Date published: May 1, 2010
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1st Banalion, 101st Field Artillery, Massachusetts Army National Guard
LTC James M. Hally, commander, 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery and Soldiers ofthe 101st out of Brockton, Mass., met with council members of an Afghanistan orphanage in District Five to provide humanitarian assistance to the residing orphans and widowed mothers, March 11, 2009. Soldiers from the 101st were surrounded by excited children as they handed out boxes upon boxes of clothing, toys and school supplies.
"It is goodwill missions like these that you know that you are really making a positive impact in the lives ofthe Afghan people," said SGT Robert Joyce, Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery. The orphanage teaches children from kindergarten through the twelfth grade, while providing assistance to the widowed women from the local area.
"The smiles on the children's faces were priceless and it felt good to know that we are providing items that these children really need" said SGT Nathan Graff, Headquarters Battery, 1 st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery.
1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, Virginia Army National Guard
2009 was a year of rebirth for 1 st Battalion, 111 th Field Artillery Regiment. The previous two years the unit was focused on its military support to civilian authorities' mission, which significantly limited howitzer training time. While the unit maintained its support of the chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear explosive enhance response force package mission it shifted its focus to the fielding of several new and modern systems to make it a full spectrum capable unit. Our pride and j oy is the new Mil 9 A2 howitzer which replaced the Vietnam-era M102 howitzer. These replacements couldn't have come at a better time. The unit had been recently reduced to four operational howitzers and the prospect of improving this readiness was unlikely when M102 parts were no longer produced. In addition to the new howitzers, the unit fielded the Profiler, Improved Position and Azimuth Determining System, and Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System upgrades, completing the modernization package.
During annual training 2009 the unit had the unique opportunity to work with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. to coordinate and execute suppression of enemy air defense missions. Artillery howitzers and Marine mortars rained steel upon the targets to suppress them as forward observers synchronized the Fl 8 bomb delivery providing a great demonstration ofthe lethality of combined arms operations.
The 1-111th remains engaged in the CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package mission to provide support for Federal Emergency Management Agency Region III. VirginiaNational Guard's CERFP was selected to support two national security special events; the dedication ofthe 9/1 1 Memorial at the Pentagon and the presidential inauguration. In both events the CERFP was pre-staged nearby to provide search and extraction, mass casualty decontamination, and medical triage capabilities if required.
Since the establishment ofthe 1-111th volunteers in 1887 to the present day the 1-111th Field Artillery holds steadfast to its motto "NUNQUAM NON PARATUS" meaning "Never Unprepared." We proudly stand ready and able to support the needs of the commonwealth and the war fighter.
1st Battalion, 206th Field Artillery, Arkansas Army National Guard
1stBattalion, 206th Field Artillery, headquartered atRussellville, Ark., the Aleutians, completed a deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as 2008 drew to a close. While members of the battalion did not conduct an artillery mission, they proved their flexibility, prowess and dedication to mission completion by assuming control of, and completing, multiple nonstandard missions throughout the Baghdad area of operations. Members of the battalion's Headquarters and Headquarters Battery assumed mayor cell duties over Camp Taji while both firing batteries along with the battalion's Forward Support Company, Company G, 39th Brigade Support Battalion, conducted convoy security under the command and control ofthe 1 st Sustainment Brigade. The battalion totaled over 1,700 combat logistics patrols completed and nearly 900,000 miles driven throughout Iraq.
Most notably, Company B/1-206th FA and G/39th BSB participated in the siege of Sadr City, securing numerous convoys containing barriers critical to the "Clear, Hold, Build" concept as it was used to cordon areas of the city thereby allowing coalition forces to establish numerous checkpoints and control measures. Company A/1-206th FA assisted in the closing of several smaller combat outposts and consolidation of their equipment at Victory Base Complex by securing convoys transporting the vast array of equipment safely to VBC.
Upon return to United States, the Aleutians began the rigorous process of transitioning all assigned Soldiers back to their traditional national guard status and field artillery missions as well as reintegrating the Soldiers with their families and employers. The battalion conducted numerous reintegration events, stressing the noticeable changes in relationships between the Soldiers and their loved ones as well as the need for understanding and patience during this process. As the reintegration process drew to a close, the battalion relied on the knowledge and experiences of the Field Artillery Reset Assistance Team to jump start the leadership's long track back to its roots. Members of the Reset Team assisted the Aleutians at Fort Chaffee Maneuver Training Center during the battalion's 2009 Annual Training period, offering assistance and guidance on cannoneer duties, technical fire direction and calls for fire.
During this period, the senior leadership consisting of chiefs of section and above was afforded the opportunity to train separately, focusing on core competencies and the duties of their subordinate personnel from the ground up. Chiefs of section, lieutenants, platoon sergeants, and commanders alike all performed the duties of each cannon crewmember according to doctrine and fundamentals under the observation of the Reset Assistance Team. This return to the basics proved vital to the senior leadership of the battalion as nonstandard deployments in 2004 and 2008 had diminished many of the perishable skills associated with the artillery.
The battalion, currently equipped with the M 102 howitzer, gleaned several of the best practices and refined TTP's shared by the RESET Team for use on the soon-to-be-fielded M 1 1 9. Continually building on these lessons learned, the Aleutians of 1 -206th Field Artillery now stand ready to close the loop on their long road back to the artillery with the long anticipated new equipment training on the Ml 19 howitzer scheduled to take place at Camp Grayling, Mich., later this summer.
The 2nd Banalion, 122nd Field Artillery, Illinois Army National Guard
Prepared and Willingmobiiized for deployment to Afghanistan beginning in June 2008 as part of Task Force Phoenix VIII in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The battalion conducted non-traditional missions that included SECFOR, Embedded Team Trainers, Police Mentor Trainers, and the Kabul Military Training Center Mentor Group, responsible for the oversight of all basic training, advanced combat training, the NCO Academy, along with Officer Candidate School and the basic officer course.
During the course of the deployment we lost four outstanding men: SSG Jason Vasquez, SGT Joshua Harris, SSG Kevin Grieco, and SGT Scott Stream. Although they are gone the 2-122 family will never forget them.
The battalion redeployed throughout the summer of 2009 and conducted re-integration operations during the Soldiers ' first 90 days home. We began our battalion reset in January and are currently in reset with battery and below training as we field the M119A2 Howitzer system.
We celebrated our reunion with our families, while remembering our fallen Soldiers at our battalion ball in April. The battalion will conduct reset training up through howitzer crew certification during our annual training at Fort McCoy in July 2010.
142nd Fires Brigade, Arkansas Army National Guard
The time period from 2007 to 2009 saw anumber of the Arkansas Army National Guard's 1 42nd FiB units return home from a variety of missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the brigade's focus returning back to its core mission essential tasks.
The 142nd's two FA battalions returned batteries from 18-month deployments. C/l-142 from Rogers, Ark., returned from its mission at Camp Cropper and Abu Grahrab, Iraq, where the unit was responsible for conducting primarily base defense and force protection. 2-142's HHB from Fort Smith, Ark., andABattery from Van Buren, Ark., returned from Kuwait after providing security support at Camp Patriot and Southern Kuwait, including Kuwait City. B/2-142 from Siloam Springs, Ark., returned from a Kuwait security mission at Port of Ash Shu'aybah. C/2-142 from Ozark, Ark., redeployed after serving as a convoy escort mission out of Tallil,Iraq. The unit completed over 350 convoy escort missions that safely moved over 20,000 white trucks loaded with supplies, food and fuel from their base at Tallii to as far north as LSA Anaconda and as far west as Taqqaddam, Iraq. In those 3 50-plus missions, they had a total of 144 engagements with the enemy - the most of any element in their task force. These attacks included 46 improvised explosive device detonations, 48 discoveries, 29 small arms fire attacks, seven complex attacks and eight RPG or IDF rocket attacks. The average Soldier conducted 52 missions while participating as a driver, gunner and/or troop commander and logged over two thousand miles a month. The unit put over 792,000 hard miles on their convoy protection platforms and close to four million miles on the trucks they escorted.
The brigade's newest battalion - the 217th Brigade Support Battalion - deployed as part of the Arkansas Army Guard's 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team's OIF mission and returned in late 2008. The battalion was deployed to Tallii in support of two separate request for forces from the 39th - Garrison Command and Convoy Security. The HHC from Booneville, Ark., served as the garrison command headquarters for both Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq and Camp Cedar II and Tallii Airbase, reporting initially to the 82nd Airborne Division and later to 1st Cavalry Division. During its tenure, COB Adder transitioned from a base consisting of approximately 8,000 personnel to over 15,000 personnel in a nine month span. The garrison command was responsible for providing the necessary base life support as well as the increased infrastructure required to support this growth in personnel. CSC Cedar - with just over 1,000 personnel - was brought closer to an eventual goal of closure with the CSC mission moving over to COB Adder. Alpha Company from Lincoln, Ark., and Bravo Company from Rogers, Ark., each served as convoy security companies, reporting to 142nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion of the 7th Sustainment Brigade. Both of these convoy security companies focused on the southern portion of Iraq, providing security for convoys from Bucea to Camp Liberty (Baghdad) on a continuous basis. Together, the two units logged over 300 missions covering more than 578,000 vehicle miles.
The 142ndFiB HHB from Fay etteville, Ark., provided jointlethal and non-lethal synchronized effects to Multi National DivisionNorth in support of Task Force Lightning and Task Force Iron as the Force Field Artillery Headquarters forOIF 07-09. Unitmembers maintained complete operational oversight of division-level fire control, fire support element, the counter-indirect fire intelligence cell, and MND-N sensors management which included active component units Hotel Battery, 26th Field Artillery and D/l-14 Field Artillery Target Acquisition Batteries from the 214th FiB. During HHB 's time in Iraq, its fire control section processed over 100 missions - of which 85 percent were in support of troops in contact or self defense scenarios. The FSE processed 45 kinetic strike packets and reviewed over 1,500 pre-planned fire packets, contributing to over 17,000 artillery rounds being fired in support of operations within MND-N. The operations section worked closely with 2nd Battalion, 4th Field Artillery Regiment from the 214th FiB to coordinate and logistically support the movement of MLRS launchers to several FOBs in MND-N to expand firing capabilities. Unit members also served in division staff positions in engagements, IED-defeat and corps liaison officer.
The 2009 annual training period was the first time the 142nd FiB was able to train with all its units present and mission capable since it became a Fires brigade in 2005. It marked the first time the brigade's other two new units - the 142nd Network Support Company and F/ 142 TAB - were able to perform their functions of communications support and indirect fire detection. The TAB worked with members ofthe state's only other radar section from the 1 -206th FA to certify unit members and train on radar tasks with the l-206th's equipment. Additionally, the 142nd participated during annual training in the first of its kind command post exercise with two other Arkansas Army National Guard units - the 77th Theater Aviation Brigade and 25th ROC- at Fort Chaffee.
In addition to wartime mission contributions, the 142nd has 'Answered the Call' on numerous occasions in support of weatherrelated state missions. During a killer tornado outbreak in Spring 2008, members of 1- 142nd FA supported local communities in northern Arkansas. In September 2008, members of the 142nd reported to Fort Chaffee when the training site was opened up for Hurricane Gustav evacuees. Northern Arkansas was hit hard again by a devastating ice storm in January 2009 and several hundred Soldiers from across the brigade were called to state active duty. Armories in Harrison and Fayetteville served as Red Cross shelters and Soldiers distributed FEMA commodities, moved generators and water buffaloes to small communities and clear roadways of fallen trees.
1st Battalion, 117th Field Artillery, Alabama Army National Guard
1st Battalion, 1 17th FA completed transition from the Multiple Launch Rocket System to the M 198 towed cannon during this training year. The battalion fired over 150 missions and 1,100 rounds while training to Artillery Table VIII. This strategic milestone was even more impressive since the battalion has not fired cannon artillery since June of 2002. As the only remaining FA battalion in the Alabama Army National Guard, we look to field the new M777 howitzer in August 2010.
169th Fires Brigade, Colorado Army National Guard
Headquarters, Headquarters Battery, 1 69th FA, continues to train and prepare for full spectrum operations in counter-insurgency and high intensity conflict environments. During 2009, the headquarters worked with the 1st Armored Division as a training enabler for counter-insurgency operations during their mission readiness exercise as part ofthe Unified Endeavor 09 Program in Grafenwoher, Germany. The unit also deployed to Sapporro, Japan where they served at the Force Field Artillery Headquarters for Yama Sakura 59, working closely with the Japanese Self Defense Force, U.S. Army Japan, and U.S. Army Pacific Operational Command Post.
3rd Battalion, 157th Field Artillery (MLRS), Colorado Army National Guard
The battalion recently returned from deployment to Al Anbar, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where they conducted joint, combined and interagency operations. During the deployment, the battalion was responsible for the security and support of Camp Ramadi where they ran the base defense operations center as well as the base support operations center for the 1st Marine Division and later the 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne (Advise and Assist Brigade). They provided the personal security detail escorts for the Al Anbar Provincial Reconstruction Team, successfully completing over 400 escorts and traveling over 41,000 miles during the deployment. The battalion is looking forward to transitioning to the High-Mobility Rocket System in 2011.
147th Brigade Support Battalion, Colorado Army National Guard
During 2009, the battalion conducted extensive full spectrum operations training that culminated in deployment to Patriot Warrior 09 where they supported the 29th Combat Aviation Brigade, Wisconsin Army National Guard, during its mobilization readiness exercise. Additionally, the 147th B SB, together with the 140th Wing of the Colorado Air National Guard assumed the Joint Task Force CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package mission. In September, the JTF CERFP deployed to Helena, Mont, and conducted civil support operations in support of Vigilant Guard 09.
540th Network Signal Support Company, Colorado Army National Guard
The 540th NSC served on the joint task force for Patriot Warrior 09 in Ft. McCoy, Wis., where they were a critical force multiplier and increased the domestic and combat readiness of combat communications units operating in a Joint environment. The unit is currently making preparations for the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical increment la fielding in the fall of 2010. WIN-T is the Army's on-the-move, high-speed, high-capacity backbone communications network, linking warfighters on the battlefield with the global information grid. WIN-T is a critical enabler of LandWarNet. WIN-T introduces a mobile, ad-hoc, self-configuring, self-healing network using satellite on-the-move capabilities, robust network management, and high-bandwidth radio systems to keep mobile forces connected, communicating, and synchronized.
2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery, Illinois Army National Guard
During 2009, the battalion joined the elite group of national guard field artillery battalions to field the new M777 Howitzer System. After the fielding, the unit immediately began preparations for their deployment to support Multinational Force Observer Mission in Sinai, Egypt. 2-123 FA will be the first unit in the history of the MFO Task Force Sinai to utilize integrated male and female squads to support various observation posts throughout the area of operations.
2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery [MLBS), Kansas Army National Guard
The Kansas Knights of Fire is currently deployed to Sinai Egypt as Multinational Force Observer Mission 53 (MFO Task Force 53) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Their mission is to observe, report and verify compliance by Egypt and Israel in accordance with the Treaty of Peace.
197th Fires Brigade, New Hampshire Army National Guard
When the staff of the 197th Fires Brigade, New Hampshire Army Guard, began a five-day Army Battle Command system exercise at Fort Drum's premiere Battle Command Training Center in August 2009, winning was the least of their objectives.
They had been together for only a year; assembled from different units under Army transformation (New Hampshire was one of six states to field a fires brigade). In National Guard time - a weekend a month and some evenings - that worked out to roughly 40 days of training. The brigade staff represented a mix of traditional artillery as well as other combat support units within the NHARNG. Not only were they learning anew discipline, but they were also learning how to work together.
"No matter what happens, we'll be better off by the end of the week," said COL Peter Corey, the brigade commander, setting the expectations of what would be the largest-scale simulation ever hosted by the Fort Drum facility. "This exercise is about learning."
More than 200 New Hampshire citizen-Soldiers gathered at Fort Drum, N. Y. as well as guardsmen from the brigade's affiliated battalions in Michigan, West Virginia, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The brigade's affiliated higher headquarters, the 42nd Infantry Division from New York, also played a role.
It was the first time the brigade staff operated and trained in the same location with all six of its affiliated battalions, Corey said. "It gave us the opportunity to draft and refine our digital SOPs."
For the Brigade staff, it was the culmination of a year-long, tabletop battle drill called "Operation Sand Blast," in which U.S. forces assisted an eastern European ally to repel an enemy invasion. It began with an operations order followed by a month-by-month military decision making process drill -their first as a FiB staff. For some of the newer officers and NCOs, it was their first exposure to FiB doctrine.
"We knew there would be a steep learning curve," said LTC Nicholas Adler, the brigade executive officer. At the time, there were still key staff positions vacant, and staff was just beginning to establish a rapport with its subordinate units. "Each month we improved. Each month we learned more."
The assistance of a group of advisors from General Dynamic's Distributed Battle Simulation Program, which is geared specifically for Army guardsmen, was critical to the progress of the staff, Adler said. Known as the commander's operations and training assistant and the war-fighting functional area trainer/advisor, they were at every drill and present throughout the ABCS exercise.
Cumbersome stretches were off-set by a growing solidarity among the staff, Adler said. "The advisors pushed the staff out of their comfort zone, which facilitated both individual and team growth."
Before the start of the ABCS exercise, Corey said his soldiers had familiarization with 1 5 to 20 percent of the automated systems.
"We've gone to a fully digital net-centric command and control," he explained. 'That net-centric warfare has completely changed how we do business. In the past, information flowed in stove pipes, but with everything networked, information is shared in real time between the upper and lower echelon."
Army Battle Command System consisted of 12 different digital systems all talking to each other. At the hub was the publish and subscriber server or PASS. Eleven other systems fed information in and pulled information out.
When it's in synch, ABCS allows the commander to make decisions on the move, the chief of the training facility, Frank Dunbar, explained. The common operating picture is all there, neatly packaged on a computer screen. "Like Dick Tracy and his watch," Dunbar said.
Over the course of the week, Corey said, "it was astounding to see how well our Soldiers are working with the systems and ironing out the process of how information flows." Early on, they also used ingenuity working with facility staff to overcome a number of technical shortfalls.
The brigade staff engaged the new functional area of information operations or non-lethal fires that a traditional field artillery brigade never operated with: a mock memorial service, the Judge Advocate General's Corps conducting a 15-6 on the suspected rocketing of a school, and using an unmanned aerial vehicle feed to help shape a real-time battlefield picture, Adler explained.
Employing psychological operations to offset enemy propaganda, developing a key leader assessment plan and initiating a proactive public affairs campaign were also part ofthe dynamic.
What impressed BCTC staff most was the ambition displayed by the soldiers to learn and use ABCS.
"This was an outstanding performance by the brigade and the battalions - from all personnel, from private to colonel," Dunbar said.
The evaluation bodes well for the brigade, which deploys for the first time later this year to the Middle East with all of its affiliated battalions. In the eyes of the commander, they already have one victory to their credit.
65th Fires Brigade, Utah Army National Guard
The 65th Fires Brigade Headquarters and Headquarters Battery at Camp Williams, Utah near Salt Lake City, is one ofthe newly formed ARNG FiBs. As aproduct ofthe field artillery organizational restructuring, the 65th FiB, America's Thunder, was transformed from I Corps Artillery. I Corps Artillery retired their colors on September 14, 2008 and the 65th FiB was established. Since that time, the 65 FiB has been extensively involved in the transition from a corps artillery to a FiB. In preparation of becoming the 65th FiB, monthly drills have been used to train Soldiers on their new assignments as a brigade-level asset rather than I Corps Artillery. Many Soldiers have reclassified and learned new military occupational specialties in order to support the unit's mission of plan, prepare, execute, and assess combined arms operations while providing close support and precision strike for Corps, Divisions, and Brigade Combat Teams.
In addition to the personnel reclassifications and change in mission as a FiB, the transformation has kept the 65th FiB busy fielding new equipment, supporting various joint and overseas deployment training events, war fighters, and maintaining a brigade that spans six states.
The 65th FiB is slated to field over 15 new major pieces of equipment during 20 1 0 and 20 1 1 . The new equipment provides the brigade with long overdue upgrades needed to function as a fully operational FiB. A few ofthe key systems that the brigade will or already has fielded are the Paladin Digital Fire Control System, War Fighter Information Network- Tactical, Battle Command Sustainment Support System, standard integrated command post shelter and Distributed Common Ground Systems. These new systems will enhance the brigade's abilities to provide close and deep lethal artillery, improve command and control during full spectrum operations, streamline logistics and perform true multiintelligence processing.
The fielding of the PDFCS will allow the Paladin to employ artillery munitions such as the Excalibur, XM982, precision guided munitions. PGMs have become a vital asset to both the counter insurgency fight and fire support employment in urban areas throughout Theaters. This enabling capability revitalizes the need for the Paladin fire support.
The 65th FiB has established a working relationship with the United States Navy to participate in their fleet synthetic trainingjoint exercises. The brigade has participated in several of these Navy joint exercises annually since 2008. An FST-J exercise is a requirement by the Navy prior to a fleet's deployment to certify its ability to execute air coordination and Fires between joint players. The key joint players in the exercise include the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and the Australian navy. FST-Js provide the brigade with a unique opportunity to integrate the elements of air coordination, air space clearance, land clearance, targeting, and fires in a joint environment. These joint exercises allow the brigade to link the AFATDS system with the Naval Fire Control System to provide naval gun fire support. The interaction required between joint players and their automation systems in an FST-J has prepared the brigade for future missions that will require joint coordination.
In addition to the joint exercises with the Navy, the brigade has participated and supported various overseas deployment training events and multi-branch war fighters. The international events include participation in an artillery fire control measure mission in Morocco, squad situational training exercise lanes with the Bulgarian Army, Regional Response 2009 and RR- 10 in conjunction with the Azerbaijan Army in Baku, Azerbaijan, Immediate Response (IR) 09 in Germany, an opposing force mission with Multinational Readiness Center in Germany, and Tiger Balm 09 in Singapore. The brigade also attended the Battle Command Training Center while participating in the 40th Infantry Division's war fighter exercise at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
One of the key overseas deployment training opportunities for the 65th FiB in conjunction with U.S. Army Europe and the Azerbaijan Army is Regional Response-10. RR-10 is the largest exercise conducted annually between the Azerbaijan Army and the U.S. military. RR-10 is a multinational exercise designed to train commanders and staffs in the development of combined planning, standing operating procedures, and staff battle drills. The exercise is also designed to promote understanding and cooperation between military forces of the U.S., Azerbaijan, and other participating countries. The joint exercises, overseas deployment events, and warfighters have varied in mission and scope providing the brigade the opportunity to execute their systems in a variety of exercises while preparing them for future deployments.
Transforming from I Corps Artillery to a FiB gives the 65th FiB a unique relationship with its subordinate units. The 65 FiB now has subordinate units organic to the brigade and subordinate units aligned for training. The units organic to brigade are: 5th Battalion, 1 1 3 th Field Artillery (MLRS) BN in North Carolina and their support element, 732nd Forward Support Company, 340th Brigade Support Battalion in California, 1 56th Signal Company in Michigan, and F Battery, 144th Target Acquisition Battery in California. The units aligned to the brigade for training are: 1st Battalion, 178th Field Artillery (PALADIN) South Carolina; 1st Battalion, 214th Field Artillery (PALADIN) Georgia; 1st Battalion, 145th Field Artillery (PALADIN) Utah; and the 2nd Battalion, 222nd Field Artillery (PALADIN) Utah.
340th Brigade Support Battalion, California Army National Guard.
The 340th BSB focused training on unit and Soldier readiness as the battalion continued the transformation from an armor battalion to abrigade support battalion. The focus on Soldier readiness attributed to an increase in the battalion's duty military occupational specialty qualification from 70 percent to 80 percent. A Company fielded two new water purifiers, the Tactical Water Purification System and the lightweight water purifier. B Company (Maintenance) provided support to the 224th Sustainment Brigade by conducting safety and maintenance inspections on over 225 vehicles during annual training at Camp Roberts, CA. For the fourteenth year, Detachment 1, B Company supported the City of Santa Cruz by providing space at the armory to shelter local homeless families. Soldiers from all companies within the 340th BSB have continued to support various unit mobilizations.
156th Signal Company, Michigan Army National Guard
The 156th Signal Company was busy in 2009 conducting individual training and supporting various fieldings and deployments. The 1 5 6th conducted annual training at Camp Grayling, Mich, where they focused on key individual task training. Soldiers from the company also attended Warfightcr Information Network-Tactical training from September 2009 through October 2009 at Ft. Hood, Texas. This new information network allows the brigade to provide command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance within the warfighters ' battlespace. Another key fielding was the Joint Network Node which allows the brigade to use advanced networking capabilities. The 156th also trained Soldiers on joint incident site communications capability for local disaster assistance in support of the state's domestic mission. The 1 56th deployed nine Soldiers who were cross leveled to C CO, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 86th Brigade Combat Team to Afghanistan.
Battery F, 144th Field Artillery, California Army National Guard
Battery F, 144th FA's primary training focus for 2009 was supporting the 40th Infantry Division's deployment to Kosovo.
5th Battalion, 113th Field Artillery, North Carolina Army National Guard
At Annual Training 2009, 5-113th FAcompleted its last, live-fire exercise with the M270 Launchers sending 54 rockets safely down range. The battalion had to overcome the loss of a large number of personnel to other mobilizing units within the state and degraded equipment slated for turn in. The launcher crews and maintenance support teams stepped up to the plate and put a tremendous amount of time and effort into keeping the launchers operational for one last live fire exercise. It was fitting that the last time the launchers were used was to live fire. On Dec. 12, 2009, SGT Elliot Westbrook was awarded the Brigadier General BiIo Support Forward Award recognizing junior leaders for outstanding contributions to the ARNG artillery community. The battalion also assisted with the training and deployment preparation of a military intelligence company to Afghanistan- a task that required the reclassification of 40 Soldiers and two JRTC rotations.
1st Battalion, 178th Field Artillery, South Carolina Army National Guard
The l-178th FA is currently deployed to Afghanistan executing a security force mission.
1st Battalion, 214th Field Artillery, Georgia Army National Guard
The 1st Battalion, 214th FA's training year 2009 was very successful. The battalion's focus was to gain back some of the artillery skills that were degraded due to mobilizations and key personnel turn over. The battalion focused on gunnery and crew drills by completing all crew certifications prior to annual training. The 1-2 14th FA was able to conduct live fire exercises at Fort Stewart and Fort Gordon, Ga. During the live fire exercise at Fort Gordon, the battalion hosted over 100 visitors in order to raise community awareness about the field artillery. This LFX also marked the first time C Battery had fired after serving in Iraq on a detainee operation mission during 2007-2008. During annual training at Fort Stewart, the battalion conducted several small arms ranges and took part in convoy simulator training. The 1-2 14th FA also fired more than 1,000 155 MM rounds.
1st Banalion,145th Field Artillery, Utah Army National Guard
The past two years have been noteworthy for the Big Red, 1st Battalion 145th Field Artillery. The battalion returned from an overseas deployment to Iraq in June 2008, completed an organizational restructuring, supported overseas exercises in Bulgaria, Germany, and Azerbaijan, and produced the Soldier of the year for the Army National Guard. The Headquarters element of the battalion was assigned to a command and control mission in Baghdad where they designed and implemented the Juvenile Detainee Education Program, while the main body ofthe battalion conducted military police duties at Camp Bucea, Iraq, one of the largest coalition detention facilities in the U.S. Central Command Theater of operations. The perseverance and professionalism ofthe Soldiers and leaders of 1st Battalion, 145th Field Artillery were key to the success ofthe unit this year.
2nd Battalion, 222nd Field Artillery, Utah Army National Guard
The 2nd Battalion, 222nd Field Artillery has been busy the past two years with multiple overseas exercises, an organizational restructuring and successful annual trainings. The 2-222 FA successfully completed exercises in Morocco, Bulgaria, Azerbaij an, and Germany. These exercises allowed the Soldiers and staff to gain experience working with other joint and multinational forces. 2-222 FA performed superbly at their two annual training exercises over the past two years. Annual training was conducted at two local training areas, Dugway Proving Grounds and Camp Williams, both in Utah. Dugway Proving Grounds and Camp Williams both offer terrain similar to Iraq and Afghanistan. In both environments 2-222 FA was able to exercise all ofthe battalion mission essential tasks, maintain their crew certifications, and fire direction proficiency while using the new Modular Artillery Charge System.
138th Fires Brigade, Kentucky Army National Guard
The 138th Fires Brigade today, would most likely be unrecognizable to its founders. The 138th was originally organized on January 21, 1839 and was known as the Louisville Legion. The continued advancement of technology implemented into our weaponry continues to sharpen the lethality and precision of modem Redlegs. The expectations of today 's Redlegs has increased exponentially over the last two decades.
So why are the expectations so different today than 20 years ago? The post 9/11 citizen-Soldier is relied on heavier now than at any time in our nation's modem history. The high operational tempo of today's active army simply cannot be expected to accomplish its missionalone. The Army National Guard's artillery men and women are crucial in fighting the Global War on Terrorism and allowing the active army needed time to reset from combat operations. Artillery men and women in the 138th have served as security forces, MP's, convoy commanders, supply clerks, agricultural experts, and everything else imaginable, as related to war. Not to mention their first priority of providing effective and timely fires in support of combat operations.
We have fielded numerous computer and communications equipment across the FiB and new weapon systems increasing our capabilities. We continued sharpening our skills through field training exercises, and live fire exercises rebuilding our field artillery core competencies. In 2009, we supported training missions with the Mississippi Army National Guard in preparation for hurricane relief as a quick reactionary force and provided critical relief to the citizens of Kentucky during the 2009 ice storm.
In December 2009, the 138th FiB effectively supported Yama Sukura-57 with Soldiers serving in Japan and at Fort Lewis, Wash. The YS -5 7 Warfighter was a great training opportunity to work with active component units and our Japanese allies as we exercised our digital fire mission processing and C2 capabilities. Additionally, the 138th FiB will provide mission support for the International World Equestrian Games in September, 2010.
Our recruiting efforts emphasize the technological advancements we have in our equipment and systems. There is nowhere that technology has made bigger improvements and a lasting impact than in the field artillery. Our accurate precision fires and the increased lethality of our effectiveness in battle make the artillery relevant in the global war on terrorism. The field artillery is deadlier and faster than ever before. Its technology is the most advanced in the world and it only makes sense that you recruit the sharpest and technology-sawy young men and women to work with it. The 1 3 8th is doing just that and we are very proud of the professionalism, esprit de corps and technical competencies of our Soldiers.
We have emphasized resiliency in helping our Soldiers bounce back from numerous combat operations. We know the importance of 'People First and Mission Always' as we strive to retain quality Soldiers within our ranks. We have created memorials to honor our fallen comrades and ensure their families know they are still part of our Guard family.
The 138th FiB is not limited to just artillery missions. As all citizen-Soldier Redlegs the 1 3 8th Fires Brigade were called upon to help with a state and national emergency last year. In late January 2009, Kentucky, as well as parts of the Midwest, was hit by an ice storm of epic proportions. The winter storm would later become known nationally as 'The Ice Storm of 2009.' According to reports, the storm was responsible for damages that totaled $115 million, with 36 fatalities in Kentucky.
The KYARNG mobilized over 4,000 Soldiers; many of those were from the 138thFiB. Soldiers braved the elements of this storm, providing help to communities and people that were devastated by the storm. These citizen-Soldiers served as the major cog in the delivery of over 987,810 meals and 1.9 million liters of water to disaster victims in Kentucky alone. They also hand delivered 500 cots and 1,000 blankets. They assisted in the setup and running of 220 shelters which served over 7,000 people at the storm's peak. In addition, 4,900 miles of roadway were affected by the storm. More importantly, due to wellness checks made by members of the 138th FiB, storm victim's lives were saved.
HHB, 138th FiB also augmented the Multi National DivisionBaghdad for Operation Iraqi Freedom 07-09 . The men and women of HHB 138th FiB were a critical part of MND-B 's ability to conduct the fight and made significant contributions in numerous functional areas throughoutMND-B. HHB 1 3 8th Fires Brigade assumed critical responsibilities as part of the main effort in the largest division in the history of our Army. The most notable achievement was as the MND-B Iraqi security forces cell, centric to the division's, and Multi-National Corps Iraq main effort- transition to ISF in the Lead. The ISF cell, entirely manned by 138th FiB Soldiers, was responsible for personnel, sustainment, contracted funds, training, and equipment fielding issues for both the Iraqi Army and the National Police. Status of these areas were compiled monthly during the operational readiness assessment for the 19 Iraqi Brigades and 66 battalions within Baghdad, approximately 48,000 Iraqi Army soldiers and policemen, to MNC-I.
The numerous issues adjudicated by the ISF cell contributed to the continued overall improvement in the readiness and subsequent Operational Readiness Assessment of the Iraqi Security Forces during our tenure. The actions of the 138th Fires Brigade Soldiers contributed to the increased professionalism of the Iraqi Army and National Police, and had a positive effect on the overall security of Baghdad as a whole. Despite the demanding and diverse missions, Soldiers of the 138th FiB met every challenge and performed meritoriously in each task assigned. As a result of their performance, HHB 1 38th FiB was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for their service in Operation Iraqi Freedom in July 2008.
103rd Brigade Support Battalion, Kentucky Army National Guard
Throughout the course of 2009, the 103rd BSB has continued to transition into its new role as a Support Battalion, conducting its first annual training with the 1 3 8th Fires Brigade in August. While it is a continuing process, the 103rd has made a good deal of progress in 2009 in terms of receiving and training on new equipment and getting personnel qualified to perform duties . While HQ ' s Company, as well as both A & B Companies still have a good deal of work to do, they have made forward progress in forming a functioning, cohesive support battalion for the 138th FiB. May 2009 's weapons qualifications at Fort Knox saw the 1 03rd's first outing as a whole battalion, and annual training for 2009, conducted at Wendell H. Ford Training Center and Fort Knox, Ky, saw their first outing as a part ofthe 138th FiB.
From a historical perspective, the 103rd helped host a tribute to the Soldiers of CO D, 192 Tank BN in unison with the Mercer County High School football team. This included the presentation and retirement of jerseys bearing the number 66 (representing the number of men in Company D) to the Harrodsburg Armory. The local VFW, and CW5 Dewey Pope, produced an award-winning documentary on the 192nd's plight during WWIFs Bataan Death March. Activities also included a 2 1 -gun salute to Company D and presentation ofthe colors by a color guard. This was followed by brief comments from local VFW representatives, unit representatives, Mercer County High School's principal, and CW5 Pope.
Also of significance over the past year was the 103rd's involvement in the cleanup following the ice storm in early 2009, where they played a crucial role in cleanup around central and western Kentucky. Many Soldiers in the unit left their homes and families who did not have power themselves. Their selflessness helped their fellow Kentuckians clean up the aftermath from the storm and get power back to homes around the Bluegrass State.
Training exercises throughout 2009 helped get the 103rd BSB more prepared for future weather emergencies. The unit was called upon again on January 2010, providing two Tactical Water Purification Units and 19 soldiers who pumped over 250,000 gallons of water for the community of Buckhorn in Perry County and to citizens in the city of Hazard, Ky. The 1 03rd BSB is a critical asset in maintaining the logistical readiness of the 138th FiB and providing humanitarian mission support at home and abroad.
1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery, Kentucky Army National Guard
In August 2009, C Battery 1-623 Morgan 's Men marked a major transformation in the Kentucky Army National Guard Artillery community with the last firing ever of the M270, known to us more commonly as the Multiple-Launch Rocket System. The 1 38th Fires Brigade Commander, COL Rodney G. Hayes, after giving the launcher a final salute before they were retired commented that "it's just amazing to be a part of this day and be able to honor and remember all those Redlegs who came before us and all those standing here today. I remember seeing these launchers enter the artillery community and now watching them be retired is just astounding."
The High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System has made its way to the Bluegrass State and will be the center point for our lethal fires moving forward.
Morgan's Men also completed the HIMARS fielding during 2nd Quarter TY 2010. The l-623d FA was previously a MLRS battalion having fielded the M270 rocket launcher in 1993. The unit's transition from a MLRS to a HIMARS battalion was a seamless and smooth process due to the prior technical knowledge possessed by the Soldiers ofthe battalion and the HIMARS fielding teams represented by ITT Precision Fires Rocket Missile Systems & Lockheed Martin.
The HIMARS New Equipment Training was conducted at the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center, Greenville, Ky. Beginning in January 2010 with completion in March 2010, the battalion rotated its three firing batteries through this fielding and training process each lasting two weeks in length. The 17 years of MLRS experience within the battalion allowed a smooth transition to HIMARS. The greatest challenge facing our Soldiers during this changeover was the inclement weather. Having to endure unseasonably low temperatures in the single digits and multiple snow storms, our Soldiers remained on task and executed their missions to a high standard.
The HIMARS is a welcomed change to the Kentucky National Guard. The ability to move these systems easily within the state and maintain the HIMARS at their home armories will increase the overall readiness and training of their Soldiers. It also reduces transportation expenses previously experienced with the MLRS system. More importantly this is a shot of morale for the Soldiers in the unit. This fielding sends amessage to every Redleg in the battalion that their history as an MLRS battalion and their performance in Iraq 2004-06 was recognized. They are entrusted with the premiere HIMARS field artillery weapon system and proudly stand ready to defend freedom at home and abroad.
During their April, 2010 field training exercise, the battalion will perform crew certifications and complete safety tests for its units. The fielding will culminate on 15 May 2010, as the battalion will convoy to Fort Knox, Ky to conduct their first HIMARS live fire exercise. Having fired numerous times as an MLRS battalion, the unit is seizing this opportunity to invite former members and families to witness this historic moment for the battalion.
In addition, the battalion will recognize significant community members by integrating an employer 'boss lift' via Blackhawk helicopters to the firing point. This will allow major employers of our Citizen Soldiers to interact with their Soldiers and see them perform their military assignment during a HIMARS live fire demonstration.
The 1st Battalion 623d Field Artillery is a proud member of the Field Artillery community and a critical part ofthe responsive firepower in the 1 38th FiB. The battalion has distinguished service in multiple campaigns from the Civil War up through OIF / OEF It is a former recipient of the Walter T Kerwin Award. They are named after the famous Civil War Confederate Officer, MG John Hunt Morgan and its motto is "Seize the Opportunity."
2nd Battalion,138th Field Artillery [Paladin), Kentucky Army National Guard
The 2/138th Field Artillery, Longrifles, is diligently training to re-establish field artillery core competencies in order to provide responsive, accurate and close fires in support of maneuver forces. In 2008 the batteries of 2/1 38th FA re-deployed following multiple successful ILO mission's supporting both OIF and OEF HHB and Battery A participated in combat operations in support of OEF where they conducted full-spectrum military police support operations and developed partnerships with the Afghan National Police in conjunction with combat operations in sector. Battery C and Service Battery provided base defense, force protection missions, ran security checkpoints, and supported personal security details for coalition forces in Baghdad, Iraq. Battery B conducted combat logistics patrols in conjunction with combat operations in sector in support of OIF.
In 2009, Battery B was awarded the coveted Hamilton Award (Army National Guard Best Battery) for their accomplishments while deployed to Iraq. Battery B proved what they were made of under the most adverse conditions, successfully executing 140 missions, driving 299,538 miles and departing the forward operating base more than 1,050 times. Perhaps the biggest contribution made by the unit was in supporting numerous missions to emplace concrete barriers in support of new safe neighborhood projects, in particular the safe road mission in the 2nd Battalion, 82nd Brigade Combat Team battle space. It is worth noting that there was never an incident where any logistical asset committed to the care of Battery B did not make it to its intended destination.
Upon de-mobilization and returning to Kentucky, the battalion focused on leader certification and gunners' testing, rapidly integrating with the new Soldiers in the rear-detachment to again train on the core competency of providing cannon fires. Most of our training time last year was spent "Re-Redding " the battalion and re-gaining our core-Artillery proficiency skills while continuing to build strength and combat power (manning and equipping), establishing systems (training and sustainment), and developing adaptive leaders and Soldiers in preparation for future deployments supporting the Army Campaign plan.
This year we are continuing to build on the successes of last year and will complete our Paladin Retro-fit in April- 20 1 0, thus allowing us the capability and relevance to deliver precision munitions like Excalibur. Command focus is being placed on our ability to deliver precision munitions on time and on target. We are more attentive than ever on high accuracy and low volume of Fires in our target engagements, while compensating for nonstandard conditions with increased emphasis on each of the five requirements for accurate predicted fire.
Our priorities are to sustain and take care our Soldiers and families (readiness), develop leaders and Soldiers (build the team), and train for war (future deployments). The regiment stands today as the most decorated unit in the Kentucky Army National Guard, with 52 campaign streamers, the Navy Unit Commendation, Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, and the Meritorious Unit Commendation. The regiment's motto is 'Arma Parato Fero" that in English translates to "We Bear Arms in Readiness."
2nd Battalion, 150th Field Artillery Battalion, Indiana Army National Guard
The 2/150th FA, Indiana Army National Guard Battalion, traveled to the Bluegrass State in August 2009 to conduct their annual training at Fort Knox, Ky During this training period, the battalion was able to certify all of their M 198 howitzer crews, fire direction centers, and delivered Fires for the first time as a battalion since 2003.
This successful training period enabled the battalion to reset and go forward as artillerymen who are prepared to support contingency missions within the full spectrum of operations. The 2-150th is a premier field artillery battalion who is fielding the M777 and is a critical field artillery asset in the 1 38th Fires Brigade and the Army National Guard's Fires community.
Multiple deployments of personnel and units in support of OIF / OEF and two years of Operation Noble Eagle restricted the battalion from training as a complete organization the past six years. They also supported Hurricane Katrina relief between deployments. The battalion has quickly reset its core artillery competencies and has highly trained Soldiers.
The BN Motto is "Faith and Valor." The battalion was founded by COL Eli Lilly who purchased the units first cannons. COL Lilly is also the founder of ElIi Lilly & Company whose heritage is more than 130 years strong. The company started on May 10, 1876 and employs approximately 40,363 employees worldwide. The 138th FiB is honored to train with and support the great Artillerymen of the 2- 15 0th Fires Bttalion, of the Indiana Army National Guard.
426th Regiment Regional Training Institute, Wisconsin National Guard
"Tango-two-zero this is sierra-four-five, adjust fire, over," comes the call from the hilltop overlooking a clearing packed with broken, battered and rusting targets.
This is the impact area at Fort McCoy and, thanks to the Regional Training Institutes (RTFs) that train new FA Soldiers here, it is one of the busiest Field Artillery ranges anywhere.
"Last year we fired over 3,200 rounds for our courses here at the 426th, and our Illinois counterparts fired about another 400 out our backdoor," says SFC Chad Heron, operations sergeant for the 1 -426th Field Artillery, a training battalion of the 426th Regiment (RTI). "In the last 12 months we've qualified 569 Soldiers in four MOS' and the "U6" additional skill identifier."
The RTFs are the U.S. Army National Guard's means of meeting the need for MOS reclassification and NCOES training under the One Army School System. Within the array of courses offered at RTFs around the country, the field artillery community has made strong inroads into fully integrating the RTFs with the Army's overall training program.
Wisconsin's 426th is just one of five RTIs that host afield artillery training battalion. Other battalions teach 13 career management field classes in Utah, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Kentucky. Increasing the guard's teaching capacity, each battalion has two training batteries in other states. In training year 2009 the RTI system produced 2,770 qualified field artillerymen.
"The field artillery community is very important to our state," says LTC Bryce Taggart, executive officer for 640th Regiment (RTI), Utah Army National Guard. "Our mission is critical to the Army guard MOS qualification rate for field artillery, not just in Utah, but throughout the western United States."
Brigadier General Ross Ridge, chief of the field artillery and commandant of the U.S. Army Field Artillery School, stressed the need to leverage the Army National Guard RTIs during the 2010 Fires Conference. With "change" being a certainty for the field artillery community, keeping a close relationship between the Fires Center of Excellence and the RTFs is critical.
"The ARNG Field Artillery community has always enjoyed a strong relationship with Fort Sill and our active component Redlegs, due in part to the fact that the ARNG has over 40 percent of the force structure," says BG Mark Anderson, the dual-hatted deputy commander of the U.S. Army Field Artillery at Fort Sill and commander of the Wisconsin Army National Guard.
"I envision this relationship getting stronger as the institutional Army looks for ways to provide quality professional development to the entire force during a period of consistently high operation tempo," said Anderson.
The One Army School System is designed to achieve "economies of scale" and to "ensure consistent standards" for training throughout the Army. The bottom line is that all new field artillerymen have the same skill set when they graduate, whether from Fort Sill or one of the RTI schoolhouses. The linchpin to making that goal a reality is the Army National Guard's field artillery subject matter expert cell.
"The SME cell represents all of the RTFs that teach FA," says MSG James Ward, field artillery SME NCOIC. "We are in contact on a constant basis with the Ft. Sill's Quality Assurance Office to ensure all the RTFs are following proper procedures."
The SME cell provides the ARNG perspective to proposed changes to programs of instruction and other policies that will affect the FA as a whole. It also provides quality assurance assistance to the RTIs as they undergo assistance and accreditation visits.
The real test of the RTI system comes in the field as Soldiers take on ever changing roles in full spectrum operations.
"Working alongside the active component while in combat has created strong bonds of friendship and mutual understanding and appreciation for the capabilities we bring to the fight," said Anderson.
"A significant effect of the persistent conflicts the Army has been involved in since 9/11 has been the demonstration of the competencies and professionalism of the ARNG and our ability to repeatedly answer the call with mission-ready Citizen Soldiers and units," continued Anderson. "So, as the FA community as a whole takes on full spectrum missions the ARNG must be aligned along with the AC in being tasked."
As the Army moves forward, expect active component Soldiers to train alongside their reserve component brothers at ARNG run RTIs. Already Wisconsin's 1 -426th Field Artillery has instructed the "U6" ASI course for active duty Soldiers in Washington, New York, and Alaska, and have hosted Fort Sill's Joint Fires Observer's Course at Fort McCoy.
The Fires Center of Excellence has committed to the RTI system for the future. This year they have agreed in principle to distribute training sets of new equipment to the RTFs, a first within the OASS. This has begun with the delivery of six M 1 09 A6 howitzers to North Carolina's RTI and three to Utah's.
"What does it mean to me?" said Ward. "I get to do what I enjoy: train and mentor troops as well as assist our ARNG community in all things essential to their school operations."
". . .Adjust fire, out," and the call "FIRE MISSION" is called out to the FDC. The call of ranges, deflections and quadrants could be a fire mission anywhere in the Army - anywhere in the world. It is done to the standard that the Fires Center of Excellence demands and it is being executed by students at the Army Guard's RTI.
"Quadrant two-three-zero SET!, Deflection three-one-sevenniner READY!," calls the gunner, and the gun chief gives the command, "number three FIRE!"
211th Regiment Begional Training Institute - Florida
The 1-211 (AD), Regional Training Institute-Florida is located at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, approximately 40 miles west of Jacksonville, FIa. It is a fully accredited TRADOC Institute of Excellence. 1-211 recently moved into a $78 million state-of-the-art campus where it conducts military occupational specialty transition training to 14S and 14 J, as well as the NCO advanced and senior leaders courses. This facility is less than two years old. 1-211 has only recently begun teaching 1 4 J and can also teach slew-to-cue, and will teach at the requesting unit's location, if needed. All training is conducted to the highest standards and students depart fully trained and certified, and able to perform their wartime missions.
1-188th Air Defense Artillery, North Dakota Army National Guard
Based in three locations in North Dakota - Grand Forks, Bismarck and Fargo - the 1-1 88th ADA has had a very active several years with multiple deployments. Currently the 1-1 88th ADAhas Soldiers deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo. They have served a variety of missions ranging from security forces, to surveillance using RAID (Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment) Camera Systems, to providing an air picture using Sentinel Radars.
The RAID Mission in Afghanistan has been conducted by units from the l-188th ADA four times. Twice the battalion has replaced itself. The current RAID mission is lead by CPT Walyn Vannurden and ISG Gregory Brockberg. Their unit arrived in Afghanistan January 20 1 0, relieving RAID III lead by CPT Amber Monette and ISG George Overby. It makes for a very smooth transition when a battalion is able to replace themselves. Being familiar with both the mission and the personnel being replaced allows for excellent communication flow and a straightforward battle hand-off. CPT Monette and CPT Vannurden have worked together in the 1-1 88th ADA for nearly 10 years. ISG Overby and ISG Brockberg were deployed together to Iraq and have worked together for eight years.
The RAID Mission is a perimeter surveillance mission that has cameras in six locations throughout Regional Command East, Afghanistan. This mission is currently partnered with a Sentinel Radar Mission that has five sentinel radars in RC East. Due to remote forward operating base locations, the NCOICs of each separate team are very independent and a systematic relief in place is critical for mission success. The remote locations can take days to get to and from the headquarter location in Bagram and weather issues can cause even longer delays. Due to this time constraint the RIP timeline is tight. The RIP went very well in part because many of the outer forward operating base team NOCICs were able to have very thorough communication prior to the replacements arriving.
Throughout the Global War on Terrorism, the 1-1 88th ADA has stepped forward to provide top-notch command and control of surveillance missions, and has been widely recognized for the ability with which they have performed.
These accomplishments were noted recently by MG David Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota adjutant general, during the send-off event for those now serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"I could not be prouder of our ADA Soldiers, who have proved themselves time and again in the Global War on Terrorism," MG Sprynczynatyk said. "Their keen ability and knowledge with airdefense systems has provided protection to numerous bases in Afghanistan since the RAID mission began four years ago."
263rd Army Airand Missile Béfense Command, South Carolina Army National Guard
When the 263rd Army Air and Missile Defense Command converted from the 263rd Air Defense Brigade in May 2000, the commander, MG Darwin Simpson, announced that the motto for the unit would be 'America's Shield.' This was uncanny foreshadowing in those six years later; the 263rd AAMDC was named as the AAMDC for the U.S. Northern Command Area of Operations and assumed the role of providing air defense subject matter expertise to the commanderofthe North American Aerospace Defense Command. In November 2006, a small ceremony was held in conjunction with the National Capital Region's Integrated Air Defense Command Control Battle Hand-off and the 'America's Shield' prophecy was brought to fruition and the unit became a theater enabler for the 5th U.S. Army North.
Since that event, the 263rd AAMDC has worked with the 1 64th ADA Brigade from the Florida Army National Guard, the 1 74th ADA Brigade, Ohio Army National Guard, as well as the six Army National Guard Air Defense battalions from Mississippi, Florida, Ohio and South Carolina in order to plan, train and execute the NCR-IADs mission. Distributive Mission Operations, which allows for remote operational training to all unit locations in addition to the Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate at Fort Bliss, Texas, has streamlined and increased training capabilities for all Homeland Defense Air and Missile Defense units.
In January 2007, the secretary of defense directive was published that allowed the maximum duration of Reserve Component mobilizations to be 400 days. This forced the revamping of premobilization training which had traditionally been as long as 90 days prior to a NCR rotation. The 263rd AAMDC initiated Exercise America's Shield as a training event for all battalions rotating into the National Capital Region. This event provides the opportunity for the units, while still in Title 32 status, to train to perform their mission in support ofNational Capital Region-Integrated Air Defense System, while simultaneously providing a training opportunity for the follow on Command and Control rotation's tactical directors and battle captains. The 2-263rd ADA Battalion recently participated in Exercise America's Shield at the Savannah Combat Readiness Training Center, Savannah, Ga., meeting all pre-mobilization requirements set forth by First U.S. Army and l-362nd Training Support Battalion, Fort Bliss, Texas.
Likewise the 263rd AAMDC conducts the culminating training event for both the command and control and the SHORAD Battalion Elements for the NCR-IADs mission. This is the post mobilization training event that validates the units priorto movementto their duty station. This requires two separate training events that take place at Fort Bliss with a Joint Air Defense Operations Center-Mobile to be set up, manned and operated with conditions identical to the NCR.
This command also had established a new milestone in the implementation ofthe Deployable-Integrated Air Defense System Minimum Deployment Package. This is a rapidly déployable minimum package of ground based air defense equipment which includes the Avenger Air Defense System and the new Improved Sentinel Radar System. U.S. Army North and the 263rd AAMDC in support of NORAD are conducting a first year proof of concept. The MDP is stationed and is co-located with the 263d AAMDC Headquarters in Anderson, SC. This element in coordination with the 263d's Training Readiness Authority Team provides a trained and ready, rapidly déployable force for short notice air defense requirements within the NORAD area of responsibility. This force was recently tested during the first ever proof of operational concept for the Deployable-Integrated Air Defense System during Amalgam Dart 09. Highlights include east coast to west coast deployment of both Army air defense and Air Force communications equipment. It also provided the opportunity for the integration of naval and Air Force surveillance and air defense platforms as well as the inter-agency coordination/liaison with over thirty agencies. The deployment and architecture build met all standards set forth by the Integrated Air and Missile Defense CONOPS.
Through diligent training and coordination with all units within the Army Air Defense Homeland Defense mission community, the 263rd AAMDC strives to provide a trained and ready force necessary to defeat hostile targets and defend North America whenever necessary.
2nd Battalion, 263rd Air Defense Artillery, South Carolina Army National Guard
Nearly 300 air defenders from the 2nd Battalion 263rd Air Defense Artillery, based out ofAnderson, S. C. mobilized on January 24, 2010. By the end of March, this highly motivated group of citizen-Soldiers successfully assumed the Operation Noble Eagle National Capital Region-Integrated Air Defense Systems mission in ...