By Maj. Harold Huff III, 3rd AAB, 1st Cav. Div., Public AffairsMay 12, 2011
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - The commander of the 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Col. Douglas Crissman, hosted a commander's conference here on May 5 and 6, for all GREYWOLF stability transition team leaders, battalion commanders, and command sergeants major. The conference also was attended by Maj. Gen. Daniel Allyn, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, currently deployed to Afghanistan and Maj. Gen. Eddy Spurgin, commander of United States Division-South.
These senior leaders from units arrayed across four southern Iraqi provinces and Baghdad came together at Contingency Operating Base Adder to enable discussion on the way ahead for the brigade's mission in Iraq. The conference provided an opportunity for every unit commander within the brigade to showcase their unit and share a vision and understanding of their role in Operation New Dawn.
The conference also provided a rare opportunity for the brigade commander to gather all of his command teams in one location and address current issues.
"It's always good to get leaders together to share in fellowship, a physical challenge and to do some collective analysis. It is a great chance for all of us who have been spread out over the four provinces to hear straight from the commander, his thoughts on the area and where he sees the future of the mission and the brigade." said Lt. Col. Ronald Mackay, brigade's operations officer. "It was also really good to share camaraderie with Maj. Gen. Allyn, our parent division commander, as well as Maj. Gen. Eddy Spurgin, our current division commander"
All key leaders arrived on May 5 and were greeted to a barbecue and evening social. Following the meal, they participated in a video teleconference with the family readiness group leadership in Fort Hood, Texas.
On the morning of May 6, leaders conducted a vigorous physical training session on COB Adder to learn more about the Army's new Physical Readiness Training program and enhance esprit de corps. Later, an awards ceremony was held where Allyn presented Combat Action Badges and 1st Cavalry Division coins to deserving GREYWOLF Soldiers. This was followed by photo opportunities with Soldiers, brigade leadership and the division commander.
During the formal portion of the conference, battalion commanders discussed not only successful tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) in each of their units, but also identified outstanding issues and plans to resolve them. Topics included tactical lines of effort, strategic communications, comprehensive Soldier fitness and best practices to sustain discipline, vigilance and professionalism within the brigade.
After sharing experiences and interacting with other members of the GREYWOLF Brigade, many of the leaders said the conference was helpful in understanding the brigade's mission. The attendees left the conference with a clear understanding of the brigade commander's vision, philosophy and his goal to finish the deployment "GREYWOLF Strong."
"We thoroughly enjoyed the Commander's Conference." said Lt. Col. James Smith, commander of 215th Brigade Support Battalion. "In addition to fostering esprit de corps across the brigade, the conference provided an excellent opportunity for units to share best practices and TTPs."