic cannot bypass road blocks along the main highway starting from North Mitrovica all the way to the two border checkpoints with Serbia. “We’re the only assets able to get to the people at the border,” said Frey.
Task Force Aviation has performed hundreds of sling loads over the past month ferrying everything from food and water, to building materials and fuel to Kosovo Forces troops in the northern part of Kosovo. The increase in mission tempo began in response to unrest in the region that began late July. (Photo courtesy of Sgt. Maj. David Wade)
Task Force Aviation has risen to the challenge of supplying the soldiers at the gates and carrying those soldiers to and from Bondsteel. As of Aug. 15 this includes flying 161 missions since July 25 and hauled over 197,837 pounds of cargo to various points in northern Kosovo from Bondsteel, said Sgt. 1st Class Jamie Frey, senior aviation operations noncommissioned officer owiththe 1-376th Aviation Security and Support Battalion based in Grand Island, Neb.
Chaplains keep spirits up
German Proficiency Badge
Spiritual nourishment brought to the field
story and photos by 1st Lt. Casey Staheli
story and photos by Spc. John A. Montoya
U.S. Soldiers have been expending their energy and effort in pursuit of three German military awards: the German Sport badge, German Marksmanship Lanyard and the German Proficiency badge.
oldiers from Camp Bondsteel have been manning the checkpoint at the Jarinje gate in northern Kosovo since the unrest began at the end of July. Kosovo Forces air assets have been keeping the troops supplied with everything they need to keep them healthy and operational; such as food, water and medical supplies, and they also give the two chaplains of the U.S. contingency a lift twice a week to make sure their Soldiers have a spiritual outlet and they are coping with the stress.
“These activities were put together in order to continue building positive relations between German and U.S. Soldiers,” said German Lt. Col Martin Paulus, German liaison officer to Multinational Battle Group East.
In Germany contenders have a number of physical activities to choose from but during deployment choices are more limited, explained Paulus.
“We looked at Camp Bondsteel and chose events that were based upon the location and available resources and decided we could conduct the long jump, long and short distance runs and the shot put,” said Paulus.
Soldiers wishing to earn the German Marksmanship Lanyard pass a pistol and machine gun exercise using German weapons. The score a Soldier receives determines whether he or she is presented with either a bronze, silver or gold award. The German Proficiency badge requires soldiers to earn the German Sport badge, complete the German Marksmanship Lanyard and also do a 12 kilometer ruck march.
Both of the chaplains, Maj. Michael P. Lindsay and Capt. Jeffrey A. Hicks, believe the Soldiers manning the checkpoints need someone to make sure they are doing alright and they have a
German Master Sgt. Dariusz Polaczy demonstrates the proper technique for the shot put event. This event is part of the sports portion of the overall German Proficiency Badge. The other sporting events include a long jump and short and long distance run.
to experience everything I can on this deployment,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Wendy Franchell, after completing the shot put. “When else are we going to be able to have these chances to train with the Germans?”
Hicks said, “I think they feel cared for, they feel like they are being provided for.”
Some of the Soldiers at the gate have been attending the chaplain’s field services and they appreciate the religious service they provide. Sgt. Anthony Bustillos, an infantry company team leader, said, “It’s great. I missed Mass a lot out here.”
Chaplain (Maj.) Michael P. Lindsay performs a field service for soldiers stationed at the Jarinje border crossChaplains, P. 25 ing in northern Kosovo.
As he prepared for one of the ruck march events, Sgt. Jason Serrano, joint visitor’s bureau driver from Albuquerque, voiced a similar thought. “I wanted to come out and participate because I have been in the military for eight years and never had the chance to earn any of the German awards or badges,” said Serrano. “I’ve heard about it from active duty people for years and told myself if I ever had the chance I would do it.”
For Soldiers who could not participate due to the up-tempo of operations, Paulus is hoping to hold another round of events before the current U.S. Soldiers return home. “We don’t have as much contact between our soldiers as we’d like, so we would like to continue these programs, where we learn about each other and strengthen our friendships, as often as possible,” Paulus said. “So we’d certainly be open to doing this again to ensure more soldiers get the cross culture experience.”
U.S. Soldiers have expressed gratitude and excitement for the opportuAn award ceremony is planned for Aug. 28 at the nity to earn parade field between the joint operations center the German and the hospital. Visit the MNBG E social media awards. websites after the ceremony for more info on who completed the qualifications and photos of the “I wanted award ceremony and events.
In order for Soldiers to complete the German Sport badge they must do a long jump event, complete a short and long distance run and pass the shot put. The requirements to pass are dependent upon the age and sex of the participant.
genuine interest in their mission at the gates. “They seem very positive and when anyone goes up there to visit it shows interest in what they are doing,” said Lindsay.
The Soldiers of Task Force Vortex (Aviation) blew off some steam amidst the busy schedule Aug. 14. Soldiers in this picture are Sgt. Nathan Ireland, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Douglas Luethke, Capt. William McGreer, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Scott Zaske (back-up vocals), Sgt. David Porto (drums), Sgt. 1st Class Jamie Frey (guitar), Sgt. Billy Moore, Staff Sgt. John Jacobs, Capt. Kelly Colgan (lead vocals), and Spc. Lucreita Wilcox (bass).This was a fun night for the Task Force Vortex Soldiers. Task Force Vortex would like to send a thank you to Capt. Joshua Sandage for setting up this fun night. (Photo courtesy of Staff Sgt. John Walker)
Dog Town grand opening
story and photos by 1st Lt. Casey Staheli
Regardless of how many services they can provide, the chaplain’s main concern for the troops up north is their well being.
“Even if they don’t have the need, just getting out there and touching base with them, connecting with them. It sends a message,” said Hicks. “It shows your concern and if you give them something they need that’s good, but even if you give them something they don’t need, it communicates concern and they can pass it on to someone else.”
Dog Town improves upon an existing large dog run, a fenced off area in which a dog can be kept confined and get exercise, by providing new kennels and shaded areas.
Dog Town is overseen by the veterinarian office. While the offices primary mission is vaccinating local wildlife, a secondary mission, and one that has benefited a number of Soldiers, is the Camp Bondsteel Human Animal Bond Dog Program run by the veterinarian’s office.
The program takes in stray dogs who have wandered onto Camp Bondsteel. The dogs are vaccinated, groomed, dewormed, and given preventative medications, making them safe for Soldiers and civilians to pet and play with.
Hicks said he only had a handful attend his first field service, but he is going to work on boost-
Col. Michael D. Schwartz, right, commander of Multinational Battle Group East along with Col. Mary Bolk, center, Task Force Medical Commander and Area Support Team Commander, Col. Steven Campfield, cut through a white ribbon to officially open Dog Town. Dog Town improves an existing large dog run by providing new kennels and shaded areas.
Sgt. Monica Hepker, an animal care specialist from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and a member of the Army Reserve thinks the dogs are going to be very happy with the new kennels and shade.
“Before, anytime we weren’t in the clinic the dogs were in the kennels. It’s not awful, but neither is it as healthy as being outside, so this was a really good solution,” said Hepker. “Now the dogs can interact with each other, run around, go through social behaviors, and all of that contributes to healthier, happier dogs.”
Trkac, one of the dogs in the Camp Bondsteel Human Animal Bond Dog Program, proudly posses for pictures prior to the Dog Town ribbon cutting ceremony. Trkac has become a favorite of Soldiers and civilians alike.
than what he is used to doing, but he’s enjoying the changes. “It’s a Work conditions at the gate completely different way of doing make it difficult for the Soldiers things than I’ve done in the past, to attend services, but there are but actually using a helicopter other conditions that make havand flying out there it’s been kind ing a service challenging. Lindsay of neat that way,” said Lindsay. said it requires a lot more planning to conduct a service in the Despite the hardships, the field compared to on a base and chaplains want to make sure the he has to pack all his gear into a Soldiers are taken care of and Mass kit. Lindsay said he has an they stay upbeat while they are older Vietnam-era standard issue performing their duties at the Mass kit, because it contains gate. everything he needs for a service and it has a more compact design. “Keep the faith, complete your “I think they stopped making mission and do your job,” said them in the 90’s,” said Lindsay. Hicks. “Definitely practice your faith; it’s a freedom you and For Lindsay, performing the Soldiers in the past have fought to field services is much different preserve.”
he newly completed Dog Town had a warm reception Aug. 13 as Soldiers and civilians stationed at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo gathered together to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony, take a tour and enjoy some music and refreshments.
ing that number.
Lt. Col. David Rice III, veterinarian officer from Phoenix, Ariz., and an Army Reserve member, agrees with Hepker.
Rice. “In the winter, hay will be laid down to help keep the dogs warm. We have also provided them with new chew toys.” While the dogs get more sunshine and fresh air, Soldiers working in the veterinarian clinic get a little more focus.
“Now the dogs can play outside during the day, run around and get exercise,” Hepker said. “That creates a quieter environment while we work in the clinic.”
During the ribbon cutting Rice acknowledged the Soldiers and civilians who volunteered their personal time to plan, create and construct the kennels. “The noncommissioned officers and a number of civilians have done a fabulous job putting in hundreds of hours to make this happen,” Rice said. The plans for Dog Town took weather into consideration.
“The dogs have more room to run around, the “Now the dogs can run around in the rain if they gravel in the kennels want or stay outside when it gets hot,” explained keeps them cleaner than Hepker. “Dog Town now provides the shelters the the concrete floors in dogs need to stay dry and cool, thus there’s less risk the clinic and the grass of heat injuries.” is great to play on,” said Dog Town, P. 28
Chaplain (Maj.) Michael P. Lindsay lays out the vestments required for Mass on a folding table beneath a field tent near the Jarinje border crossing in northern Kosovo. Lindsay carries the required materials in a Vietnam-era Army issued kit.
Football Frenzy Approaching
Morale, Welfare recreation
story by Spc. John A. Montoya
Although Camp Bondsteel does not have live access to all the games, such as NFL Sunday ticket, the Morale, Welfare and Recreation facility community center is open to fans whose team might be playing on the Armed Forces Network.
Along with giving fans something to look forward to every weekend, football means rivalries and some sections, such as Task Force Aviation, may experience more football rivalry than most. Task Force Aviation is comprised of elements from Arkansas, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Sgt. 1st Class Jamie Frey, senior aviation operations noncommissioned officer, said, “We’re all Huskers fans.” With regards to the other non-Husker fans in the task force Frey said, “They don’t count or we’ll convert them.”
MWR director Renee Favors is more than happy to facilitate Soldiers whose teams are playing on AFN. “If they want to have a tailgate party and bring Regardless of how busy Soldier’s schedules are their snacks and stuff we can help facilitate that these days, they seem intent on watching their with tables and whatever else we can help them teams. with,” said Favors. “It’ll be some late night on Saturdays. If the operDue to the time zone differences live games are ating pace keeps going like this then we haven’t televised at late hours here in Kosovo. If there are been getting Sundays off, but it’s Husker football, so any Soldiers planning on staying up to watch games we’ll make it happen,” said Frey. on a Sunday then it would be wise to inform your chain of command of this. To schedule a tailgate party at the MWR facilities, simply ask the friendly personnel by email or phone Favors said prior Kosovo Forces rotations some- call.
Calling all photographers:
ccording to the Army’s MWR website, Operation Rising Star 2011 is a competition for U.S. Army personnel and their families around the globe. Local competitions are being held here at the South Town Fitness Center stage where one individual will earn the distinction of being the representative from Camp Bondsteel. Both judge and audience voting will determine the local winner. Come on out, show your support and vote for your favorite star!
Aug. 27 - Women’s Equality Day Events 10 Mile/10 Person Relay 0600 STFC BBQ/Skit/Entertainment 1130-1400 Kickball Game (Males vs. Females) 1800 SF Softball Game (Males vs. Females) 1900 SF
Upcoming events Aug. 28 - Splash Day
Broadway or Film Theme Aug. 26 @ 2000
Summer Sizzle 5K- 0700 STFC
Oldies from the 60’s and 70’s or R&B Sept. 10 @ 2000
Splish/Splash Sunday-1300 STFC Sept. 3 - Magician Tour - Details TBA
Oldies from the 60’s and 70’s or R&B Sept. 14 @ 2000
Sept. 4 - Third Novo Selo Dancon March 0630 Camp Novo Selo
Country Sept. 21 @ 2000
Classic Rock Sept. 24 @ 2000
MOHH - Medal of Honor Hall SF - Soccer Field STFC - South Town Fitness Center
Performer’s choice Sept. 25 @ 2000 (Finale)
Weekly events calendar Friday
MAGIC Card Game 1900 MWR Rec Center Tae Kwon Do Class 1830 MOHH Crossfit Training 0600 & 2000 MOHH
Contest Rules: Email your entry to 200thPAD@gmail.com by Sept. 10. Submit vertical photographs (please no horizontal photographs due to layout). You must include your name and unit with your submission. Submit only photographs of Kosovo sunsets taken during the deployment. Entry must be in the email inbox by midnight local time to be included.
Women’s Equality Day events
Submit your best Kosovo sunrise or sunset photograph for a chance to grace the back cover of the September “Guardian East” magazine. All entries will be judged by a Facebook poll on Sept. 15.
Tips: Include elements of your military unit, occupation, or fellow soldiers. Stunning colors are good. Dramatic black and white photographs can be dynamic as well. Have fun and good luck!
Operation Rising Star
times made special work accommodations, so they could catch their football games live.
all is rapidly approaching and that means one thing for football fans; the season is starting. The NFL preseason has begun and the regular season is slated to start Sep. 8 with the New Orleans Saints playing the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. NCAA football is slated to kick off Sep. 1, but most of the games won’t start until Sep. 3.
Tae Kwon Do Class 1830 MOHH Crossfit Training 0600 & 2000 MOHH
(U.S. Army photo by 1st. Lt. Casey Staheli)
Balkan Club 1830 DFAC VIP Tae Kwon Do Class 1830 MOHH Karaoke Night 1800-2200 Outdoor Stage Crossfit Training 0600 & 2000 MOHH Saturday
Crossfit Training 0600 &2000 MOHH
Crossfit Training 2000 MOHH Zumba 1830 MOHH
DJ Music Nights 2000 STFC Crossfit Training 0600 & 2000 MOHH Yoga 1700 for August 1800 for September Theater Stage Sunday
Outdoor Movie 2000 STFC Crossfit Training 2000 MOHH
This list is NOT totally inclusive of all the activities available through Camp Bondsteel MWR. Schedules subject to change. Check local information boards for the most up-to-date information.
hen the topic of safety is brought up, most Soldiers immediately think about prevention of accidents that can cause injury to personnel and damage to equipment. Soldiers are routinely trained in today’s Army to look for hazards that involve accidental risk. However, there is another extremely important aspect of safety that is considered in Composite Risk Management, which are the situational hazards that jeopardize successful mission accomplishment. Consideration of these types of hazards involve mitigation of tactical risk.
The longer a unit expects to maintain their position, the more important the layout and design become towards the safety and well-being of the Soldiers. Several aspects of field sanitation must be dealt with, such as There are many hazards to assess that fall the emplacement into the realm of tactical risk. There is a risk in not of field latrines, knowing enough about the situation, the area or a shower point, the competitors we are dealing with. Having incom- trash collection plete information requires a plan for increasing and disposal area. our intelligence in an area of interest or operaForward OperatMaj. Harvey Johnson, tions. Likewise, our competitors can be expected to ing Base design MNBG E safety officer gather information about our unit and our mission. must include Practicing good operations and security procedures a designated help to minimize this risk. The potential actions Ammunition Holding Area. All of these locations of our competitors that are meant to counter our must have stand-off distances from troop feeding, objectives pose a direct hazard and specific strate- sleeping, and working areas. gies may be designed, accounting for those actions. Force protection measures are a key part of The reputation of the unit cannot be position improvement and include hardening of a overlooked; negative images or indiscipline pose position and a perimeter defense plan. hazards to our credibility in the information environment. Soldiers must clearly understand the Tactical safety encompasses many different Rules of Engagement and Rules for the Use of Force areas that leaders and Soldiers work to improve and how to apply them. on a daily basis. Tactical safety is not achieved by safety professionals alone; it requires a team Once a unit is deployed in a field environment, approach at all levels of command, in all staff sectactical safety is also concerned with the progrestions, and individual Soldier participation to be sive improvement of the unit’s position. effective.
Putting it all together By Capt. Jason D. Barber
e are at the point in the deployment where we say, “Gosh, how do I keep going? What more do I do in my workouts, they are getting so monotonous.” Well, hybrid workouts might bring you out of that rut. They have the ability to integrate everyone on the team and to unofficially evaluate everyone while possibly showing the leadership where the weaknesses in training are. Hybrid workouts are just what you would think, taking several components of different workouts and combining them.
eventually progressing to uniform, boots and body armor. The exercises in the workout can remain the same, but the intensity should go up as different uniforms are integrated. This gives soldier-athletes a realistic feel for combat and gives leaders an informal pre-combat check of fitness before facing a mission.
So what sort of exercises should be incorporated into a hybrid workout? Cardiovascular exercises are almost always a component i.e. running, biking or elliptical. But remember, the workout is done as a In the military setting we try to use hybrid work- group and you can only be as strong as your weakouts to enhance unit cohesion, bring about some est link. In addition to cardiovascular exercises, esprit de corps and see common mission tasks add in push/pull types of exercises. For example, performed in action. one group can perform pull-ups and push-ups while another group might be doing a shuttle run and How do you incorporate or design a hybrid abdominal exercises. The goal is for the soldierworkout for your unit? First, take a look at the athletes to develop themselves and be fatigued after unit’s Mission Essential Task List. This will help the workout. decide what really needs to be trained for each unit. This is where it gets fun because each unit shares Now the caveat to these workouts is they require base tasks but also has specific tasks to focus on. planning, coordination and should be added into Finance is different than infantry. Aviation is difthe unit’s workouts 1-2 times per month. It should ferent than medical. These differences allows for not be the staple of your workouts. Hybrid workvariety within workout development. outs are meant to be challenging for a reason and could truly injure someone if done as the entire Start small; think about the variables outside philosophy of a fitness plan. Start off slow with the of the exercises that can change to make the event soldiers and remember to gradually enhance the more challenging. Hybrid workouts should begin in different variables discussed earlier to elicit the physical training gear, and then change to uniforms response the unit needs. and running shoes, then to uniform and boots, Good Luck!
Visit the Multinational Battle Group East social media outlets
boost to the Soldiers that come and check them out and spend time with them. The Human Animal Bond Dog Program has proven to help soldiers deal with “Dogs can be a force multiplier,” depression.” said Rice. “For example, we have our military working dogs that Dog Town isn’t just going to contribute to our missions. The the dogs, it will ultimately benefit stray dogs that we take in here those Soldiers that seek out their at Camp Bondsteel are also force company by providing them with multipliers, they give a morale more times and opportunities to
www.facebook.com/KFOR.MNBG.East www.flickr.com/photos/kfor-14 www.youtube.com/kforpao
check them out.
This new facility will allow the Soldiers to check dogs out 24 hours a day, said Rice.
Once briefed, there will be no need for appointments, no time limits, whatever works for soldiers and whenever they have a need for companionship they can come and get one of the dogs.
To many Soldiers the dogs on Camp Bondsteel are more than four legged friends, they are part of the team.
Visit the social media outlets for more photographs of the Raven Detachment and members of Multinational Battle Group East as well as information on upcoming events and recent happenings. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Evan V. Lane)
was an attorney and gave the following advice on self-representation in legal matters, “A man who represents himself has a fool for a client.” No advice in this article can substitute for legal advice from a licensed civilian attorney and/or Judge Advocate. However, the steps described below will help you organize your situation in a meaningful way. Once organized, you will be better equipped to make the decision on how to proceed with your legal matters. Capt. Raymond Chung military justice Legal Self-Defense As Soldiers, we receive training on how to defend ourselves in combat, but what about the courtroom? Combat training will do you little good when facing a lawsuit, traffic ticket, custody hearing, or any of the many legal proceedings we encounter every day. This article provides some general advice on what to do or not do in preparation or anticipation of legal proceedings.
Before he was President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln
Each year Camp Bondsteel hosts a local competition for the Army-wide Operation Rising Star vocal competition. The first night of trials held here were an individual a cappella presentation of a song of the participant’s choice. The remainder of the shows will be based on judge and audience vote. Participants are Sgt. Brian Pohl, Sgt. Sherry Burch, Sgt. Mario Montoya, Staff Sgt. Timothy Tharp, Capt. Kellie Whittlinger and 1st Lt. Eboni Sherrer.
soldier fitness, including the emotional, spiritual, social, physical and family aspects. The objective of comprehensive soldier fitness is to equip and train each of us to maximize our potential during difficult and sustained operations. The goal is comprehensive fitness and the scope is total Army.” [paraphrased, ARNG Resilience]
marriage, family and relationships. Focus first on needs of your spouse, family and loved ones.
Social: Build team dynamics upon strength and commonality; highlight and maximize positive Resilience attributes and strengths of each team member. Negatives are realFitness ity, but avoid overemphasis and needless chatter. “Resilience is the ability to cope with stress, adversity and Family: Practice active, conbounce back while increasing structive communication. Build mental toughness. Resilience is trust, security and support. closely related to comprehensive Practice love and respect in your
“The ultimate goal of resilience and fitness is improved soldier performance and readiness. Resilience training builds confidence to lead, courage to stand up for one’s beliefs and compassion to help others. Soldier fitness is about maximizing one’s potential. Resilience equals readiness.” [paraphrased, ARNG Resilience]
That way, you create an organized record that another person, like an attorney, can easily identify and understand. Also, all legal proceedings have a clock running throughout the case. A time-line helps you and anyone looking at your case know when your next step needs to take place.
Step 2: Ask for help. Every National Guard unit should have access to legal assistance through their respective State Judge Advocate or local JAG office. Even if it is a matter in which a legal Step 1: Write down your facts. assistance Judge Advocate canWhat is this legal problem about? not intervene, they can usually Most legal paperwork has a head- point you in the right direction to ing and title that describes what someone who can. the proceeding you are facing is about (“Traffic Citation,” “ComStep 3: Do not ignore any legal plaint,” “Subpoena,” “Notice of notice. If you are unsure about Revocation,” etc.). Use that as what appears to be legitimate a starting point. Also be sure legal correspondence, contact to use the five W’s (Who, What, your local SJA office or get in When, Where, Why) as a guide touch with your legal assistance for the facts you need to write JA. If they are unavailable, look down. Who wrote you the traffic on the correspondence and see citation? What is the civil comif it comes from a government plaint about? When did you get agency. They will typically have subpoenaed to be present, where their contact information for you and in what matter? Why is this to ask questions. Most imporhappening now? tantly, read the notice thoroughly, every word. It could be the differWhen writing down your facts, ence between defending yourself it helps to do so chronologically, and getting a legal punch in the making a time-line of events. face.
Operation Rising Star
Chaplain (Capt.) Jeffrey Hicks MNBG E assistant chaplain
Emotional: Keep emotions in perspective, both positive and negative. Identify source of an emotion, not just the manifestation. Knowledge is power – act accordingly. Emphasize, develop and strengthen your healthy emotions.
Physical: Maintain physical fitness and health through exercise, diet, sleep, personal time management and habits. The physical faculties flow from the inner being; be courteous, deliberate, truthful and respectful. Spiritual: Practice the beliefs of your chosen faith tradition; schedule time for worship, nurture and spiritual food. Meditate, internalize and live truth. Practice journaling to develop faith, self-awareness and gratitude for God’s gracious provisions.
Freedom of Movement Detachment Citizen-soldiers were called upon during the unrest in northern Kosovo to form a Freedom of Movement detachment stationed at Camp Novo Selo. The Soldiers tasked with filling the positions have military engineer and truck driving training as well as civilian skills such as heavy equipment operators and construction qualifications. The swift nature of the creation of the unit speaks to the value of the citizen-soldier.
(Photo courtesy of Capt. Evan Evans)
(U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Anna Doo)
From Bataan to the Balkans