CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea -- Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, co-creators of Marvel, had a major theme for each of their heroic characters, “with great power comes great responsibility” and as a second, equal phrase, echoed throughout the comic universe, “if you have the ability to do good in this world you have the moral obligation to do so.”
Those thoughts inspired members of the Army Field Support Battalion – Korea “Team Anvil” Communications Section to participate in the 2021 Tactical Air Control Party Association 24 Hour Challenge April 29-30, to raise awareness of the TACP Association’s global efforts.
Team Anvil contacted 604th Air Support Operations Squadron on Camp Humphreys and registered Team Anvil setting an aggressive goal of raising $500 and completing 50 miles in 24 hours.
Team Anvil quickly disseminated advertisements for the TACP 24-Hour Challenge across all social media, Armed Forces Radio, fliers, and word-of-mouth throughout the month of March to encourage as much participation as possible.
When the team briefed the event plan to AFSBn-K Commander Lt. Col. Christina L. Rivas, a Norfolk, Va., native, she asked, “how can I get involved, what more can I do, and can I come along with the section?”
The morning of the event started with light rain and overcast conditions. The conditions, however, didn’t dampen the spirits of AFSBn-K team members who showed up ready to get in the miles.
The battalion commander has one simple phrase for the unit, she says “Forging Readiness,” not just as a motto, but a way to align the many day-to-day tasks of the unit’s diverse sustainment operations.
AFSBn-K continued normal missions and multiple meetings, throughout the day. “Team Anvil” S6 participates even forwarded all Helpdesk calls to their cell phones in order to maintain continuous customer service support without disruptions.
Rivas had her first break just after 11:30 a.m. and not long after, she changed into fitness gear and was running on the track logging more than just the miles. As she made her way through the many red shirted team members, she encouraged everyone to keep pushing.
The Anvil Team took a break from the monotony of laps around the track to capture of group photo in front of the memorial display for the twelve fallen TACP personnel.
Team Anvil along with Anvil 6 read aloud each name, location, and date each perished: “SSgt Andre Berkley, killed in training S. Korea 19 Jul 1989; SSgt Brian Daly, killed in training Yuma, AZ 4 Sep 2006; SSgt Jason M. Faley, killed in training Udari Range Kuwait 12 Mar 2001; Maj Gregory Stone, KIA – Operation Iraqi Freedom 25 Mar 2003; SSgt Jacob L. Frazier, KIA Operation Enduring Freedom 29 Mar 2003; A1C Ray Losano, KIA Operation Enduring Freedom 25 Apr 2003; MSgt Steven Auchman, KIA Operation Iraqi Freedom 9 Nov 2004; CW2 Dennis Hay, a TACP with the Rangers for eight years before going through Army Pilot Training – KIA, Operation Iraqi Freedom while flying a OH-58D 29 Aug 2005; SrA Bradley R. Smith, KIA Operation Enduring Freedom 3 Jan 2010; MAJ W. David Gray, KIA Operation Enduring Freedom 8 Aug 2012; MSgt Joshua Gavulic, killed in training Arizona 21 Feb 2014; and TSgt Timothy Officer, killed in training accident Florida.”
As each name sounded, the echo of bells rang in the hearts of the participants. Mr. James Parker, S6 Information Management Office lead, and retired U.S. Marine, said, “the opportunity to gather and celebrate the lives of so many great Americans has no valued sum that can ever be paid for their sacrifices. We gathered on this day to honor and pay our respect to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
Team Anvil ran and walked through the night even as the rain and wind got harder the Anvils pushed on. The last member of the team left the track just after midnight.
Just a few hours later at 5 a.m., Sgt. Maj. Kerry A. Schnitz, battalion sergeant major and a native of Defiance, Ohio, led a fresh contingent of 22 other Anvil members to the track to start racking-up the miles.
“The track was wet but the motivation was high,” Schnitz said as he completed five miles early in the morning. “I can’t wait to do this again next year.”
“This is the event that makes our jobs worthwhile and breaks up the day to day routine,” said William T. Kingston, deputy to the commander and a Green Bay, Wis., native. “Giving the sections the opportunity to participate wasn’t a second thought since in the end of the day we completed the job and it brought us more together.”
“We are looking for more opportunities to give back to the community and build partner relationships,” Rivas said.
In addition to event participants, Charles E. Newbegin, AFSBn-Korea Installation Maintenance Division chief and native of Hope Mills, NC, brought members of his Korean National workforce to show their support get some early morning exercise.
Team Anvil maintained presence on the track eighteen hours of the challenge. The team completed more than 140 miles raising $541.50 for the TACP Association charity, a veteran-operated 501(c) 19 non-profit organization that raises funds to support Air Force TACP members and their families.
During the final ceremony, Lt. Col. Kenneth J. Hills, squadron commander, 604th Air Support Operations Squadron, thanked participants and highlighted the AFSBn-K’s Team’s efforts and contributions (as well as their red shirts).
“Our goal was to form a strong bond between the two separate armed services of the Army and Air Force and I think we built a friendship and brotherhood that will last for many years to come,” Rivas said. This was a way for us to support the military as a whole, shed some light on the event, especially when it comes to wounded warriors and families of the fallen.”