"Annual Training 2005"
Vorbereitung der 41. Infanteriebrigade der Oregon National Guard für Afghanistan
Die Ausbildungskooperation zwischen der Oregon National Guard (ONG) und dem Österreichischen Bundesheer fand im Juni 2005 mit der Teilnahme dreier österreichischer Offiziere am Annual Training der 41. Infanteriebrigade seinen bisherigen Höhepunkt.
Die folgenden englischsprachigen Beiträge - inhaltlich gekürzt und angepasst - wurden der Übungszeitung "Observation Post", der Homepage der Oregon National Guard bzw. der ONG-Zeitung "Oregon Sentinel" entnommen. Sie zeigen die Vielfalt dieser Ausbildung - vom Errichten der Camps über die Unterstützungs- und Logistikmöglichkeiten bis hin zum Gefechtsschießen der Infanteriezüge während einer Patrouille.
Ergänzt werden die Übungsberichte mit Beiträgen und Informationen über die Oregon National Guard und ihre im Einsatz befindlichen Einheiten der Army National Guard und der Air National Guard (Stand: Februar 2005)
Die 41. Infanteriebrigade der Oregon National Guard (ONG) übte im Juni 2005 als "41st Brigade Combat Team" (41st BCT) für zwei Wochen auf einem steppenähnlichen Truppenübungsplatz im Nachbarbundesstaat Idaho. Ziel dieses zu 90 bis 95 Prozent aus Citizen-Soldiers (Milizsoldaten) bestehenden Verbandes war die erste gemeinsame Vorbereitung für den bevorstehenden Afghanistan-Einsatz ab Juni 2006. Die Brigade war beauftragt, ein Infanteriebataillon und einige weitere Einheiten und Teileinheiten für die "Operation Enduring Freedom" zu stellen.
Die Übung selbst war das Annual Training (AT) des Jahres 2005 und wurde als Stationsausbildung mit abschließender gemeinsamer Gefechtsübung durchgeführt. Ausbildungsphasen wechselten mit Übungsphasen und fanden auf Ebene Zug und Kompanie statt. Geübt wurde das Verhalten als Eskorte, die Tätigkeiten beim Betreiben eines Checkpoints, bei Aufklärung und Überwachung, als Patrouille, das Verhalten bei Minenbedrohung, bei Angriffen durch Heckenschützen und Terroristen usw. Besonders intensiv - aber auch authentisch - wurde das Verhalten gegenüber der Bevölkerung einstudiert - mit Dari sprechenden Zivilpersonen als Darsteller.
Die Oregon National Guard gilt in den Vereinigten Staaten seit Jahrzehnten als Vorreiter in der Ausbildung und bei Einsätzen - die Anzahl der firsts steigt ständig. ("firsts" bedeutet, dass die ONG in den USA eine Vorreiterrolle innehat. Sie stellte bei vielen Kriegen und Einsätzen die ersten National-Guard-Verbände; Anm.).
Die amerikanische Presse und das Internet äußern sich relativ offen über die Einsätze und die Verluste der Streitkräfte. Ein Bataillon der 41. Infanteriebrigade hatte beispielsweise im Jahre 2004 im Irak neun Todesopfer zu beklagen. Umso bemerkenswerter ist daher die Tatsache, dass die nötige Anzahl an Freiwilligenmeldungen der 41. Brigade für den Afghanistan-Einsatz 2006/2007 im Rahmen des "Global War on Terror" bereits im Juni 2005 erreicht war!
Annual Training of the 41st Brigade Combat Team
Message from the Brigade Commander
"This Annual Training - Operation Bayonet Thrust - provides a realistic, challenging and exciting training opportunity for the soldiers and airmen assigned and attached to the 41st Brigade Combat Team.
We are fortunate to have access to the great Orchard Training Area in Gowen Field near Boise, Idaho - a training area that replicates the harsh environment we expect to encounter in Afghanistan next year. We also have the benefit of a wide range of role players from our civilian contractor Blue Canopy who will help us make the training very realistic. We have an excellent support system in place to ensure we maximize the training time available.
Our number one priority remains safety. With over 2 200 soldiers and airmen on the battlefield we need everyone to take responsibility for safety. I look forward to a great training event - one that tests our skills as professional soldiers and airmen and provides a rewarding experience for all.” Brigadier General Douglas Pritt, Brigade Commander Task Organisation of the 41st Infantry Brigade
Headquarters & Headquarters Company (Portland, Oregon) 1st Battalion/162nd Infantry Regiment 2nd Battalion/162nd Infantry Regiment 1st Battalion/186th Infantry Regiment 2nd Battalion/218th Field Artillery Regiment 141st Support Battalion 162nd Engineer Company 241st Military Intelligence Company Main equipment: HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) Task Organisation of the 41st Brigade Combat Team during AT 2005
Headquarters & Headquarters Company 1st Battalion/180th Infantry Regiment (45th BCT/Oklahoma) 1st Battalion/162nd Infantry Regiment 1st Battalion/186th Infantry Regiment 2nd Battalion/218th Field Artillery Regiment 141st Support Battalion (Combat Service Support) 162nd Engineer Company 241st Military Intelligence Company 1st Battalion/183rd Aviation Task Force 272nd Communication Squadron The 41st BCT’s "Operation Bayonet Thrust”
The purpose of this operation is to establish a secure environment in Afghanistan that facilitates local and governmental authorities and establishes the Afghan National Army (ANA) as the sole source of indigenous Afghan military power.
Key tasks are to train and develop the ANA, to maintain proficiency of fire support elements, to conduct "Support Operations and Stability Operations” (SOSO), to maintain lines of communication, to secure "Forward Operating Bases” (FOB) and to provide key force multipliers to the ANA. SOSO provide safety in order to allow the transition of responsibility to the government of Afghanistan. This is achieved by day and night patrols, air surveillance, checkpoints, fixed site security operations, show of force, response to emergency calls, raids, cordon and search operations and investigation of criminal activities.
Support is the Key for Annual Training
Soldiers and airmen from six different states (Oregon, Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, Washington and Idaho) are working together. The main focus of the Annual Training 2005 is to prepare Oregon’s 41st Brigade Combat Team for deployment to Afghanistan in 2006. In addition, civilians working with Blue Canopy - a company based in Reston, Virginia, that employs civilians native to foreign countries to play roles of Afghan people - as blue forces (BLUEFOR) will help in the exercise and act as local civilians on the battlefield to help create a realistic exercise environment as well as cultural awareness training. They will dress up in authentic clothing and speak Dari, one of the two Afghan languages.
This year’s operation will also sponsor foreign troops from Germany, Austria and the United Kingdom. This AT is different because many soldiers training here have already served tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. They have useful information that greatly enhances the training.
Innovative Range Gives Taste of New Battlefield
A new convoy live-fire range, the first of its kind, has popped up on the Orchard Training Area to help soldiers train for situations they may encounter while deployed overseas. Convoys on the range negotiate six scenarios. During each iteration they encounter numerous pop-up and moving targets, roadblocks and improvised explosive devices (IED) simulated by pyrotechnics and incendiary devices. They also negotiate a kill-zone where the convoys sustain simulated injuries and disabled vehicles. The intent of these scenarios is to create flexibility for the troops to adapt their convoy standard operating procedures based on mission requirements. The range packages together many skills that soldiers train on - including weapons system operation, convoy movement, communications and target identification.
Due to the complexity of the range, each convoy goes through three iterations on the live-fire range to first familiarize, then practice and finally experience the whole range at full combat force. One advantage of the range is the confidence it builds and the importance it places on muzzle awareness. It also gives soldiers the experience of carrying live ammunition and practicing shooting at moving and stationary targets while the convoy is in transit.
Military Intelligence Trains on New Software
The 241st Military Intelligence Company, an asset of the 41st Brigade Combat Team, is doing this year’s Annual Training in preparation for their approaching deployment to Afghanistan in support of "Operation Enduring Freedom”.
This year’s training involves two new software systems: the Counter Human Intelligence Management System and the All Source Analysis System.
The programs are designed to enable soldiers to make intelligence reports with greater speed and accuracy. Another major aspect of this year’s training is person-to-person interaction. Actors, provided by the civilian contractor Blue Canopy will play key members in the fictional towns around the training area. Military intelligence is all about dealing with people, and that working in this environment provides a superior training experience over home station training.
Missions include force protection, information collection and analysis, advising the commander, physical security of sensitive sites and vetting - the process of evaluating a Forward Operating Base (FOB) for security issues and information leaks.
Medics Learn to Prioritize
Charlie Company of the 141st Support Battalion takes part in trauma lanes training in Orchard Training Area.
Trauma lanes consist of patient reception, triage, stabilization and patient dispatching. C-Coy receives most patients through medical evacuation, provided by UH-60 Black Hawk from Salem, Oregon, although patients also arrive by convoy.
Triage is the prioritization of patients and allocation of care to maximize the number of survivors where a high number of casualties is expected. The primary goal of Charlie Company is to stabilize patients.
Because C-Coy will participate in the Afghanistan mission with the 41st Brigade Combat Team, the medics focus on what they would encounter overseas. The type and number of simulated injuries shows what is being seen overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq: mostly improvised explosive device and gunshot-wounds. To add realism, patients wear makeup, prosthetics and pumps that push mock blood into the prosthetics.
162nd Engineers Hard at Work
Before the combat units occupy the Orchard Training Area, the 162nd Engineer Company is hard at work building four Forward Operating Bases and five Military Operations Urban Training sites (MOUT sites).
Captain Moffit is assigned to the 162nd Engineer Company and attached to the 41st Brigade headquarters to advise the commander and to plan all engineer missions for the brigade.
Moffit works with the primary staff to ensure the brigade commander has an adequate plan for mobility, survivability and counter-mobility on the battlefield.
The 162nd Engineer Company out of Camp Rilea, Oregon, is responsible for the set-up of the FOBs, for stringing concertina wire and building a guard tower in each of the FOBs and the MOUT sites.
"We also have a support platoon that has some heavy equipment for making minimal roads, setting up helipads or air-strips and digging fighting positions for the artillery units. The MOUT sites constructed by the 162nd engineers are unique in that they are pre-constructed walls that are basically a standard two-room configuration in a mobile village and takes about an hour for a two-man crew to build.”
Oregon National Guard
History of the Oregon National Guard and the 41st Infantry Brigade
In May 1843, a committee of settlers in Salem recommended the foundation of a territorial government and the formation of a military force to take measures for civil and military protection of the colony. Four constables were appointed and instructed to form companies of mounted riflemen. These four men constituted the nucleus of Oregon’s first militia.
In March 1844, a company of 25 mounted riflemen was organized to stop Wasco Indians which rode into Willamette Falls, now Oregon City, brandishing weapons and threatening local citizens. This unit became the first military unit in the territory, and it was here that the heritage of the Oregon citizen-soldiers truly began. The First Oregon Infantry Regiment rose of volunteers - they had to provide their own horses, clothing, weapons and blankets.
In 1887, Owen Summers was elected to Oregon’s legislature. He successfully introduced a new military code and authorized a National Guard ("Summers Law”). According to the law, the new National Guard was to consist of regiments with a strength of 1,320 men each.
In April 1892, a new role came to the National Guard - that of providing support and assistance to civil authorities in times of peace.
In 1898, Oregon was called upon to furnish a regiment of infantry as soon as possible because of the war between the United States and Spain. Thus was born the Second Oregon Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Colonel Owen Summers, who had created the Oregon National Guard 12 years before, was selected as the Regimental Commander, thus making him the first Oregonian combat commander to serve on foreign soil.
In 1916, Congress passed the National Defense Act - for the first time, National Guardsmen were to be paid.
In 1917, Oregon National Guard infantry, field artillery and cavalry units were sent to North Carolina to be formed into the 41st Division, named "Sunset Division". The First Oregon Infantry Regiment became the first National Guard unit to be mobilized for service during World War I and the first to recruit to full wartime strength.
In 1921, each state was instructed to form certain divisional units. Oregon received the 162nd and the 186th Infantry Regiment as well as the 218th Field Artillery Regiment.
In 1940, the 41st Infantry Division was inducted into federal service for World War II. It continued the series of "firsts” by being the first United States Division to deploy to the South Pacific and to train in Jungle Warfare. It spent 45 months overseas and earned the title of "Jungleers”. The 41st Division first stopped at Australia for even more training and then proceeded to New Guinea to meet the Japanese Forces in an offensive operation at Salamaua. After the fall of the Philippines, the division moved to Japan where it occupied the island of Honshu. The unit deactivated in 1945 in Kure, Japan, and the men returned home.
In 1965, the 41st Infantry Division was reorganized into the 41st Infantry Brigade. The traditions and spirit of the division passed to the 41st Brigade which proudly wears the "Sunset” patch, bears its colours and uses the title of "Jungleers”.
In 1975, the 41st Infantry Brigade became attached to the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado. It was designated in 1994 as "Enhanced”. During "Operation Desert Storm” 1991, Oregon National Guard personnel served in Saudi Arabia.
Now, the Oregon National Guard’s and 41st Brigade’s state mission is - on order of the Governor - to mobilize and deploy units in response to emergency situations in the State of Oregon. Its federal mission is to mobilize, deploy to theatre of operation, occupy assembly area, conduct combat operations, redeploy and demobilize. Units of the Oregon National Guard assisted in relief activities in and around New Orleans after hurricane Katrina (September 2005).
A Message from the Command Sergeant Major
"It’s good to reflect what it means to be a member of the Oregon National Guard and a soldier. Having citizen soldiers was considered so important that the US National Guard is the only military force mentioned by name in the US Constitution.
The Army National Guard now has about 350 000 soldiers in units dispersed all over the country in 3,500 different locations. The Air National Guard has more than 106,600 officers and enlisted personnel who serve in 88 flying units and 280 independent support units.
What does this mean to me? For many years we, the National Guard, have supported our states and our nation. We have reported for duty to help with all sorts of natural and man made disasters in our state and in our nation. The National Guard has served in every war this nation has fought, beginning with the revolutionary war and continuing till now when there are some 100,000 citizen soldiers and airmen who are deployed overseas in 44 countries. 34 percent of the US forces in Iraq are members of the National Guard. Those citizen soldiers and airmen serving overseas and here at home are carrying on the proud tradition of the National Guard, serving both our state and nation.
I am very proud of what we have done and what we are doing for our state and for our country. I encourage everyone to be proud of their service, whether you are serving here at home or in some far away place. Please share your pride with the citizens of Oregon and thank them for their continuing support.” Sergeant Major Thomas Moe, Command Sergeant Major of the Oregon National Guard Oregon Troops - Where are they Now? (February 2005)
These are the units deployed, the number of soldiers and the unit’s location: 2nd Battalion/162nd Infantry Regiment (720) Baghdad, Iraq; Embedded Training Team/41st Brigade (20) Afghanistan; 1186th Military Police Company (5) Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; 3rd Battalion/116th Infantry Regiment (400) Kirkuk, Iraq; G-Troop/82nd Cavalry Regiment (150) Kirkuk, Iraq; F-Troop / 82nd Cavalry Regiment (90) deploying to Iraq; 3670th Maintenance Company (75) on alert to deploy to Iraq.
A Message from the Governor
"Dear Members of the 2nd Battalion/162nd Infantry Regiment (2-162 IN BN)!
I want to say a few words to the brave men of the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment. I know that you are in perhaps the most dangerous place in the world. Why you are there is not a mystery to me - in you, the soldiers of the 2-162, Oregon has produced some of the best soldiers in the world. You have been well trained, you know what you are doing, and you can be counted upon to take on any challenge and to face any danger. I am so very proud of you.
I wanted to take this opportunity to write to you so that you would know that we here in Oregon are thinking of you. We are grateful to you for the courageous sacrifice you are making and you are never far from our thoughts and our prayers.
To us - as to you - it may seem an eternity, but the day of your return comes closer with each day. You left as soldiers; you will return as heroes.” Ted Kulongoski, Governor of the State of Oregon Oregon Mourns the Loss of Three of her Sons
Recently in Baghdad, a platoon of Infantrymen from D-Company, 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment, 41st Brigade Combat Team, were on a routine patrol, when they heard an explosion and saw smoke billowing into the air. The platoon leader decided to investigate thinking someone might need help.
An improvised explosive device hit a small convoy of military police: one military vehicle was on fire and there were injured on the ground. While the gunner remained in the turret to maintain security, the lieutenant and two of his men quickly jumped from the vehicle to render aid to soldiers from New Jersey.
As they hurried off, with combat lifesaver bag in hand, a second IED was hand-detonated killing three members of the ONG: Sgt. Justin Eyerly, Spec. Justin Linden and 1st Lt. Erik McCrae.
ONG Soldier Awarded Silver Star for Heroic Efforts
Sgt. Matthew Zedwick of Bend, Oregon, (right) was awarded the Silver Star by Major General Pete Chiarelli, Commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, for heroic actions under hostile enemy fire during an incident June 13, 2004. Zedwick was the driver of the third vehicle in a four-vehicle convoy on patrol North of Camp Taji, Iraq, when a car bomb detonated nearby, destroying his HMMWV. The blast killed his gunner and severely wounded the vehicle’s commander. Despite sustaining extensive wounds himself, Zedwick pulled the commander from the burning vehicle, and dragged him to safety. With the vehicle engulfed in flames, and insurgents’ bullets ricocheting all around him, he managed to retrieve weapons and the radio before spare ammunition in the vehicle began to explode. Zedwick returned to safety and continued to administer first aid to his injured commander. In spite of his own wounds, Zedwick defended their position against enemy fire until assistance arrived.
The Silver Star is awarded to persons cited for bravery during action against hostile forces.
Oregon’s 2-162 IN BN Returns Home after More Than a Year in Iraq
More than 700 citizen-soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment, 41st Brigade Combat Team returned home from Iraq. Four thousand families and friends packed into the new pavilion at the Oregon State Fairgrounds to officially demobilize members of the unit. Governor Ted Kulongoski, The Adjutant General for the Oregon National Guard, Brigadier General Raymond Byrne, and Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Henrickson, commander of the 2-162 IN BN, spoke to the crowd.
As the soldiers quickly stood in formation, they were greeted by Brigadier General Douglas Pritt, Commander of the 41st Brigade: "These soldiers have performed with absolute distinction while serving our state and our nation. And we appreciate the sacrifice your families have made while you were overseas protecting our American way of life.” The mobilization of just over 700 soldiers made this the largest deployment of Oregon soldiers since World War II.
The unit was mobilized in October 2003, and after training and integration into the 1st Cavalry in Ft. Hood, Texas, they were forward deployed to areas in and around Baghdad. Over the course of the year, the unit helped neutralize enemy fighters and Iraqi insurgents, as well as locating tons of cached weapons used to make improvised explosive devices.
Members of the unit also saw some of the fiercest fighting during the war - in the towns of Fallujah and Najaf - names which conjure images of street-level fighting and still photos bathed in the green glow of night-vision goggles.
However, the unit would have to balance its accomplishments in Iraq with the highest number of casualties of any of the Oregon National Guard units. In all, nine individuals would perish at the hand of the insurgents’ bullets and bombs - 1st Lt. Erik McCrae, Sgt. Justin Eyerly, Spec. Justin Linden, Spec. Eric McKinley, Spec. Ken Leisten, Staff Sgt. David Weisenberg, Sgt. Ben Isenberg, Sgt. David Johnson, and Sgt. David Roustum.
Agencies Line up to Help with Soldiers Transition
After ceremonies and parties are over many soldiers returning from deployments will find themselves overwhelmed with the question of "Now what?”.
The Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) helps soldiers to find jobs. It is coordinating with the Oregon Department of Labour and the Oregon State Employment Office to offer employment assistance through job fairs, resume writing, and job searches. This CTAP is the first in the nation.
In addition Oregon National Guard has developed a Reintegration Team and a Family Program with the intent to help soldiers and their families face the challenges after being released from active duty.
"Oregon National Guard Families are Ready, Resilient, and Self-Reliant”. In order to support this vision, the Program has several Family Assistance Centres (FACs) available to assist families of deployed military members. These FACs provide information and referral services to military families, and can direct individuals to resources for pay problems, legal issues, emergency assistance, financial assistance and childcare.
___________________________________ __________________________________ Autor: Oberst Rudolf Sturmlechner, 1980 Ausmusterung zum Panzergrenadierbataillon 9 nach Horn; 1983 bis 1991 Dienst beim Panzerstabsbataillon 3; seit 1991 im Kommando der 3. Panzergrenadierbrigade in mehreren Verwendungen eingesetzt. 2003 für neun Monate mit der Führung des Panzerstabsbataillon 3 beauftragt; im Juni 2005 Teilnehmer am "Annual Training" der 41. Infanteriebrigade der Oregon National Guard. Derzeit Leiter der Führungsabteilung an der Landesverteidigungsakademie.