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Pech Express

Pech Express

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Pech Express is a magazine by Fury Company 2-12 Infantry. Includes news and events surrounding 2-12 Infantry Battalion Task Force Lethal
Pech Express is a magazine by Fury Company 2-12 Infantry. Includes news and events surrounding 2-12 Infantry Battalion Task Force Lethal

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Published by: 4thBrigade4thInfantryDivision on Apr 13, 2010
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11/06/2010

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PECH XPRESS

FURY COMPANY 2-12 INFANTRY
10 March 2010

FROM THE FRONTLINE PHOTOS FROM ACROSS AO LETHAL WARRIOR A VISIT FROM THE STARS AND MORE...

INSIDE THIS EDITION
SOLDIERS OF THE MONTH pg.8 NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE NONMONTH p.8 AWARDS pg.9

OF THE FITTEST
HOW MAINTENANCE PLATOON KEEPS THE WHEELS OF THE INFANTRY TURNING

SURVIVAL

PECH XPRESS
Commander’s Corner

Inside this issue:
4 SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST HOW MAINTENANCE PLATOON KEEPS THE WHEELS OF THE INFANTRY TURNING

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, Fury Family and Friends!
After a great time on R&R I am back in the saddle again. We are one month closer to coming home and I am sure you are all anxious to hear our redeployment date. Just like the email I sent a while back, we still don't have any final dates. Our Soldiers have around 90 days left in theatre, give or take. With that, we still have a ton to accomplish. These next 90 days will be as tough as our first 90 days. Our Soldiers are tired, but they are motivated to finish the mission and do the best possible job in order to sustain the Lethal Warrior Battalion. As I make my way up the Pech River Valley visiting all the Soldiers, I asked them to do two things over the next 90 days: Do something to improve your work area for the incoming unit and do something to improve yourself. What I am trying to do is get them to focus on something they may have been putting off, always saying they will do it tomorrow, and focus on getting it accomplished. The Company Leadership is trying hard to keep the Soldiers from becoming complacent, and we would ask you to do the same by motivating them through phone calls, emails, and care packages to help them keep up the hard work and finish the mission. We don't want any Soldiers getting hurt because of complacency. Over the next months, we will be packing containers, moving containers, finishing our equipment reset, and planning for the incoming unit's Relief in Place and Transfer of Authority; this is on top of our normal sustainment mission. Fury Company is never without something to do around here.

out how our Maintenance Platoon keeps everything working for the Battalion. This Platoon has the most Soldiers spread out over more locations, fixing more vehicles and equipment than any other Battalion in the Brigade. I am thankful to have the NCOs and Soldiers in this Platoon in our Company. Without them, the Battalion would come to a screeching halt. Over the next few months, there will be lots of information passed about redeployment, reintegration training, and block

HEADQUARTERS PLATOON SOLDIER OF THE MONTH DISTRIBUTION PLATOON SOLDIER OF THE MONTH MAINTENANCE PLATOON
OF THE MONTH

8

8

8

NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICER 8 OF THE MONTH AWARDS
9

leave. To get the most current information, visit http://www.armyfrg.org, and search for 2-12 IN at Fort Carson. This website is filled with all the latest and greatest news. If you will be leaving the area or have a change in address or information, please update your Key Caller or the FRG Leader. If you will not be having access to email and would like information either mailed or a phone call, pass this information along too. Lastly, I am thankful to have such a great Company with family, friends, and organizations who support them. You will truly understand the impact you had on them when they walk off the airplane with the pride in their eyes of what they have done. Best Wishes, -CPT G “Fury 6”

ON THE COVER: In preparation for the promotion board, SSG Thacker runs a PT Test in full battle rattle. (photo courtesy of Associated Press)

In this month’s feature article, you will find

First Sergeant’s Corner
Fury Family and Friends,
We have made it through February and are continuing to push through March. This month we promoted more Soldiers and presented even more awards. The outstanding logistics provided by your Soldiers has not gone unnoticed. General Petreaus even came out to Jalalabad this month to reenlist and award some Soldiers from Fury. I was told he had other reasons to come here but I know his true reason was to see the best company in the Army! We have stayed busy ensuring that your Soldiers are recognized through awards and promotions when we first arrived. It is the continuous drive to be the best here at Fury that has driven Leaders and Soldiers to not let any detail go unnoticed and to make staggering improvements in each of our areas. To all of you at home reading this, get ready for a wonderful summer because when we get back it is going to be time to have some fun! We are definitely ready for a summer of BBQ’s and laughs. I’m sure as the stories roll off our tongues you will be wondering how we find some things so hilarious. If we didn’t have a sense of humor in a place like this, it would make for a very long year! Take care all! Thanks for being there for us! - 1SG Ashmore “Fury 7”

Exciting News
PRIVATES LEWIS, BOYCE, OLSEN, COBURN, AND BRAMLEY WERE PROMTED TO PRIVATE FIRST CLASS! PRIVATES FIRST CLASS PORTER, HADLEY, DUPA, STANFIELD, AND SALGADO WERE PROMOTED TO SPECIALIST! SERGEANT SEELY WAS
PROMOTED TO STAFF SERGEANT!

across the board. With everyone going so many different directions to provide 2-12 Infantry the best support, it is a real challenge to get LTC Pearl and the awardees in the same place at the same time in order to have an award ceremony! Each section in the company has stepped it up to continue our current Operational Tempo (OPTEMPO) as well as working on our pack-out of equipment. As I make my way around to each of the FOBs from time to time, things are always changing. I see each section going through great efforts to make improvement in their respective areas. The next unit will have a much better starting point than we did

“The essence of flexibility is in the mind of the commander; the substance of flexibility is in logistics.”
- Rear Admiral Henry Eccles, U.S. Navy

THE BATTERED,

THE TRIUMPHANT.
No matter how hard the beating, Maintenance Platoon continues to sustain and maintain every vehicle of Task Force Lethal, pushing the Infantry fighting force to the threshold.
By 1LT John T. O’Connell 4

THE BROKEN,

A
Flashback:
ply, how to maintain their weapons for operational readiness, and most significantly when to stand down and reassemble for the long fight ahead. Alexander depended on his logisticians to drive his forces to the limits without risking breakdown. plied combat power. Only a unit who understands the importance of maintenance will be able to endure the elements of combat, and only a seasoned group of expert maintainers who have seen combat alongside their infantry brethren will be able to effectively maintain a task force that refuses to lose. The mission of Fury Company’s Maintenance Platoon is to provide direct support field maintenance for all equipment operated by Task Force Lethal Warrior. The equipment that takes the heaviest beating across the Pech River Valley is undoubtedly the armored vehicles driven by the light infantry companies on their daily patrols. These vehicles consist of the RG31 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle, the Maxxpro DASH, the M1117 Armored Security Vehicle (ASV), and most recently the MRAP All Terrain Vehicle (MATV). With a fleet of over 100 vehicles,
Top left: CW2 Gosine mentors SGT Rodriguez on environmental protection, fiscal spending, and motorpool operations at FOB Fenty. Bottom left: SPC Walker installs parts onto a 60KW military generator. Right: SPC Borcsani trains local mechanic “Tom Araya” on the installation of the wiring harness onto an M1074 Palletized Load System (PLS).

330 BCE. Alexander the

Great pursues his conquest to take over the Achaemenid Empire. Moving into the land now known as modern day Afghanistan, Alexander’s army of Macedonians faced one of the toughest battlefields in their entire campaign. Not only did they face heavy resistance from headstrong local tribes, but they also faced the challenge of maneuvering over treacherous terrain. The extreme weather combined with winding roads and trails through the mountains created a maze that often trapped invading soldiers. Compared to the Iran campaign which ended in only six months, Alexander spent nearly three years conquering the land of Afghanistan. Despite being one of the toughest lands to subdue under his rule, Alexander the Great was able to sustain his army through two pivotal factors: intelligence and logistics. While the Macedonians collected intelligence from local sources to help them progress forward through the battlefield, they performed important logistics practices that would help sustain their forces throughout the battle. They knew how to secure sources of sup-

Flash forward: 2010 AD. The United
States Army now occupies the land of Afghanistan. Their mission is not to conquer the land, but rather to rebuild a stronger government for the people and to defeat the insurgency which seeks to disrupt it. The battlefield looks much different compared to what Alexander the Great faced. Spears and catapults have been replaced by machine guns and artillery, and horses and chariots have been dismissed for heavily armored trucks. Although weapons and vehicles have changed, the principles of logistics and maintenance have remained the same. Activities that include requisitioning parts and supplies to maintain vehicles, fixing faults and repairing battle damage, and setting time to conduct preventative maintenance have helped to prolong the quality and endurance of equipment and have ultimately multi-

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Far right: SPC Palazzollo loads parts at FOB Fenty to be transported to outlying COPs. Top right: SGT Schilhab reviews parts on order for the platoon. Bottom right: PFC Bramley services an MRAP engine at COP Honaker Miracle

Task Force Lethal requires a team of maintainers that have both the skills and the tools to handle such a massive workload. These maintainers are the masters of their trade, and they will not rest until every job is complete. The Soldiers of Maintenance Platoon make up the largest group of sustainers across AO Lethal. Under the leadership of 1LT Shayne Heap, CW2 J. Gosine and SFC L. Scott, the platoon consists of 20 automotive mechanics, three power generation mechanics, three welders, one quartermaster equipment repairer, and three automated supply specialists who are spread out across all of AO Lethal’s Combat Outposts (COPs). Each detachment of mechanics is equipped with an ensemble of toolsets, parts, and supplies which they use daily to keep every armored gun truck and power generation system running. For heavier maintenance jobs, an experienced team of maintainers stands ready at FOB Blessing, armed with welding capabilities, electrical supplies and recovery assets. When it comes to jobs that require intense repairs, the team at FOB Fenty serves as the last line of maintenance for the Lethal Warrior Battalion. No matter how heavy or light the job might be, all teams at each site have a workload that keeps them on their feet day by day, and through their hard work they keep the battalion moving towards mission accomplishment.

Few and far between
The first biggest challenge each maintenance team faced as soon as they set boots on the ground was working on vehicles that were relatively new to the Army. Only a few of the mechanics received training on vehicles such as the MRAPs and DASHes prior to deployment, and even fewer mechanics had experience working with battle damaged vehicles. SSG John Smith, a senior mechanic at FOB Fenty, describes the process of learning to maintain these new vehicles saying, “we had to learn how to work on three different vehicle systems in only a few weeks. Not only did the senior mechanics have to learn how the systems worked, but they also had to teach their Soldiers how to do the same job, so it became a test of competence and leadership for everyone.”

On top of learning how to maintain new systems, each team soon learned that their next biggest challenge was attaining the right parts to repair their fleet of vehicles. Although the Maintenance Platoon deployed with enough toolsets and supplies to last them over a year, the necessary spare parts for the most frequently used vehicles would be harder to obtain. Thus, the teams spent their early months conserving the supplies they had, and they relied heavily on the hard work of the team at FOB Fenty to push them the right parts and supplies needed. SGT Jerry Schilhab, the automated supplies NCO for the platoon, manages the requisition, accounting, and delivery of all repair parts and motorpool supplies to each COP. SGT Schilhab and his team of supply specialists reach out to each site daily with the parts they push via host nation trucks. “It’s hard enough waiting for parts to come in, and when we do receive them, we need to make sure every part goes to the right location,” states Schilhab. “If parts get sent to the wrong place, the mechanics can’t get the job done.” For many of the mechanics, adjusting to everyday life at the COPs added a new spin to everyday motorpool operations. Unlike the motorpools seen in Garrison

Right: SPC Estrada, armed with an M203 grenade launcher, assists in conducting force protection in addition to his mechanic duties at COP Michigan.

6

or even at the bigger FOBs, the motorpools at the COPs lacked hardball pavement to work on, and very few of them had enough cover to protect people and equipment from inclement weather. To compensate, the teams had to find creative ways of preserving their resources through the elements. SPC Jeremiah Ostuni, a mechanic at COP Able Main, helped to create a few improvised structures to keep his motorpool functioning. “SGT Moon and I laid down some air force pallets over the gravel to create a hard surface to work on,” explains Ostuni, “and we also hung up a T10-D parachute to provide us with some cover. Not exactly bullet proof, but it keeps us in the shade.” Overall, such hardships have proven only to be trivial in the long run, and the maintenance teams have been able to push forward with full force.

Reinventing the steel
Now approaching nearly 10 months into the deployment, the Maintenance Platoon has worked through all challenges and has accomplished many great things that have kept Task Force Lethal operationally ready. With over 3500 jobs completed, they have raised the operational readiness rate from a mere 73% at the start of the deployment to an unprecedented 97%. To increase combat power, SPC Seigars and SSG Mayes, both welders for the platoon, helped to fabricate a TOW missile turret to add to Fury Company’s Distribution Platoon MRAP line. The turret was a unique addition that made the Combat Logistics Patrol a feared element throughout AO Lethal. One of the most important things the maintenance teams have done is to preserve a program that can be used by follow-on units and local nationals for future operations. Training local mechanics on military vehicle maintenance is a regular activity at FOB Fenty. Joined by a team of five local national workers, the maintainers work alongside local mechanics at Fenty are able to accomplish twice as much with a few helping hands. SPC Justin Borcsani, a generator mechanic, describes the time spent

alongside the local nationals saying, “we are very fortunate to have them in our motorpool. They are very enthusiastic about learning to maintain the vehicles.” At FOB Blessing, the maintenance team there conducted a program for the Afghan National Army on preventative maintenance checks and services (PMCS) on the M1151 up-armored gun trucks. As the US Army transitioned to more advanced vehicles like the DASH and the M-ATV, the older M1151 vehicles have been inherited by ANA forces to use. When it came time to train the ANA on how to maintain these trucks, the leaders of Task Force Lethal looked only to the mechanics of Fury Company to provide the best PMCS training the Army could offer. 1LT Heap reflects on the training, citing it as a great success for both Coalition forces and the ANA. “The training and partnering that we have done over the last few months has helped move the ANA toward selfsufficiency,” explains Heap. “The Soldiers are very interested in the vehicles themselves and their maintenance and operation. The mechanic that has worked alongside us in the motor pool is even traveling to other locations to show other mechanics what he's learned...like a train-the-trainer operation. It's working!"

Above: SGT Stanberry, SSG Arvizu, and 1LT Heap pose with the 3rd Kandak after completing a Driver and PMCS training program on the M1151 uparmored gun truck at FOB Blessing.

Far beyond driven
Looking back on all that they have accomplished, the Soldiers of Maintenance Platoon have a lot to be proud of. Their will and determination has enabled them to accomplish nearly impossible tasks, and their knowledge and expertise is recognized throughout the Battalion. However, with all things considered, one must ask what really keeps these maintainers motivated to do their job to the fullest. For some, it is being part of a platoon that is very well resourced with excellent tools and supportive leaders. For others, it might be the simple love of being a mechanic and having a natural knack for fixing things. SSG J. Kyle Vance, maintenance team chief at COP Honaker Miracle, states, “Being a mechanic is what I have wanted to do since I was a kid. I’ve developed skills that can help me throughout my life.” At the end of the day, all of Maintenance Platoon can hang their hat up and say that they went through hell in a year...and they never quit until the job was done. 

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

SOLDIERS OF THE MONTH
Distribution Soldier of the Month Private First Class Anthony Bailey
PFC Anthony Bailey was selected as the Distribution Platoon Soldier of the Month for his hard work and dedication as part of the Fury Rigger Team. PFC Bailey has been a key player in delivering slings in support of Baker Company, 2-12 Infantry. PFC Bailey was born in Memphis TN April 4th, 1988. He attended Basic Training July 2008 at Fort Knox, KY. After graduation from Basic Training, he attended AIT at Fort Leanardwood, MO where he was trained PFC Bailey shows how to become an 88M, hard life can be as a M o t o r Transport gangster (in Afghanistan) Operator. PFC Bailey was stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado in November 2008 and was assigned to Fury Company, 2-12 Infantry. Immediately, he was informed that he would deploy in 2009 to Afghanistan. In January 2008, PFC Bailey deployed to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, LA. In June 2009, he deployed with Fury Company in support of Operation Enduring Freedom X. Duing his deployment, he conducted Combat Logistics Patrols (CLPs) from FOB Fenty to FOB Blessing for two months. In August, he was stationed at FOB Blessing and participated in sling load missions to support Baker Company in Korengal Valley. He also assists SGT Chambers in fueling the generators on the FOB. PFC Bailey is married to Christina Te'Lisa Bailey, and he has one son, Ellijah Lemar Bailey.



Headquarters Soldier of the Month

Maintenance Soldier of the Month

Private First Class Amber Davis
PFC Amber Davis was chose as the Headquarters Platoon Soldier of the Month for March. PFC Davis has done an outstanding job of assisting with daily operations, and she has shown a strong will and drive to improve herself as a Soldier. PFC Davis was born in Oakland, CA and was raised in Portland, OR. PFC Davis is extremely excited to She joined the Army in become the armorer February 2009, and she for Fury Company! attended Basic Combat Training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. Upon completion of Basic Training, PFC Davis attended AIT at Fort Lee, VA where she was trained as a 92G, Food Service Specialist. Her first duty assignment was to 2-8 Infantry at Ft. Carson, CO. She then transferred to F Company, 2-12 Infantry where she volunteered to deploy as part of the Individual Readiness Training (IRT) group in order to join her Battalion in Afghanistan. PFC Davis has worked as an orderly room clerk for the Fury Company TOC, assisting her leaders with administrative matters and battle tracking missions. Most recently, she was selected to take charge of the Company Arms Room, managing all weapons for Fury Company. In her free time, PFC Davis has taken advantage of bettering her education by taking English classes through Central Texas College.

Specialist Timothy Thompson

SPC Thompson, Timothy was born in Oakland, CA and was raised in Jacksonville, FL. He has been married to his wife, Sandra for almost two years and they have one child SPC Thompson stands ready together, Hailey.
to terminate the Anti Afghan Thompson Forces (AAF) outside of COP SPC joined the Army in Honaker Miracle.

August 2005 and attended Basic Training at Ft. Jackson, SC. After Basic, he attended AIT at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD to be trained as a 91B, Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic. From there, he was stationed at Ft. Carson and was assigned to Fury Company in March 2006. He first deployed with the company in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in October 2006 and in June 2009, he deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Since arriving here, SPC Thompson has played key roles in the recovery teams stationed at FOB Fenty and COP Honaker-Miracle. He also conducts Force Protection for the entire COP on a nightly basis. His short term goals are to become an NCO and to take on the new challenges facing him at his new assignment at Ft. Hood, TX. His long term goals are to gain as much knowledge as possible and to start his own mechanic shop in Florida.

Non-Commissioned Officer of the Month
Sergeant Marvin Roberts
SGT Roberts was selected as the NCO of the Month for March. SGT Roberts has performed a superior job of spearheading the food service operations at COP Michigan in support of Dagger Company, 2-12 Infantry. SGT Roberts was born and raised in Butte, Montana. He joined the Army in January 2001, and was trained as a 92G, Food Service Specialist at Fort Lee, VA. His first assignment was with the 540th Quartermaster in Schofield Barracks, HI. While stationed in Hawaii, he served in various units at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, and Fort Shafter. SGT Roberts then PCSed to Fort Richardson, Alaska where he served as a First Cook for the 98th Maintenance Company. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom V under the command of the 15th Sustainment Brigade. In September 2008, SGT Roberts was assigned to Fury Company, 2-12 Infantry. As one of the senior cooks, he led several field food service operations in preparation for deployment to Operation Enduring Freedom X. In June 2009, SGT Roberts deployed to Afghanistan with Fury Company, and he is currently stationed at COP Michigan. SGT Roberts’ awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal (3 OLC), the Army Achievement medal (6th award), the Army Good Conduct Medal (3 OLC), and the Combat Action Badge. SGT Roberts is married to Kimberly, and he has two children, Arionna and Brady.

SGT Roberts takes a break from the kitchen and dreams of the being on the rolling hills of the great state of Montana.

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FROM THE FRONTLINE

Left: SPC Hanes is awarded the Army Commendation Medal with Valor by GEN David Patreaus at FOB Fenty Right: SSG Chaney gives feedback on the Multicam uniform to GEN Anne Dunwoody at FOB Fenty.

RE-ENLISTMENTS
The Army Commendation is awarded to any person who distinguished himself or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States. The “V” device serves as a clarification for medals that are awarded for valor (bravery against the enemy).

V

ARCOM (V) Awardees
Staff Sergeant Dalluge Specialist Hanes

V

Congratulations to the following Soldiers and NCOs who have re-enlisted over the past month. These individuals have taken an important step to progress in their careers and are also doing a great thing in volunteering to continue serving our country in a time of conflict. Thank you for your continued service!

AAM Awardees
Specialist Dupa Specialist Dumont Private First Class Parker Corporal Schoepp Specialist Funchess Private First Class Kennedy Corporal Hoeksema Specialist Seigars

The Army Achievement Medal is awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who distinguished themselves by meritorious service or achievement.

Specialist Aguilar Staff Sergeant Chaney Corporal Smith
Photo credits: 1LT O’Connell, 1LT Heap, SSG Thacker, SSG Vance, SGT Schilhab, SGT Rogers, 1SG Ashmore, CPT Gutierrez, SPC Cushing, PFC Raney

Top left clockwise: PFC Lewis is promoted at FOB Blessing, 24 February; SPC Seigars receives the Army Achievement Medal for his outstanding performance in Maintenance Platoon; LTC Pearl congratulates SSG Seely on his promotion at FOB Blessing; a view of the Korengal Valley; SPC Stanfield is congratulated by SGT Rodriguez at FOB Fenty; SPC Hecke scans the ridgeline during a CLP through the Pech River Valley.

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