TF Knighthawk “News From the Front” 01 November 2006 by bigmekahlo


									                                 TF Knighthawk
              “News From the Front”
                                                                     01 November 2006
A note from the Commander…                     success. We are looking at holding a
      Hello everyone!
 2-10 Aviation Regiment    We are now in our   talent show in November, and are planning
                                                                       January 2006
9th month, and while some things remain        something small but special
the same, there has been some definite         to celebrate X-Mas as well.
change in Kandahar. Mainly, we are now         These last months during
able to officially look towards redeployment   the holiday season can be
and plan for our homecoming. My best           especially hard for
guess for the moment is that most              everyone. If we can endure
personnel should be home by late               them while staying focused,
February 07. As we continue to work the        we will be home safely soon enough.
redeployment plan, we will keep you all
informed. It is a huge effort, and is based                       I would like to take this
on a seamless transition with our                                 opportunity to welcome
replacements, the move of our personnel                           the detachment from B 3-
and equipment stateside via multiple                              10th Aviation Regiment,
means. For now though, our mission and         led by 1LT Alison Cowie, who have taken
operational tempo continues, with our          over the mission from our recently
performance exceeding all expectations.        redeployed comrades in arms from B 7-
The soldiers of Task Force Knighthawk are      158th Regiment. The Phoenix Detachment
the best in the nation, and you should be      is already in the swing of things down in
justifiably proud of them as I am. Everyday    Kandahar and doing great things on a daily
that we are here we are able to see what       basis. Welcome Phoenix Detachment!
an impact we are having, and we are                    Thank you for all of your sacrifices
definitely making the world a better place     and continued support back home, and we
in conducting our                              only have a few short months to go!
        We are working                         Knighthawk 6
hard, but we try to find
ways to distress on                            A Note From Deanna…
occasion. We recently
had a Halloween                                Happy November everyone! Some days
costume party in the                           are flying by so quickly, it is hard to tell,
Motor Pool hangar, and                         but now that we’ve turned the clocks back
I am quite sure there will                     an hour, Halloween has passed, and
be many memories and stories for months        Thanksgiving is approaching, it’s for
to come. Perhaps many of you have seen         certain – another month has gone by! I
some of the photos (I swear that man in        hope October was a good one for all, and
the blonde wig is not me). Thanks to those     those who attended the Fall Festival with
of you who sent some really great              their children had a fun time. It was great
costumes which helped make the party a
to see all the terrific costumes, and we        games, food, entertainment for the
lucked out with nice weather before the         children (a clown with balloons and a
rain and winds arrived. Thank you so            show), and another opportunity to make
much to Laura Wendt and Jamie                   welcome home banners. Please mark this
Kneeland, who helped with our BN game –         on your calendars and plan to attend.
I could not have done it without you!           Additional information will be
                                                forthcoming with more details, so stay
Likewise, with Thanksgiving coming up, I        tuned!
want to take this opportunity to say how
thankful I am for all the people who            Until next month (then we’ll be down to
comprise our 2-10 Battalion family              three!), I wish a Happy Thanksgiving to
readiness group. From the Rear                  you all. Hope to see you on December 9 th.
Detachment commanders and soldiers, the
awesome company FRG leaders, to the key         Sincerely,
callers, and everyone in between who            Deanna
contributes each and everyday in some
way, I am so very grateful. I know some         HHC/2-10
days are really long, frustrating, and          We have completed the
tiring, but we are so close to the end of the   “third lap” of our deployment
deployment now, so I ask you to please          and now begin the final ¼
                                                mile. Redeployment issues
continue with what you are doing. We
                                                are coming at us hot and
have to stay motivated and hang in there        heavy. School assignments,
for just a few more months now (hooray!).       inter-battalion personnel
 Speaking of Thanksgiving, if you don’t        shuffling, PCS, ETS,
already have plans for your holiday             retirement; you name it. It’s
dinner, you should consider going to the        almost easy to forget that we are still over here in
                                                the midst of a war with all the work required to
10th AVN BDE dining facility. They put
                                                prepare for redeployment. In addition, the
on a truly impressive, fantastic feast, and     temperatures at night can be downright cold!
then there is no cleaning up afterwards!        Someone turned the heat on in the bathroom in my
                                                building last night. I believe I saw my breath this
With the approaching return of our BN in        morning before PT.
                                                          HHC recently celebrated a record quarter
February, plans are being made to help
                                                and month for recognition and accomplishment
welcome everyone back to Ft. Drum. This         within the task force. Through their exemplary work
includes the single soldiers in our             ethic, dedication to duty, and unparalleled
Battalion. I know there are a lot of family     professionalism, SGT Floyd Soriano and PFC
members, groups, and other organizations        Deandra Rowan were selected as the Task Force
that would like to assist and support this      NCO and Soldier of the Quarter for Q1 FY07.
                                                Since joining the unit this spring, SGT Soriano has
sort of cause, whether it is by donations,
                                                been a tremendous asset and addition to the
contributions, ideas, or lending a hand         S4/Supply shop. He recently was promoted to SGT
with preparations. So if you, or anyone         and as such has attacked his new responsibilities
you know, is interested in helping out,         with great rigor and determination. PFC Rowan
please let your FRG leader know.                has quietly left her mark not only within HHC but
                                                also within Charlie Company, assisting the
                                                company on two different occasions. It’s that kind
The next event coming up is our BN              of team attitude and selfless service that has
Christmas party, scheduled for Saturday,        earned her the respect of her superiors as well as
December 9th, at the Watertown YMCA,            her peers. Congratulations to both! In addition,
from 2-4 in the afternoon. There will be        SGT Gawf earned the honor of NCO of the Month
                                                of October. SGT Gawf was recently decreed as the
“best Chaplain’s assistant I have ever had the                          Finally, a big congratulations goes out to CW2
pleasure of working with” by Chaplain Bob Crowley.             Deremer for accomplishing the status of Pilot in
I think that statement sums up what SGT Gawf has               Command and to PFC Schmidt who was recently
brought to the unit. Congratulations also go to SPC            promoted to Specialist. Both of these are well deserved
Peter Marks, SPC Brian Johnson, and SPC Andre                  accomplishments and we all know that they will both
Clark for their recent promotions.                             continue to do great things for this company, task force,
          As we head into the holiday months, I ask            and country. Take care and we’ll see you soon.
for your continued daily support. By working                   Until next time…Same Bat time. Same Bat channel.
together and supporting one another, we can focus
on what we do have (our health, and only 90 days               1LT Burke
left!!) and not on the things that we don’t have. It is        D/2-10
often easy to ponder the “what ifs” in life. However,          Happy Thanksgiving! We have
with each day that the flag over Task Force                    several new members in the
Knighthawk flies at half-mast, it hits home to us how          Dragonhawk family that I would
lucky we are to still be “in the fight” and nearing our        like to welcome. Anaid Marie
time to head home to our loved ones.                           Tapia was born on October 13th
          As always, thanks to Decima Chiasson for             to SGT Diana Tapia. Both mom
all her hard work as HHC FRG leader!                           and baby are doing well and SSG Teudy Tapia was able
                                                               to make it home to be there with his family. SPC
Kevin M. Coughlin                                              Zachary and Cassie Clark are the proud parents of Dylan
CPT, AV                                                        Clark who was born on the October 18th. Zach was also
HHC Commander                                                  able to make it home to see the birth of his son.
                                                               Congratulations to all of you!
Family and Friends,                                            It’s reenlistment time again and we are already in full
                                                               swing. I am extremely grateful to all those who continue
November is finally here which                                 to serve this nation during the Global War on Terrorism
means we’re one step closer to                                 and especially those who elect to continue to serve after
coming home. The morale in                                     their commitments are finished. Congratulations to SGT
the company is still high as is the op tempo. We’re            Massie, SGT Sarnor, and SPC Villezcas and thank you
approaching our highest flying time month yet despite          for your continued service.
the winter months approaching. The temperatures
recently have dropped into the mid 80’s during the day         Several of the great Soldiers in the Dragonhawk team
and 50’s during the night. I think I may have even seen a      continue to show their great leadership ability and have
cloud in the sky the other day. Then again, it may have        been rewarded with a well-earned promotion over the
been my imagination considering any form of                    last several weeks. Congratulations to SGT Dewitt, SPC
precipitation in this country is about as likely as O.J.       Alexander, and PFC Wilson on their recent promotions.
finishing his life long search of finding “the true killer”.   I would also like to recognize CPL Stolberg and SPC
The trend in the previous years shows that there is a          Hays who have been awarded impact Army
large decrease in enemy activity during the winter             Achievement Medals for their work completing airframe
months as they retreat to Pakistan before the mountain         repairs to an AH-64A Apache Helicopter after it received
passes are covered in snow.                                    damage during a combat mission. Their repairs were not
           The coming months should go by quickly for us       only quick, which allowed the aircraft to get back in the
all with signs of our replacing unit showing up                fight, but also were extremely well done. Several
everywhere. We recently had a visit by the 82nd                experienced maintainers commented that it was one of
Airborne Division’s Command Sergeant Major doing his           the best repairs they had ever seen. Thanks for all you
initial reconnaissance of the area. Just seeing that patch     do and let’s continue to provide expert aviation
on his shoulder sent a wave of excitement and                  maintenance support to this great task force.
expectations of the things to come in the near future.
Plans are already in development on the best and fastest       Finally, I would like thank CPT Jon Schloicka for his
way to get all of our equipment and personnel home.            service to the Dragonhawk team. He has served as the
Though this will be a monumental task, every person in         Maintenance Platoon Leader and the Company
this task force is up for the challenge. The harder we         Executive Officer during this deployment and has been a
work, the faster we come home…and we all want to               great asset for the mission and the Soldiers. Jon is
come home. However, we’re committed to staying until           joining A Company where he will continue to increase
our job is done.                                               his flight time here in Afghanistan. Thanks for all you
have done. I would also like to welcome 2LT John           Happy Halloween to the families of Echo
Plitsch and is wife Jenny to our team. John is replacing   Company. I trust that your October has been
CPT Schloicka as our Executive Officer and he has          treating you well. For those families in Watertown,
already made quite an impact on the operations of the      please send some of that rain to us. We could use
company. We look forward to working with you and           it. October has been a busy month for the
welcome your family into the Dragonhawk family.            Distribution Platoon. We have officially seen our
                                                           reserve counterparts redeploy home after their 12
I would like to thank everyone for what they do everyday   months serving our great country. We have
and the sacrifices that their families make during the     continued to support our aviation brothers in their
Global War on Terrorism. We have a great team and I        fight against the Taliban. One October highlight
look forward to the continued successes here as we         allowed for our platoon to conduct a training
approach our last few months in Afghanistan. If there      mission on the Pakistan border. As we the light at
are questions please don’t hesitate to contact me and      the tunnel starts getting bigger and brighter,
please check out the Dragonhawk website at                 Afghanistan starts getting colder and colder. We .                                      are thankful for summer weather to be officially
                                                           gone. I have also been asked to pass on a special
Sincerely,                                                 message by the Soldiers: send more packages!!
CPT Peter F. Godfrin Jr.                                            Congrats to the following promotions: PFC
Dragonhawk 06                                              Drake, PFC Williams, PFC Quintana. We would
                                                           also like to show special recognition and thanks to
                                                           the following Soldiers for reenlisting in the Army
E/2-10                                                     and dedicating themselves to the defense of our
The month of October for                                   great nation: SGT (P) Snell, SPC Cole, SPC
the HQ/Maintenance                                         Thompson, and SPC Travis.
Platoon:                                                   Distribution Platoon Leader, 1LT Matlock
First of all, congratulations to
the Robinsons and their new                                As you have previously read above, E company led
addition, Matthew, born 12                                 a superb effort for the reenlistment mission for FY
October, 7lbs 3oz. This                                    07. Due to the outstanding efforts of all the NCOs
makes the year a rather productive one for the             and company First Sergeant we are well on are
entire platoon with five new babies (ALL BOYS!!!):         way of making our reenlistments goal. There were a
The Simons' twins Samuel and Zachary, the                  total of eight reenlistments for the month of
Thortons' baby Troy, the Combs' son Nickolus, and          October. This success story could not have
the Robinsons' boy Matthew.                                happened without the diligent efforts of our junior
         Other positive notes include reenlistments        and senior NCOs’ whose dedication to mission
of several Soldiers in the company including SPC           accomplishment and Soldier care led the effort.
Beene, SPC Laws, and SPC St Amand from our                           We recently ordered our first company T-
platoon. Congratulations to them and their families!       Shirt, and will hopefully be wearing them during our
Sadly, with the happy times often comes sad news.          next Task Force run. The t-shirts reflect the
Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of SSG         KNIGHTRIDER logo, with two colors to choose
Robinson's brother, who passed away recently in            from (red and black). We are working the team
an accident. May they find comfort through their           concept very hard, as it directly relates to our
loss. Finally, as the deployment begins to wind            efficiency and synchronization of effort. Unit
down and the date for redeployment looms closer, it        Cohesion is continually in progress.
is hard not to get exited at the prospect of returning               We will be home sooner than you know it
home. Thankfully, there is still enough to keep us         enjoying the cold winters of Fort Drum. I am
occupied for the time being. There is always new           confident the systems are in place to ensure a
maintenance and training requirements from higher,         smooth arrival of unit personnel from theater to the
as well as the occasional distractions such as the         home station. The Soldiers will come home as
Halloween Party and Safety Day. And although               veterans who have served for their country…
everywhere rumors fly as to when the big date for          PROUDLY!!
redeployment is, we generally just plan for about a        Company Executive Officer, CPT Jenkins
year and focus on the mission. So until the next
newsletter, Headquarters and Maintenance out!
Motorpool Platoon Leader, 1LT Simons
F/2-10                                                       up flawlessly and we continue to provide the
F Troop is happy to welcome                                  necessary support that keeps operations moving
back CW4 Johnny Belisle!!!!!                                 forward. We are glad to be embraced so fully by
For those of you who may not                                 this task force and will prove our worth through the
remember, CW4 Belisle was                                    successful completion of all assigned missions. We
involved in the accident that                                hope to exceed the standard and to bring everyone
occurred at the end of April and                             home safe and sound!
was sent back to the states with a severe back injury.
After spending nearly five months in therapy at Fort         Alison E. Cowie
Hood, he has returned to serve his country and finish out    1LT, AV
his tour of duty. He is back in the cockpit and doing        Phoenix Det.
great things for F Troop. Unfortunately 1LT Phillip          Commanding
McConnell, who was also injured in the crash, will not
be returning to theater for duty. However, he is             159th Med Det
recovering well and maintaining a positive attitude.                  The weather’s getting colder, the days are
       We also welcome back 1SG James Durbin who             getting shorter, and the redeployment is getting
had to undergo emergency surgery at the beginning of         closer! October presented a great chance to enjoy
September. Complications from the surgery forced him         one of our favorite holidays – Halloween! Some
to have to go back to Fort Hood to recover as well. He is    costumes were scary, some funny, some just
back in the swing of things and livelier than ever.          downright weird. But a good time was had by all,
       Even with the ISAF transition and the increased       and the TF party was a welcome break from day-to-
utilization of the British and Dutch Apaches, our pilots     day work…
continue to set the standard and provide the example for              More big news came by way of
how an Attack aircraft should perform in combat. We          promotions… we congratulate CW4 Roger Hopkins
have the best maintenance team in theater. When you          and SSG Corey Barton on their achievement, and
consider the 4,200 hours that have been flown, the harsh     wish them nothing but the best in their new rank.
environment, and the fact that every F Troop Apache has      Great job, gentlemen!
sustained battle damage, it is an understatement to say               As always, thanks are in order for the
that our maintenance is anything less than excellent.        families who continue to make our days brighter
       The end of October marks the completion of our        with goodies and care packages from home… Your
eighth full month in country and a full year since we left       th
                                                             159 Soldiers continue to work diligently in our
our homes and families for a four month mobilization to      mission and make a difference here every single
Fort Hood, Texas prior to our arrival here. It’s been a      day. The OPTEMPO is slowing, but our
long twelve months for all of us. Everyone has given         maintainers, staff, and flight crews remain
110% everyday and will continue to do so everyday until      committed to support coalition forces with world-
the day we leave. The comfort comes in knowing that          class aeromedical evacuation. DUSTOFF!
when we do finally get out of here, after being away
from home and family for nearly eighteen months, we’re       CPT Jeff Horton
guaranteed to be home for at least the next five years…...
1-800-GO GUARD!!

SSG Steve High                    3 Nov 06
CPT Kevin Hickey                  8 Nov 06
1LT Mark Jordan                   26 Nov 06
CW4 Steve Swenson                 8 Nov 06
SGT Jeremy Edwards                21 Nov 06

We arrived in Kandahar in the beginning of October
and have made a seamless transition into TF
Knighthawk. Our detachment from the “Mountain
Movers” is the “Phoenix Detachment”. We are a
small company element of 22 flight personnel: 10
Pilots, 12 crew members. The mission was picked
Chaplain’s Notes                                           Doc/Medics
"The willingness with which our young people are likely
to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be     This month the Knighthawk medics continued
directly proportional to how they perceive how the
veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by
                                                           to train Knighthawks, coalition partners and
their nation"                                              provide medical care. The Knighthawk medics
               George Washington     November 10, 1781     administered influenza vaccine to the task force
                                                           this month. This is always a challenge for us
We are not there yet but you should be preparing to        and this year was no exception. Our fellow
receive your soldier even now. Certainly, there is
some anxiety but mostly elation that the day will
                                                           Knighthawks were quick to demonstrate their
finally come. Plan now to go to the Rear                   escape and evasion skills as medics like PFC
Detachments redeployment class and learn some              Reinacher (a.k.a. “The Flu Sniper”) searched
vital information about what will happen when that         for unvaccinated individuals to whack. In the
day does arrive.                                           end the medics vaccinated 100% of the task
One last word, give your soldiers some time to get
adjusted to normal life, expect them to get up and
                                                           force. I know we all breathe a collective sigh
put clothes on to go to the bathroom, expect them          of relief knowing that no Knighthawk will have
to look for their weapon at unexpected times,              to lie awake at tonight wondering if they are
expect them to collect little things and stash them        vaccinated against influenza this year. This
away where nobody can find them. Expect them to            month has also resulted in a high attrition for
look at everything with amazement and wonder,
(like driving, taking out the trash, little kids,
                                                           the medical staff as PFC Hattaway and SGT
carpeting) everything that we have taken for               Rodriguez took mid-tour leave. We hope they
granted will be a blessing when we return,                 are enjoying leave while we look forward to
especially our family!                                     their return to theater. Knighthawks!
And this to shall Pass (the deployment). A saying
attributed to Peanut creator Charles Schultz
illustrates it best. “"Don't worry about the world
coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in

Chaplain Crowley
…and from our comrades-in-arms outside of
           TF Knighthawk…
   B/2-10         Aviation Regiment                            C/2-10                               January 2006
                                                               Greetings Warlord Families!
            October was a very                                           Is it really November
   busy month, which for us                                    already? Time is flying with the
   means that we can officially begin the countdown to         amount of missions that we
   coming home (90 days)! We continue to stay busy as we       complete daily. We definitely
   remain the Brigade’s workhorse. Bravo Company isn’t         keep everyone gainfully
   complaining though as it makes the time go by quicker.      employed! The good news is that we’re one month closer
            The temperatures continue to drop up in            to coming home! Speaking of home, I hope the early
   Bagram, which is really preparation for our return to the   North Country snowstorms aren’t causing too much
   nice winters at Fort Drum.                                  trouble. We’ve had some interesting weather ourselves.
            We think of you constantly and appreciate all      There have been four hailstorms at Salerno in the past
   that you are doing for us back home. A longer update to     month. Needless to say, it has kept our maintenance team
   follow in the next issue!                                   very busy!
                                                                         We are glad to welcome back SPC Aaron
   Buccaneers!!!                                               Mongeon, who recently returned to the company after
   CPT Bernie Reilly                                           almost seven months of recovery from his wounds. Upon
                                                               his arrival, he immediately got an up slip from the flight
                                                               doctor and has been flying ever since. In other news,
                                                               SSG Langdon Bryant is the most recent member of the
                                                               Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, which is a prestigious
                                                               NCO distinction. He performed flawlessly at both the
                                                               Battalion and Brigade level boards, representing the
                                                               Warlords well.
                                                                         This month we also had the distinct privilege to
                                                               re-enlist two fine NCOs. SGT Aaron Perez and SGT
                                                               Stephen Davis both made a commitment stay in the
                                                               Army and serve their country for an additional six years.
                                                               This was particularly poignant considering that they
                                                               made this decision in a combat zone where they are fully
                                                               aware of the sacrifices required for this job. We are
                                                               extremely proud to retain two top notch Soldiers. Also,
                                                               congratulations go out to Steve Bozovich for his
                                                               promotion to Captain and Derek Knodt for his promotion
                                                               to CW2. Both were well-deserved promotions. Job well
                                                                         We also had several pilots picked up for
                                                               advanced schooling. CW2 Heath Wieseler, CW2 Adam
                                                               Stein, and CW2 Mike Coryer were hand selected for the
                                                               Instructor Pilot Course. Also, CW2 Chad Lowery and
                                                               CW2 Steve Randall were hand selected for the
                                                               Maintenance Test Pilot Course.
                                                                         Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts and
                                                               prayers. Take care and we’ll send another update soon!


                                                               CPT Casey Martinez

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