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.