The Dragoon Newsletter February 2014

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Information about The Dragoon Newsletter February 2014
News & Politics

Published on March 4, 2014

Author: ToujoursPret



The Dragoon Newsletter covers the U.S. Army's 2nd Cavalry Regiment. The Second Dragoons are the oldest mounted regiment on continuous active service in the U.S. Army. From its formation in 1836 to fight in the Second Seminole War, to its numerous deployments to the Middle East, the Regiment has distinguished itself in major campaigns: the Indian Wars, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, both world wars, and the Persian Gulf War. Along the way members of the Regiment served gallantly in action, and 20 were awarded Medals of Honor.

2d Cavalry Regiment The Dragoon Newsletter FEB 2014 Volume 4, Issue 2 Col D.A. Sims, 77th Colonel of the Regiment Command Sgt. Maj. Wilbert E. Engram Jr., Regimental Command Sergeant Major Soldiers from the U.S. Army's 4th Squadron 2d Cavalry Regiment receive a mission brief prior to a patrol on February 25, 2014 near Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) Highlights in 2d Cavalry History Historical Events 2 Operation Chamtoo II 3 1st Squadron 4 2nd Squadron 5 3rd Squadron 6 4th Squadron 7 Fires 8 RSS 9 February 8, 1837: Located at Camp Monroe in Florida during the 2nd Seminole War, a force under the command of Lt. Col. Alexander C.W. Fanning would defend the camp which had been established in 1836. On Feb. 8, a force of Seminole Indians attacked which led to the death of Cpt. Charles Mellon. Mellon was the only casualty that day. On Feb. 9, 1837, Fanning renamed the camp in his honor. This kind of attack was a common occurrence in the hostile Florida swamps during the conflict. Dragoons had to be vigilant, even in well defended outposts. February 11, 1967: The 1st Reconnaissance Squadron border camp near Kronach , Germany (Northern Bavaria) was re-named Camp Sergeant Patrick Leonard. Leonard was a Medal of Honor recipient while a member of Company C, 2d Cavalry Regiment during the Indian Wars. His actions as a sergeant at the Little Blue River near Little Blue, Nebraska on May 15, 1876 led to him being awarded the Medal of Honor on June 22, 1870. The Regiment named several of the border camps in Germany after valorous members of the 2d Cavalry Regiment.

V O LU M E 4 , I S S U E 2 D r a g oon N e ws let te r PAGE 2 History Highlights cont... February 15, 1946: The Regiment began its re-designation from the 2d Cavalry Group to the 2d Constabulary Regiment. The transformation would be complete on March 20, that year the Regiment assumed duties in southern Bavaria. The constabulary period saw drastic changes to the organization of the Regiment and the table of organization and equipment. The Regiment, at the time, consisted of the 2nd Squadron, 42nd Squadron, and the 66th Squadron which had just been re-organized from a field artillery unit. The constabulary was considered an elite unit by the U.S. Forces in Europe, and several other cavalry organizations were likewise used for this purpose. The ability for cavalry units to patrol vast areas was key, and would seamlessly transition into the Regiment patrolling vast areas of the East German and Czechoslovakian border during the Cold War. February 21, 1862: During the Civil War, the Regiment saw action out west. Company G was assigned defensive duties protecting Union interests in the territory of New Mexico. The Regiment was also assigned a battery of light artillery that previous year, in October. The battery of six guns, commanded by Capt. Alexander McRae, supported Company G, 2d Cavalry, and one company of the 3rd Cavalry which was also present. Become a member of the 2d Cavalry Association - For more information, visit our website at:

D r a g oon N e ws let te r V O LU M E 4 , I S S U E 2 PAGE 3 Operation Chamtoo II An Afghan National Army Soldier assigned to the 205th Corps displays his country’s flag prior to departing Combat Outpost Mushan during Operation Chamtoo II in Panjwai District, Kandahar Province, Feb. 19, 2014. Operation Chamtoo II was an operation planned, and conducted entirely by Afghan National Security Forces to pacify Panjwai District ahead of the April presidential elections. (U.S Army photo by Cpl. Alex Flynn) Captain Clay Randles, physician assistant for 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, works alongside Afghan National Army medical personnel to save the life of a wounded Afghan Uniformed Policeman during Operation Chamtoo II in Panjwai District, Kandahar Province, Feb. 19, 2014. (U.S Army photo by Cpl. Alex Flynn) Afghan National Army Soldiers assigned to the 205th Corps depart Combat Outpost Mushan during Operation Chamtoo II in Panjwai District, Kandahar Province, Feb. 19, 2014. (U.S Army photo by Cpl. Alex Flynn) Captain Clay Randles, physician assistant, and combat medics assigned to Iron Troop, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, work alongside Afghan National Army medical personnel to treat a civilian wounded during Operation Chamtoo II in Panjwai District, Kandahar Province, Feb. 19, 2014. (U.S Army photo by Cpl. Alex Flynn)

D r a g oon N e ws let te r V O LU M E 4 , I S S U E 2 PAGE 4 War Eagles Update Lt. Col. Phillip K. Gage the commander of 1st Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment and his Command Sgt. Maj. Martin Celestine uncase their unit colors during a ceremony Feb. 28, 2014 at Vilseck, Germany. This ceremony served to officially mark the return of the squadron from deployment, the deactivation of the War Eagle Ready Reserve, and the reunion of Comanche Troop with 1st Squadron. D uring February the War Eagles were focused on consolidating and re-organizing the squadron following a successful deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. This included merging the forward and rear property books and adjustments to personnel as the War Eagle Ready Reserve merged with the rest of the squadron. The War Eagles also reestablished their systems and battle rhythm to enable training and operations. In addition to the normal daily operations of the squadron, members of the War Eagles participated in a multitude of recreational activities designed to enhance resiliency throughout the month. Soldiers from both Mustang and Bull Troops participated in the 2d Cavalry Regiment’s Warrior Adventure Quest. This program served to provide platoons the opportunity for team building and also to give Soldiers safe and controlled activities to relieve stress and ease reintegration following the Regiment’s combat deployment. Soldiers participated in instructor-led events that served to foster trust in their comrades, leaders, equipment and training. These activities included a high rope course and a paintball tournament. Soldiers in Apache will participate in WAQ March 10-12 and Soldiers in Comanche Troop are scheduled to attend April 1-3. War Eagle Squadron uncased their colors during an outdoor ceremony on February 28th. This ceremony served to officially mark the return of the squadron from deployment, the deactivation of the War Eagle Ready Re- serve, and the reunion of Comanche Troop with 1st Squadron. During his remarks Lt. Col. Phillip K. Gage, the commander of 1st Squadron, offered thanks to not only the Soldiers, noncommissioned officers and officers of the squadron, but also recognized the families for their unconditional support of the unit. Gage also reminded those present to keep the Dragoons, still serving in Afghanistan, in their thoughts and prayers. As the month draws to a close, the War Eagles have a lot to look forward to in March. Key events coming up include the squadron after action review (March 46), the spouses appreciation luncheon (March 12 , 11am-1pm in the Regimental Museum), and the spring ball (at Marx Wreger Halle in Weiden on March 29 at 1836).

D r a g oon N e ws let te r V O LU M E 4 , I S S U E 2 PAGE 5 Cougar Update Lt. Col. Charles Svelan talks with the Afghan National Army’s 1st Kandak, 1st Brigade, 205th Corps commander, Lt. Col. Andor Mangol and Shah Wali Kot district chief of police Capt. Bacha Khan about the construction of a check-point near Najmuddin village on February 22, 2014. F amily and Friends of Task Force Cougar, During February, the climate of northern Kandahar Province cooled to the lowest temperatures of the year, but, at the same time, TF Cougar was heating up with its most significant operation to date in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 13-14. While Fox Troop continued to conduct missions in the deserts of Afghanistan, Eagle and Headhunter Troops reintegrated into the Rose Barracks, Germany community and took some well-deserved time for recreation and relaxation with their friends and families. For many years, the Taliban have been able to penetrate into northern Kandahar Province through the Siah Sang gap that allowed the insurgents to take improvised explosive devices and other weapons into Kandahar City, where they would terrorize the local population. Because the gap was so important to the insurgents, they defended it strongly for a long time. In February, due to the steady improvement of the ANSF and a little advice and assistance from TF Cougar, the Afghan government cleared the insurgents out of the gap and established permanent checkpoints there. This operation’s success was a plain demonstration of the Afghan government’s commitment to continue to push the Taliban out of Afghanistan, even as the US withdraws combat forces, is a sign of the good work that the Cougars have done in Arghandab and Shah Wali Kot districts. In March, the Cougars will advise the ANSF to develop sound security plans for the Afghanistan presidential election in April. This election will be decisive to the country’s future and TF Cougar will help guide the security forces so that the elections are inclusive, fair, and secure. There is no doubt the families of deployed Cougars are eager for their loved ones’ return and they should take comfort that their Troopers are coming home soon. In the meantime, the Cougars are providing crucial advisory support and ensuring that the good work resulting from the sacrifices made by Cougar Soldiers over the last decade in Afghanistan, are preserved. In closing, I’d like to express our thanks and gratitude to those of you reading this – the friends and family of Task Force Cougar – we would not be able to execute the mission at hand without your continued support! Cougar 6 and Cougar 7 Toujours Prêt! Second to None!

D r a g oon N e ws let te r V O LU M E 4 , I S S U E 2 PAGE 6 Wolfpack Update Sergeant 1st Class Christopher R. Schuerger a Gruber Award 2013 winner, is recognized by Brig Gen. John Thomson, Regional Command South, deputy commander of support. The Edmund L. Gruber award is awarded to an individual whose thought and innovation results in significant contributions to the enhancement of the field artillery's war fighting capabilities, morale, readiness, and maintenance. This award is competed for Army wide. W olfpack Family and friends, February has been a month defined by hard work paying good dividends. By this point in the deployment everyone has gained a high level of proficiency in their jobs. Equipment is being kept in the highest state of readiness and missions with our Afghan counterparts are flowing smoothly. The Wolfpack continues to work through well established relationships and bonds that have grown over the past few months. This month Iron, Killer, and Lightning Troops all supported Afghan operations in Zharey, Panjwai, and Maiwand Districts. Operations focused on supporting Afghan forces in removing enemy from these districts to increase security in the area. 1st Lt. George Runkle, the squadron battle captain, describes the level of success that has been achieved in the Wolfpack area of operations as “our Afghan partners are proficient and able to secure their country without assistance.” This is the goal the Wolfpack has been working toward since its arrival and we are happy to have achieved it. Despite the high operation tempo, the Wolfpack has been prioritizing Soldier professional development. Throughout the deployment the Wolfpack has conducted five Soldier and noncommissioned officer of the month boards. These boards provided Wolfpack Soldiers and NCO’s the opportunity to demonstrate their professional proficiency. For the month of February Spc. Bailey and Sgt Pino, both with Killer Troop, won their respective Soldier and NCO of the month boards. In further support of professional development, nine Soldiers and 17 NCOs have been recommended for promotion since deployment. These promotions were based on Soldier and NCO performances in the five promotion boards that have taken place throughout the deployment. Board appearances are nerve racking experiences. They can leave the Soldier wishing he were in combat instead of having to face the squadron command sergeant major and troop first sergeants. The brave that prepare for the boards and succeed are met with the admiration of their superiors and peers, but most importantly have the ability to advance professionally. Wolfpack Soldiers are leading the way in adhering to the high standards of professionalism that are set to define the Army in upcoming years. As February draws to a close the Wolfpack is looking to March. The Wolfpack only has a few weeks left to make a positive impact in the area of operations before the incoming unit takes over; however, until that day comes we will continue to make every day count. When the Wolfpack does finally hang up its spurs it is looking forward to a long awaited reunion with Family and friends at Rose Barracks.

D r a g oon N e ws let te r V O LU M E 4 , I S S U E 2 PAGE 7 Saber Update U.S, Army Staff Sgt. Trevor Harney from Continental, Ohio with 4th Squadron 2d Cavalry Regiment keeps watch as the unit visits an Afghan National Police (ANP) outpost near Kandahar, Afghanistan. (photo by Scott Olson/ Getty Images) D ear Saber Supporters, this second installment of the 2014 volume of newsletters is also our second to last deployed newsletter. That should be good news to all of our friends and families in Germany and in the United States. However, Saber Squadron has not let up the pressure on the enemy forces in the districts surrounding Kandahar Airfield. Your Troopers continue to place constant pressure on the insurgent networks operating in the area. Soldiers from Nemesis, Outlaw, Palehorse, and Ghost Troops continue their thorough reconnaissance and security efforts in our area of operations, looking for the enemy as they attempt to conduct their nefarious activities. The Troopers’ 24-hour patrolling efforts have resulted in intelligence gains that have helped us to further disrupt the insurgent activities and literally prevent attacks. We can’t say enough about the hard work they are putting in day-in and day-out on patrol. Because of the hard work your Troopers have been putting in, the Regional Command South deputy commanding general provided the squadron additional combat power from Battle Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division from Ft. Hood to assist us. Lately, the Troopers have been working with our Afghan National Se- curity Force partners to prepare for the upcoming Afghan presidential election. election day is April 5, 2014, but it’s not too early to prepare for it now. Troop commanders have been working with their Afghan partners to conduct reconnaissance and to assess polling sites. While the ANSF will conduct 100% of the election day security, our Soldiers have been consulting with them and offering advice on their plans. This election is an important moment in the history of Afghanistan because it will mark the first peaceful transition of power ever. While War Horse Troop is not directly involved in conducting security patrols or assisting with election preparations, they are accomplishing one of the most important tasks for RC-S and that is the reduction of forces and retrograde of equipment. When War Horse took over responsibility for Forward Operating Base Lindsey back in late July, there was years’ worth of equipment build-up as the result of units “settling in.” Every unit that had occupied the base before us had rightly done something to improve living conditions there. However, it has been War Horse’s task to reduce the base and subsequently turn it over to the Afghan National Army. The plan when we arrived was to turn it over this summer, but the deputy commanding general challenged us to complete the closure several months ahead of schedule. The Soldiers of War Horse have done an outstanding job in working to meet that goal and in fact by the time you read this newsletter, they will have turned over half of the camp to full Afghan Army control, and the other half to another US unit that will conduct the final turnover after the Afghan elections. All Saber Soldiers are now off of FOB Lindsey and consolidated at Kandahar Airfield. It took a tremendous effort from the various platoons and sections of War Horse to achieve that, from the military police platoon and medics who kept us safe and took care of us there to the mechanics and support platoon Soldiers who moved tons and tons of equipment off the FOB to the mayor’s cell who managed the effort. As our time in Afghanistan comes to an end, it’s a good idea for friends and family to reduce mail sent to Soldiers here. Mail from the US shouldn’t be sent here after March 7. Mail from Germany shouldn’t be sent here after March 14. At this point, please limit what you send to letters or goodies that can be consumed, as Soldiers won’t have time or space to pack additional items that need to return to Germany with them. Our next newsletter will be our last in Afghanistan and we’ll probably all be home when you get it. Thanks for your continued support.

D r a g oon N e ws let te r V O LU M E 4 , I S S U E 2 PAGE 8 Artillery Hell Update Field Artillery Squadron Female Engagement Team members, Spc. Garcia and Pfc. Bordelon, meet with the Saraposa Prison Warden. T ask Force Hell continued to train, advise, and assist the Kandahar City Afghan Uniformed Police in February. Simultaneously, the squadron has also began redeployment activities. Although TF Steel Warrior’s arrival is much anticipated, everyone remains focused on the mission at hand. Hellraiser Battery continues to secure the Kandahar City AUP Security Force Assistance Team and Archer Battery continues to secure the Provincial AUP SFAT, Provincial Governor SFAT, and the National Directorate of Security SFAT. Lt. Col. Fandrich continues his engagements with the AUP commanders in the city, preparing them for the upcoming elections. During the month of February, Hellraiser continued to excel at retrograde operations and base defense. They also established a Quick Reaction Force for Forward Operating Base Walton. Hellraiser conducted over 30 patrols to different sub districts throughout Kandahar City and were recognized by leaders within the Regiment and division for their tremendous progress reducing the size of the base. Hellraiser also fielded the first mobile ALTUS Aerostat in Regional Command South at FOB Walton; this enables them to better assist the AUP’s operations inside Kandahar City by providing reports from persistent ISR. In addition, Hellraiser reenlisted Specialists Garcia, Rodarte, Landrum, Lee, Vedia, and Rodriquez. Also this month, Hellraiser also promoted Pfc. Hyde and Pfc. Vedia to Specialist. For the upcoming month, Hellraiser will conduct their relief-in-place with Headquarters, Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery. Archer Battery continued operations throughout Kandahar Province. The assigned SFAT advisors, security force and headquarters platoons have been busy conducting their last full month of operations before the RIP next month. SFATs were busy as they furthered their relationships with key Afghan counterparts, setting the next advisors up for success. The Archer SECFOR platoons remained vigilant over the last month while out on patrol. First platoon sent a squad out to liaise with the security leaders for President Karzai when he visited Kandahar City. While their role was limited, the overall operation demonstrated the Afghan’s capabilities and bodes well for upcoming operations. 2nd platoon and SFAT 501 teamed up with the AUP in Zharay to pass out school supplies to local school children. Archer’s 3rd platoon continued their security for the local SFATs and the NDS liaison and did a great job maneuvering the large tactical vehicles in the busy and unpredictable streets of Kandahar City. The noncommissioned officers did a great job at preventing any hint of complacency from entering into the formation. Over the next 30 days Archer Battery will conduct a RIP with A Battery, TF Steel Warrior and prepare for redeployment back to Rose Barracks. The Soldiers will be able to hold their heads high while leaving Kandahar, Afghanistan knowing they carried out their mission with security and safety at the forefront of every operation.

D r a g oon N e ws let te r V O LU M E 4 , I S S U E 2 PAGE 9 Muleskinner Update Sgt. Taschler of Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, Task Force Muleskinner, inspects the engine on the new mine resistant ambush protected vehicle. I t’s hard to believe it is already nearing the end of February 2014 and Task Force Muleskinner is wrapping up its eighth consecutive month in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. This past month, the Task Force has been busy preparing our inbound replacements for a successful relief-inplace and transfer-of-authority on top of its daily operations and duties. Due to the complexity of the TF Muleskinner task organization and mission, our RIP will be conducted with multiple inbound units from 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division to include 704th Brigade Support Battalion, Alpha Company/4th Special Troops Battalion, and Delta Company/1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment and HHC 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. In order to facilitate this processes, the command teams and staffs of both units have been conducting weekly teleconferences to discuss Muleskinner combined arms breach team operations, convoy security operations, support operations, retrograde operations, administrative processes and current enemy tactics. It is our job as a Task Force to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible, setting our replacements up for success, which our Soldiers and leaders have been working hard to ensure. A unique part of the TF Muleskinner RIP is the turn-in of our current Stryker fleet to be replaced by Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles to include MaxxPros and MATVs. This is required because 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division is a Light Brigade Combat Team. This task has engaged resources from the Task Force as they train, test, inventory, and QA/QC the entire Regiment’s fleet for the incoming units. The Lightening, Alpha, and Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Troop executive officers and supply sergeants are working diligently to inventory and inspect all incoming vehicles. The maintenance platoon and communications shop (S-6) personnel are working hard to ensure the fleet’s maintenance and communications meet the Dragoon standard, performing inspections prior to units receiving the equipment. This has been a challenge, as some of the communication systems are configured differently than those found in Stryker vehicles. Thanks to our internal inspection team, the transfer of vehicle fleets will be transparent to our replacements, ensuring they can quickly assume operations and responsibility of the Regiment’s area of operation in southern Afghanistan.

D r a g oon N e ws let te r V O LU M E 4 , I S S U E 2 PAGE 10 Around the Regiment Staff Sgt. Tyronne Jones (right) with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2d Cavalry Regiment, recites the oath of enlistment Feb. 19, 2013, at Landstuhl, Germany. Jones re-enlisted during his recovery from injuries sustained during an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Joshua Edwards) Troopers with the Dragoon Ready Reserve receive awards after competing in a number of sporting events during the Vesta Cup competition Feb. 26, 2014, at Rose Barracks, Germany. The Vesta Cup is a three-day competition between squadrons within the unit designed to boost morale and encourage teamwork. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Joshua Edwards) Regimental Chaplain, Maj. Robert Allman, performs a baptism Feb. 9, 2014, at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan with Sgt. Brian Kear and Spc. Michael Culbertson, both from Alpha Troop, Task Force Muleskinner, Combined Task Force Dragoon.

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