Archive: First Army

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  • Team Falcons trounces Tough Mudders course

    May 30, 2013

    Through 12-miles of mud and more than 20 obstacles including an iced water-filled dumpster, jumping over fire, to a muddy-watered low-crawl pit with dangling wires, seven Soldiers and several family members from the 157th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East, conquered the Tough Mudder competition in Seneca, Ill.

  • 5th AR honors those laid to rest at Fort Bliss National Cemetery

    May 30, 2013

    FORT BLISS, Texas -- It's a tradition that began in another time, and another military conflict. Since the late 1960s, every Memorial Day weekend the staff of the Fort Bliss National Cemetery and hundreds of local volunteers have placed a miniature American flag in front of every tombstone in the cemetery. Today, that's 52,000 tombstones, covering 82 acres. But, with the help of about 1,000 volunteers, including 28 Soldiers and Family members of 2nd Battalion, 363rd Regiment, Task Force Black Scorpion, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, the placing of the flags Saturday morning took only about two hours.

  • Soldiers pay homage at Texas veterans' home over competitive bingo

    May 29, 2013

    TEMPLE, Texas -- While Memorial Day can often be a time of solemn remembrance, it is also a time to honor the military history and stories that span a great number of generations.

  • Patriots Stay 'SHARP'

    May 28, 2013

    In line with the Armywide mandated Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention standown this past week, the 174th Infantry Brigade Commander, Col. Craig A. Osborne, voiced his zero-tolerance policy.

  • Soldiers-Sailors Train, Deploy As Total Force

    May 28, 2013

    Camp Atterbury, Ind., - "And when the 'storming' is complete, the Army-Navy team that forms is inseparable. It is truly a great operation to witness, and we are fortunate to be part of it. We depend totally on the 4th Cavalry Brigade at Camp Atterbury to bring our Sailors' skills up to standard ground operations," said Navy Capt. Eric Jabs, commanding officer of Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center, Virginia Beach, Va.

  • Joint, realistic training reinforces Total Army concept

    May 24, 2013

    Soldiers from the First Army Division East and 10th Mountain Division recently teamed up to provide realistic and relevant training for Provincial Reconstruction Teams during their Culminating Training Exercise at Camp Atterbury, Ind. Maj. Paul Shepard, chief of plans, for the 4th Cavalry Brigade, Fort Knox, Ky., First Army Division East, said the military trains like it fights. "There is no better solution for the PRTs than to receive training with highly-trained, highly-motivated Soldiers. For the Navy O5s who command the PRTs, this is a perfect time for them and their staff to practice integrating realistic force protection into their planning and execution phases of operations," said Shepard, from Albuquerque, N.M. First Army Division East mobilizes, trains, validates and deploys Reserve Component units to support overseas military operations. Mobilization training is relevant, realistic and reflects the most current conditions Soldiers will face in theater. First Army Division East directly supports the Chief of Staff of the Army's priority of providing trained, equipped and ready forces to win the current fight, while maintaining responsiveness for unforeseen contingencies.

  • DivEast leaders prepare NG Soldiers for U.S./Australia joint mission

    May 24, 2013

    When members of the 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, California National Guard, arrive in Afghanistan in a few months, they will join and support the Australian Defense Force in a variety of roles. To prepare the 79th, Lt. Col. Christopher Kuhn, commander of the 158th Infantry Brigade's 3rd Battalion, 315 Engineer Regiment, traveled from Camp Shelby Miss., to Townsville Australia to participate in and observe the Australian's mission rehearsal activity. "This was the Australian Defense Force's Mission Rehearsal Activity. This activity was the certifying activity for the Australians", Kuhn said. He compared the training to an Army Combat Training Center rotation mission rehearsal exercise. Explaining that the 79th IBCT will support the Australians in operational and planning roles, Kuhn said observing the Australian's MRA provided vital information to ensure his trainer/mentors properly prepared the unit for their deployment. "The biggest part of this was teambuilding. My role was to observe the combined training with the Australians, and then integrate the details of that training into the design of the mission rehearsal exercise the 79th IBCT will conduct before deployment," said Kuhn.

  • Ohio National Guard unit prepares for complex logistical tasks in Kuwait

    May 24, 2013

    NORTH FORT HOOD, Texas -- Providing all the food, fuel, ammunition, and other supplies across an entire theater of operations is the complex training task the Springfield, Ohio-based 371st Sustainment Brigade has prepared to do here.

  • QC Religious Leaders Form Partnership To Promote 'Soldier's Wellness'

    May 24, 2013

    The First Army's Unit Ministry team hosted, 'Building Bridges for Resiliency,' an event designed to acquaint Quad City religious leaders with the resources available to support and foster resilient Soldiers and their families.

  • TF Rampant trains forward support company in recovery operations

    May 23, 2013

    Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 364th Engineer Regiment, Task Force Rampant, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, recently conducted the validation training for the 122nd. The goal of TF Rampant was to emulate and conduct realistic training for deploying units.

  • Division West's first lady pledges FRG support to brigades at Fort Bliss

    May 21, 2013

    FORT BLISS, Texas -- For 30 years, Sylvia Phipps and husband Maj. Gen. Warren E. Phipps, Jr., Division West commanding general, have supported Soldiers and their Families.

  • Division West pays tribute to nation's fallen heroes

    May 20, 2013

    FORT HOOD, Texas -- As part of a week-long focus remembering the fallen, Division West Soldiers stood in place of a sister division, laying a wreath at the 4th Infantry Division Memorial May 20.

  • Helicopter pilot's woodworking hobby whirrs into family business

    May 17, 2013

    KILLEEN, Texas -- For one Soldier, a woodworking hobby has branched into a family customized crafts business with the motto, "You imagine it, we make it."

  • Helicopter pilot's woodworking hobby whirrs into family business

    May 17, 2013

    For one Soldier, a woodworking hobby has branched into a family customized crafts business with the motto, "You imagine it, we make it."

  • "Let's Move", Soldiers Motivate Local Students

    May 17, 2013

    Columbus, Ind. -- First Army Division East trainer/mentors assigned to 205th Infantry Brigade provide pre-mobilization training to tens of thousands of Army National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers for deployment to Afghanistan and other contingency missions every year. In May however, the 205th added a new mission -- the "Let's Move" campaign launched by First Lady Michelle Obama to combat childhood obesity.

  • Arsenal Welcome Club awards scholarships totaling $20,000

    May 17, 2013

    The Rock Island Arsenal Welcome Club honored college-bound students with scholarships during a luncheon here on May 15.

  • Army partners with Air Force, Soldiers train at Air Advisor Academy

    May 17, 2013

    Trainer/mentors assigned to the 174th Infantry Brigade, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. train deploying Airmen on Army Warrior Tasks routinely. Thanks to a new partnership with the Air Force, the roles are reversed. This past week, nearly 70 mobilized Reserve Component Soldiers preparing for advise and assist missions in Afghanistan trained at the United States Air Force Air Advisor Academy.

  • There can be only one -- Best Warrior

    May 15, 2013

    Noncommissioned officers representing First Army Division East's eight Brigades competed recently to determine the Division's 2013 NCO of the Year. The journey to represent the Division began at battalion level. NCOs competed and were selected for their brigade-level contest through competitions held by their respective commands earlier this year.

  • Fort Hood's 479th FA mentors Dallas elementary school Career Day

    May 12, 2013

  • First Army units celebrate Army Reserve birthday

    May 10, 2013

    Fort Hunter Liggett's celebration was one of eight hosted by First Army Division West's multi-component units

  • 402nd FA recognized for mentoring Partners in Education students

    May 9, 2013

    FORT BLISS, Texas -- The 402nd Field Artillery Brigade's dedication to the students at its adopted school earned the brigade the 2013 Education Empowerment Award from the Socorro Independent School District at the district's Partners in Education Recognition Luncheon in downtown El Paso, Texas, recently.

  • 'Hot fuel' saves time, gets choppers back training quickly

    May 9, 2013

    NORTH FORT HOOD, Texas -- The launch of a new forward area refueling point here reduces 20-minute helicopter refueling times down to just four while providing actual training conditions found in a combat zone.

  • 'Hot fuel' saves time, gets choppers back training quickly

    May 9, 2013

    NORTH FORT HOOD, TEXAS -- The launch of a new forward area refueling point here reduces 20-minute helicopter refueling times down to just four while providing actual training conditions found in a combat zone.

  • 1-362 ADA Battalion ready to train the nation's defenders

    May 8, 2013

    FORT BLISS, Texas - The 1st Battalion, 362nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, recently completed a 'Renegade Certification Program.' The certification ensured all Soldiers within the unit were fully trained prior to conducting evaluations of the North Dakota National Guard's 1st Battalion 188th ADA Regiment during Exercise America's Shield and ultimately their culminating training event.

  • Division West holds first motorcycle mentorship ride of the year

    May 7, 2013

    FORT HOOD, Texas --With over 33,000 registered Army motorcycle riders, Division West allowed 35 of its own time for a mentorship ride through the hills of central Texas May 3. The ride's emphasis was to promote motorcycle safety and training in preparation for the III Corps ride that is quickly approaching.

  • Division West commander talks training

    May 7, 2013

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif., -- Division West's Joint Base Lewis-McChord based 189th Infantry Brigade is currently here supporting the United States Army Reserve Command and the 84th Training Command. The 189th provides the multi-component Task Force Cold Steel as a fully integrated supporting element to the 91st Training Division for their Warrior Exercises and Combat Support Training Exercises.

  • 'Task Force Warhawg' welcomes new senior enlisted leader

    May 3, 2013

    FORT BLISS, Texas -- The 1st Battalion, 360th Infantry Regiment, "Task Force Warhawg," 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, welcomed a new senior enlisted leader in a change of responsibility ceremony at the Milam Youth Activity Center here April 19. The ceremony formalized Command Sgt. Maj. Juan Cornett's assumption of responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. Riley Woodworth.

  • Female senior NCO: 'This is what I was meant to do'

    May 1, 2013

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- Looking around a tent filled with seasoned infantrymen preparing to brief their commander, one Soldier stands out. She is the only female in the room. As of 2012, women made up less than 16 percent of the total Army, and that percentage decreases as the ranks rise. Master Sgt. Erika Gordon, the lone woman in the tent, is proud not only to be a Soldier who has overcome adversity, but one of the relatively few females who has made it nearly to the pinnacle of the Army's enlisted ranks.

  • Cold Steel Soldiers launch training from inland 'beach'

    May 1, 2013

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- Having only limited time with the Army Reserve units they are training here during the Combat Support Training Exercise means Soldiers in First Army Division West's Task Force Cold Steel must be battle-focused and innovative to maximize the effectiveness of training they provide. Just one of the ways Task Force Cold Steel has shown innovation in training is "the beach."

  • Task Force Stallion upgrades entry control point training

    May 1, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- Upgrades to the entry control point at Contingency Operating Location Westbrook have enhanced base defense training for Airmen, Sailors and Soldiers going through post-mobilization training with 3rd Battalion, 362nd Armored Regiment, Task Force Stallion, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West.

  • Soldier enjoys chance to coach, mentor youth

    Apr 29, 2013

    Deciding what you want to be when you grow up can be overwhelming. Recently, a group of subject matter experts from a variety of career fields -- including the U.S. Army -- gathered to provide young adults advice and information as they make those decisions. These types of events are especially important since we can affect and mold young minds, said Maj. Jose Hernandez, 205th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East, who represented the Army at the event.

  • Soldiers, Beta Club members discuss leadership

    Apr 29, 2013

    Beta Club members from Purvis High School, Purvis, Miss. recently attended a Leadership Experience Day hosted by the Soldiers the of the 177th Armored and 158th Infantry Brigades. The Beta Club promotes the ideals of academic achievement, character, service, and leadership among elementary and secondary school students. Service and leadership are two key elements of military service. "Exercising leadership qualities helps you stay aware of your environment and helps daily decision making," said Maverick P. Johnson, 10th grader and Beta Club member.

  • Division West names NCO, Soldier of the Year

    Apr 29, 2013

    FORT HOOD, Texas -- Competitions are commonplace in society. People sit and watch, for hours at a time, events ranging from professional boxing to American Idol. The United States Army, going back for generations, has also had competitive events for Soldiers to test their wits and abilities against their peers. First Army Division West holds to this tradition. Last week, Division West held its third Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year Best Warrior Competition here. During an awards ceremony April 25, Spc. Michael Martin, a motor transport operator and unit armorer with the 402nd Field Artillery Brigade at Fort Bliss, Texas, was named Division West Soldier of the Year.

  • Viper Battalion promotes health, physical fitness at 'Zumbathon'

    Apr 29, 2013

    FORT HOOD, Texas --Soldiers, Families and friends of 1-395th Engineer Battalion, Viper Battalion, 479th Field Artillery Brigade, Division West, recently gathered at the West Fort Hood Physical Fitness Center to participate in a fun-filled day of physical activity at the unit's first Zumbathon Health Fair and Car Show.

  • 5th AR celebrates Army Reserve's 105th birthday

    Apr 29, 2013

    Division West's 5th Armored Brigade celebrated the Army Reserve's 105th birthday April 23, 2013, at McGregor Range, N.M., with a cake-cutting at the dining facility here.

  • Building local partner network ensures training excellence

    Apr 26, 2013

    Soldiers assigned to First Army's training support battalions have a responsibility to provide the most relevant and expert training available. In order to gain this valuable expertise and proficiency, the planning, rehearsal, and execution of certified training must begin at home station. However, for the 174th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East, not all battalions and trainers are at their home station of Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst N.J.

  • Situational awareness training aims to prevent attacks

    Apr 26, 2013

    An insider threat, according to Army regulation, occurs when someone with access to an organization intentionally causes loss or damage through espionage, terrorism or the release of information and plans. The issue is complex and prominent with coalition forces, and Advanced Situational Awareness Training is being implemented to combat and prevent the attacks from happening.

  • Division West hosts Fort Hood's Army Reserve 105th birthday

    Apr 25, 2013

    Soldiers and civilians celebrated the Army Reserve's 105th birthday at First Army Division West's chapel at Fort Hood, Texas, Tuesday with a cake-cutting ceremony and singing "Happy Birthday" and "The Army Song."

  • Cultural exchanges increase coalition strengths, capabilities

    Apr 23, 2013

    In Afghanistan, Provincial Reconstruction Team members not only have to navigate the differences in acronyms between services like the U.S. Army, Navy, or Air Force, depending on what province they work, they may also have to navigate a cultural minefield beset with Australian, Polish, or Italian slang and customs.

  • N.C. Guard Soldiers prepare for Sinai deployment

    Apr 22, 2013

    Soldiers with the 630th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion navigated postal operations as well as other technical and tactical requirements during a recent combined training exercise, at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind., to prepare for their upcoming deployment to the Sinai

  • Downed aircraft radio communication training translates to life or death

    Apr 22, 2013

    NORTH FORT HOOD, Texas -- What do you do when your helicopter crashes, and armed civilians are rapidly approaching and firing small arms fire in your direction? In this instance, your ability to make speedy decisions, as well as quickly employing your communication gear is of life or death consequence.

  • Honoring Fallen's Sacrifice Inspires First Army Soldier's Service

    Apr 22, 2013

    First Army Soldiers are offered the opportunity to serve their country in many different roles throughout their military careers. 1st Sgt. Fletcher Whittenberg served at Arlington National Cemetary from July 2006 to December 2010.

  • MFO commander prepares next deploying NG unit

    Apr 22, 2013

    North Carolina National Guard Soldiers preparing to deploy to the Sinai as Multinational Force Observers recently sat down with the commander of the current MFO task force for a look at what they could expect during their upcoming deployment. Col. Robert D. Haycock, commander of Task Force Sinai, met with 630th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion Soldiers, N.C. National Guard, during the unit's Combined Training Exercise at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind.

  • Infantry Soldiers cross finish line at Army's post-Boston Marathon

    Apr 22, 2013

    TEMPLE, Texas -- Soldiers across the Army typically begin their day at 6:30 a.m. with an hour or so of physical training, every weekday, with weekends off.

  • Training for Combat Earns Army Superior Unit Award

    Apr 18, 2013

    First Army mobilizes, trains, validates, deploys and demobilizes Reserve Component units in support of worldwide contingency operations such as Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, New Dawn, the Horn of Africa, Kosovo Forces, and others. "Over the last several years, First Army has successfully mobilized more than 5,000 units and more than 260,000 Soldiers world-wide," said Col. Timothy Newsome, chief of operations, First Army Division East.

  • Terrazas earns 5th AR 'NCO of the Year' title

    Apr 17, 2013

    FORT BLISS, Texas -- Every year, noncommissioned officers compete for the title of NCO of the Year.

  • 189th IN trainer/mentors support major Calif. exercise

    Apr 17, 2013

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- Who trains the reserve force when the force is getting ready to deploy? That job belongs to trainer/mentors, Soldiers who educate and train reserve component Army units, and some active-duty Army units, as well.

  • 402nd FA supply sergeant earns multiple accolades

    Apr 16, 2013

    FORT BLISS, Texas -- Tight budgets have always been a challenge for supply sergeant Sgt. 1st Class Gidget Borst, but the awards and commendations she has received show that she only exceeds limits when it comes to accomplishments. Borst, a member of 2nd Battalion, 362nd Field Artillery Regiment, 402nd Field Artillery Brigade, Division West, received a commendable rating from Fort Bliss Mission Installation Contracting Command representatives after they inspected the battalion's government purchase card program in March 2013. Borst also received a commendable rating for meeting the highest standards for a logistics section after the 402nd Field Artillery Brigade's annual inspection of the battalion in November 2012.

  • Congresswoman Bordallo visits troops during mobilization training

    Apr 16, 2013

    CAMP SHELBY, Miss. -- Congresswoman Madeline Bordallo received a warm welcome from the Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment, Guam Army National Guard during a recent visit to observe their mobilization training prior to their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

  • Division West Soldier hones trainer/mentor skills

    Apr 16, 2013

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- Several years ago, a young man from New Jersey found his way out west and now is a Gunslinger. Sgt. 1st Class Donald Davis is a member of 1st Battalion, 363rd Training Support Battalion, the "Gunslingers," located in Dublin, Calif.

  • Promotion to brigadier general 'landmark' in career

    Apr 15, 2013

    In a promotion ceremony 33 years in the making, Maj. Gen. Kevin R. Wendel promoted Col. Pete Bosse to the rank of brigadier general April 14th in Birmingham, Ala. "We are here today promoting a great Soldier who, looking back on decades of service, you can see the tremendous impact he has had on our force," Wendel, First Army Division East commanding general, told the Soldiers and Civilians of the 87th United States Army Reserve Support Command (East) and the 1st Mobilization Support Group in attendance.

  • North Texas mayor proclaims 'Welcome Home Warrior-Citizen Day' in honor of Division West Soldiers

    Apr 15, 2013

    GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas -- Mayor Charles England officially proclaimed April 6 "Welcome Home Warrior-Citizen Day" here in honor of Army Reserve Soldiers in 2nd Battalion, 381st Regiment, "Dragons," 479th Field Artillery Brigade, Division West.

  • Division West Soldiers participate in Ride 2 Recovery

    Apr 12, 2013

    FORT HOOD, Texas -- Six Division West Soldiers traded their baggy camouflage uniforms and bulky combat boots for skintight Spandex shorts and featherweight cycling shoes to ride in the Killeen-to-Waco leg of the Ride 2 Recovery -- Texas Challenge April 11.

  • 166th Aviation Brigade trains Texas Army National Guard unit for Kuwait deployment

    Apr 11, 2013

    With the recent sequestration and deep budget cuts underway across the entire Army, it was uncertain whether Division West's 166th Aviation Brigade would conduct training for the Texas Army National Guard's 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, set to deploy to Kuwait, in the sophisticated flight simulation center at Fort Rucker, Ala., last month, said Col. Kevin Vizzarri, 166th Aviation Brigade commander.

  • Remembering victims, honoring survivors and protecting the future

    Apr 11, 2013

    Tears were shed on more than one occasion during the Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony hosted by the 174th Infantry Brigade at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., March 8, 2013. The Patriot Brigade's 1st Battalion, 314th Infantry Regiment worked with joint base partners to facilitate a touching and educational event. Service members and civilians in attendance honored both those who lost their lives during the Holocaust as well as those who survived the atrocities perpetrated by Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich.

  • VOW/TAP offers a smooth transition to civilian life

    Apr 11, 2013

    As deployments draw down and employment rates continue to fluctuate, First Army Division East is committed to helping Reserve and National Guard Soldiers face the challenge of returning to their civilian lives with financial and career planning.

  • First virtual Battle Staff class graduates at Camp Shelby

    Apr 11, 2013

    The First Army Training Academy held a commencement for 15 students attending the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course Video Teleconference Training recently. This was the first time the FATA hosted the VTT course.

  • Train for Combat, Not Just a Motto

    Apr 11, 2013

    "Train for combat" is the motto of First Army Division East; it is what they do every day. "Our brigade exists solely to prepare service members for deployment; therefore, we must be expert trainers," expressed Col. Craig A. Osborne, commander, 174th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East, in his vision and command philosophy.

  • First Army Lifesavers Prepare Sailors for Combat

    Apr 10, 2013

    Sailors grunted, shouted commands and worked together as a team to carry 200-pound dummies under the barbed wire and dirt. Through the cloud of yellow smoke, horizontal figures emerged, helmets close to the ground, sweaty faces determined to get their "casualties" to safety. "It's very realistic," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Cory Burkholder, one of the sailors preparing to deploy with U.S. Navy Customs. "You've got the background noise, the bombs going off, and you have to take cover; you have to pull security and take care of your teammates out there."

  • 5th AR trains Fla. Reserve Soldiers in unarmed self-defense techniques

    Apr 10, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- Division West's 5th Armored Brigade conducted unarmed self-defense training here March 25 for Soldiers of the Army Reserve's 724th Military Police Battalion from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The MPs are training for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. (Photos by Sgt. 1st Class David Parish, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, Public Affairs)

  • 5th AR Soldiers build team unity

    Apr 9, 2013

    FORT BLISS, Texas -- The Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 362nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Task Force Renegade, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, increased their unit cohesion and esprit de corps with a Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Family and Team Building session on the Leaders Reaction Course here March 14. The course gave Soldiers an opportunity to step away from the training lanes where they prepare joint warfighters to deploy. (Photos by Capt. Kevin Lockett, 1st Battalion, 362nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West)

  • 5th AR conducts non-lethal weapons training for deploying Guard engineeers

    Apr 9, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- Several noncommissioned officers from Division West's 5th Armored Brigade and Soldiers from three deploying Army National Guard units recently trained here on a non-lethal weapons system used for riot control operations.

  • Division West officer to compete for All-Army bowling team

    Apr 8, 2013

    Later this month, he will go to Camp Lejeune, N.C., to attempt to secure a position on the All-Army Bowling team.

  • 189th IN takes safety seriously during training

    Apr 5, 2013

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- Capt. Jack Defabio of Charlie Team, 2-358th Armor Battalion, 189th Infantry Brigade, Division West, is a trainer/mentor who takes his role very seriously. During the two-month Operation Warrior Protector training exercise here, Defabio's role is not only to train and mentor, it's to make sure the training is safe.

  • 402nd FA supports Army Reserve's annual Warrior Exercise

    Apr 5, 2013

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- Soldiers from the 402nd Field Artillery Brigade's California-based 3-356th Logistics Support Battalion, the "Wild Stallions," are anything but tame when it comes to supporting major training exercises. They know that no exercise would be successful without personnel, equipment and other logistical services. So, as part of their annual training last month, the battalion rode in and laid the logistics support framework for the Army Reserve's annual Warrior Exercise and Combat Service Training Exercise held here March 9 through April 26.

  • 5th AR Reserve battalion assumes MRAP training mission

    Apr 5, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE BASE CAMP, N.M. -- For longer than two years, Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 362nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Task Force Renegade, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, trained deploying service members to operate Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles here. But, last month, they handed over their duties to another 5th Armored Brigade battalion, this one composed entirely of mobilized Army Reserve Soldiers.

  • 5th AR trains Guard units on route clearance techniques

    Apr 4, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- Division West's 5th Armored Brigade recently conducted route clearance training for four Army National Guard companies from Arizona, Georgia, Iowa and Ohio. The units are training for their upcoming deployments to Afghanistan.

  • 5th AR Soldiers mentor elementary students

    Apr 4, 2013

    EL PASO, Texas -- Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 360th Infantry Regiment, "Task Force Warhawg," 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, recently mentored and coached Collins Elementary School students who were selected to spend time with positive adult role models.

  • 166th AV Family adopts two local boys

    Apr 3, 2013

    GATESVILLE, Texas --Even with four back-to-back deployments, fertility issues, timing constraints, and an eight-year-old daughter, Chief Warrant Officer 4 John Oravetz of Division West's 166th Aviation Brigade and his wife, Stephanie, "felt a calling to adopt" another child to add to their Family.

  • Massachusetts National Guard unit tests engineering skills

    Apr 3, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- The 1st Battalion, 361st Engineer Regiment, Task Force Redhawk, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West recently trained the Massachusetts Army National Guard's 188th Engineer Detachment (Facility Management) here on engineering and inspection skills for the unit's upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

  • 5th AR solidifies partnership with Casa Ford

    Apr 3, 2013

    FORT BLISS, Texas -- After more than a year of courtship, the Casa Ford vehicle dealership and Division West's 5th Armored Brigade made their relationship official last month when Casa Ford joined the Bradley Strong Guardian Program, becoming the brigade's guardian. The Bradley Strong Guardian program is an initiative of the Association of the United States Army to connect the El Paso community and businesses with Fort Bliss Army units. It allows corporations such as Casa Ford to sponsor unit events with monetary donations.

  • Reserve Soldiers work as Opposition Forces during training exercise

    Apr 2, 2013

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- If you're going to train the "good guys" in a military exercise, then someone has to play the "bad guys." In most military training, the "bad guys" are the opposition force, or OPFOR. These Soldiers simulate the people and scenarios a unit may face when deployed to certain environments. For Operation Warrior-Protector, a two-month training exercise held here for reserve units from across America, hundreds of individuals were needed to play OPFOR and create a series of simultaneous events to challenge the units being trained. Division West's 189th Infantry Brigade, "Task Force Cold Steel," supplied those individuals.

  • First Army Soldiers provide realistic training while minimizing risk, reducing cost

    Apr 1, 2013

    Using the Training Aids, Devices, Simulators, and Simulations facility, a virtual simulation training facility, Soldiers of the 1-335th Infantry Regiment, 205th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East, develop realistic training scenarios for the units they prepare to deploy to Afghanistan, Kosovo, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Horn of Africa.

  • Smooth transition for continued operations

    Apr 1, 2013

    CAMP ATTERBURY JOINT MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER -- Pre-deployment site surveys prepare units for deployments and helps First Army trainer/mentors develop training that is relevant, realistic, and that reflects the most current conditions Soldiers will face in theater. "This training will prepare them for the current hostile operational environment in country," said Col. John S. Prairie, commander of the 4th Cavalry Brigade, Fort Knox, Ky.

  • 479th FA Soldiers work with Gatesville Primary students

    Apr 1, 2013

    GATESVILLE, Texas -- The Gatesville Primary School and 1st Battalion, 393rd Infantry Regiment, 479th Field Artillery Brigade, Division West, have been enjoying a newfound relationship since the start of the calendar year. Soldiers from the Coyote Battalion are finding time in their busy days to volunteer at the school and participate in classroom activities.

  • Florida National Guard prepares for Qatar security operations mission

    Mar 29, 2013

    CAMP SHELBY, Miss. -- Florida National Guard Soldiers are in the final training phase of the unit's mobilization. In a matter of weeks, they will deploy to Qatar to conduct security operations missions. The unit recently participated in a culminating training exercise designed by Trainer/Mentors (TMs) assigned to the 177th Armored Brigade, First Army Division East.

  • 5th AR trains La. Guard engineers for deployment

    Mar 27, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- Division West's 5th Armored Brigade conducted combat live fire exercises here recently for Soldiers of the Louisiana Army National Guard's 922nd Horizontal Engineer Company from Gonzales. The engineers are training for a deployment to Afghanistan. (Photos by Staff Sgt. Seth Detavenier, 1st Battalion, 361st Engineer Regiment, Task Force Redhawk, 5th Armored Brigade)

  • Citizen-Soldiers find employment assistance through VOW/TAP

    Mar 27, 2013

    Division West's 402nd Field Artillery Brigade and the Directorate of Mobilization and Demobilization recently began implementing the training as part of the 14-day demobilization process for all redeploying Army National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers.

  • 402nd FA Soldiers, civilians brave Bataan Death March

    Mar 26, 2013

    WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. -- Braving blistering heat and blisters on their feet, a group of 402nd Field Artillery Brigade Soldiers and civilians took on the challenge of the 24th Annual Bataan Death March held here March 17.

  • 5th AR Medical Training Team expand medical training to fit mission

    Mar 26, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. --The 5th Armored Brigade Combat Lifesaver program is designed to provide all joint warfighters with the basic skills necessary to aid fellow service members who are injured in combat. Due to the ever-evolving battlefield, the CLS program has updated its tactics, techniques and procedures since 2003.

  • Students celebrate, honor women who inspire

    Mar 26, 2013

    In the 27 years Lt. Col. Kerry E. Norman has been in uniform, more career fields and educational opportunities have become available to women. Recently, as part of a Women's History Month commemoration, Norman took an opportunity to share some of those opportunities as well as words of encouragement with the boys and girls of Central Middle School in Columbus, Ind. "After WWII there was only one female colonel in the military," said Norman, commander of the 1-411th Logistic Support Battalion, 205th Infantry Brigade, at Fort Knox, Ky. That one female colonel, Mary Agnes Hallaren, became the director of the Women's Army Corps in 1946.

  • 479th FA Soldiers compete in Bataan Memorial Death March

    Mar 26, 2013

    WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. -- The Bataan Memorial Death March takes place here every year in mid-March. The competition is a challenging 26.2-mile trek through arid desert terrain that boasts a daunting 400 meter increase in elevation.

  • Division West logistics battalion conducts 1st annual training in 10 years

    Mar 26, 2013

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- Your Humvee breaks down, you're out of MREs, who you gonna call? Not Ghostbusters! For this kind of help, you will need the hard work and many hats of the 3-356th Logistics Support Battalion, 402nd Field Artillery Brigade, Division West. This Army Reserve unit has played an integral role in the success of Division West's 189th Infantry Brigade during its mobilization to Fort Hunter Liggett in support of the 91st Training Division's Warrior and Combat Support Training Exercises.

  • 189th IN feels HEAT during training exercise

    Mar 25, 2013

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- During a major training exercise here, Reserve Component Soldiers of Division West's 189th Infantry Brigade learned what to do in case of a Humvee rollover during training in a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle Egress Assistance Trainer.

  • Airmen learn how to save lives amidst chaos

    Mar 20, 2013

    A shrill whistle pierced the sky, a loud bang echoed through the trees, and screams followed close behind. Military personnel rush to the scene. It is chaos. "Is that the only tourniquet you can put on?" a voice shouts. "We will make it work," came a reply. Recently, Airmen from all over the United States came together to learn how to save lives using combat life saving techniques taught by 174th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East trainer mentors during pre-mobilization training at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

  • Joint Force training focuses on situational awareness

    Mar 20, 2013

    The military uses the word 'Purple' to indicate combined forces for a joint effort. Recently, a group of Purple forces integrated to prepare for overseas deployment. Under the watchful eyes of First Army Division East trainer mentors, Navy, Air Force and Army personnel conducted entry control point security, convoy operations, and foot patrols during pre-mobilization training at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

  • 402nd FA trains Texas Reserve unit for Afghan route clearance mission

    Mar 20, 2013

    The 3-410th Engineer Battalion, 402nd Field Artillery Brigade, Division West, trained Soldiers of the Army Reserve's 321st Engineer Company from Conroe, Texas, on route clearance vehicles they will be using on their mission in Afghanistan.

  • Division West helps to honor two Texas veterans

    Mar 19, 2013

    GEORGETOWN, Texas -- Decades after serving in the Army, the late Master Sgt. John Krowl and the late Master Sgt. Ben Snowden have been recognized for their valor and bravery to their country. Maj. Gen. Warren Phipps Jr., First Army Division West commanding general, presented the Krowl Family with the Prisoner of War Medal and the Snowden Family with the Silver Star in a posthumous awards ceremony at the Ben D. Snowden Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8587 here March 16.

  • 5th AR trains 4 route clearance units in 4 weeks

    Mar 19, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. --The 50 Soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 364th Engineer Regiment, Task Force Rampant, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, have the unique mission of providing route clearance-specific training for every Army National Guard or Army Reserve route clearance company preparing to deploy to Afghanistan.

  • 189th IN partners with civilian air ambulance for training

    Mar 19, 2013

    FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -- They provide the kind of help you hope you never need. Mercy Air, an air ambulance company, supports both military personnel and their Families stationed here and military personnel participating in training exercises. When needed, Mercy Air "races the reaper" to airlift trauma patients from the installation to medical facilities.

  • Task Force Black Scorpion trains on the MRAP vehicles

    Mar 13, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. --In their quest to assume responsibility of the Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle drivers training lane, Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 363rd Armored Regiment, Task Force Black Scorpion, 5th Armored Brigade, received extensive training on the vehicle.

  • 5th AR helps assess N.D. Guard unit for crucial capital defense mission

    Mar 13, 2013

    GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Nearly 200 North Dakota Army National Guard Soldiers completed a pre-certification assessment in Grand Forks and Bismarck, N. D., conducted by members of the 1st Battalion, 362nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Task Force Renegade, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West; 263rd Army and Air Missile Defense Command; and 3rd Battalion, 265th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Florida Army National Guard last month.

  • 5th AR tests W.V. Guard unit's EOD skills

    Mar 13, 2013

    McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- The West Virginia Army National Guard's 753rd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company headed out earlier this month to the desert training area here to conduct post-mobilization training before deploying to Afghanistan.

  • Two civilian aides takes oaths of office in ceremony on Rock Island Arsenal

    Mar 11, 2013

    ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- Natives of Rock Island and Springfield, Ill., were sworn into their new roles as civilian aides to the Secretary of the Army during an investiture ceremony here Friday. Civilian aides serve as liaisons between the Secretary of the Army and local civic groups and military communities. Retired Rear Admiral Sam Kupresin of Rock Island and former University of Illinois professor Dr. Michael Ayers of Springfield, Ill., were sworn in by the First Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Mick Bednarek.

  • 166th AV takes Air Assault students for a ride

    Mar 11, 2013

    FORT HOOD, Texas -- Division West's 166th Aviation Brigade supported the post's new Air Assault School Feb. 26 by providing orientation flights in two Black Hawks for 109 air assault students, most of whom had never before been in a helicopter.

  • Division West serves up humor at prayer breakfast

    Mar 11, 2013

    First Army Division West leaders put these factors to good use in a prayer breakfast at Theodore Roosevelt Dining Facility here March 4.

  • 5th AR Soldiers climb new heights in resiliency

    Mar 11, 2013

    FORT BLISS, Texas -- Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 363rd Regiment (Training Support), Task Force Black Scorpion, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West put the true meaning of resiliency to action during Comprehensive Soldier Family Fitness training here recently.

  • Virtual training puts the 'real' in realistic environment

    Mar 4, 2013

    The Dismounted Soldier Training System and Engagement Skills Trainer 2000 are two virtual training tools that are quickly becoming the norm for Soldiers of the 157th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East, in training deploying units at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind.

  • ADA officer's career shoots down gender bias notions for military women

    Mar 1, 2013

    As the recent lifting of the ban on women serving in military combat roles sparks debates over whether women can handle the demands and challenges of certain combat jobs, one Air Defense Artillery officer is proof-positive that women in the military have already proven they can accomplish great things on and off the battlefield, and given the opportunity, will continue to succeed. "It's not really about who you are -- man, woman -- it's what you do that matters. Concentrate on doing your very best as a Soldier; you're a Soldier first," said Col. Carolyn Birchfield, commander of First Army Division West's 402nd Field Artillery Brigade here. "My philosophy has always been to make a difference. Make a difference in your life and the lives of those around you. At the end of the day, we all just want an opportunity." Birchfield said she hasn't experienced any real discrimination or bias during her career.

  • Division West NCO attends battle buddy's White House Medal of Honor ceremony

    Mar 1, 2013

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Soldiers frequently have the privilege of standing in formation while a fellow Soldier is awarded a commander's coin, named NCO of the month, or recognized with an award. However, very few are privileged enough to stand in the East Room of the White House while the President presents their battle buddy from basic training with the nation's highest military award for valor, the Medal of Honor, in the name of Congress. Sgt. 1st Class Rodney Harris, assigned to Division West's 181st Infantry Brigade at Fort McCoy, Wis., was one of those privileged few last month.

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