Army, Navy mesh to complete mission
December 2, 2008
CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - Even though the service members of Joint Service Training Operation 12 have only been together since mid-October, the group gets along like they have known each other for years.
All of the troops volunteered for the deployment and were hand-picked out of a larger group for this specific mission.
"We have been together for four weeks and it's hard to believe how quickly we've jelled and meshed so well together," said Master-at-arms Petty Officer 1st Class Mark Long, a sailor with JSTO 12.
"This is an excellent group of people. Everyone has their quirks and strong points and the camaraderie is excellent also," he said.
During their seven-month deployment to Afghanistan, JSTO 12's primary mission will be to provide security for United Service Organization tours, VIPs and other high-ranking individuals who travel to and from different locations on- and off-base.
Of the 13 service members, JSTO 12 is made up primarily of sailors, and a handful of Soldiers.
"This is a fantastic group, the best people I've ever worked with since I've been in the Navy," said Master-at-arms Petty Officer 1st Class David Taylor, the acting officer in charge for JSTO 12.
With each training mission they receive at Camp Atterbury, the JSTO 12 members continue to improve their warrior skills and build their unit cohesion.
The servicemembers have gone through a variety of training here to include weapons qualification, convoy training and foreign language training. Of all the training completed at Camp Atterbury, some of the sailors believe that the training site at Contingency Operating Location Warrior on Camp Atterbury was most helpful toward the overall mission.
Here, troops did different training exercises, like entry control point security training, reacting to
simulated explosions and working together on convoy operations.
"They said that they were sending us to the best mobilization training in the country; I can see why," said Master-at-Arms Petty Officer 3rd Class Amie Downing.
After JSTO 12 leaves Camp Atterbury they will head to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., for Protective Services Training - a three-week training course that covers protective services tactics, counter-surveillance operations and instinctive firearms drills.
When JSTO 12 arrives in Afghanistan they will join the International Security Assistance Force. ISAF's mission is to help bring stability and security to Afghanistan and to promote development within the country.