Sunday, December 14, 2008

Blackhawk landing at Caldwell video

video link above.

Can't see much but it is what it is>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Jalula Iraq video, a funny look into one FOB and AO of sister SQDN

2nd video is below first

so real!

2/278th RCT begins Ops Dec 2004 FOB Berstein

The Greeneville Sun December 16, 2004

278th Reported In Position In Tikrit's Province Of Iraq

By Bill Jones

Lt. Col. Frank McCauley, commander of the 278th Regimental Combat Team's Second Squadron, said via electronic mail on Wednesday that the remainder of his unit will arrive at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Bernstein in northern Iraq "in the next couple of days."

The 278th RCT's Second Squadron, which was based in Kingsport before the Tennessee Army National Guard's 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment was called to active duty earlier this year, includes a number of citizen-soldiers from Greeneville and Greene County.

Augmented by National Guard units from several other states during training at Camp Shelby, Miss., earlier this year, the 278th is now called a regimental combat team.

The unit began moving into Iraq from a base in Kuwait last weekend, driving about 450 miles to its area of operations in northeastern Iraq.

Lt. Col. McCauley reported on Wednesday about the Second Squadron's current activities in response to an electronic mail inquiry from a Greeneville Sun reporter.

He said Second Squadron soldiers had been providing security escorting for the 278th's heavier tracked vehicles, that are being hauled into Iraq from Kuwait on large trucks because of the distance involved.

"The convoy from Kuwait took two full days through some dangerous territory," Lt. Col McCauley wrote. "No incidents occurred, and we were provided air escort by Apache helicopters through the most dangerous areas."

He remarked that Second Squadron troops "are in good spirits and are currently becoming integrated with the outgoing unit," which, he said, is the 120th Infantry Battalion, 30th Armored Brigade, of the North Carolina Army National Guard.

"A Transfer of Authority ceremony will be held at the completion of all the tasks in the transition with the 120th," Lt. Col. McCauley wrote.

"This should occur in the next two to three weeks. That ceremony will signify that 2/278 (has) become totally responsible for our area of operations, which has a total population of about 150,000 Iraqi citizens."

Tuz, the Iraqi city near where Forward Operating Base Bernstein is located, is in the As Sulaymaniyah province of Iraq, Lt. Col. McCauley wrote. "The provincial capital is in Tikrit," the birthplace of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Lt. Col. McCauley also reported that the remainder of the 278th RCT is in Iraq's Diyala province.

FOB Bernstein

FOB Bernstein, the base where the Second Squadron of the 278th RCT is located, is named in honor of the late U.S. Army 1st Lt. David R. Bernstein, 24, of Phoenixville, Pa.

The GlobalSecurity.Org Web site describes the area where FOB Bernstein is located as "a desolate, flat range of ankle-high shrubbery about 10 miles from the city of Tuz."

Lt. Bernstein was fatally wounded, along with Pfc. John Hart, on Oct. 18, 2003, according to the GlobalSecurity.Org Website.

Bernstein and Hart, both members of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade, were killed when their convoy came under attack from rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and machine gun fire, the Website said.

The two soldiers, according to the Website, were in the last vehicle of a quick-reaction force convoy and were cut off from the rest of their convoy when guerrilla fighters fired an RPG at their vehicle, causing the driver, Spc. Joshua Sams, to lose control.

After the vehicle crashed into a dirt berm (embankment), it came to a stop on top of Sams' arm, the Website stated.

Lt. Bernstein, although mortally wounded by a gunshot wound to the leg, then crawled over to Sams' side under direct fire, and pushed on the gas pedal with his hand, moving the vehicle forward off Sams' arm. Bernstein collapsed shortly afterward and died.

PFC Hart, who was seated in the back of the HUMVEE when the attack took place, had been killed in the initial RPG explosion, according to the Global Security Website.

Copyright © 2004 The New York Times Company

Lance in Iraq blog of some 278th soldier who has a couple of photos of AO on it.

youtube Video FOB Berstein

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hummer sunk fording river video link

This was a pretty funny event because nobody got hurt one of the many oops that soldiers all do at one time or another. It took place in the Diyala province and involved the 1/278th RCT members.
This is a video of a hummer getting stuck in a river trying to forde it on a myspace link of a 278th RCT member.

He has other videos too.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Easy Squad I and II video links, OIF III video

These are two video links I ran across on YouTube posted by 278th RCT unit/attachment?
I do not know who they are or what Company it was though. It is a good photo documentation of the progression of the deployment and I am sure someone will recognize which unit it was. One can probably freeze the video and look for bumper unit designation and of course who was a the FOB mentioned. I primarily look for 1/278th info but gladly take anything I can get to post here.

If you do not know click and highlight on the links and then copy them to browser and paste.

Here is an additional video link

A different AO with more photos same brush different picture painted. These were Wisconsin National Guard INF and TX 386th CBT EN attachment. Wisconsin provided an Infantry Battalion for the Regimental Combat Team. Hoorah!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Current Unit 108th RSTA Dalton, GA GAARNG, Currently deployed JUN 09 Afghanistan

Most of these guys deployed, I am done, medically discharging as of AUG 2009, several have been wounded already.

We went to JRTC in June 2007 and worked with ODA/SF teams while the 101st were there also, FOB Budro was where we stayed and it was one miserable affair. The 101st guys suffered mightily in the new add-on body armor, we watched some walking across the FOB just fall on their face and pass out from heat exhaustion. We went hollywood with SF and the Puerto Rican NG, no plates. The "live fire" sucked compared to 101st Airborne ones I had done in 1994-96. It was hyped by command and the SF guys (CA Guard), it was pretty laughable in the end, ODA blew the doors off and that incapacitated the automatic dummies that were supposed to shoot back at us, the explosion blew them down KIA et al. Good training overall though as anytime you get to suffer in the heat, clear buildings (that was good stuff-the clearing buildings part along with the prep for live fire, actually real good), living like a pig, and conducting some night ops it is always good. ODA was real fun especially Hank the slayer from HRT team with FBI or something, real cool dude from CA. The night ops stuff was crazy, they backed over their medic, nosed dived into serious ditch driving in black out mode NODs (but kept going), and assorted other things that were just fun stuff, like showing our guys how to stitch up each other and practice the ol IV, the stitch up was real world so cool, we got to watch one of our guys get sewn up by another. The 101st 1SG ate our ass for shooting star clusters up in the air repeatedly the last day, I told him we were done then two more went off as he walked away, that was pretty funny to us anyway. I told him we were just stupid not insubordinate, celebrating leaving FOB Budro. Looks like the Tankers switched to the RECON quite nicely, had one knife pulling but nobody got cut, and Rome tossed all their guys into a huge mud pit back at the garrison barracks. Yee-Haaaaa. I am broke dick now an unfit for duty designee waiting to medical discharge. Three guys from 278th are still kicking though in the RECON. They all go to Afghanistan in May or so. Good luck and Godspeed Recon.


By Pfc Adam Dean
124th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Georgia National Guard

June 12, 2007 – Soldiers from 48th Brigade Combat Team’s 108th Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Target Acquisition Squadron, (formerly 1st Battalion, 108th Armor) are in southwest Louisiana helping other Soldiers from around the country get the training they need for deploying in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

With temperatures rising near the hundred-mark at Fort Polk's Joint Readiness Training Center, the Georgia Guardsmen goal is to make the humidity and foliage the only differences between this active Army post and the arid regions of war-torn Iraq.

Captain Chris Powell, who command’s Rome-based Troop A of the 108th, described his Soldiers’ mission as a role-playing exercise. Acting as Iraqi internal defense force soldiers, they are providing real-world experience to those who are about to experience in the Global War on Terror, many of them for the first time.

“The preparation they get here is important because it lets them experience the kind of obstacles and challenges they’re going to have in communicating through interpreters to Iraqi platoon leaders,” Powell explained.

During its two-weeks at Fort Polk, the 108th is teaching deploying Soldiers, like those with 101st Airborne Division, how to fight insurgents alongside their Iraqi counterparts. The knowledge they’re passing on comes from their own experiences working with the Iraqi army while deployed with the 48th from May 2005 to May 2006.

Sergeant Billy Harp said the training he and his fellow Guardsmen are providing should be a great help to those about to journey “across the pond.”

“They’re getting their feet wet in a whole new way,” said Harp, a Troop A squad leader. “What we teach them here gives them a taste of what life’s gonna be like once they get in country.”

"The new guys with the 101st, especially, are like sponges," said Spc. Michael Matlin, a Troop A team leader and Iraq veteran. “They’re really soaking up the knowledge and looking for more.”

But being at JRTC isn’t just about being the teacher for the Georgia Guardsmen. It’s also about picking up “lessons learned” from the California National Guard’s 19th Special Forces Group, which is deploying with the 101st.

“We’re doing more on the ground now that 108th has changed from the traditional armor mission to one of reconnaissance and surveillance,” Harp said. “Yeah,” said Pfc. Gabriel Human, a scout with Calhoun’s Headquarters Troop, “it’s a whole lot different since we’re now 48th Brigade’s eyes and ears on battlefield.”

The 108th began its transition from an armored battalion to a RSTA squadron not long after returning from Iraq. Most of those who were tankers are now scouts, which is a Special Forces specialty.

“We’re really learning a lot from the ‘SF guys’ about how to do our mission,” Harp said.

"They really know their stuff," said Human added, "so they know our techniques and how we can improve on what we now do."

Troop A’s main body has been at JRTC for the past week. It’s scheduled to return to home later in the month. When they do return, these one-time tankers will be more knowledgeable as scouts, and they will have helped those getting ready to support the mission in Iraq be more prepared themselves.
C Troop send off link

Wikipedia 278th Brief OIF III Iraq description link

OPERATION Iraqi Freedom

The 278th ACR (278th RCT) deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III (2004-2005) from late Nov. 2004 until Nov. 2005 under the command of COL Dennis Adams. The 278th RCT took over from the 30th BCT North Carolina, commanded by BG Danny Hickman,and were part of Task Force Liberty commanded by the 42nd Infantry Division, the only activated National Guard Headquarters in recent history. The TROA Transfer of Authority ceremony took place on Christmas Eve 2004 at FOB Caldwell where the regimental headquarters was established and designated Battle Position Caldwell. FOB Caldwell had the 1/278th and the 386th Engineer BN located on it along with the Regimenatal HQ. The mobilization site was Camp Shelby, MS, to where the regiment began moving en masse in June 2004. Initially the 278th RCT fell under Task Force Danger and the 1st Infantry Division so members could choose between their patch, the 42nd Infantry Division patch, and of course the regimental patch for a combat patch. The 101st Airborne Division (AASLT) replaced the 278th RCT upon redeployment to the United States. The Regiment lost ten soldiers killed in action and had additional soldiers seriously wounded during the deployment. It deployed with roughly 3800 members and its major attachments were the 2/127th Infantry, Wisconsin Guard and the 386th Engineers from the Texas Guard. The regiment operated along the Iranian border in the Diyala Province centered southeast of Baquba, Balad ruz being the nearest town. Each Squadron was assigned to a FOB (forward operating base and detachments sent to other locations, such as F Troop going to Baghdad and falling under the 3rd Infantry Division, and others performing convoy escort missions from Kuwait all the way to Mosul.

FOB Assignments: FOB Caldwell: RHHT, SPT/278th ACR, 1/278th ACR and attachments. FOB Cobra (Jalula, Iraq): 3/278th ACR and attachments. FOB Bernstein (Tuz, Iraq): 2/278th ACR and attachments.

The 2005 Elections were a prime mission in early 2005 and again in OCT 2005. The overall accomplishments of the regiment were staggering when taken cumulatively by the end of the deployment. Its members also accumulated a number of individual awards for valor to include Silver Star recipient 1LT Tiedeman.

An Armored Cavalry Regiment usually has organic air assets (Apache and Kiowa helicopters) but the 278th RCT was without these in Iraq and reorganized at the Troop level leaving two troops out of three without the usual armor (Bradley FV and M1A1 Abrams tanks). Its Scouts and Tankers patrolled in the M1114 unarmored hummer. One Troop per FOB had tanks and BFVs and there were 155 mm Paladins for artillery support. An armored cavalry unit usually provides the screen for an army corps or is the spearhead of a main effort as it is the only unit other than a division that can sustain itself in the field for a limited time. An ACR commander has every combat asset under his command, it is organic, he owns it. This firepower was not needed for the Iraqi mission which is why the regiment was tailored to meet Task Force Danger and Liberty needs, security, AIF (Anti Iraqi Forces) interdiction, and supporting the civil affairs mission (elections/infrastructure improvement etc.).

Battle of Baqubah 30BCT NC Guard

This is the link to the a description of NC Guard Units combat action in Baqubah. When we took over combat operations on around December 18th 2004 it was NC that we replaced. The first thing I did was clean out the closet for our TOC and in it was left over stuff from NC and included were the personal photos of CPT Cash who was killed in action during the combat described in the link above.

It was definitely a moment in which I realized someone was going to get killed in the 278th RCT, the first such moment occurred in Kuwait while standing looking at both the 278th RCT and ID BCT standing in chow line, about 9000 soldiers, I stated to SSG Cooper, "man if we get killed nobodys even gonna notice out of this mob" , meaning the realization of how small one soldier was in the overall operation it was a sobering moment that made one think of WWII guys and how they must have felt the same when seeing the thousands of guys preparing for battle.

The Battle of Baqubah (June 24th, 2004)

The first Battle of Baqubah (not to be confused with Operation Arrowhead Ripper in 2007) was some of the fiercest fighting that the brigade encountered during its deployment. The battle began at approximately 5:30 a.m. local time as insurgents from the group Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad (aka Al-Qaeda in Iraq) attempted to ambush 3rd Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 120th Infantry (Mechanized) with small arms and RPG fire. The platoon was able to break through the ambush and attempted to turn the battle around with a counterattack. As the battle wore on, however, mechanical difficulties with all three of the platoon's M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles forced the counterattack to halt and once again the advantage lay with the insurgents.[3]

At around 6:00 a.m. reinforcements from Co A, including company commander Captain Christopher Cash, left the unit's Forward Operating Base and were also ambushed almost immediately. In the process CPT Cash was killed. The Bradley in which CPT Cash was killed as well as one other returned to base, leaving only three Bradleys from 1st Platoon to reinforce 3rd Platoon.[4] As the reinforcements advanced on 3rd Platoon, an RPG struck one of the Bradleys, hitting SPC Daniel Desens and wounding several others. The platoon sergeant, SFC Chad Stephens, moved under fire without body armor or a weapon from his Bradley to SPC Desens' to retrieve the wounded Specialist. As SPC Desens was treated by the platoon medic, SPC Ralph Isabella, the platoon regrouped and continued its march towards 3rd Platoon. As they advanced once again towards 3rd Platoon, SFC Stephens's Bradley was also hit by an RPG, severely wounding his gunner and wounding several others including SFC Stephens.[3]

After SFC Stephens's platoon reached its objective, SPC Desens and six other wounded personel were evacuated via helicopter and the platoon carried on the fight until 3:00 a.m. the next morning. SPC Desens later died of his wounds. SFC Stephens would ultimately receive a Silver Star for his actions.[3]

As the well coordinated attack raged on for another eight hours, insurgents were able to overrun two Iraqi police stations as rocket and mortar attacks racked FOB Warhorse, the unit's Forward Operating Base. Ultimately, Coalition forces were able to root out enemy hiding spots and strong points with UAVs as attack aircraft bombed them. In the end two soldiers from the 30th Brigade were killed and six wounded. While the actual enemy death toll varies, Coalition forces estimated at least 60 insurgents were killed in the attack. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility for the attack although some experts question if Al-Qaeda in Iraq was actually capable of planning and carrying out such an organized attack, despite the fact that Al-Qaeda in Iraq flags were seen being raised by insurgents over the two captured police stations.[5]

Zarqawi claimed victory over the Americans in the battle, although it may have been a Pyrrhic victory as the insurgent death toll was much higher than the Coalition one and the attack neither forced the Americans from the city nor stopped the planned transfer of authority for the city from the Coalition Provisional Authority to the Iraqi Interim Government at the end of the month. In the end, Zarqawi was killed in an air attack two years later outside of Baqubah and a year after that Operation Arrowhead Ripper succeeded in forcing a large part of the remaining insurgent forces out of the city.

Friday, October 3, 2008

30 BCT link video

North Carolina Guard whom we replaced in December 2004.

Monday, March 31, 2008

DVIDS Army Satellite uplink for media distribution

Not much on 278th here but it does have an early 42nd ID interview with MG Taluto and one video of some range firing of 278th Unit, not 1st Squadron though. Pretty boring stuff but it is a link relating to one aspect of the overall mission.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Friends in far away places

I thought you guys might like to see this photo, because it appeared in newspapers throughout the world yesterday, as well as in many papers across the US. Also, the New York Times picked up the Story along with Yahoo News from the Associated Press. Basically, we built a school in Jan Qadam, Afghanistan, which is nothing new, because it happens all of the time in Afghanistan and Iraq; however, the partnership with Calvert City Elementary School was the big hook that everyone bit on. Many of the Press had never heard of this happening before and wanted to cover it. Therefore, yesterday I was interviewed by seven different reporters. The only video that was captured was taken by the Armed Forces Network (AFN) and will air across Europe in 4 days and then on the Pentagon Channel in 7 days. Debbie Rae, I will send you a copy of the video in the mail for you guys at the school, as well as for WPSD TV if they want to use it, as well as photos. It was taken while the elders wereoffering a blessing and prayer for the new school year. The position of thehands is a sign of respect.
Take Care, Ken

Friday, February 15, 2008

youtube link

If I find one of anything 278th I will stick a link on here just to keep piling up the material.

This one above is General Taluto then video of 42nd ID same as the one in his bio below just added it again. 42ID was of course our Task Force Liberty HQ element.

Wednesday, 26 October 2005
October 26, 2005
Release A051026f
Iraqi army’s 5th Division assumes greater role in Diyala Province
TIKRIT, Iraq – More than 3,000 Soldiers from Task Force Liberty and the 278th Regimental Combat Team will conclude their mission in eastern Diyala Province with a departure ceremony on Forward Operating Base Caldwell on Oct. 29th at 11:30 a.m.
The 1st Brigade of the Iraqi army’s 5th Division in Diyala, because of their proven operational capabilities, will take on a greater security role in the military operations in the sector during the ceremony. The Iraqi 1st Brigade continues to train and equip its forces while providing command and control for battalion-sized operations in eastern Diyala Province.
The regiment, from the Tennessee Army National Guard, achieved significant success during its operations in eastern Diyala Province. Troopers of the regimental combat team conducted more than 13,000 combat patrols during their eleven months of service. The 278th RCT would achieve an IED discovery rate of near 60%, preventing the needless loss of life among Task Force Liberty Soldiers and Iraqi civilians.
The 278th seized and destroyed more than 340 weapons caches of bomb making materials and another 275 stockpiles of unexploded ordnance.
The partnership of the regiment with Iraqi Security Forces resulted in the training of more than 10,000 Iraqi soldiers, police officers and border enforcement personnel.
The impact of the regiment on the lives of countless Iraqi civilians exceeded $103 million on projects that included the construction or renovations of more than 50 schools, nearly 74 water and sewage projects, eight health clinics, 32 road projects, 25 electricity and power projects, 25 business and 23 government renovations.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Old Bill Chips (Hoofbeats) link in archive drop down menu to several editions

So far our newsletter is actually the best one I have come across as far as images go, probably more images of first squadron and regimental HQ because we were at FOB Caldwell. These OBCs are available on searches for download. If you collect this stuff these are excellent and show the timeline very well. They used to have a link on the Regimental webpage.

The Hoofbeats have to be on a hard drive somewhere and document a vast number of missions/events. I did find them online once but did not download and save.

The original links are below in a previous blog post.

386th Engineers

SGT Allen in ACE combat bulldozer and his cohorts in a "C" filling walls with dirt.

Gilman/Vasquez/Rojas all were a tremendous help for various projects. As usual logistical support may be unseen, but in the end is the key to success. I do not have any EOD unit designations and very few 386th EN info, like what company this actually was etc.

Link TXARNG Publication has one photo of 386th C Company in it.

What are they doing now

In Iraq and now.

20th Group Chinook Jump, former A/1/278th RCT XO.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Welcome! Here are Blog Navigation Tips

Use the drop down archive menu on left, click on photo to enlarge. There is alot now so might want to start from bottom/oldest if 278th member. Picasa slideshow will link 300 photos.

Infantry/CAV Scout Weapons

USMC (aka known as naval infantry 0311).
M4 and basic load in Balad ruz Iraq, kid staring hole in my back, Klika photo. I was 46 then and we had guys out on patrols age 59-61. We could not carry what you see below, especially at 8000 feet altitude. Iraq is almost the perfect mission for Guard Units as sustained force on force combat is not the norm.

.50 caliber chambering round for mission out of FOB Caldwell, good mount, it is for the .50 cal and not a MK19 one that left the gun loose and inaccurate after 5 round bursts.

Most of these are web photos but demonstrate what it is like to hump the iron and ammunition.

Javlin rounds,M240B on ruck, M4/203 combo and Bradley Fighting vehicle.


Dudes Movie

1/278th members video slideshow received from SGT Meigs an A Troop member. These guys obviously did both patrols and convoy escort, Cavarly troopers, yes they shoot back, not much has changed in that regard since Andrew Jackson or the Civil War in East Tennessee. The same is true of the 30th BCT North Carolina Guard guys you see in the video, we did right seat rides with them transitioning. They were a mechanized Infantry Brigade. Trying to add media as I get it. We were tasked heavily for escort duty being a combat arms branch unit and having many members not operating in their usual roles. Regimental Scouts/COLT team/FA all were put on "foot". We actually were quite mobile in the M1114 hummers but a hummer cannot search a building/hole/haystack/person it is a hands on deal, defacto Infantry, whether you are or not Infantry.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Band of Brothers link Newsletter from 101st (online)

These are online and relate to the general area of operations we had so I put them on here for research purposes or general browsing. The second link is a list of many online items like these newsletters. Most are not so good but the Unit newsletters are okay, I saved the 11/2005 Change of Command Issue but the ceremony was in Tikrit of course 42nd ID TROA to 101st ABN.

Multi-national Force site with lots of links.
Anaconda Times, way after our time in the sand but here it is anyway.

Advisor link below has several 2005 issues in the weblink and of course deals wiht training the Iraqi Army.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Google Map Jisr Naft, Diyala, Iraq (Mandali/Balad ruz)

It is quite extrordinary looking at this satellite photo almost three years later. We never got an aerial view so although we knew the features from on the ground when you see the amount of vegetation and the topography it kinda shocks you at how much of it there was.

Jisr Naft came up but Balad ruz did not, you can see the brick factory but someone who has not been there cannot ascertain the scale of it all. It was 15 kilometers to Balad ruz from FOB Caldwell/KMTB. Jisr Naft was about 800 meters along the highway, I mean not even a one stoplight town hardly. The distance from it to "ruz" which is Balad ruz is 25-30 kilometers, TCP4 was 10 kilometers from the FOB, (FOB Knott). The Brick factory is easily discernable but nobody who had not been there would recognize what it is.

There is another huge brick factory to the northeast of Bagdad, it is about four or five times as large as our huge brick factory, simply amazing if you have been in one. It is actually directly below the west side of Balad ruz one on TACO if you scroll south.

278th RCT attachment: A Company 250th Signal BN

A Deployment Ceremony was conducted on the parade field of Camp Shelby, Mississippi, for the 278th Regimental Combat Team (RCT) on 11 November 2004. The Regiment is from the Tennessee Army National Guard and is composed of units and soldiers from six states. New Jersey’s contribution to this Team is Company A, 250th Signal Battalion, Westfield, under the command of CPT Grindlinger. They will be deploying with the 278th RCT in late November for Iraq. The entire Brigade was assembled on line for the ceremony and the Governors of three states, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Wisconsin addressed the soldiers. The Adjutant General of Tennessee presented the Tennessee State flag to all unit Commanders (battalions/separate companies), as well as the State flag for each of their respective states. Also in attendance were the First Army Commander, LTG Honore; Chief, National Guard Bureau, LTG Blum; Director, Army National Guard, LTG Schultz, and the Commanding General of the 42nd Infantry Division, MG Taluto with the Division Command Sergeant Major (CSM). The Deputy Joint Force Commander, BG Carlini, the Commander of the 250th Signal Battalion, LTC Thomas, and the CSM of the Battalion, CSM Britt, represented New Jersey.

Another Pdf publication 3/278th RCT

This link and file are about 3/278th RCT operations, narrow in scope as it is a newsletter type publication with the usual 10-20 photos.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Iraqi Countryside Diyala near Iranian border (FOB Caldwell/Mandali)

Klika Photo of chicken dinner on the foot (left)

The one striking fact about Iraq and other places around the globe is the dependence of man on goats, there must have been three goats for every Iraqi. They obviously can live eating the little green you see in these photos and the ones below.

The canal arrays made quite extensive agricultural efforts possible but were the bain of manuevering for US forces. Like thoughts from Korea our obsession with staying on the roads hurt us. In Korea the terrain channelized us onto the roads in Iraq they became the place to kill us too only from the fact that we presented ourselves on them daily and operated from FOBS instead of just plopping down in the towns and cities. FOBs represent the infrastructure that we think we need, but there were literally millions of Iraqis living someplace else, bad sewers or not.

When factoring in the commuting time back and forth, the different units and sections repeating each others footsteps because each had to learn the AO, and the defacto relationship with our emplaced people (town Mayors/IP) often not representive of the total populace it all added up to problems of one nature or another. In the end either we have to walk the towns and stay in them or the Iraqis have to do it. General Petraus may have been the impetus but he surely was not the first to figure that aspect out.

Iraq was barren except for around canals and the two big rivers. It had a tremendous amount of agricultural capacity that was not being used in 2005. I always watched Vietnam movies and wondered why in the heck would they walk across open fields into an ambush, well this is how we approached houses/farm compounds etc. and everytime I did I thought someone was going to shoot one of us meandering up to the house, we did not really do bounding overwatch but did have vehicle gunners overwatching us. Of course that is not going to do you any good after a 7.62mm machinegun burst to the chest from an insurgent shooting from cover if you are the guy on point. It is hard on the first guy to recover from something like that.

Railhead in Kuwait City Iraq

This was the railhead in Kuwait all the soldiers have been detailed out to drive vehicles to Camp Buerhing for staging then the convoy to FOB Caldwell/KMTB.

Camp Shelby MS photos

Camp Shelby, MS, the place had a unique history as both WWI and WWII armies trained here. It is big, wooded, and hot. The humidity was horrible and although it looks like camping out it was miserable. Better than being frozen is all I can say about it. I met an old preacher that stopped to visit the museum and he said he had not been back since he trained in WWII as an Infantryman. I aske dif they had heat problems and he said heck yeah, had guys passing out all the time. Some things do not change. The 442nd Infantry trained here, the Japanese American Regiment of WWII fame.
The connex training villages were not my favorite trainng aids to put it mildly. The 278th RCT had a natural persona for dealing with people in a common sense and proper manner that served us well in Iraq. Thank God for COL Adam's, the WI guard could not even leave the post, Hattiesburg was a life saver, the people great and lots of the usual restaurants to go relax at when you had the chance. COL Adam's told the upper echelons that we were going to town and not beig stupid and sitting on Camp Shelby for months in the heat.
About half of these train ups are useless. No matter how hard they try they never match the reality of the actual mission. Mostly because the stupid evaluation process is so skewed and standardized, meaning the trainers just have to have an answer they were told to have. All of the infantry training was vastly substandard to what one did at the 82nd/101st/10th MTN etc. and I think The Infantry has an idea of what infantry training is. It is toughness and a coordinated response honed in miserable conditions on long field training exercises with multiple live fires in several different conditions (day/night).
Huge money is spent on this stuff (good for the Sate of MS) and not the most efficiently it could be spent, like going to the units going to Iraq instead. The reality was you road around with the unit you were replacing a few days once you arrived in Iraq and learned it the hard way, as usual, mixing with the population and doing a recon of the AO. You have to see it first hand to know it in these things. You could not really appreciate what the leaving soldiers were trying to say until you had the experience. All that interaction (cultural indoctrination) crap can be done in a classroom talking with an Iraqi instead of hanging out in some hokey village in MS doing scenarios that never approach reality. Combat arms soldiers can shoot back just fine and they know if a leg is blown off to turn the bloodflow off, even if they have to do it themselves. You want real transition then leave a unit in theater for the duration and send replacements to it instead of new units that would end the coming and going in masse.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Never ending tank maintenance/FOB maintenance stuff

Some FOB Caldwell maintenance stuff, these are what we called working fobbits, limited scenery was the order of their day.

ye olde shipping container

Can I get another engine and some more track.

They do not show this in the recruiting video but it is where a tanker spends the majority of his time, M1A1 tanks are the number one expenditure in maintenance in Iraq, like 600 million dollars worth.

However, if in a fight it is the machine you want to be riding into it, broken or a dog, it can
get r done.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

about me photos

Son roller blading past PT HHC 2nd BDE, 101st ABN, everyone is humping the ground, must have done a bunch of PUs.

Dad and Uncles, Grandad & USAF Security Forces School photo, Lackland AFB.

AOBC M1A1 NBC training/OCS JUN 1992, TMA and USAF KAB Okinawa Japan (missile shop)

Fork Union Military Academy 1974/KMTB 2005 IA guntruck Platoon Sergeant Adnan

Air Assault School 1994, Fort Campbell, and Howard AFB Panama, Operation Safe Haven with Bro. HHC 2BDE 101st/HHC 505th 82nd.

COL Catalanotti 98th DIV

link to interviews with commanders this one is COL in charge of MiTT/ASTs in 2005 see previous blog post below. There is an access this document propmt at the middle of this Bio/webpage to access interviews. This oe is very generic overview and does not get to KMTB in any detail.

• Col. Robert G. Catalanotti, chief of staff (TPU), 98th Division, Rochester, N.Y., to deputy commander (TPU), 81st Regional Readiness Sustainment Command, Fort Jackson, S.C.

command and general staff college link

Stephen Clay, Iroquois in Iraq 98th DIV MiTT good pdf file has APR 4th Described from MiTT Cadre view

I am trying to get the exact MiTT team Cadres designations that the 278th RCT worked with at FOB Caldwell/KMTB side. This is a lenghty PDF written by the guy listed in the title block of this blog post. Link included. They were ASTs at BN level at KMTB, page 118 on pdf link. I have yet to figure out where the Iraqi and MiTT/BN ASTs unit designations split, for example 6th BN for the BN or 2BN AST at KMTB/FOB Caldwell, the sign in our group photo said 2BN? The Iraqi Army was the 1BDE of 5th DIV, I thought our IA company was designated, 4Co/2BN/1BDE/5th DIV but really do not know to this day other than the Company and Battalion of course, 2th BN for the AST does not tell BDE/DIV designation so is confusing. They also renamed Iraqi Army units while we were there.

Page 127 in the document describes the organization of the Iraqi 5th Division KMTB/FOB Caldwell AO. Major Curwen had the AST at KMTB when we, 1/278th RCT, began MiTTs. Page 149 in the actual document lists the name of a Navy Corpsman, which may have been the guy who was with the MiTT/BN ASTs at KMTB, standing out as the only Navy guy around on FOB Caldwell/KMTB. They describe fighting around a water treatment plant, the ASTs/MiTTs worked with the USMC in other AOs so I sure there was more than one corpsman, but not at KMTB, there was just one. This is probably a different water treatment plant than the one in Balad ruz where we had a gunfight of some sort. Reading on you can see that the 278th RCT and the MiTT cadre did not see eye to eye on 278th security measures. Major Curwen is quoted on page 151, he changed his attitude some once he got a dose of us, 1/278th Troopers page 153. I remember Major Curwen also left early due to an injury or something, SFC Porier made the best impression on me personally but I had little to do with the MiTT cadre other than SFC Leach, who was pissed after APR 4th when SSG Dill was killed (the firefight is decribed in this pdf and I inserted the link on the APR 4th account below, LT Hancock's). Getting my ass chewed by their TOP for shooting M203 rounds at one of the big ranges was about the only other interaction I had other than with SFC Leach, who also chewed our asses regularly. I usually signed the range out but did not one time and it was on a normal day, we always went on Fridays at 2PM when it was 120 degrees out and prayer day for the Iraqi army, but this day did not, I had gotten to cocky and forgot I was a SPC, TOP made it clear what my exact rank was and standing in relation to my duties, a least he did not bitch slap me like Major Ali (ING) would have one of his men. The 7.62mm machinegun range was in operation and Teed into the RPG range so we hugged the big berm behind an M1114 and shot the M203 rounds. Safe in reality but not real smart when everyone was out and about and shooting, protocol/proceedures not cowboy Bob at the ok corral was the method when people were watching.

Anyone that has read anything in military history knows when you put a bunch of locals into the mix there are "spys", it happened in Korea/Vietnam extensively, and also is well documented. So of course we did not trust anyone if our asses were on the line in any way. The security was crazy as any Iraqi that wanted to walk over to our side could easily do so, but all of them knew not to and had more sense than to. The intent was exactly as Major Curwen perceived, stay the hell out of our AO without permission or invitation. That message was received and had nothing to do with our future relations with the Iraqi Army once on MiTTs. Then we could build trust and actually knew who we were dealing with. Did SF let anyone in their compound during Vietnam at Fort Campbell? It was their turf and everyone knew it. Our AO was our turf and within the overall AO you had your own Company/Platoon/Sections turf. They had guys (Iraqis) living in the buildings that were not used when we went through them with the 101st ABN to inspect them and nobody knew it. It was smart to let the IA know that it was off limits to come mingle. The same applied to us we did not mingle with them, heck you cannot even put the 101st and 82nd together in our own army if in garrison. MiTTs were the exceptions.

The 98th DIV (institutional) were great at training basic trainees, laying out an overall plan, and at institutional approaches but as far as the operational Infantry companies went were not doing what was needed, lack of resources, the Iraqis themselves, and time constraints played into this problem. They had no battle handover where they passed them on to operational American units to combine patrols with and associate with. Conversely a small number of Americans stuck into their units would be seen as "tattle tales" to our superiors by some. So in the end the Iraqis will be declared ready and let go in charge of themselves more or less. They did not get the point, it is about kicking ass in the Infantry during training, hard training, I personally thought we needed to be looking foward in time when the IA would have to take down a militia element in a real fight that would be rifle on rifle, man on man, not just the AIF/insurgents scattered about, that fight has not occurred yet either in their defense so I may be wrong, but not on the issue of tough training, it is always good. They sure did nothing in Fallujah, we did and got killed for them doing it. Look at Fallujah satellite photo below and tell me how many Iraqi Army boundries you see in the graphic, none, now there were Iraqis around but they did not do the actual beat down.
definition of CMATT/article

MNSTC-I defined/official website is my ebook and has my opinon on the matters of training an operational Iraqi Company/Platoon.

Memorial Hwy in honor of 3/278th RCT member SPC Tucker

2006 Public Acts Chapter
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML... 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Tennessee Army National. Guard, who was killed in the line of duty on October 13, 2005, while serving in Iraq; and -

Asbury F. Hawn II KIA Iraq 3/278th RCT

Fallen heros link

Sunday, January 20, 2008

278th RCT NTC rotation 2004 Old Bill Chips Newsletter

OBCs has plenty of photos in each issue

Old Bills Chips
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTMLPhotos of NTC Rotation. 278th Regimental Combat Team. Inside this issue:. The 278 RCT. completes a rotation. at the National Train-. ing Center, - Similar pages

HTML link to newsletter it can be downloaded as a PDF too.

Old newsletter from rotation before mobilization, not the Iraq OIF III one.

278 VS 2
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTMLThe bottom line...the 278th ACR is a much more. ready unit now because of the NTC experience. The Tennessee rotation was the largest Army ... - Similar pages

Chaplain Jones annoucement (Church of God)

Chaplain Jones (on left) was on this Tomb mission and it was the worst day of the year (coldest), wet miserable and riding in a tin can M113A3. When we returned to FOB Caldwell he tripped and feel out of the hatch in the ramp onto the wet muddy ground and smiling said "what a perfect way to end this day", then walked off still smiling. Here we are eating the MREs, I think the only one I ate all year actually.

Chaplain (LT) Aaron R. Jones, a Church of God ordained minister, has been recently assigned as a chaplain with the 278th Regimental Combat Team (RCT), 1st Squadron. His Unit is a Tennessee-based National Guard Ground Reconnaissance Squadron, with heavy ties to personnel deployed who live in Cleveland and Bradley County, Tennessee, the headquarters city of the Church of God.
The Unit of which Chaplain Jones will be assisting is equipped with Abrams tanks, Bradley Cavalry Fighting vehicles, mortar carriers and howitzers. Chaplain Jones joined the 278th RCT at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, from his Maryland Army National Guard unit. He is an associate pastor of the Washington National Church of God, near Washington, DC. At the Church, he also serves as Vice President of the National Bible College and Seminary. Chaplain Jones is married and his wife Sharon serves on the staff of the Washington National Church and High School.
Chaplain Jones enlisted in the Army in 1988 and served on active duty and with the Army National Guard for 15 years prior to being endorsed by the Church of God Chaplains Commission for the Army Chaplaincy. Upon graduation from Army Chaplains School in April, 2004, Chaplain Jones returned to his Maryland Guard Unit and his responsibilities at the National Bible College and Seminary. While serving with his Maryland unit, he was notified of his recent selection to deploy with the 278th RCT.
Chaplain Jones has already begun providing ministry, through regular worship services and pastoral counseling. These are important days for Chaplain Jones, as he begins the long process of getting to know each soldier and becoming a part of their lives and the mission ahead.
"I am really proud to be serving with the men and women of the 278th and I look forward to providing ministry to these fine soldiers," states Chaplain Jones. He added, "They have been assigned a vital mission in defense of our country and it is my responsibility to provide them with the spiritual support that will strengthen and sustain them in the weeks and months ahead."
Dr. Robert D. Crick, Director of the Church of God Chaplains Commission, states, "I am well aware of the outstanding history and tradition of the 278th RCT. These National Guard soldiers are a part of America's finest and the Church of God is proud of being able to send one of our own Chaplains to serve along side our sons and daughters.”

Paladin 155mm firing Jisr-Naft Iraq (Klika photo)(great photo link)

Another Klika Photo
Jisr-Naft was my favorite named place, it was a little desolate village east of FOB Caldwell.
This photo won an award, not sure about the shooting, just kidding FA. Great photos on the link.


COL Adams accepting VOLs football helmet with Command SGM Pippin, link to article above.
VFW article short write ups of multiple FOBs and AOs
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The University of Tennessee College of Engineering (COE) and the UT Athletics Department recently joined forces to show support for the Tennessee National Guard's 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment. The regiment, headquartered in Knoxville, has been called to active duty for a rotation in Iraq. Commander of the regiment is Colonel Dennis Adams, a 1978 UT graduate and former Vol football player from 1974 to 1977. James Pippin, the Command Sergeant Major of the regiment, is the director of the COE's Engineering Diversity Programs.
The insignia of the 278th was attached to a UT football helmet, which was then was signed by the current UT Volunteer football team and coaching staff. The helmet was sent to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, where the 278th is preparing for deployment. Adams and Pippin received the helmet on behalf of the regiment on September 22nd, and it will travel with the unit to Iraq in November 2004.

That is the Governor of Tennessee shaking hands with COL Adams, Bredesen.