A huge part of the military is community relations, in a showing of how well the military can coexist with the local community, Fort Campbell opened its doors to the staff office of Mr. Cochran to see a glimpse of what it's like to be a Soldier of the 101st Airborne Division.
The day started with the staff members meeting with Brig. Gen. K. Todd Royar, acting commander of the 101st and Fort Campbell at McAuliffe Hall Division's Headquarters. It was here they took a small tour of McAuliffe Hall which included the Medal of Honor Rotunda, where all Medal of Honor recipients' names are displayed, and watched a short video which highlighted the Divisions 75 year legacy.
"The legal communities have a very good relationship because a lot of their cases are from Fort Campbell," said Master Sgt. Daarius Jackson, command paralegal 101st and Fort Campbell. "Bringing their team (the staff members) here just furthers the camaraderie as well as they come in and truly get to see the capabilities of the Army and the 101st."
The staff then received an inside look at the Divisions esteemed Air Assault Course, where the three phases of the course were explained and various rappels were demonstrated by instructors of The Sabalauski Air Assault School. The staff were then offered an opportunity to rappel off the tower at range 17C.
"I really like the rappelling, I thought that was pretty fun," said John Hernandez, a victim witness coordinator at the office of United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee Donald Q. Cochran. "I think I did it a long time ago, I just didn't remember how."
As the day progressed the staff visited the Sgt. 1st Class Webster Anderson Marksmanship Facility to use the Engagement Skills Trainer, a simulated firing range that helps develop and trains Soldiers on the basic fundamental skills of marksmanship. The staff was allowed to fire weapons that the 101st carries in its arsenal such as the, M4 carbine, M240 machine gun, M2 machine gun and Mk 19 grenade launcher.
After a fun filled hour of simulated firing, the staff was taken to the Master Sgt. Gary McCain Dining Facility to sample the Army's food. Here they were greeted once more by Royar who partook in joining them for lunch.
After lunch the staff returned to the division headquarters building and were educated by Col. Andras Marton, the staff judge advocate, 101st and Fort Campbell on how the Judge Advocates Corps here on Fort Campbell functions from top to bottom and how it works hand in hand with outside legal services as well.
"They can have a better understanding the inner workings of military law," said Jackson. "Once they give up a case to us, because we have to ask for jurisdiction for certain cases, they can have a better understanding of the inner workings of our office."
The staff then moved on with a trip to the Transportable Blackhawk Operations Simulator. Members of the staff office were given the opportunity to fly a simulated Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk Multi-Mission Helicopter, UH-60A Black Hawk and Boeing AH-64 Apache. The simulators purpose is to give Army pilots a real time, real feel flying hours and practice their piloting skills before actually taking flight. This system minimizes pilot training costs and resources while maximizing supportability and performance.
"It was fun and interesting seeing a glimpse of what you guys (the 101st) do," said Hernandez. "It's an eye opener and it helps build the relationship with outside Fort Campbell and inside."
As the eventful day drew to an end, the staff returned to the Divisions headquarter building and said farewell to Fort Campbell as they embarked on the journey home. Taking with them but a small portion of how Soldiers of the 101st operate on a day to day basis and what it takes to stay ready at all times to answer our nations call.
"The event itself built on the camaraderie of the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Fort Campbell and the state attorney's office that can't be replicated through a phone call or a luncheon," said Jackson. "I think these sessions, especially for civilians that don't have an understanding of what we do on a daily basis, can't be replicated."
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