Tagged: officer

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82nd Airborne hosts first electronic warfare competition

Drew Brooks Military editor @DrewBrooks

Sgt. 1st Class Mike Sanders and Sgt. Sam Odior stood just outside a cluster of pine trees and stared at a small screen.

Sanders pressed an icon on the screen as Odior glanced up at the antenna protruding from a pack on the other soldier’s back.

“I think I’ve got something,” Sanders said as Odior leaned forward to get a better look.

“We’ve got a possible hit on the freq,” the paratrooper repeated, this time into a radio, signalling three other soldiers nearby.

In a wooded training area on Fort Bragg, the team of soldiers from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division were involved in a complicated game of hide and seek.

Using an electronic warfare system known as the VMAX, paratroopers from across the 82nd Airborne Division were competing to find a series of waypoints. Using the VMAX, the soldiers scanned for a signal frequency and then honed in on its source.

The navigational test was the first event in the 82nd Airborne Division’s inaugural Electronic Warfare Competition.

Lt. Col. Robert A. Robinson II, the division’s cyber electromagnetic activities, or CEMA, chief and the officer in charge of the competition, said the event was designed to showcase skills that are becoming more and more important on the modern battlefield.

Electronic warfare is used to jam enemy signals, defeat unmanned aerial systems and disable improvised explosive devices.

Robinson said teams received an alert with a location grid early Monday.

“They knew the competition was going to start, but they didn’t know where,” he said. “We’re trying to stick to the traditions of the division: to be ready any time, any where.”

The three-day competition will include several classroom tests, but it began in the field.

Capt. Brian Mercado of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team said the navigation test was forcing the soldiers to use their electronic warfare systems in ways they haven’t before.

In past training, Mercado said, soldiers used the VMAX systems defensively on drop zones to protect paratroopers from enemy systems. But the navigational test showed that the systems also could be used to pinpoint an enemy force.

“This goes beyond our typical training,” Mercado said.

The system is the size of a large backpack with large antennas protruding overhead and can be jumped with a paratrooper. The lightweight system can detect, locate, monitor and jam radio frequency signals.

Each brigade combat team in the division has a CEMA cell. And each sent at least one team to compete, Robinson said. Each must be able to plan, troubleshoot and execute missions as they are provided.

“It’s a great opportunity,” he said. “Electronic warfare is a big part of the future and this is the tactical-level support we provide.”

Military editor Drew Brooks can be reached at [email protected] or 486-3567.

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82nd Airborne hosts first electronic warfare competition

Drew Brooks Military editor @DrewBrooks

Sgt. 1st Class Mike Sanders and Sgt. Sam Odior stood just outside a cluster of pine trees and stared at a small screen.

Sanders pressed an icon on the screen as Odior glanced up at the antenna protruding from a pack on the other soldier’s back.

“I think I’ve got something,” Sanders said as Odior leaned forward to get a better look.

“We’ve got a possible hit on the freq,” the paratrooper repeated, this time into a radio, signalling three other soldiers nearby.

In a wooded training area on Fort Bragg, the team of soldiers from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division were involved in a complicated game of hide and seek.

Using an electronic warfare system known as the VMAX, paratroopers from across the 82nd Airborne Division were competing to find a series of waypoints. Using the VMAX, the soldiers scanned for a signal frequency and then honed in on its source.

The navigational test was the first event in the 82nd Airborne Division’s inaugural Electronic Warfare Competition.

Lt. Col. Robert A. Robinson II, the division’s cyber electromagnetic activities, or CEMA, chief and the officer in charge of the competition, said the event was designed to showcase skills that are becoming more and more important on the modern battlefield.

Electronic warfare is used to jam enemy signals, defeat unmanned aerial systems and disable improvised explosive devices.

Robinson said teams received an alert with a location grid early Monday.

“They knew the competition was going to start, but they didn’t know where,” he said. “We’re trying to stick to the traditions of the division: to be ready any time, any where.”

The three-day competition will include several classroom tests, but it began in the field.

Capt. Brian Mercado of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team said the navigation test was forcing the soldiers to use their electronic warfare systems in ways they haven’t before.

In past training, Mercado said, soldiers used the VMAX systems defensively on drop zones to protect paratroopers from enemy systems. But the navigational test showed that the systems also could be used to pinpoint an enemy force.

“This goes beyond our typical training,” Mercado said.

The system is the size of a large backpack with large antennas protruding overhead and can be jumped with a paratrooper. The lightweight system can detect, locate, monitor and jam radio frequency signals.

Each brigade combat team in the division has a CEMA cell. And each sent at least one team to compete, Robinson said. Each must be able to plan, troubleshoot and execute missions as they are provided.

“It’s a great opportunity,” he said. “Electronic warfare is a big part of the future and this is the tactical-level support we provide.”

Military editor Drew Brooks can be reached at [email protected] or 486-3567.

0

82nd Airborne hosts first electronic warfare competition

Drew Brooks Military editor @DrewBrooks

Sgt. 1st Class Mike Sanders and Sgt. Sam Odior stood just outside a cluster of pine trees and stared at a small screen.

Sanders pressed an icon on the screen as Odior glanced up at the antenna protruding from a pack on the other soldier’s back.

“I think I’ve got something,” Sanders said as Odior leaned forward to get a better look.

“We’ve got a possible hit on the freq,” the paratrooper repeated, this time into a radio, signalling three other soldiers nearby.

In a wooded training area on Fort Bragg, the team of soldiers from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division were involved in a complicated game of hide and seek.

Using an electronic warfare system known as the VMAX, paratroopers from across the 82nd Airborne Division were competing to find a series of waypoints. Using the VMAX, the soldiers scanned for a signal frequency and then honed in on its source.

The navigational test was the first event in the 82nd Airborne Division’s inaugural Electronic Warfare Competition.

Lt. Col. Robert A. Robinson II, the division’s cyber electromagnetic activities, or CEMA, chief and the officer in charge of the competition, said the event was designed to showcase skills that are becoming more and more important on the modern battlefield.

Electronic warfare is used to jam enemy signals, defeat unmanned aerial systems and disable improvised explosive devices.

Robinson said teams received an alert with a location grid early Monday.

“They knew the competition was going to start, but they didn’t know where,” he said. “We’re trying to stick to the traditions of the division: to be ready any time, any where.”

The three-day competition will include several classroom tests, but it began in the field.

Capt. Brian Mercado of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team said the navigation test was forcing the soldiers to use their electronic warfare systems in ways they haven’t before.

In past training, Mercado said, soldiers used the VMAX systems defensively on drop zones to protect paratroopers from enemy systems. But the navigational test showed that the systems also could be used to pinpoint an enemy force.

“This goes beyond our typical training,” Mercado said.

The system is the size of a large backpack with large antennas protruding overhead and can be jumped with a paratrooper. The lightweight system can detect, locate, monitor and jam radio frequency signals.

Each brigade combat team in the division has a CEMA cell. And each sent at least one team to compete, Robinson said. Each must be able to plan, troubleshoot and execute missions as they are provided.

“It’s a great opportunity,” he said. “Electronic warfare is a big part of the future and this is the tactical-level support we provide.”

Military editor Drew Brooks can be reached at [email protected] or 486-3567.

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2ND BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM: Tactical fitness, countermobility training

Bright and early at 5 a.m. on a cool morning, April 18, Soldiers were called to their company. They were told to arrive promptly in uniform, with their gear fully packed, ready and set to go.

Once they arrived the Soldiers would endure a road march followed by hours of intense training out in the back 40 of Fort Campbell.

The Soldiers of 2nd Platoon, A Company, 39th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, trained to improve their tactical fitness, countermobility and survivability.

Training such as this is conducted weekly to further ensure that 39th BEB’s combat engineers remain efficient in their infantry skills.

“Today we started with a four-mile ruck march with full kit and a 30-pound ruck,” said 2nd Lt. Garrett Bridenbaugh, engineer officer and platoon leader in A Co., 39th BEB, 2nd BCT. “We then proceeded out to the training site to build countermobility obstacles.  Today we focused on the triple-strand concertina wire obstacle and the 11-row obstacle, we also went through survivability positions and fox holes.”

Concertina wire is a type of razor wire that is formed into large coils that can be expanded like a concertina or accordion.

The triple-strand concertina wire obstacle, constructed by combat engineers, consists of two rolls of concertina wire side-by-side on the bottom with one roll of wire on top, like a pyramid, secured with additional wire to prevent crushing. It is designed to slow or stop personnel and small-wheeled vehicles.

The 11-row obstacle consists of 11 rows of concertina wire laid parallel to each other on the ground and are anchored with pickets. This is used to hold back and slow down incoming enemy personnel and even tanks.

“We are enablers of the infantry,” Bridenbaugh said. “We set up the defensive area for them as well as fight alongside them. The training we did today is significantly important because the platoon needs to understand their roles as well as everyone else’s role from the lowest to the highest-ranking Soldier. We also did this training to beat the standard. The engineer planning factors and tools doctrine gives us a time standard on how quickly the obstacles are to be set up, but we aim to be faster and exceed the standard. The faster we can build these obstacles, the better advantage we have for defense.”

A combat engineer is a Soldier who performs a variety of different demolition and constructional tasks while under combat conditions. Their mission is to assist other military personnel when taking on rough terrain in combat. They provide expertise in areas such as mobility, countermobility, survivability and general engineering.

As companies continue to grow in strength with personnel, for some of the newest Soldiers this was their first hands-on training experience with 39th BEB after advanced individual training.

“Today went well,” said Pvt. Tristan Cooper, combat engineer with A Co., 39th BEB, 2nd BCT. “We worked together as a team and it got done faster than I’ve ever seen it competed in [advanced individual training]. I got hands-on learning for the triple-strand, 11 row and foxholes. It was a good day.”

It is important to conduct weekly and monthly hands-on training during which Soldiers execute their skills, which increases information retention while setting the standard.

“The importance of this is to get the Sapper squad to become more efficient in constructing the obstacles and understand the standards,” said Sgt. Jose Acosta, combat engineer and squad leader, A Co., 39th BEB, 2nd BCT. “We only teach the standard, right? Therefore, we expect them to be more effective in their work.”

The Soldiers of 39th BEB learned how to construct some of the most effective countermobility defense obstacles as well as how to work as a cohesive unit.

“The more training we are able to do like this, the closer our platoon becomes,” Bridenbaugh said. “The more esprit de corps we have the more comradery we can build. The Soldiers love to come out and train. We try and get as much training out of it as we possibly can and just try to have fun while doing as much work as possible.”

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Milley: Army is pushing to get two-thirds of its brigades ready to deploy at any minute

The Army is working to pull itself out of a readiness crisis after almost two decades of continuous combat, coupled with waves of build-ups and drawdowns[1].

“That is not to say we’re where we need to be,” Milley said.

Gen. Mark Milley, Army chief of staff, listens to questions from the press at Walter E. Washington Conference Center in Washington in October. On Thursday, he told lawmakers the Army should achieve readiness goals in about three to four years. (Spc. Bree-Ann Ramos-Clifton/Army)

Gen. Mark Milley, Army chief of staff, listens to questions from the press at Walter E. Washington Conference Center in Washington in October. On Thursday, he told lawmakers the Army should achieve readiness goals in about three to four years. (Spc. Bree-Ann Ramos-Clifton/Army)

Gen. Mark Milley, Army chief of staff, listens to questions from the press at Walter E. Washington Conference Center in Washington in October. On Thursday, he told lawmakers the Army should achieve readiness goals in about three to four years. (Spc. Bree-Ann Ramos-Clifton/Army)

The goal is to get 66 percent of the active Army’s BCTs to the highest level of readiness, he said, and the Reserve and National Guard’s teams to 33 percent, in the next three years. He didn’t say how many BCTs have achieved that level, but indicated in response to a congressman that it is more than five.

“Units aren’t built just overnight, and their readiness isn’t built overnight, as you know,” he said.

Part of that push will include bringing back headquarters elements from train-advise-assist missions in the Middle East and replacing them with Security Force Assistance Brigades, so that BCTs can work on boosting lost combat readiness.

“If the international environment stays the way it is this minute, we think with the glide path we’re on, we’ll achieve our readiness objectives – complete – somewhere around the 2021-22 time frame,” Milley said.

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Aviation in “pretty good shape”

Multiple members of the committee asked Milley and Army Secretary Mark Esper about Army aviation, and particularly, the Army’s budget request for next year.

Rep. Martha Roby, R-Alabama, whose district includes the Army’s aviation headquarters at Fort Rucker, pointed to a billion-dollar difference between the Army’s fiscal year 2017 aviation budget and its request for fiscal year 2019.

In fact, Esper said, the Army had asked for $3.6 billion in 2017 but received $4.7 from Congress, so this year’s $3.6 billion request is a natural progression.

“So it’s not a planned decrease by the service,” he said. “We find at this point that because of the investments we made in previous years, the bump up in ‘17, that Army aviation cross the board is in pretty good shape.”

Milley echoed that sentiment on the topic of manning, as the Army in recent years has faced a shortage of aviators.

“What I’ve seen is not so much a retention issue as a production issue,” Milley said. “We are short pilots, but we’re at 94 percent on warrant officer pilots for rotary wing aircraft. We’re actually not in that bad of shape.”

That is still several hundred pilots, he added.

To fix that, the service has looked to not only retention bonuses, but to increased funding at flight school to get more students through training.

“We’re filling all of the scheduled seats and we’re monitoring that very, very closely,” Milley said.

References

  1. ^ build-ups and drawdowns (www.armytimes.com)
  2. ^ The Army is bringing back pilot retention bonuses (www.armytimes.com)
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Milley: Army is pushing to get two-thirds of its brigades ready to deploy at any minute

The Army is working to pull itself out of a readiness crisis after almost two decades of continuous combat, coupled with waves of build-ups and drawdowns[1].

“That is not to say we’re where we need to be,” Milley said.

Gen. Mark Milley, Army chief of staff, listens to questions from the press at Walter E. Washington Conference Center in Washington in October. On Thursday, he told lawmakers the Army should achieve readiness goals in about three to four years. (Spc. Bree-Ann Ramos-Clifton/Army)

Gen. Mark Milley, Army chief of staff, listens to questions from the press at Walter E. Washington Conference Center in Washington in October. On Thursday, he told lawmakers the Army should achieve readiness goals in about three to four years. (Spc. Bree-Ann Ramos-Clifton/Army)

Gen. Mark Milley, Army chief of staff, listens to questions from the press at Walter E. Washington Conference Center in Washington in October. On Thursday, he told lawmakers the Army should achieve readiness goals in about three to four years. (Spc. Bree-Ann Ramos-Clifton/Army)

The goal is to get 66 percent of the active Army’s BCTs to the highest level of readiness, he said, and the Reserve and National Guard’s teams to 33 percent, in the next three years. He didn’t say how many BCTs have achieved that level, but indicated in response to a congressman that it is more than five.

“Units aren’t built just overnight, and their readiness isn’t built overnight, as you know,” he said.

Part of that push will include bringing back headquarters elements from train-advise-assist missions in the Middle East and replacing them with Security Force Assistance Brigades, so that BCTs can work on boosting lost combat readiness.

“If the international environment stays the way it is this minute, we think with the glide path we’re on, we’ll achieve our readiness objectives – complete – somewhere around the 2021-22 time frame,” Milley said.

Aviation in “pretty good shape”

Multiple members of the committee asked Milley and Army Secretary Mark Esper about Army aviation, and particularly, the Army’s budget request for next year.

Rep. Martha Roby, R-Alabama, whose district includes the Army’s aviation headquarters at Fort Rucker, pointed to a billion-dollar difference between the Army’s fiscal year 2017 aviation budget and its request for fiscal year 2019.

In fact, Esper said, the Army had asked for $3.6 billion in 2017 but received $4.7 from Congress, so this year’s $3.6 billion request is a natural progression.

“So it’s not a planned decrease by the service,” he said. “We find at this point that because of the investments we made in previous years, the bump up in ‘17, that Army aviation cross the board is in pretty good shape.”

Milley echoed that sentiment on the topic of manning, as the Army in recent years has faced a shortage of aviators.

“What I’ve seen is not so much a retention issue as a production issue,” Milley said. “We are short pilots, but we’re at 94 percent on warrant officer pilots for rotary wing aircraft. We’re actually not in that bad of shape.”

That is still several hundred pilots, he added.

To fix that, the service has looked to not only retention bonuses, but to increased funding at flight school to get more students through training.

“We’re filling all of the scheduled seats and we’re monitoring that very, very closely,” Milley said.

References

  1. ^ build-ups and drawdowns (www.armytimes.com)
  2. ^ The Army is bringing back pilot retention bonuses (www.armytimes.com)
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Tyler police team up with local shelter to try to combat homelessness

TYLER, TX (KLTV) –

Police all over the country are facing a tough new challenge with the homeless population; enforcing laws but still being sensitive to quality of life.

“Just bad choice after bad choice, addictions, drugs, alcohol,” Emiley Plunkett says.

Emiley Plunkett had been on the streets for eight years when Tyler police officer Johnny Green found her in a homeless camp. She’s now registered as a Texas citizen, and on track to marrying her husband-to-be.

The Tyler Police Department has partnered with the Hiway 80 Rescue Mission, a nonprofit that provides food, clothing, computer access and for most, housing.

“I care for most of these people and I just want to see the best for them, I want to push them in that right direction to get them off the streets,” Officer Green says.

The department just recently donated 1,500 pounds of non-perishable food.

Police officers are assigned to specific areas in the city, where they go to homeless camps and interact with people staying there. If the camp violates property laws, the officers find them a shelter to stay in, instead of arresting them on the spot.

“That’s been really nice for those who are homeless who would maybe sometimes be afraid of the police, to see them as a resource and as a friend,” Hiway 80 Rescue Mission Director Dawn Moltzan says.

The mission’s work is supported entirely through donations, and they say any help of volunteer work is appreciated[1].

Copyright 2018 KLTV. All rights reserved.[2]