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www.bliss.army.mil Published for the Fort Bliss/El Paso, Texas Community April 24, 2008

WEEKEND OUTLOOK
FORT BLISS
Friday Saturday Sunday

Sunny Hi 84, Lo 56

Sunny Sunny Hi 89, Lo 58 Hi 75, Lo 53

BAGHDAD, IRAQ
Friday Saturday Sunday

Sunny, hot! Mostly Sunny Partly cloudy Hi 105, Lo 74 Hi 106, Lo 74 Hi 106 Lo 76

Adopt-a-Highway
Page 39

MAJ. DEANNA BAGUE

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Training prepares 102nd Cav. for mobilization
Sgt. Joseph Genovese, front, and Pfc. Neftali Maldonado, both from B Troop, 102nd Cavalry Battalion, 50th IBCT, practice tactics on movement through urban terrain at Fort Indiantown Gap, Penn. For more on this story, see Page 5.

Commandants discuss
NCOES transformation Page 6

Patch ceremony officiates
50th IBCT - Page 8

Bliss event promises prosperous future endeavors - Page 14 Youth fishing tournament
‘lures’ 300-plus anglers Page 41

IMCOM commander visits
Three-star general discusses base growth, family readiness
JEAN OFFUTT
Fort Bliss Public Affairs Officer

Post-wide Yard Sale
Saturday • 7 a.m.-1 p.m.
Biggs, Beaumont, Logan Heights, Hayes, and 801 housing

Tell me a story
Page 42

CONTENTS Commentary..................2 News .............................3 Spotlight......................22 Timeline.......................34 Homefront ...................39 Healthbeat ...................50 Off Duty .......................56 Go Youth .....................63 Sports..........................64

The commanding general of Installation Management Command visited Fort Bliss April 15 and had a lot to say about Soldiers and families, quality of life and transformation. “I am delighted to be here,” said Lt. Gen. Robert Wilson. “I love coming back to Fort Bliss – or ‘Team Bliss,’ as they call it – to see the Soldiers, civilians and their families.” Wilson went on to talk about Soldiers’ incredible contributions to “the greatest change the Army has gone through since WWII.” “We are reshaping our Army, moving one-third of our Army around the United States, returning Soldiers and family members from overseas, growing the Army by 74,000 (by 2013), and converting the Army to a modular force while at war, so it is an incredible feat.” Wilson said today’s servicemembers are “the greatest Soldiers, the besttrained Soldiers in the world.” He also recognized the civilians and communities supporting Soldiers and their families in this endeavor. “Fort Bliss is at the center of change,” he said. “As I look at Fort Bliss and the Greater White Sands Missile Range complex, there is a syn-

DIETER JESTER

Lt. Gen. Robert Wilson, commanding general of Installation Management Command, discusses ongoing base transformation projects during an April 15 visit to Fort Bliss.

ergy of activity and change. The amount of military construction going on is incredible – you see cranes every where, you see transformation in front of you, and there is a tremendous amount of effort to make sure we get it right for Soldiers and families.”

In a comment regarding facilities, Wilson talked about the entire inventory of facilities and ongoing transformation of improving Fort Bliss facilities to meet Army standards, and said the
See IMCOM, Page 3

2 • The Monitor • April 24, 2008

Beginning 5 a.m. Monday, Fort Bliss will re-implement the 100 percent identification requirement at all access control points. This action is intended to enhance the safety and security of Fort Bliss and also to prepare the installation for future technology improvements at the access control points. This change requires all vehicle occupants to present a valid form of government- or stateissued photo identification to access the installation. Drivers in possession of a militaryaffiliated identification will no longer be authorized to vouch for other vehicle occupants. Minors under the age of 18 are not required to provide identification, as long as they are accompanied by an adult and are not operating the vehicle. All other existing access control requirements remain unchanged and in effect. Although there is no anticipation that this requirement will significantly impact wait times at access control points, it is advised that you give yourself additional time during your commute if you are accessing the installation during high-volume times.

Advice taken:

Experience, mentorship can prevent motorcycle accidents from happening
WILSON A. RIVERA
Monitor Staff

Maj. Gen. Howard B. Bromberg Fort Bliss Commanding General

Yes, I ride a motorcycle – a bike, scooter, cruiser, sportbike or whatever you wish to call it. No matter what words you use to describe it, it is a simple machine on two wheels. There’s nothing like feeling hot wind blowing on your face on a desert highway during the night of a full moon. The closest I could probably come to explaining the feeling is that it is like being the passenger of a car and sticking your head out the window. Motorcycles are cheap to buy and provide the thrill of speed you get from an expensive sports car. So, when you have a young Soldier craving that thrill, it is feasible for them to buy a bike. More and more Soldiers and civilians are looking into alternate means of transportation now that gas prices are reaching $4 a gallon. Motorcycle dealerships don’t require a buyer to demonstrate proof of a motorcycleendorsed driver’s license in order to sell one, so if you have the cash, you get the ride. And it’s not always young Soldiers. Older Soldiers throughout their military careers may wish to become a road warrior after years of regulation and authority. They buy the leather jackets and matching helmets to go with the bike they purchased as a pre-retirement gift. Whenever the “motorcycle” topic comes up, the first thought that comes to mind is the motorcyclist becoming an organ donor. Young or old, time and experience benefit the rider in the long run. After riding more than 40,000 miles for five years, I still don’t consider myself an expert. Somewhat experienced, maybe. I’ve ridden with many mentors and learned from DWI Statistics mistakes others have made, like hitting dirt on

the road or forgetting to put the kickstand down. You can learn a lot from friends and mentors who have been riding for a long time. Learning to avoid an accident can mean the difference between a hospital stop and a month-long stay or even worse. Think when considering buying that bike. I started off on a used bike to make sure I wanted to dish out the cash. From riding a sportbike to buying the cruiser I’ve had my eye on over the years, I believe mentoring is what helped me most of all, before buying a larger-engine bike. Traveling to places like Truth or Consequences, N.M., Austin and Washington state, I decided that the 1,700cc bike was perfect for me. I understood its power, too. A slight twist of the throttle would propel me 10 mph faster in seconds than any of the previous bikes I’d ridden. Take the advice, find a mentor, hear their stories and learn about motorcycles before buying one. With more experience and knowledge, could we have less accidents and fatalities? I think so.
Web sites of interest
The Monitor www.fbmonitor.com Fort Bliss www.bliss.army.mil William Beaumont Army Medical Center www.wbamc.amedd.army.mil Department of the Army www.army.mil Department of Defense www.defenselink.mil DoD news about the war on terrorism www.defendamerica.mil Defense Finance Accounting Service www.dod.mil/dfas Army Knowledge Online www.us.army.mil Civilian Personnel Online www.cpol.army.mil Thrift Savings Plan www.tsp.gov Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) www.defenselink.mil/brac Fort Bliss MWR www.blissmwr.com Armed Forces Vacation Club www.afvclub.com www.army.mil/growthearmy

Troop Talk

for FY08

Active Installation Watch Card
Do observe and report:
Unusual or suspicious activity or suspected surveillance. Unusual questions or requests for information relating to capabilities, limitations or operational information. Unusual vehicles operating in or around the installation. Unusual phone calls, messages or emails. Unusual contacts on or off post. Unusual aerial activity near or around the installation. Any possible compromise of sensitive information.

Do not:
Discuss any aspect of military operations or planning. Talk about military capabilities or limitations. Discuss force protection measures, capabilities or posture. Disclose any information related to unit deployments. Report all suspicious activity by calling 568-2115 or 568-2116.

Unit 11th BDE 5/1 AD 31st BDE 4/1 AD 6th BDE Garrison USASMA WBAMC TOTALS

2008 DWIs by brigade/unit % of Bliss Unit Strength Population % of Total DWI 3665 24% 15.00% 1152 8% 15.00% 1762 12% 6.67% 4183 27% 36.67% 1591 10% 13.33% 1221 8% 5.00% 563 4% 3.33% 1096 7% 5.00% 15233

DWIs 9 9 4 22 8 3 2 3 60
1

The Monitor is going green and now being printed on 100% recycled material.
located at Bldg. 15. As classified ads are personal in nature, The Monitor cannot publish ads received through “Shotgun” mail or by fax. The Monitor is a registered trademark in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued Jan. 12, 1988, #1472244. Publisher/Commanding General.....................................................................................................Maj. Gen. Howard B. Bromberg Garrison Commander...........................................................................................................................................Col. Robert T. Burns Public Affairs Officer..............................................................................................................................................................Jean Offutt Managing Editor ...............................................................................................................................................................Jim Gonzales Editor....................................................................................................................................................................................Dustin Perry Homefront Editor...............................................................................................................................................................Virginia Reza Photography/Off Duty Editor ......................................................................................................................................Wilson A. Rivera Staff Writer .......................................................................................................................................................................Daniela Vestal 32nd AAMDC.........................................................................................................................................................Spc. Rachael Estes .......................................................................................................................................................................Spc. Cassandra Villezcas 31st ADA Bde..................................................................................................................................................1st Lt. Rodney Johnson 11th ADA Bde............................................................................................................................................Sgt. Jonathan Montgomery 4th BCT, 1st AD.............................................................................................................................................Sgt. 1st Class Brian Sipp .............................................................................................................................................................................Staff Sgt. Paula Taylor ...................................................................................................................................................................................Spc. Bradley Clark WBAMC .....................................................................................................................................................................Clarence Davis III USASMA..........................................................................................................................................................Master Sgt. Eric Pilgrim JTF-North.................................................................................................................................................................Armando Carrasco Submit articles to monitor@conus.army.mil.

The Monitor is an unofficial publication authorized by AR 360-1 and printed each Thursday in the interest of the Fort Bliss and El Paso, Texas communities. It is the only publication allowed to be distributed on Fort Bliss property. The Monitor is published by the Commanding General of Fort Bliss through The Laven Group, LLC, 1420 Geronimo, Bldg. E, El Paso, Tx. 79925 (915) 772-0934, fax; 772-1594 ads@lavenpublishing.com, www.lavenpublishing.com. Online version at www.fbmonitor.com. The contents of The Monitor are not necessarily the views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, or The Laven Group, LLC. The appearance of advertising in The Monitor does not constitute endorsement of the products or services advertised. Any article or service advertised in The Monitor will be made available for purchase, use or patronage without regard to any nonmerit factor of consumers. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, advertising from that source will be discontinued until the violation is corrected. The Monitor has a circulation of 20,000 copies. Editorial content is prepared, edited and provided by the Public Affairs Office of Fort Bliss, Bldg. 15, (915) 568-4088 or fax (915) 568-3749. Items submitted for publication in The Monitor should be sent to The Monitor, Fort Bliss, Texas 79916, by noon on Friday before issue. All submissions become Army property and should be typed, double-spaced with the author’s name, signature, and mailing address. Photos should have information attached describing photo and have photographer’s full name. The editor reserves the right to reject or edit all submissions or advertising that do not conform to The Monitor’s journalistic standards. All photos are U.S. Army unless otherwise designated. The Monitor’s classified ad page is a free service reserved for active duty personnel, military retirees, military family members and DAC’s only. Because there is no fee, the only advertisements permitted to be published on this page are ads that cannot be considered commercial ventures. Ads must be written on the standard form published from time to time, or

Homefront News El Paso Relief Center provides Healthbeat women hope to abused Off Duty Sports
The Monitor • April 24, 2008 •

3

IMCOM

Continued from Page 1

Timeline Spotlight On Point

Happenings BackBliss awards environmental advocates front Go Youth Team Bliss Outlook
DANIELA VESTAL
Monitor Staff
SGT. JONATHAN MONTGOMERY

Office of the Secretary of Defense and Congress “have both been very supportive in providing us the funds that we have asked for. “And you can never have enough, you can never build quick enough, but we are certainly satisfied with the President’s budget as well as the commitment the American people have made to us.” he said. Wilson pointed out that when Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey and Secretary of the Army Pete Geren assumed their current positions, the U.S. had been at war for more than five years and Soldiers were on their second and third deployments. “Families had invested in this too, and they are feeling stressed and we need to continue to provide the right support for them,” he said. “There are many working couples with young children who need care … and so the Army leadership made a commitment to our families by launching the (Army) Family Covenant Campaign last October at the annual AUSA conference.” On the topic of community support, Wilson said, “We have strong communities throughout the country, but I can tell that the El Paso and surrounding communities are some of the best I have seen. “I was here from 1994 to 1996, and I see a big change in community involvement in support through schools, through assisting spouses with jobs education, and health care,” he said. “It is an incredible experience.” Wilson said the recent hiring of family readiness support assistants – full-time employees funded and resourced for all deployable battalions – have been a great stress reliever and readiness tool for the family readiness groups throughout the Army, particularly here. “One thing General Casey said when he came on board was that family programs were great, but they weren’t fully resourced and there is no standard across the Army,” he said. “So he and Secretary Geren made a deliberate decision to fund these down to battalion level and throughout the Army. Wilson concluded by thanking Fort Bliss Soldiers, civilians, family members and the community “for what they do for our country and what they do for our Army.” “It really helps the Soldier focus on what they are doing, knowing that the families are well taken care of and loved by the people around them.”

SGT. JONATHAN MONTGOMERY
11th ADA Public Affairs

After 20 years of marriage, Blanca Villarreal was left to roam the streets with nothing. “Just my babies and my luck,” she said. Her husband, who had a history of domestic violence, chose to abandon his family without remorse, leaving them penniless with nowhere to go. “I wanted revenge,” said Blanca, a mother of three. “I had a lot of anger in me. It’s very sad (what happened). I never thought I’d be in this situation.” In order to alleviate her hardship, Blanca moved in with her brother, who lived in Reno, Nev. But when he relocated to Mexico, she and her children were again left to a life on the street. Immigration services eventually became involved, offering to refer the Grass Valley, Calif., native to an El Paso relief center for abused women called Dame la Mano. Since arriving at the community outreach establishment four months ago, Blanca has since focused her efforts on landing a job in daycare, getting her own place, and starting a new life. “They opened their doors for me,” she said. “They help a lot of women. I’m grateful for that.” Dame la Mano – Spanish for “Give Me Your Hand” – remains a nonprofit organization funded by local businesses, churches of all denominations and private individuals. Formed in 1997 as means to help homeless women, the organization has since provided support to more than 15,000 women and their children in the community. On average, they assist 1,600 women each year arriving from New York to Guatemala. “We took (Blanca) in because we believed in her,” said Rosa Cabrera, director of Dame la Mano, whose organization’s domestic violence counseling and career planning assistance has put Blanca on the path

SGT. JONATHAN MONTGOMERY

First Lt. Marie Louis-Jean, left, executive officer of A Battery, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, and Rosa Cabrera, director of Dame la Mano, discuss the organization’s mission of helping homeless women in crisis during a Friday visit.

toward self-sufficiency, independence and a set of work skills necessary to prevent homelessness. Oftentimes, the relief center receives women, including military veterans, suffering from bad situations stemming from broken homes, posttraumatic stress disorder, prostitution, drugs and domestic battery. In the past, local police, hospitals and immigration services have released custody of these women to Dame la Mano so they can get help for these types of troubles. The 14 women and 35 children who currently reside at Dame la Mano are going to school and working to learn a new skill. Each resident is required to work, go to school or do volunteer work for 20 hours per week. The organization also provides emergency shelter, medical care and baby items to expectant mothers, along

with free pregnancy tests. “This (place) keeps you grounded,” said 1st Sgt. Jonathan Cruz, first sergeant of A Battery, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, which is an upcoming unit with a scheduled activation ceremony next month. “It makes you thankful for what you have instead of being mad and jealous of what you don’t have.” Cruz, along with 1st Lt. Marie Louis-Jean, 4th THAAD executive officer, delivered paint buckets and cleaning supplies to Dame la Mano Friday during a visit to the women’s relief center. “They operate on the kindness of the community,” said Louis-Jean. “The women receive counseling to figure out how to place their self in a better position so they don’t repeat history.”

Cpl. Nicholas Crawford, 11th ADA Brigade command section, picks up leaf trimmings in front of the unit’s headquarters during a post clean-up effort Tuesday.

The 13th annual Environmental Quality Awards were held Tuesday at the Fort Bliss Air Defense Artillery Museum and Study Center. Twenty-three people and organizations were honored and recognized for their contributions in helping Fort Bliss meet its environmental obligations, which are unique in that they must meet not only Federal standards, but those of Texas and New Mexico as well. Due to the hard work and dedication of the Directorate of Public Works’ Environmental Division and the environmental quality awardees, Bliss has 100 percent compliance with all applicable laws and enjoys an excellent reputation with state and federal regulators, said Col. John Rossi, Fort Bliss chief of staff.

One of the awardees, Staff Sgt. Crispen W. Hanson, motor sergeant, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 11th Air Defense Artillery, 32nd Air and Missile Defense Command, won the Recycling Advocate award. He set up a recycling program where Soldiers in his unit could turn in and sort their recyclables and all the money made would go into the unit fund. It took about two months to educate and get the Soldiers used to the practice and now, four months into the venture, the unit has made approximately $250. Eleven top awards and 12 honorable mentions were also given out. “Each individual honored is a trailblazer in saving the environment for a secure future,” Rossi said. “I thank (them) for all of (their) efforts in saving the environment.”

4 • The Monitor • April 24, 2008

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The Monitor • April 24, 2008 •

5

Soldiers from the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team conduct pre-mobilization training at Fort Indiantown Gap, Penn.

50th IBCT trains at Indiantown Gap for Bliss mobilization
STORY AND PHOTOS BY MAJ. DEANNA BAGUE • FORT BLISS PUBLIC AFFAIRS INDIANTOWN GAP, Penn. – About 3,000 Soldiers from the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team conducted pre-mobilization training during their annual training in preparation for their upcoming mobilization at Fort Bliss. The 50th IBCT is composed of National Guard units from across the state of New Jersey, with specialties ranging from combat arms to service support units, said Maj. Michael Bobinis, adjutant, Headquarters, 50th IBCT. “That is the best part of this (annual training) period – we are learning to work with our counterparts” said Bobinis. “As you start learning what the mission is, you become more confident of what’s going on.” Most of the pre-mobilization training focused on individual Soldier skills like weapons qualification, driver training and combat lifesaver training. Mastering these skills will prepare Soldiers for the collective tasks on which they will train at Fort Bliss, said Capt. Richard Colton, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 50th IBCT. “(In the past) we trained for a linear battlefield against a mechanized enemy,” said Colton. “Today, it is not a mechanized enemy that we are fighting anymore. It is a new kind of war. So that is what we are preparing people for down to the lowest level.” “I just got out of basic training so I’m used to the whole ‘train, train’ deal,” said Pvt. Zeshan Haroon, B Troop, 102nd Cavalry Battalion. The Guardsmen used every opportunity to train as many tasks as time allotted, including urban warfare, said Sgt. Steven Webb, B Troop, 102nd Cav. “In cities and built-up areas, tactics change dramatically,” said Webb. Webb said the threats Soldiers are exposed to range from booby traps and improvised explosive devices to sniper fire and noncombatants. Soldiers have to maintain 360-degree security at all times and be aware of no-shoot areas, as well. “We have to calculate in a split second whether to shoot or not (or) if a person is a combatant or a noncombatant,” said Webb. Soldiers said even though Fort Dix, N.J., is a closer mobilization site, they feel Fort Bliss was a wise choice. “I don’t see any desert at Fort Dix,” said Spc. Priscilla Arias, A Troop, 102nd Cav. Arias said the weather and environment at Fort Bliss are more conducive to preparing Soldiers to adapt to the theater of operations. “You are never going to look forward to going away from home or from your family,” said Spc. John Bedoya, A Troop, 102nd Cav., “(but) it was a smart idea (to choose Fort Bliss) because it helps prepare us to keep our minds set on the training instead of thinking you can go home and see your family when they are only half an hour away.”

Sgt. Joseph Genovese, from B Troop, 102nd Cavalry Battalion, 50th IBCT, approaches a building during urban operations training.

Soldiers from the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team move toward their objective.

Spc. Wilbert Bynum, A Troop, 102nd Cavalry, 50th IBCT, role-plays as a detainee during pre-mobilization training at Fort Indiantown Gap, Penn.

Soldiers from the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team exit classrooms and proceed to vehicles to conduct drivers training.

6 • The Monitor • April 24, 2008

Commandants discuss NCOES transformation
SGT. MARY E. FERGUSON
The NCO Journal

More than 150 Army commandants and senior noncommissioned officers gathered for the 2008 Commandants Workshop, held April 15 through Thursday at the Centennial Club on Biggs Army Airfield, to share their professional opinions and discuss ways to make the Noncommissioned Officer Education System transformation as successful and beneficial as possible. The U.S. Army Sergeants Major

Academy hosts the workshop annually as both a training seminar and a forum for sharing and brainstorming NCOES and NCO academy topics. This year, subject-matter experts from the academy’s Directorate of Training and Doctrine and Quality Assurance Office and from the Army and Training and Doctrine Command G3 shops educated attendees on the ongoing and future changes intended to transform NCOES into an accelerated, constant and relevant system that will prepare NCOs for the expanded roles

PHOTOS BY SGT. MARY E. FERGUSON

Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond Chandler, USASMA command sergeant major, challenges the more than 150 commandants and senior noncommissioned officers from NCO academies throughout the Army to share their experiences during the 2008 Commandants Workshop, held April 15 through Thursday at the Centennial Club on Biggs Army Airfield.

they play on today’s battlefield. “We’re here to share and to work,” said Col. Donald Gentry, USASMA commandant, as he welcomed attendees and challenged them to exercise their voices during the workshop. “This is an incredibly powerful forum (and) we need your input so (USASMA) can provide a unified front as we relay your experiences and suggestions to (TRADOC).” But before answering Gentry’s challenge, the attendees were briefed on the strategic-level vision of where NCOES is and the direction in which it must go to truly meet the mission of training the NCO Corps of an expeditionary force. “Our NCOES is imitated throughout the world,” said Sgt. Maj. Robin Bercaw, TRADOC G3/5/7 sergeant major. “The system we have now is a great foundation, but in the next couple of years we need to make some sweeping changes … our NCOs must prepare for full-spectrum operations.” Bercaw explained the parts of NCOES transformation that many attendees were already aware of – NCO development will be migrated downward so Soldiers will receive certain training earlier in their careers, the current Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course will be renamed the Advanced Leader Course, and the Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course’s new title will be the Senior Leader Course. But, he said, “there is so much more to (NCOES transformation) than just a name change; it’s

Col. Donald Gentry, USASMA commandant, opens the 2008 Commandants Workshop, held April 15 through Thursday, by welcoming the more than 150 attendees from NCO academies throughout the Army.

really a refocus of how, what, who and when we train, which, in many cases, can be more tactical than strategic ... happening among the commandants and instructors who are actually training the NCOs and seeing first-hand what works and doesn’t.” He added that NCOES must exist at three different levels – operational, institutional and self-developmental – and must leverage technology, all while being able to “move forward, adapt and be flexible” in order to create the broadly skilled warriors necessary today. Establishing structured self-develSee NCOES, Page 10

The Monitor • April 24, 2008 •

7

PHOTOS BY MAJ. DEANNA BAGUE

Soldiers from the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team conduct weapons training at one of the ranges at Fort Indiantown Gap, Penn.

MAD Soldiers travel to validate 50th IBCT’s pre-mobilization requirements
MAJ. DEANNA BAGUE
Fort Bliss Public Affairs

Soldiers from the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team practice tactics for clearing buildings during urban operations training at Fort Indiantown Gap, Penn.

Spc. Jared Hummer, B troop, 102nd Cavalry Battalion, 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, searches Spc. John Sucameli, also from B Troop, during prisoner-of-war training at Fort Indiantown Gap, Penn.

Soldiers from the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team conduct “glass house” training at Fort Indiantown Gap, Penn.

INDIANTOWN GAP, Penn. – A team of Soldiers from the Mobilization and Deployment Brigade traveled 2,000 miles to validate the training of administrative and individual Soldier tasks conducted by the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, which is scheduled to mobilize at Fort Bliss this summer. “We came here to help (the unit),” said Sgt. 1st Class Leticia Payan, validation noncommissioned officer, MAD Bde. The New Jersey Army National Guard unit started its pre-mobilization training and administrative requirements at the beginning of the year after being alerted. A few months later the 50th received its mobilization order. During annual training here, the unit continued to train on key tasks and focus on weapons qualification and driver’s and combat lifesaver training. “I feel this is very good preparation for everybody to get out here and practice before hitting the (mobilization) station,” said Spc. Bryan Schooley, motor transport specialist, B Company, 250th Brigade Support Battalion. “I would hope not to have to fire the (.50-caliber machine gun) at somebody, but in the instance that I would, at least I would have the adequate training behind me to be able to use it proficiently.” “Having the weapons qualification done is a big plus,” said Sgt. 1st Class Raymond Swann, validation NCO, 5th Armored Bde. “This shows the unit is eager to go in and start their other training right away.” Payan said she and her team gathered all of the IBCT’s training documentation and will input it in their system when they return to the installation. This information will be used by the 5th Armored Bde. so they can create a training schedule and train the unit during its mobilization at Fort Bliss, she said. “It saves a lot of time because if we input it before they get to (Fort Bliss),

then they will already have a good training schedule where they can (move forward) with their training and we will not have to double train them,” said Payan. “Once the training that is done here has been validated, they will not have to repeat it at (Fort Bliss). This is why it is so important that we capture it before they get (there).” Lt. Col. Brian Scully, executive officer, 50th IBCT, said the pre-mobilization training piece is more important now than it has ever been because of the limited amount of post-mobilization time the units now have to meet the training requirements. Because the 50th IBCT now has additional increased requirements during pre-mobilization, the earlier they can start the relationship with the MAD and 5th brigades, the better, he said. Scully said the training requirements for a mobilizing brigade have not changed, however; the time the 50th will spend at the Fort Bliss mobilization site has been significantly reduced. The secretary of the Army’s new policy says a unit can only be mobilized for one year; therefore, all those requirements now got shifted to the left and the unit still has to do them, but in a pre-mobilization environment. “We have doubled up our training requirements,” said Scully. “We went from a two-week to a three-week (annual training) period and doubled up on drill weekends. We have been going at it pretty hot and heavy.” Establishing contact with both brigades to make sure the 50th understood the requirements was critical, said Scully. It is important for the people who are responsible for validation and training accreditation to ensure everything is being done to standard, he said. “We are not going at this blind where we are showing up at the (mobilization) site (at Fort Bliss) saying, ‘Here we are, train us,’” said Scully. “We are going into this with eyes wide open. We know exactly what to expect (post-mobilization).”

8 • The Monitor • April 24, 2008

Patch ceremony officiates 50th IBCT
MAJ. DEANNA BAGUE
Fort Bliss Public Affairs

INDIANTOWN GAP, Penn. – About 3,000 Guardsmen from various New Jersey National Guard units removed their respective unit patches and affixed the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team patch April 16 during a ceremony at the Pennsylvania National Guard Center. “This brigade combat team is off and running,” said Maj. Gen. Keith K. Reith, adjutant general, New Jersey National Guard. “This is history, and everything you do going forward is history. We are going to continue to work and make the No. 1 priority ensuring success of the brigade combat team as you complete your training in the state of New Jersey and as you transition over to Fort Bliss, complete your post-mobilization training and then your deployment to Iraq.” “I’m glad to be part of the 50th IBCT and the history it represents,” said Spc. David Pereda, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 113th Infantry. “I’m proud to serve my country overseas as the Jersey Blues.” The 50th IBCT patch replaced the 42nd Infantry Division patch. The 50th Bde. of the 42nd Inf. Div. consisted of two infantry battalions, one cavalry battalion, one field artillery battalion, a brigade support battalion and a brigade special troops battalion. The 50th Bde. transformed to 50th IBCT and is scheduled to deploy in the fall. It will deploy as an independent force with the addition of three companies from the New Jersey Army National Guard, said Col. Steven Ferrari, commander, 50th IBCT.

“The 50th Chemical Company, 154th Water Purification Co. and the 328th Military Police Co. will be under our operational control for the deployment,” said Ferrari. “The mission requirement for Iraq is over 3,000 Soldiers. We needed additional forces to round out the brigade and meet that requirement.” Brigade officials said this will be New Jersey’s largest National Guard deployment to a combat zone since World War II. Fort Bliss will serve as the 50th IBCT’s stateside mobilization training site in the summer, when troops will receive realistic “theater immersion” training, said Maj. Kevin Fetterolf, public affairs officer, 50th IBCT. Many Guardsmen from the various battalions trained together with their counterparts for the first time during their annual training in April and said this prepared them for the next phase. “I’m pretty excited about working with everybody,” said Sgt. George Oliveria, scout team leader, 2-113th Inf. “You always learn different things when you work with different units. Once you train with other people, they show you things that will come in useful when you go overseas.” “It feels good to be part of one whole unit,” said Sgt. Jose Rivera, communications specialist, 2-113th Inf. “It helps everyone, especially the newer Soldiers, understand that we are all one team instead of different sections.” “This left Soldier patch is our common bond now,” said Ferrari. “We stand as one.”

PHOTOS BY MAJ. DEANNA BAGUE

Command Sgt. Maj. David Kenna, 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, places the new brigade patch on a Soldier during a ceremony at Fort Indiantown Gap, Penn.

A Soldier from the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team removes the 42nd Infantry Division patch.

A Soldier from the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team places the new brigade patch on his uniform.

The Monitor • April 24, 2008 •

9

10 • The Monitor • April 24, 2008

NCOES
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opment programs and transitioning the common core phase of BNCOC from a resident to a distance-learning delivery method were a few of the examples Bercaw gave of how NCOES can attend to those three levels and employ technology. “Pilots for these things are either happening or about to happen,” he said. “But we need the eyes and the ears of commandants and instructors to really understand if and how they are going to work across all components in NCOES – if not, then what do we need to do to make them work?” He asked the senior NCOs to answer the question, “With the current approach to NCOES transformation, is the glass half empty, half full, or do we have the wrong glass all together?” Following Bercaw’s words, the attendees also received more detailed briefings on the BNCOC distancelearning concept, the Warrior Leader Course redesign and the migration of tasks from and eventual deletion of the current First Sergeant Course. Armed with day one’s information and, more importantly, their own professional experiences, the academy commandants and senior NCOs spent day two working in one of five groups – each monitored by subjectmatter experts and faced with a different problem statement related to an element of NCOES transformation. As they broke into their designated groups, Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond Chandler, USASMA command sergeant major, reminded them, “This stuff you’ve been briefed on, a lot of it is not locked in concrete (so) don’t limit your discussion to what we currently do; rather, push the boundaries to figure out what we need to do.” The problem statements addressed a wide range of subjects, including how to make NCOES, specifically the distance-learning phase, compliant across all Army components; how to redesign the current Warrior Leader Course to prepare NCOs for the contemporary operational environment; how to balance conventional and asymmetrical environments and scenarios throughout NCOES; and how to redistribute the tasks currently trained in the First Sergeant Course. Both Gentry and Chandler said the workshop produced tons of relevant and critical feedback from the NCOs who have the front-row seats to see if what works on paper actually works when applied. “So many of us don’t get to see what it takes on a daily basis to train and educate our NCOs,” Gentry said. “That’s why we have and will continue to have these workshops – we’ve got to know what’s going on from the commandant perspective in order to improve. It’s a complicated thing transforming like this, but we’ll get there.”
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