Wolfpack Dispatch Newsletter

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TF Wolfpack news from the front

Text of Wolfpack Dispatch Newsletter

  • 1. Wolfpack Dispatch Vol 1, Issue 2 FOB Salerno, Afghanistan Thanksgiving Edition November 2011

2. Dear Families and Friends of the Wolfpack, We hope you enjoy the second edition of the Wolfpack Dispatch, our unit newsletter from Afghanistan. The intent of this publication is to keep everyone on the home front up to date with the unit activities at FOB Salerno. The Wolfpack is doing great and November was another extremely busy month. We are focused on providing continuous aviation support in the area of operations and are already witnessing the positive effects of our increased presence. We are setting a remarkable pace in the first couple and the outstanding support received from the families and friends of Task Force Wolfpack. On November 11 we conducted a ceremony to award the 82nd Air-borne Division combat patch to the troopers of Task Force Wolfpack. The weather was great and motivation was high. The new combat veterans look great with their 82nd patches on both shoulders. During the week of Thanksgiving we were visited by COL Jamison and CSM Farmer who helped us serve Thanksgiving dinner to the troopers. On Thanksgiving day the Commanding General of the 1st Cavalry Division, MG Allyn, thanked the troops for their service and presented three Bronze Star Medals and Thanks for the support it is appreciated. V/r LTC John M. Cyrulik Commander, Task Force Wolfpack Wolf 6 3. FOB Salerno: Looking Back It is surreal writing from FOB Salerno in late 2011. I deployed to Afghanistan nearly ten years ago with this battalion, then flagged 3-229th, with a home on Bagram Airfield. We had the opportunity to live at Salerno for 14 day stints, if my memory serves me correctly, rotating small teams in and out keeping an aviation element here. We would move to Salerno and conduct missions with a few helicopters from a very aus-tere post compared to what we have here now. So many things have changed. My most vivid memories involve the Hescoe barriers which provided security enclosing the FOB along with the tiny office we used in the very same building our Battalion Headquarters currently occupies. There was no gym, AAFES PX, MWR computer and phone facility, post office, Combat Support Hospital, Green Bean coffee shop, barber shop, or laundry service. A phone and computer connection was tough to get. The one or two phones we had access to were located in a small dark tent with the Fort Bragg DSN switch number scratched into the wood desk and you crossed your fingers every time you lifted the handset hoping to hear a dial tone. The computer connection was fed from a small satellite dish and required two or three minutes to load a simple web page. The dining facility was at its best when an Italian Airborne Infantry Battalion resided here complete with a bakery produc-ing fresh bread for every meal of pasta. I remember standing in lines for meals just to enjoy the wait and smell the containerized kitchen bakery. Today we have cement buildings to live and work out of, but back then the small FOB was almost entirely built with military tents cooled by fans moving hot summer air. I still say the hottest day of my life was spent trying to sleep on a cot, in a tent with the sides rolled up to avoid a dreary afternoon at Salerno. Troopers did a lot of things to pass the time. I remember a make shift gym built as peo-ple rotated through. It included a lot of rocks and likely would have impressed Fred Flintstone. Additionally, I remember volleyball and the dirt court with a makeshift net and its constant popularity. The post volleyball shower used a very different facility from the modern amenities built here over the past ten years. I recall a local Afghan-type mud building using make shift a laptop and the briefing projector to watch movies on a wooden patio attached to our tent on a hand-made plywood movie screen filling the dark night hours. There were no aviation hangers, no aircraft parking pads complete with taxi ways, and no control tower moving air traffic in and out. It is remarkable the difference ten years can make. I was interested to return to Salerno and experience the changed in so many important ways. A decade ago it was a small, same Afghan corner, just remarkably improved with little simi---the same place creating another set of lifelong memories. Stay Wolfpack. MAJ Glenn McQuown, HHC/1-82 4. Giving Thanks, CSM Inniss It is hard to believe many of us from Fort Bragg deployed over 60 days some of our many blessings especially as we celebrate Thanksgiving: Our tremendous teammates we work with daily from the National Guard and Army Reserve The support of our friends and families back home The quality of life and civilian support we receive here at FOB Salerno to enable our efforts The Troopers of this Task Force are working extremely hard day in and day out in support of operations. It is a true privilege and honor to lead these men and women, but I would be remiss if I did not say thank you to each and every one of them and acknowledge the support from home that makes it possible. Airborne - All The Way! 5. Dear Wolfpack Families, awards and special events that have taken place during November. To be exact, ten Troopers have been promoted and twenty have been given various awards and decorations for their hard work. There are pictures of these events located throughout the newsletter and in particular on the highlights pages (pg 19-20). th day occupying an area in a combat zone, Troop-ers are authorized to wear the shoulder sleeve insignia-former wartime service patch. This patch is worn on the right shoulder sleeve and is more commonly known as the combat patch. For most Troopers, this is a rite of passage that has to be earned through a deployment to a combat zone. It just so happened that this year, the combat patch ceremony coincided with Armistice Day. It was on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, seven months prior to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Shortly thereafter in 1919, Presi-the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the na-celebration still stands as true today as it did back then. Every Soldier knows that the DFAC food can get a little routine, and will never compare to the homemade meals that our Wolfpack families make. For Thanksgiving however, with the assistance of the Wolfpack Commanders and First Sergeants, the dining facility gave everyone a nice treat with a full spread of food. They had everything you can imagine for Thanksgiving, typical DFAC meals and was a good time for the Wolfpack team to sit down and give thanks. Chaplain Shenton has issued a challenge for every member of the Wolfpack, The 82nd Challenge. The flyer below has all of the details. To sum it all up, the Chaplain has challenged every Soldier to run 820 miles while deployed or to run 420 miles with a partner. Not everyone can handle this feat of dedications and determination, are you up to The Challenge?? Until next month, 2LT Clark, Wolfpack PAO 6. November Issue CcOoWwBbOoYy DdUuSsTt-OoFfFf Cowboy Dustoff, from the MEDEVAC missions. Cowboy Dustoff Wyoming Army National Guard, is operations personnel constantly nearly complete with our tour here in monitor computers and phones and Afghanistan. We are preparing for our will call up the ready air crews replacements arrival, and are working immediately upon receipt of an hard to set them up for success. Devil URGENT nine line MEDEVAC request. Ray Dustoff, F/5-159th from Florida Because of the vigilance of our will be arriving next month, and will outstanding operations section, many take over the MEDEVAC mission for minutes were saved in getting the air TF Wolfpack. craft launched and en route to the Looking back at the last eight point of injury. Minutes saved months we have been in country, correspond to lives saved in the Cowboy Dustoff has accomplished MEDEVAC business. many things. Our air crews have flown The last eight months have more than 1000 hours on three air-been an adventure for the men and craft, completed over 360 missions, women of Cowboy Dustoff. We have and carried over 580 patients. put forth our best effort, and will Cowboy Dustoff conducted an continue to serve wounded and sick aggressive air to ground integration people to the best of our ability. We training program. This training are looking forward to working with consisted of nine line MEDEVAC our new best friends from the Devil request procedures, operations around Ray Dustoff. Cowboy Dustoff is a running MEDEVAC aircraft, litter dedicated to ensuring the Devil loading, extrication equipment, SKED Rays are prepared to take over litter, and high performance hoist the MEDEVAC mission. TF training. Cowboy Dustoff trained over Wolfpack MEDEVAC will not fail! 300 US Military and Afghan Soldiers with this program of instruction. DUSTOFF! Cowboy Dustoff maintainers have kept our three aircraft above the Cowboy 6 Department of the Army maintenance standards. Crew-chiefs and avionics maintainers have spent many hours taking care of our MEDEVAC aircraft to ensure they were always ready to launch within 15 minutes of hearing the "MEDEVAC, MEDEVAC, MEDEVAC" call on the radio. This is the call for an URGENT MEDEVAC that sends the crews running to the air-craft, starting up quickly, taking off, and flying as fast as possible to pick up critically wounded or sick patients. The Cowboy Dustoff team never failed to conduct a MEDEVAC--and our outstanding maintenance crew was directly responsible for this success. Cowboy Dustoff operations provides "early warning" for upcoming 6 7. November Issue