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Vol. 30, No. 1

56th Fleld Artlllery Command

October 1990

Update FYI


Granny must buy her
own switchblade

Jo . . . . . . . .



Eyes ol 1n Eagle! Private First Class Kevin Smith. C Co.. 2nd Bn., 4th Inf. holds a squad assautt weapon while standing
In tM turret of a High Moblllty MultJ,Purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). Smith served as a MCUrity guard In Miesau
dunng Operation Sleel Box.

Infantr y com pany assists
with Ope rati on Steel Box
by Troy Dur
Members of C Company, 2nd Bn., ~th Inf. were
chosen to provide site security for Operation Steel
Box from July IS-Sept. 20.
Operation Steel Box involved 59th Ordnance Brigade and various support clements removing chemic.ii munitions from Germany.
Chulic Company's security force consisted of two
teams, which rotated during the operation. While one
team guarded the site, the other team took time out
10 sharpen their "NBC (nuclear, biological and
chemical) skills,• according to Capt. Frank Conner,
C Co. commander.
"We've proven ourselves in special weapons security,• Conner said. "We've already trained in site security, but this mission required some sp~ial tl'2ining
in NBC."
According to IS! Lt. Thomas Cooney, section
leader, the most stressful part of the operation wasn't
the fear of chemic.ii contamination but the extreme
variation in temperatures.

Look, no trey! t,.
beer fest waitress
carries eight one-lilttr mugs to a
nearby table at this
year's Oktobet1esl
In Munich. See
page 4 fOf story.

"At the be~inning of the operation, the soldiers
who slept dunng the day in a fest tent endured temperatures a, high as 110 degrees (Fahrenheit)," U>O·
ncy said.
"Towards the end of the operation the temperuures fell as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the
night," Cooney added.
Cooney said, "We enjoyed doing it because it was
an historical event, but we're glad it's over.•
"I'm glad the chemical munitions arc gone," said
Staff Sgt. Felix Padilla, sergeant of the guard for one
of the security sections, "and every German in chis
country should be happy too.•
Conner credited the success of the mission to the
efforts of his soldiers and the extra training on site
before the operation.
In an address to the 164 infantryme.n who r«eived
Army Acheivement Medals for their panicipacion in
Operation Steel Box, Maj. Gen. Roger K. Bean, com•
manding general, 56th Field Anil.lery Command,
"Your mission was difficult. You endured hours and
hours of boredom guarding dangerous weapons. You
have done well."

the Cable

Would you give your grandmother a
,witchblade knife for ChriJtmas? If so, customs
has bad news: you can not mail switchblades 10
the United States. Absinthe, liquor-filled candy,
alcoholic drinks, lottery tickets, narcotics, dangerous drugs, obscene articles and publications, handguns and hu.ardou.s articles such as fireworks,
flammables or poisons are also outlawed. Fruits,
vegetables, meats, soil or live plants are banned
too, because they could contain foreign pests or
"You arc smuggling if you put prohibited items
in the mail without listing them on the customs
mail declaration," said Staff Sgt. Adam Kettell,
Goppingen Customs Field Office Chief NCO.
The U.S. Customs Service prohibited items
and may fine you for sending them. "You may
mail restricted items if they meet the conditions of
the restriction imposed,• Kettell added, "which
u,ually means acquiring an import permit.• Examples of restricted items arc rifles, shotguns, hunt·
mg trophies and gambling devices.
Remember, these rules when making up your
Christmas mailing list. Call your local customs office at ETS 42 53-7 65/6 57 for more details.

Tax evaders face
the heat
Tax relief on heating oil will save many servicemembers in Germany a pretty penny this winter.
But this savings is only for people with tax and
cunoms privileges, not for the landlord or other
tenants. Checks of tax relief records regularly dig
up tax evasion cases which usually end in German
finance authorities fining the soldier. sailor, airman or DoD civilian involved.
"The best way to avoid problems is to have
your own separate oil tank,• said Investigator
Norman Clipp of the Goppingen Customs Field
Office Investigative Section. Ensure that the tank
is not hooked up to someone else's hearing sys·
tern. "lf you share a tank with other privileged ••·
nants, only put into the tank your fair proportion
of the oil 10 be used," Clipp advised. Passing on
tax-free heating oil co unauthoriud people mar
get you into hot water, even if done unknowingly.
For more information contact your local MP
Group Customs Office.

Up boy! t,. Dutch

handler and

his canine friend

• Soldler's fest, see page 3 for

surmount an obst·
acle at the 1990 intemationa l Canine
Biathalon In Sen·

• Trlathlete, see page 6 for story.

nelager. See page
5 fOf story.

• Cross Country Championships,
see page 7 for story.

Pershing Cab/ft
OctObfr 1990


Jump! Herbert Mothes and Tanja power over a man-made obstacle.

Best Friends
Canines compete
in annual biathalon
by Richard J. Clemenson
Staff Writer
One hundred rn·enty-seven of Europe's finest
hounds had a bone to pick with each other at the
10th Annual International Canine Biathalon in Sennclager, Germany.
Dogs and dog hondlcrs representing nine NATO
nations and other militarv and civilian services flocked to ~ormandy Barrack·s in Sennelager to take a bite
out of rhc biathalon's infamous three-mile cross count!'\' course and decide who are the fittest dog and
dog handler in Europe.
Two (ompetitors 'chomping at the bit' t() conquer

the course were 56th FA CMD civilian support
guards Herbert Mothes and Roland Frey and the-ir
dogs Tanja and Marco.
Despite the eventS increasing competitiveness and
H, water and wall obsucles 56th FA CMD Kennel
Master, Sgt. 1st Class Robert Becsey was confident
Mothes and Frey had a leg up on the competition
entering the two-day event.
"Mothes' experience in the biatbalon and with
Tanja is a big plus," Becsey said.
"On the other band Frey bas never run here before. But he is 20-years o\d and runs like a deer. If
needed Marco can pull him along when he gets tir1

Uphill battle! Herbert Mothes tries to keep up with Tanja
as both climb up a sand hill.

ed," Becsey said.
"I expect both to do well,• be added.
In spite of Becsey's optimism, Mothes and Frey
were more reserved in their pre-race predictions.
"I just want to do better than my previous time of
33 minutes,• the 38-year-old Mothes said.
"I don't know what m expect. All I can do is my
best," Frey cautioned.
Both runners got a nose up on the competition
when pre-race drawings left them in enviable starting
positions. Frey's spot of 107 and Mothes' position of
127 enabled both to "sniff out" their competition and
see where the trouble spots were.
After the first day of running, 80 runners had gone
through the course and Frances Pascal Thierry was
"top dog" with a time of 29 minutes.
Even though neither Frey nor Mothes had ever run
that fast before, both felt that Thierry's time could be
beat. But after 106 runners had gone through the
course be was still on top and stayed that way after
Frey s 11erun ...
In his rush to beat Thierry's time, Frey <lipped and
fell going over a three-foot wall leaving him with a
sprained ankle and seriously hurting the Command's
chances at winning a medal.
Frey's injury forced him out of the competition,
and put the command's only chance of winning on
his teammate's shoulders. Mothes admitted being "a
little bit of nervous," but hc quickly restored the
Command's pride with a time of 32 minutes. N ot
only was it a personal best for Mothes, but it also
was one of the best times of the day for his age
After the race, a smiling but drained Mouhes pant·
ed, "That was fun! But hard. She (Tanja) helped get
me through it though.•
Even with his smile, there was a touch of sadness
on Mothes' face. After four years of handling "the
best dog I've ever had,• their partnership had come
to an end.
According to Becsey the event was the last the
handlers and dogs would be in as a team. uThe 56th
Command's dog program is finished and the dogs
will be sent to other unitS," he said.
"This was their last event as a team - a son of last
hurrah. Just like everything else in the Command it
had to go and after today it's gone,• Becsey concluded.

No fair! Roland Frey comforts Marco while the dog goes through a pre-race inspection.