Going Somewhere? OPERATIONS DIVISION G3, U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center housands of Soldiers are either in Class C ammunition, corrosives T or on their way to Iraq and Afghanistan—some for the second or third time. If you’ve been there before, you’re familiar with improperly certified and mixed with unidentified hazardous lubricants, MRE rations and undocumented insecticides on the same pallet, lack of MILSTAMP the many different problems associated advanced cargo clearance, improper with living and fighting in the desert. If storage, and improper security. it’s your first deployment, consider Train load teams to standard. yourself fortunate that recent experience Use Quality Assurance Specialist has provided numerous lessons learned Ammunition Surveillance support. so you don’t have to figure things out Nest all equipment and supplies the hard way. inside vehicles to minimize damage You’ve already trained for the fight. It’s from rough handling at ports and on the just a matter of getting there now. high seas. Highlighted in the paragraphs below are Comply with Air Force Regulation certain unsafe hazards that have 71-4 in airlift of hazardous materials and caused accidents in the past, followed with guidelines in Technical Manual 38- by control measures. Remember that 250 (11 December 2001). safety, survival, knowledge, and Ensure vehicles have required common-sense thinking will lead to tie-down shackles. mission accomplishment and bring you Keep personnel from under home safe. equipment being lifted aboard ship. Hazard: Individuals abandoned safety Coordinate and understand in an effort to establish “combat requirements for topping off vehicles posture.” before shipment. Ensure all personnel know and Coordinate port of embarkation use the five-step risk-management shipping requirements for bulk fuel and process and Composite Risk petroleum, oil, and lubricants tank Management in all operations. transporters through the servicing Establish a command climate installation transportation office. from the outset that promotes safety. Ensure that vehicle master Begin by establishing a safety network switches are turned off immediately after and designating safety personnel. loading. Train to standard, enforce Hazard: Chemical agent resistant standards, and require all personnel to coating (CARC) was used to repaint perform to standard in all operations. vehicles for deployment. Ensure leaders complete the Ensure CARC painting is Commanders’ Safety Course. completed in accordance with Hazard: Unsafe loading and shipment. established requirements. Examples of violations include failure to Caution users that liquid CARC is identify and mark containers, mixing flammable. Class A explosives with incompatible Caution users that CARC is toxic on personnel, training, terrain, and exposure to vapors or dust can lead environment, and equipment). Army to respiratory problems. It’s also Regulation 600-55, chapter 1-4, outlines carcinogenic and can cause cancer. these responsibilities. Ensure Soldiers wear proper Ensure drivers are trained and licensed personal protective equipment. on the vehicle they are operating (check Hazard: Air travel caused dehydration Optional Form 346). and fatigue. Ensure drivers drive defensively. Encourage hydration before and Remind drivers to clear all sides during air travel with juices and water, before turning. not caffeine or coffee. Remind drivers not to allow Ensure arriving troops are given passengers to ride on the outside of any the opportunity to rehydrate and rest vehicle unless such action is command- before being assigned duties. directed. Once on the ground, ensure Caution drivers to use extra care Soldiers have sunscreen, sunglasses, when operating off improved roads. and dust goggles, and that everyone Sand dunes drop off abruptly on the knows where water is available. leeward side. Hazard: Lack of depth perception in the Check loads to ensure cargo is desert environment. secured correctly. Stress even load Stress that lack of contrast in distribution, especially when traveling terrain features reduces depth over sandy terrain. perception. Train Soldiers on rollover Ensure vehicle drivers follow procedures in accordance with Graphic proper ground-guide procedures. Training Aid 55-03-030 and practice Hazard: Soldiers are performing rollover drills. strenuous manual labor. Enforce seatbelt and Kevlar In general, 2 weeks are required requirements. to adjust to the humidity and extreme Establish and enforce safe heat (acclimatization). convoy and catch-up speeds for Remind Soldiers to avoid strains expected road and environmental and lifting injuries by using proper lifting conditions and include in the pre-march techniques (lift with the legs, not the briefing. Remind drivers that driving too back) and getting help with heavy loads. fast for conditions is a primary cause of Hazard: Vehicle operations result in accidents. accidents. Train drivers in the correct use of Ensure all primary and secondary ground guides and train all personnel in drivers have the opportunity to how to perform as ground guides. experience driving armored tactical Remind drivers to always use two vehicles before arriving in theater and ground guides while backing. beginning actual combat missions. Recon routes for mountain Ensure drivers and vehicle passes or any sharp turn that might commanders understand the require special control measures, as responsibilities for safe vehicle well as bridges or underpasses that operations (e.g., establishing and might be too low for large vehicles. enforcing safe vehicle operations based Train all drivers in their vehicle’s Prohibit burning of aerosol cans correct braking procedures. and unopened MRE packages—they Train crews in vehicle fire drills will explode. and practice them. Train Soldiers in the process of Caution drivers that roads, burning human waste. bridges, and overpasses might not be Hazard: Eye exposure to sunlight posted with weight or height restrictions. degrades night vision. Require safety briefings for Enforce wear of the Ballistic senior occupants and vehicle drivers. Laser Protection System (BLPS). The Require the use of 10-foot sunglasses will reduce the adverse extension hoses and tire cages for effects of sunlight on night vision. The inflating and deflating split-rim tires. sunglasses and clear lens also will help Hazard: Not enough attention to prevent eye injury. weapons safety. If BLPS aren’t available, ensure Review fratricide prevention Soldiers wear Wiley X sunglasses procedures. during the day to prevent night vision Remind Soldiers to handle all degradation. weapons as if they’re loaded. For more information on general Caution Soldiers not to play with deployment safety, check out these knives. Web sites: Don’t allow target practice and • https://crc.army.mil blank ammunition to be mixed. • http://call.army.mil Caution Soldiers not to burn • http://chppm- ammunition boxes and to handle them www.apgea.army.mil/ with gloves. • http://tri.army.mil Execute drills on rules of • http://deploymentlink.osd.mil/ engagement. • www.hqmc.usmc.mil/safety.nsf/ Hazard: Unsafe fuel handling and burning. Comments regarding this article may Use Field Manual 21-10 for be directed to the editor at (334) 255- guidance on proper fuel mixtures. 1218, DSN 558-1218, or by e-mail at Ensure fuel isn’t used as a email@example.com. substitute for cleaning solvents. Building Battlemind LTC CARL CASTRO, M.D. Chief, Department of Military Psychiatry Walter Reed Army Institute of Research U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command “B attlemind” is a Soldier’s inner (OEF) and Iraqi Freedom (OIF) began. strength to face adversity, Studies have shown that Soldiers are fear, and hardship during angry when leaders fail to show they combat with confidence and care regarding combat experiences, resolution. It’s the will to persevere and especially those involving injury or win. Battlemind contributes to the death. Soldier’s will and spirit to fight and win in To help, leaders must ensure their combat, thereby reducing combat stress Soldiers don’t assume unnecessary reactions. risks on missions. Leader-led after- Soldiers are confronted with action reviews and mental health certain realities in combat operations debriefings from mental health that can’t be replicated in the training professionals or chaplains can help environment. Combat is sudden, relieve stress and anger. When a intense, and life threatening. Their job Soldier is killed, leaders should conduct is to kill the enemy. Innocent women memorial services with the utmost and children often are killed in combat. respect and dignity. Leaders also No Soldier knows how they’ll perform in should talk to their Soldiers personally combat until the moment arrives. about critical incidents. They won’t care Although leaders can’t fully simulate what their leaders know until they know these factors before deployment, they their leaders care. can prepare their Soldiers for the mental Combat impacts every Soldier mentally aspects of combat before they arrive in and emotionally. theater. Combat stress reactions are both Fear in combat is common. common and normal. Experiences such More than two-thirds of Silver Star as nightmares, flashbacks, anger, and recipients reported increased fear as the avoidance of expressing painful feelings battle progressed. Common symptoms might lead Soldiers to fear they are of fear include violent shaking or “going crazy.” However, more than 90 trembling, loss of bladder control, percent of Soldiers who receive combat weakness, cold sweats, and vomiting. stress support are returned to duty. The Fear and anxiety are reduced in combat intensity of reactions typically lessen when Soldiers engage in actions used within 60 to 90 days following during training. redeployment, but it might take longer Leaders must drill and train their for a Soldier to fully recover. Soldiers in the specific actions to use in One useful tool for leaders is buddy-aid combat conditions—tough training is the mental health training. This process best preparation. Soldiers must have allows participants to assist other sufficient physical and mental “reset” Soldiers in coping with the stress of time. Admitting and joking about fear combat. Following redeployment, will release tension. Fear is NOT a leaders must watch their Soldiers and mental disorder; remember that even offer help to anyone struggling. heroes feel fear. Restoring mental fitness after combat Unit members will be injured and killed. sustains professional warrior discipline, More than 1,800 service members have toughness, strength, and proficiency. been killed and almost 14,000 wounded Leaders also must let their Soldiers since Operations Enduring Freedom know that combat stress reactions are considering the Soldier disloyal. normal responses to trauma. Leaders do have the right, however, to Soldiers are afraid to admit they have remove, reassign, or demote a mental health problem. subordinates who fail to measure up Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after being given the means and symptoms are common after combat— opportunities to succeed. 10 to 20 percent of Soldiers report some Breakdowns in communication are symptoms after coming home. Combat common. stress often leads to excessive alcohol Soldiers have reported that deployment use and aggression. It’s important not policies often are inconsistently applied. to ignore these symptoms, because Soldiers also have complained that they earlier treatment leads to faster frequently don’t know the status of recovery. Admitting a mental health wounded comrades and will resort to problem is not a character flaw. rumors if their leaders don’t tell them the Leaders can help by establishing a facts. command climate where they Leaders must keep their Soldiers acknowledge their Soldiers are under informed. Saying “I don’t know” is better stress and might need help. In theater, than not telling them anything. collocating mental health assets with the Command policies and views on all battalion aid station or troop medical matters should be expressed clearly and center might encourage more Soldiers made known throughout the ranks. to seek help. A mental health outreach Leaders also should let their Soldiers program also should be provided to know the status of wounded evacuees each battalion. More information on and disseminate news of their and other PTSD can be found on the National units’ successes. Effective Center for Post-Traumatic Stress communication is a leadership Disorder Web site at responsibility. http://www.ncptsd.org/index.html. Deployments place a tremendous Soldiers frequently perceive failures strain on families. in leadership. Since OIF began in March 2003, nearly Good leadership is linked to higher one-fifth of all Soldiers deployed to Iraq Soldier morale and cohesion, better have reported marital concerns or combat performance, and fewer mental problems. Soldiers have said their health problems. However, Soldiers marital satisfaction declined after they have reported that leaders frequently deployed to OIF. They also generally engage in actions to enhance their own are dissatisfied with their units’ family career and personal well-being—not readiness group (FRG) and rear that of their troops. Soldiers also have detachment. complained that leaders often fail to Leaders shouldn’t allow family problems exhibit clear thinking and reasonable to go unanswered. It might help to action under stress. Courage and valor, assign at least one staff member to never personal gain, are the measures serve as an ombudsman or expediter of of Soldier and leader performance. family problems. Deployed Soldiers Leaders should allow subordinates to also appreciate formal recognition of seek clarification of orders or policies special family occasions such as births without responding defensively or and graduations. Leaders also should address any reported problems with the Combat exposes the reality of death— FRG or rear detachment to ensure something many Soldiers will be timely action. exposed to for the first time. These The combat environment is harsh situations test the character of both and demanding. leaders and Soldiers. Every Soldier The combat environment and its heat, needs to come home with a war story he noise, and lack of privacy takes a toll on can live with. Soldiers. Sleep is a big issue in theater. Leaders should reward and recognize Soldier performance progressively their Soldiers on a regular basis for their deteriorates with less than 8 hours of personal sacrifices and tell them when sleep daily. Soldiers also are extremely they’ve done a good job. Harassment sensitive to perceived inequalities in the and mistreatment of Soldiers should distribution of Morale, Welfare and never be allowed. Leaders also must Recreation (MWR) resources. discuss the moral implications of each Leaders must ensure their Soldiers get Soldier’s behavior in combat and how adequate rest, hydration, and other individual sacrifice contributes to force-protection measures. They must America’s enduring fight for freedom. be aware of their Soldiers’ physical Conclusion condition and sleep patterns and insist Combat isn’t easy on any Soldier. that physical training is maintained Leaders must keep their Soldiers during the deployment. Leaders also ready—both physically and mentally— must insist on a fair distribution of MWR for this fight and future conflicts. Use resources and prevent double standards the resources available and make sure among officers, NCOs, and junior your Soldiers are prepared for what enlisted Soldiers. they’ll face in theater and back home. Unit cohesion and team stability are disrupted by combat. Editor’s note: This article originally was Soldiers function best in combat with published in the April 2005 NCO Journal those they know. These bonds, and was adapted for publication in however, will be disrupted by combat Countermeasure. deaths, medical evacuations, emergency leave, and other factors. Contact the author by e-mail at Changes in task organization and firstname.lastname@example.org. forward operating base locations also impact unit cohesion. Leaders can lessen these impacts by maintaining unit integrity to the greatest extent possible. Units, not individual Soldiers, should be rotated during combat. Conducting team-building exercises throughout the deployment also might help. Finally, all new Soldiers should be welcomed and integrated into the unit immediately. Combat poses moral and ethical challenges. Does Your Helmet Fit? T Recent surveys conducted in Iraq outlining proper wear and fit of these and Afghanistan show that as two helmets. many as half the Soldiers serving PASGT helmet there are not properly wearing the The PASGT helmet should be fitted in Personnel Armor System, Ground accordance with the instructions in Troops (PASGT) helmet or the Natick PAM 70-2 by measuring head Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH). length, width, and circumference. A Soldiers whose helmets are fitted poorly properly fitted PASGT helmet should or worn improperly face an increased have a minimum ½-inch space between risk of injury or death from ballistic the head and the helmet. A properly threats and other head injuries. In sized and fitted helmet will sit level on response to this alarming finding, the the Soldier’s head, with the lower edge U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Command of the front rim being set at the top of issued Safety of Use Message 05-006 the eyebrow and level to the ground or slightly inclined with respect to the size. The bottom of the ACH should ground. When tightened, the chin strap rest at the top of the Soldier’s ear canal will be centered with equal distances on opening. each side between the chin cup and Other information mounting location on the helmet. The Keep in mind that both helmets should bottom of the PASGT should come to be adjusted accordingly when other the bottom of the Soldier’s ear. items such as headsets, cold weather ACH caps, or nuclear, biological, and A Soldier’s ACH size might not be the chemical masks are worn. The same as their previously issued PASGT complete text of the technical references helmet. For example, the front rim of above, as well as visual examples and the ACH rests about ½-inch higher than videos of proper fit and wear the PASGT. The ACH should be fitted procedures, can be found online at in accordance with the instructions in https://www.peosoldier.army.mil. Be Technical Manual (TM) 10-8470-204-10 sure to check out Graphic Training Aid by measuring head length, width, and 07-08-001, which contains the fit and circumference. wear instructions for both helmets in an The ACH should fit so the front rim is easy, printable format. approximately ½-inch above the eyebrows. A properly sized and fitted Comments regarding this article may ACH will sit level on the Soldier’s head. be directed to the editor at (334) 255- While looking upward by only moving 1218, DSN 558-1218, or by e-mail at his eyes, the wearer should be able to email@example.com. just see the rim’s edge. All ACHs should be fitted with the thinner size 6 crown pad, which should touch the top of the wearer’s head. Helmet fit can be modified by adjusting the pad positions, tightening the retention straps, or exchanging the helmet shell for a larger Got Sleep? MAJ JUSTIN CURRY Psychologist U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD leep—like food, water, and air— suffer a noticeable decrease in S is a necessity, not a luxury. In the combat environment, however, sleep is taken for granted all too often. When you don’t performance. If you’re consistently awake for 24 hours, your reaction time is worse than if you were legally intoxicated. After 28 hours without get enough sleep, performance suffers sleep, your performance is significantly and everyone is put at risk. impaired, and the likelihood of you The effects of sleep deprivation sneak making a critical error rises to an up on you. When you don’t get enough unacceptable level. sleep, your judgment is affected in many Sleep management ways. You can’t really gauge the impact To sustain performance over the long those sleepless days and nights have haul you need at least 6, and preferably on your abilities or the decrease in your 7 to 8, hours of sleep out of every 24 performance. The following scenarios hours. Your performance will degrade illustrate just a few examples of over time with less than 6 hours of accidents that can result from sleep sleep. Getting 4 to 6 hours of sleep deprivation: every 24 hours will keep you in the • Drivers falling asleep at the wheel, “amber zone,” where the risk for causing vehicle accidents and rollovers mission-critical errors is increased but • Medical personnel administering the still at acceptable levels, for several wrong type or wrong dose of medicine weeks. You’ll be in the “red zone,” • Soldiers failing to recognize or where the risk for mission-critical errors reacting too slowly to a threat is unacceptably high, if you get less than • Soldiers transposing digits while 4 hours of sleep. entering coordinates into a fire control Keep in mind that sleep doesn’t have to system be continuous. Although uninterrupted A sleep-deprived Soldier can make bad sleep time is preferred, several shorter tactical decisions. The bottom line is sleep periods that add up to 6 to 8 hours that sleep deprivation can get you and likely will be sufficient. your buddies killed! Tips for sleep management Sleep deprivation and performance • Tips for Soldiers The longer you go without sleep, the Don’t sleep in areas with regular poorer your performance on any number activity or in or under any vehicle. of tasks. Your performance begins to When sleeping, minimize exposure suffer as soon as you start losing sleep. to noise and light by wearing earplugs If you’re struggling to stay awake, your and blackout shades. ability to function is already impaired. Avoid over-the-counter “sleep aids,” In general, you can sustain normal which cause grogginess, not actual performance without noticeable sleep. impairment for about 16 hours after you wake up. After 16 hours, however, you Sleep whenever possible; even a little sleep is better than none. Several Contact the author by e-mail at “catnaps” can add up quickly. firstname.lastname@example.org. •Tips for leaders Develop a unit sleep management DID YOU KNOW? program that allows your Soldiers at Your brain creates dreams through least 6, and preferably 7 to 8, hours of random electrical activity. About every sleep every 24 hours. 90 minutes your brain stem sends Soldiers trying to sleep during the electrical impulses throughout your brain day require longer or more frequent in no particular order or fashion. The opportunities to sleep. These extended analytic portion of your brain—the periods compensate for the body’s forebrain—desperately tries to make normal reaction to sleep cycle sense of these signals. This haphazard disruption. activity is why your dreams seem so Never put your Soldiers in a position disjointed. where they must choose between sleep and something else they’d enjoy. Arrange sleep schedules so your Soldiers can sleep at consistent times. Caffeine If sleep loss can’t be avoided, use caffeine. Drink the equivalent of two cups of coffee (about 200 mg of caffeine) every 2 to 4 hours. This amount will help you maintain your performance even in periods of moderate sleep loss. Keep in mind, however, that caffeine is a temporary solution to the problem and too much can make you jittery. You must have adequate sleep to execute your missions accurately and safely. Too many sleepless days and nights and you’ll accumulate a sleep debt that must be paid. Now go get some rest! Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the May-June 2005 issue of Infantry and was adapted for use in Countermeasure. A Cure for Negligent Discharges? CW2 ROBERT HAUBER JR. Safety Officer 42nd Infantry Division he combat environment leads to protrudes out the gun’s side at the dust T human error, whether the primary factor is fatigue, preoccupation with something other than the mission, or a simple failure to stay alert. cover. Therefore, it’s impossible for a round to be in the chamber with the indicator installed. Any Soldier can tell the weapon is safe just by glancing at it. Every day Soldiers are placed in a The indicator should be installed when multitude of situations that require Soldiers enter any area where the attention to detail to make sure their weapons status is not red. fellow Soldiers aren’t injured, maimed, Many Soldiers deploying to Iraq and or killed. Efforts to eliminate factors that Afghanistan aren’t used to carrying hurt Soldiers are vital links in the chain ammunition, but it’s a reality in combat. of accident prevention. In fact, many Soldiers involved in Soldiers gearing up for a combat negligent discharge incidents have said deployment must handle their weapons they simply weren’t used to carrying on a daily basis, and those weapons ammunition. In addition to using the never leave their side when they get to Indicator, Safety Rifle, it’s also theater. Yet many of these Soldiers are recommended that Soldiers at the pre- ill-equipped to make the transition to 24- mobilization site carry a blank clip in hour warfighter. The rash of negligent their weapons. This exercise will get discharge incidents since the beginning Soldiers in the habit of dropping the clip of the War on Terror illustrates the before they pull the charging handle importance of constant weapons status back. awareness. Most of the accidental Negligent discharges don’t have to discharges in theater to date have happen. Training and the right occurred in tents or in the dining equipment can save Soldiers’ lives and facilities at forward operating bases. preserve combat readiness. Call your All Soldiers, whether they’re supply chain today to procure this training on a range or performing a valuable piece of equipment! combat mission in theater, must be conscious in preventing negligent Contact the author by e-mail at discharges. However, Soldiers must email@example.com. also be provided the proper tools to make this task more realistic. The Indicator, Safety Rifle (NSN 1005-00- 418-8557) is currently available through the Army supply system. This simple piece of plastic can differentiate between a “safe” weapon and a deadly one. The Indicator, Safety Rifle (which is compatible with all M-16 and M-249 weapons) is inserted into a weapon’s chamber any time the weapon status is green or amber. The indicator keeps the bolt away from the breech and Leave It There! MAJ PATRICK J. CHAISSON 42nd Infantry Division Camp Doha, Kuwait ’ve seen all kinds of things as officer but I hope you’ll see this is a serious I in charge of the 42nd Infantry Division liaison cell in Camp Dohu, Kuwait. Every day I see Soldiers attempting to bring illegal and subject. So, you’re about to leave the combat zone for home. Your tour is over, and you want a souvenir of your dangerous souvenirs home from Iraq. time in the desert. But maybe you’re not This article takes a humorous look at sure what constitutes an “appropriate” these “mementos” of wartime service, memento from Operation Enduring or Iraqi Freedom. That’s why I’m here—to me, there’s already plenty of dirt in your help you decide! backyard. Part of my job is to brief Soldiers Weapons. A select-fire assault on what they can and can’t bring back rifle is an excellent and even necessary from Southwest Asia. I’ll share these item to have in the combat zone, but not tips with you now. First, your keepsake so much back home. Your neighbors must be tasteful, safe, and legal. The might be impressed with your new AK- military customs inspector at your 47, but local law enforcement authorities redeployment camp determines what’s likely will be even more impressed. safe and legal; your spouse back home They’ll probably want to talk to you has the final say on taste. While about how you got such a powerful shopping for souvenirs, think about what weapon—maybe even through a your wife or husband will say (or bullhorn! scream). That life-sized brass camel Ammunition, explosives, and statue that looked so attractive in the unexploded ordnance (UXO). Of all the bazaar will get through customs but things that can be used as a most likely won’t pass inspection with paperweight, the hand grenade is a poor the “Household 06.” If you can imagine choice. It’ll roll all over your desk and your spouse exclaiming, “There’s no maybe even detonate without notice. way you’re bringing that thing into my The term “dud” is commonly used to house,” you might want to reconsider identify UXO but also applies to anyone your selection. challenged enough to play around with All kidding aside, there are some such stuff. Just because an explosive “trophies” you simply cannot bring back hasn’t gone off doesn’t mean it won’t. to the U.S. These banned items might It’s easy—keep your hands to yourself seem obvious to anyone blessed with and keep your hands! But don’t worry if common sense, but as we all know, you “accidentally” pack something you common sense really isn’t that common. shouldn’t. The big bomb-sniffing dogs That’s why friendly customs inspectors at the customs inspection will find it. search your stuff before you go home. Cuban cigars. Anything that To make their jobs easier and speed up tastes this good has to be either illegal your return home, here’s a partial list of or bad for you. Cuban cigars are both. contraband that can’t be brought back Enjoy your Havanas in Iraq, because at from overseas. customs you’ll encounter a squadron of Sand. Southwest Asia currently talking parrots specially trained to sniff is experiencing a critical shortage of out Communist tobacco. sand—not even one grain can be Pets. The list of prohibited pets spared! Besides, there’s a real threat includes grasshoppers, lizards, camel that the spirit of an ancient warrior king, spiders, scorpions, snakes, and like the one in “The Mummy” movies, anything else that can make you say lives in the sand and will hurt you bad. “ouch!” Whether they’re dead or alive, The king’s spirit isn’t the only thing living squished, stuffed, or encased in plastic, in the sand that can hurt you either. there’s no earthly reason why you need Just imagine all those microorganisms a sand viper. And admit it—the whole that aren’t organic to U.S. soil. Trust time you were deployed, all you thought about was home. The desert is their home. If you bring a pet back to the but they’re scientifically classified as U.S., it’ll spend the rest of its life missing solpugids. Camel spiders have gained home. Is that what you really want? a lot of notoriety since the beginning of Hopefully these hints will help Operation Iraqi Freedom, when various you find the perfect—yet safe, e-mailed photographs and horror stories appropriate, and tasteful—souvenir began circulating around the Internet. that’ll pass a customs search with flying Camel spiders aren’t venomous, but colors. Selecting the right memento will they’re extremely aggressive and pack a lead to years of pleasant memories, mean bite. They rarely attack humans something you’ll cherish long after the but, if you see one, don’t play with it— sand flea bites heal. and don’t bring one home! Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the August 2005 The Combat Edge, the U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command safety publication. It was adapted for use in Countermeasure. Contact the author by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. DID YOU KNOW? Camel spiders live in arid regions all over the world—even the southwestern United States, where there are more than 50 species! These creatures are arachnids, like spiders and scorpions, Going Home CW3 RANDY MCCORMICK B Co., 1-106 Aviation Regiment Illinois Army National Guard housands of Soldiers are deploying children probably will be most affected, T to the Middle East, and the duration of these deployments most likely will stay at a year or but you also might experience difficulty with other social relationships. The primary factor to consider on longer. Being away from the people you your return is the pre-deployment status love for such a long time can create of your relationship. If the relationship issues that won’t be fully apparent until wasn’t good before the deployment, it you return home. Although these most likely won’t have improved any strains might be evident during R&R when you get back. Don’t think you can leave, they usually won’t be fully simply start over when you redeploy. obvious until you’re redeployed. Your Your relationship with your relationship with your spouse and children will probably be most affected. The extent of change depends on time. Time and rebuilding your base several variables, and each child’s age relationship will help alleviate some of is the best determining factor for these feelings. Seek counseling if reintegration. Babies typically are least things don’t get better over time. impacted and the quickest to recover, It will be easiest for you to re- although many don’t recognize the establish relationships with your other deployed parent. Teenagers typically family members and friends. These don’t show their true feelings about the people will probably give you the biggest returning parent, and it isn’t easy to welcome home. Some Soldiers might determine the deployment’s effects on feel the welcome is undeserved, younger adolescents. Don’t try to force however, if they were deployed in a yourself back into their lives; instead, combat support role and never saw give them time and space to adjust. direct fighting. Even if you feel you don’t Slowly work your way back into your deserve the attention, try to remain pre-deployment parenting role. Taking positive. Your friends and relatives will an extended vacation with your family is want to celebrate that you’ve made it a good idea, but delay leaving for a home safe. Throwing a welcome-home week or two. Your role in the family will party will make them feel good after the become more stable during these extra time they’ve spent worrying. days, ensuring a more enjoyable time If you’re a Reserve Component for everyone when you do get away. Soldier, remember you’ll have to re- Your spouse essentially has been establish work relations with your civilian a single parent during your deployment. employer. Be honest when it comes to They managed everything from terminal leave and your return-to-work household chores to finances while you date. It’s also important to know your were away and might be reluctant to rights before you go back to work. Your give up control on many issues. You local Employee Support of the Guard must work with your spouse to and Reserve representative will see you determine your new role, but make sure through any problems. you let them know how you feel. Rebuilding your relationships will Counseling might be required to resolve take time when you get back home. these types of issues, and options are Realize you’re not the only one having available through several different problems, and talk to other Soldiers in channels. Your chaplain or family the same situation to see what’s worked readiness group will have information to for them. Be prepared for these get you started. Don’t be embarrassed changes, but also be happy you’re back about seeking counseling. Some with the people who matter most. people need a springboard for their thoughts or just an outside observer to Contact the author by e-mail at put things in perspective. Don’t wait to email@example.com. request help, because by then it might be too late to save the relationship. Your sexual relationship with your NEED HELP? spouse might be strained at first. Your Adjusting to life back home after a partner might feel abandoned; lengthy, intense deployment may prove remember they’ve been alone a long difficult for many Soldiers and their loved ones. To find out more about available redeployment resources, visit the Army OneSource Web site at www.armyonesource.com or call their toll-free number, (800) 464-8107. Flash, Bang, Burn! CW4 ROBERT BERRA Accident Investigator U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center foreign national engineer CEA into a pile within 2 meters of the A element supporting coalition forces in theater was tasked to destroy various captured enemy ammunition (CEA). It was a hot August HMMWV. The engineers didn’t notice that an unpackaged bag of double-base propellant had torn open and spilled on afternoon—temperatures peaked at and around the other munitions. Within around 115 ºF. The ammunition minutes, the spilled propellant flashed included 18 SA-7 missiles, unfuzed 60 and ignited the remaining CEA on the mm mortar rounds, 14.5 mm and .50 ground and in the HMMWV. Four caliber ammunition, RKG-3M Soviet engineers suffered various burn injuries, hand grenades, and propellant bags and the HMMWV was destroyed. The from artillery rounds. foreign engineers learned the hard way These munitions had been stored in an that double-base propellants ignite open pit and exposed to direct sunlight easily, have a high burn rate, and can for an undetermined amount of time. self-ignite under high temperatures. The engineers loaded the CEA into a All CEA operations—including HMMWV and drove to a demolition site, collection, transportation, and where they began to download the destruction—are inherently dangerous munitions by hand. They placed the and pose a unique challenge for our forces. When you conduct a CEA operation, you’re accepting the risks with sand and packing material to involved. Commanders must use the prevent forward and backward risk management process and plan movement. these type operations carefully to • Handle all ammunition and explosives mitigate the hazards. Only trained carefully! Improper, rough, or careless personnel should handle CEA; however, handling can cause accidental many of these munitions are being detonation. encountered in theater and the number • Limit the number of personnel of trained personnel is limited. engaged in ammunition and explosives Therefore, CEA operations often are handling to the minimum required for being conducted by personnel who lack safe and efficient operations. formalized training and certifications. To • When transporting CEA, block and minimize the risk, take the following brace packaged items so they can’t precautions: move during transportation and always • Improvised explosive devices (IED) observe compatibility standards. and unexploded ordnance (UXO) are • Reference the following materials for not classified as CEA. Don’t touch or more information on safe handling move a suspected IED or UXO. procedures: Immediately mark the site and report the - Field Manual (FM) 21-16, location to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) (EOD) personnel through your Procedures, 30 August 1994 command channels. - FM 4-30-13, Ammunition Handbook, • EOD personnel should be involved in 1 March 2001 both the planning and execution phases - Department of the Army Pamphlet of CEA operations. EOD personnel can 385-64, “Ammunition and Explosives reduce the hazards of these operations Safety Standards,” 15 December 1999 by providing an initial assessment to - U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center determine the hazard level and by pamphlet, “Munitions Handling 101.” destroying all items deemed unsafe for - Army Safety Policy Memorandum, 28 transportation or storage. June 2004. • Do not handle unpackaged munitions CEA is abundant in our current theaters until a positive risk category is of operation. Leaders at all levels must determined. Before this time, any understand the proper procedures to assessment must be made without plan, execute, and react to CEA handling the munitions. operations. Units must incorporate risk • Personnel trained in ammunition management into munitions handling handling—such as certified Quality operations to reduce the risk inherent Assurance Specialists Ammunition with these missions. Do your part on Surveillance (QASAS) and Ammunition the individual level and be safe! Specialists (MOS 89B)—can determine proper packaging, transportation, and Contact the author at (334) 255-2908, storage requirements. DSN 558-2908, or by e-mail at • Whenever possible, use the original firstname.lastname@example.org. shipping container for transportation and storage. Other safe-to-ship packaging Contact the author at (334) 255-2933, includes empty ammunition boxes lined DSN 558-2933, or by e-mail at email@example.com y.mil. Is There Anybody Downrange? MSG ROBERT FISHER Accident Investigator U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center hat happened After locking and loading their W This was the first field training exercise for a new unit of action. The fire team received live ammunition for a live-fire range weapons with the live ammunition, the fire team moved onto the range. As they exited the wood line and began to proceed down the range, the team exercise. After receiving the leader saw two pop-up targets and ammunition, the fire team walked to the directed his Soldiers to react. The range and began their training. The first OPFOR Soldiers saw the fire team sergeant was on the range and, after approaching but didn’t fire their the first dry-fire iteration (with no weapons. opposing forces [OPFOR] personnel As the fire team reacted to the targets, present), called the range safety officer they separated into two buddy teams— (RSO) on his hand-held radio. one on the right and one on the left. The first sergeant asked the RSO to The two Soldiers in the left buddy team send forward OPFOR personnel. The bounded forward while the two Soldiers RSO immediately sent two Soldiers to in right-side buddy team fired live the range. Neither of these Soldiers had ammunition at the two pop-up targets. acted as OPFOR previously during this At this point the OPFOR Soldiers were training. The OPFOR Soldiers (with in the right-side buddy team’s direct line blank ammunition) were positioned of sight. The right-side team then downrange in accordance with the bounded forward while the left-side company’s training plan. The fire team team engaged the near targets. Each was supposed to conduct two blank buddy team bounded one more time in iterations with the OPFOR present. the same manner. After this second bounding movement, the buddy teams was downrange before the live-fire shifted their fires from the near targets training began. to the far targets. The buddy teams •The company commander and first didn’t move after the final bound. sergeant failed to establish a clear A platoon leader acting as the left-side delineation of responsibilities. The lane observer/controller (OC) asked the company commander and first sergeant company commander if the OPFOR said they were providing tactical were off the range. The company oversight and weren’t responsible for commander called “cease fire.” The the OIC’s and RSO’s safety buddy teams stopped firing even though responsibilities. The company they didn’t know why the cease fire was commander and first sergeant made called. most of the decisions that pertained to A platoon sergeant, who was acting as the range, not the OIC or RSO. The first the right-side lane OC, had forgotten the sergeant made changes including range OPFOR were on the range. He layout, order of fire, OPFOR location, immediately started moving downrange and rules of engagement. to look for the OPFOR. While the •Both the RSO and OIC thought the platoon sergeant was moving down the company commander and first sergeant range, the company commander saw had taken over the range and were in one of the OPFOR Soldiers stand up, charge, even though their intent was to visibly shaken. provide tactical guidance only. Both the This OPFOR Soldier was 85 meters OIC and RSO were located in the from the final bounding position and 20 marshalling area during the accident. meters left of the far target positions. Lessons learned He wasn’t in either of the buddy team’s •Range OICs and RSOs must clear direct line of sight. The company personnel from all ranges and ensure commander verified this OPFOR Soldier the ranges are clear before beginning wasn’t injured, but he soon saw the live-fire operations. other OPFOR Soldier lying in a small •Range OICs and RSOs must be tire rut. The second OPFOR Soldier trained in separating their had suffered fatal injuries during the responsibilities for tactical evaluations live-fire engagement. and safety. The platoon sergeant didn’t know where •Battalion commanders must ensure the OPFOR had been positioned during subordinate company commanders and the training iteration. He found the first sergeants know their roles and OPFOR Soldiers and the company understand that all actions or changes commander only after he ran around the must be coordinated with the OICs and final objective. RSOs. Why it happened •OPFOR must not be placed on any Three failures were present and range where blank and live fires are contributing in this accident: being conducted simultaneously. •The range officer in charge (OIC) •Commanders must coach, teach, and the RSO failed to ensure the range and mentor platoon leaders in troop- was clear before the live-fire iterations leading procedures, risk management, began. Neither Soldier asked if anyone and back briefs. •Range OICs must use range safety checklists when conducting a safety briefing. Contact the author at (334) 255-9377, DSN 558-9377, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. UXO and Explosives JULIE SHELLEY Editor his past February the Combat range. The private and two other T Readiness Center (CRC) developed a new tool for commanders called “preliminary loss reports” (PLRs), which are Soldiers were conducting a reconnaissance mission when they reportedly broke away from their 12- man party and crossed into another generated for each Class A Army range, where they were not authorized accident involving a fatality. Every PLR to be. They were taking pictures and contains the basic facts of the accident collecting dud rounds when the private and suggested tactics, techniques, and picked up the grenade. He was killed procedures based on the information instantly upon detonation. available and lessons learned from After the accident, explosive ordnance similar accidents. The PLRs are sent to disposal (EOD) personnel recovered brigade commanders and above and multiple dud rounds, including 40 mm select command sergeants major to target practice rounds and 37 mm share lessons learned. rounds, from the private’s pockets. Countermeasure will spotlight certain There is a possibility that one to two 40 PLRs when a trend in ground tactical mm high-explosive dual-purpose rounds accidents emerges. This month’s “PLR contributed to the Soldier’s injuries. The Files” focuses on explosives accidents, advance party reportedly was fully which have killed three Soldiers since trained on restricted areas (which also May 2005. were clearly posted as restricted) and Iraq: A specialist died when a piece of on the safety policies prohibiting the UXO detonated in a tent. The Soldier handling of ordnance. The accident was packing gear to move from one tent range was littered with a broad to another when he either handled or spectrum of ordnance, from small arms unintentionally disturbed the UXO. The to aircraft gunnery (short of missiles). origin of the explosive item is unknown. Afghanistan: A captain suffered fatal United States: A private first class was injuries when an explosive charge he killed when a grenade exploded in his was handling detonated. The unit’s hand. The Soldier was in active duty for Soldiers were emplacing linear-shaped training status and was part of an charges during “entry technique” training advance party for live-fire training on a at the local range when the charge exploded unexpectedly. The captain Contact the author at (334) 255-1218, presumably was handling one of the DSN 558-1218, or by e-mail at explosives. Two other Soldiers and a email@example.com. foreign national troop were injured, but all are expected to recover. Initial reports indicate the Soldiers were not wearing body armor. Don’t let these type accidents happen in your formation. Consider the following actions to help prevent similar incidents: •Ensure personnel wear appropriate personal protective equipment as listed in Training Circular 90-1, paragraph 4-8, when handling explosive charges. •Do not touch or move a suspected UXO item. Leave that mission to EOD personnel. •If you find a suspected UXO item, mark the area, report it to your higher headquarters, safeguard your personnel, and follow UXO procedures in accordance with Field Manual 21-16 and local procedures. •Check out the CRC’s Web site at https://crc.army.mil/guidance/best_practi ces/CFLCC_Safety_Gram_UXO.jpg for a poster download. Hang the poster where all personnel can see it. •Download the “Munitions Handling During Deployed Operations 101” handbook from the CRC’s Web site at https://crc.army.mil/Tools/handbooks/gr ound/munitionshandling.pdf for additional information concerning UXO. •Aggressively enforce UXO safety procedures. To find the complete text of these and other PLRs, please visit the CRC Web site at https://crc.army.mil and click on the “Latest PLRs” box on the right side of the page. You must have an AKO password to access the PLR site. Also check out the article “Flash, Bang, Burn!” on page 16 of this issue. Be safe! Accident Briefs occurred during the The vehicle had ACV early morning. overheated earlier in the Class A day, but maintenance Two Soldiers suffered Class B (Damage) personnel thought they fatal injuries when the An M978 HEMTT fuel had corrected the M113A3 Armored tanker suffered Class B problem. The driver Personnel Carrier (APC) damage when it struck a shut down the HMMWV they were riding in rolled guardrail and rolled when he noticed black over. The vehicle’s over. The driver was smoke and flames driver lost control when merging with traffic coming from underneath the APC gained speed when he steered the the hood and through going down a slight hill. vehicle into the road’s the heater vents. The The accident occurred soft shoulder and hit the crew conducted an during the mid- guardrail. No injuries evacuation drill but afternoon. were reported. The couldn’t find the accident occurred during vehicle’s fire Class B (Damage) the early morning. extinguisher; instead, An M1A2 Abrams personnel in the tactical caught fire during a A 5-ton gun truck operations center training center live-fire suffered Class B brought extinguishers to exercise. The fire damage when it struck a the accident site. The originated in the tank’s civilian vehicle and extinguisher was not electric mechanical fuel rolled over. The civilian stored in the proper system. No injuries vehicle turned in front of place on the vehicle. were reported. The the gun truck, which Maintenance accident occurred in the then ran over the vehicle determined the fire late afternoon. and overturned off the started under the fuel roadway. The gun truck filter, at which point the driver was wearing his main fuel line came AMV seatbelt, and no injuries loose and sprayed fuel Class A were reported. The in the engine Soldier was killed when accident occurred during compartment. the M1114 up-armored the early afternoon. HMMWV he was riding in rolled over. The Personnel Injury Class C Class A Soldier was serving as An M998 HMMWV the vehicle’s gunner and Soldier suffered a fatal caught fire and suffered gunshot wound to his was pinned in the Class C damage while vehicle after the forehead during live-fire its crew was conducting training. The Soldier accident. The accident a police call on a range. was evacuated from the training area and died at Soldier collapsed and seatbelt kept him inside a local hospital. The died while taking the the vehicle. accident occurred during Army Physical Fitness the early evening. Test. The Soldier did Two Soldiers escaped not respond to lifesaving unharmed when their A foreign national troop procedures. The M2A3 threw a track and suffered a fatal gunshot accident occurred during overturned. The vehicle wound after an Army the early morning. tracks locked when the unit mistook the foreign left-side track threw, nationals to be enemy Class B causing one of the track forces and fired on Part of Soldier’s left ring shoes to break. The them. The accident finger was amputated Soldiers were occurred during the late when it caught on the conducting route evening. rear of an LMTV. The reconnaissance along a Soldier was dismounting main supply route. Both Soldier collapsed and the vehicle following Soldiers were wearing died after completing a night driver’s training. their personal protective unit conditioning The accident occurred equipment (PPE) and obstacle course and 2- during the late evening. seatbelts. mile run. The Soldier was pronounced dead at Seatbelt Success The driver of an the local medical center. M915A2 was not injured The accident occurred Stories when the truck during the early Spotlighting Soldiers overturned en route to a morning. who wore their seatbelts forward operating base. and walked away from The truck was pulling an Soldier collapsed and potentially catastrophic M872A3 trailer. A died while running accidents palletized load system during physical training. (PLS) trailer, which was The Soldier was Class C stacked with five PLS transported to the local The gunner of an M1025 flat racks, was loaded medical center, where HMMWV suffered minor on the M872A3. The he died a short time injuries when his vehicle truck overturned when later. The accident was hit head-on by a the driver approached occurred during the mid- civilian tractor-trailer. an extremely tight turn in morning. The HMMWV was the road. The weight of stopped on the side of the flat racks and the Soldier collapsed on a the road when it was trailer’s high center of track while running and struck by the truck, gravity, along with a 10- was pronounced dead which drove through a inch drop-off on the side within an hour at the concrete barrier before it of the road, caused the local troop medical hit the HMMWV. The accident. The Soldier center. The accident HMMWV’s driver was was not speeding and occurred during the not injured. The gunner was wearing his seatbelt early morning. was momentarily and proper PPE. dislodged from his seat upon impact, but his What Were They Thinking? JULIE SHELLEY Editor orrest Gump might not have been sergeant took an M1009 Commercial F a smart man, but he got one thing right when he said, “Stupid is as stupid does.” These words came to mind as I looked through the Class D Utility Cargo Vehicle for a preventive maintenance checks and services road test. Although they’d been instructed to stay on the asphalt roadway, the two accident reports in the Combat Soldiers figured they’d check out the Readiness Center’s database, vehicle’s off-road handling. Those open searching for the right story to kick off spaces were so tempting, and a small the new feature you’re reading now. hill beckoned in the distance. There’s nothing funny when a Soldier Thinking they’d found the perfect spot, gets hurt, whether by his own hand or the Soldiers jumped the truck over the the enemy’s. However, there are some hill. Since it was so much fun the first “Duh!” incidents out there that could’ve time, they jumped the hill again; been much worse but fortunately however, their good time was short weren’t. This month’s feature is one lived. The third jump was the charm (or such story. The Soldiers involved will strike, depending on how you look at it). probably laugh about their “adventure” On that fateful jump, the truck hit the sometime in the future, but they’ve got ground so hard its front end bent under to get back in their commander’s good and damaged several necessary parts. graces first. If you have a story you can Seeing they’d have a lot of explaining to laugh about now, we’ll gladly publish it do, the Soldiers decided to head back to (anonymously, of course!) in this forum. the hardball road. What they couldn’t For more information on how to share see, however, was the busted oil pan or your story, send an e-mail to the trail of oil the truck was leaving firstname.lastname@example.org behind. The truck ground to a halt as . the engine froze, and the Soldiers had “The A-Team” to call a wrecker to tow them to the Cut the guys some slack—they were armory. just having a little fun, right? It was a Luckily these two “stuntmen” were beautiful summer morning in the wearing their seatbelts and walked away American desert. A private and a unharmed. Their backsides, however, didn’t fare so well and their driving days are over, at least for now. The classroom—not the open road—will be their domain for the next few months. Both Soldiers were ordered to retake the Defensive Driver’s Course and were counseled on the proper way to follow instructions. They’ll also be attending a risk management class before they attempt any future activity. Lastly, these two adventurous Soldiers won’t be road- testing other vehicles any time soon. Both their driver’s licenses were suspended until their senior driver’s training NCO can schedule them for refresher training. Give them a break? I don’t think so! Contact the author at (334) 255-1218, DSN 558-1218, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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