278TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT
Tennessee Army National Guard, P.O. Box 10167
Knoxville, Tennessee 37939-0167
OLD’E BILL’S CHIPS
Publishing Date 1 April 2002
Bulletin Number 02-04
1. SABER 6 - REGIMENTAL COMMANDER (COL HASTON):
a. Retention and Recruiting: Our numbers seem to be stable however, they are about 20% lower than what they should be. Most unit’s Recruiting plans seem to have been put on hold while preparing for our upcoming NTC rotation. This is a great time to show what we do. Each unit should be exploiting the “loadout” events in the local media. Remember the following requirements:
- ETS counseling program. Are you doing it and are you writing the letters?
- Monthly submission of local press releases? Who is your unit PAO?
b. Employer Support to Guard and Reserve (ESGR): Because of our three (3) week NTC rotation, some of our soldiers is having difficulties with their employers. I hope soldiers are not guilty of waiting to the last minute to advise their employers of this extended AT and once they did I trust they explained the importance of the event. ESGR can help in most all of these situations by diplomatically working with the employer and explaining what benefits his guardsman adds to his business. They do this without compromising the guardsman-working environment. Also ESGR issues awards to supporting employers. Use them. They are worth the effort.
c. Excuses from Annual Training: Most recently Annual Medical Certificates have been updated and have shown in numerous units to have significant increase in personnel that are none deployable because of medical reasons. I do not want to take personnel who are not physically capable of attending AT. However, if a person cannot deploy with the Regiment a Medical Evaluation Board must be conducted to determine their fitness to continue duty in the TNARNG. Medical problems are a serious situation not an excuse to get out of participating in a training event. The Regimental Surgeon will be the final determination for each soldier with a questionable AMC. Squadron and Flight Surgeons as well as Physician Assistants may make recommendations but the Regimental Surgeon has the FINAL CALL! Lots of “rumor” and “Draft” letters are flying about. There is no “official” guidance on medical conditions other than the Regimental Surgeon.
d. NTC: Are you ready to go? Have you packed all the stuff that you will need? Have you made the necessary arrangements at work and at home? This will be the best training event in you careers. A NTC rotation is another Annual Training with greater benefits. This Headquarters is doing everything possible to make this a positive experience. All you need to add is a positive winning attitude. This will be a great event.
e. Family Readiness: I want to personally thank all of those family members who have supported the Family Readiness groups within your units. You can always tell good units by their family support groups. This past weekend was a major event with Family Readiness in Memphis. Thanks to those of you who attended. You do make a difference.
f. REP 63s and SMPs: These new additions to our units must be carefully monitored to ensure their start in the TNARNG is a positive experience. When a soldiers swears in the TNARNG that unit is responsible in making sure they know when he ships, where he is going, how long will he be there, and what kind of progress is he making. This has multiple effects. SMPs are 3rd Lieutenants. It is imperative that they be treated with the same customs, courtesy and respect as other officers. We reap what we sew. Those SMPs will be our future leaders.
g. Officer/Enlisted Associations: I want to thank all of those soldiers who attended the recent Enlisted Association Conference in Nashville. This is a great organization and accomplishes a great deal in support of our soldiers. I encourage each soldier to join the Enlisted Association. The NGAUS Conference this year will be in Long Beach, California-6-9 September 2002. The Regiment will have two (2) official delegates. If you are interested in attending this conference as an official delegate please forward me a note expressing that your desire to attend.
h. NTC Hotwash: Following our NTC Rotation, a “Hot-wash” will be held in Seattle, Washington. The purpose of this event is pass along lessons learned from our Rotation. More information to follow but plan on each unit (Squadron and Separate Unit) sending personnel to this event.
2. SABER 5 - EXECUTIVE OFFICER (LTC BELEW):
a. OPTEMPO. OPTEMPO is at a peak. We have completed the maintenance process on our equipment to be shipped from home station and have scrubbed the paint off the equipment list we will draw at the NTC. The final test of our logistic capabilities before we get off the plane in Mojavia is getting all our equipment on rail cars headed for the great southwest. There are people that actually pay for vacations in sunny California and here we are getting paid to go. Our continued ability to sustain and maintain is absolutely critical to a successful deployment. If we can’t fix, feed, fuel and support ourselves the exercise will be a futile effort. Logistics is what will keep us alive and allow us the opportunity to kill OPFOR. If you are part of the process and you see something going wrong it is your responsibility to fix it or find someone that can.
b. Special Training. We have completed all but a few minor NTC special training events. We will meet the entry level of the NTC requires for crossing the light line into the box. There will be several “lanes” conducted during RSOI week to supplement any events we may have missed. These are for the exceptions not the rule.
c. Convoy. As this goes to press the regiment is conducting convoy movements of wheeled vehicles to rail heads from FT Knox to Kingsport. Loading of the heavy tracks at FT Campbell and FT Knox has already begun. Unloading the tracks and wheel vehicles will begin in late May at Yermo. We have identified your soldiers that can support this effort and believe we have a great team put together for the download.
d. Excuses. Excuses from Attending the NTC. This is not a new subject but the requests to get out of going to the NTC continue to roll in. Unless you are dying you are going to the NTC. If you desire a school it will not be in lieu of the NTC. If you cannot get away from work for the additional days of the course and do the 21-day AT at the NTC you will have to wait till 2003 to attend the school. Excuses from AT at the NTC will not be granted unless life and limb are at stake. We expect every soldier to do his duty next summer and be at the NTC. All of you are part of a team that depends on everyone doing their job to make that team perform. That makes the job that each of us has to do easier instead of having to do our job and theirs as well. If you are part of the team then I expect you to be a team player.
e. Safety. Safety is always an issue but the opportunity for a stupid mistake to turn tragic is about to become our greatest fear. We are moving over 2000 vehicles and 5000 soldiers over 2500 miles into the worst environment on the face of the earth. There are so many things that can go wrong and so many chances for someone to try and short cut a safety step that it is inevitable that something will happen. It is our job as supervisors to make sure everyone does the right thing, in the right uniform, with the right equipment in a safe manner. Let’s not be sorry when we could have been safe.
3. SABER 7 - COMMAND SERGEANT MAJOR (CSM PIPPIN):
Professionalism. TO ALL NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERS PREPARING FOR NTC: No one is more professional than you are. You are a Noncommissioned Officer, a leader of soldiers. As a Noncommissioned Officer, you should realize that you are a member of a time-honored corps, which is known as “The Backbone of the Army”. You should be proud of the Corps of Noncommissioned Officers and at all times conduct yourself so as to bring credit upon the Corps, the Military Service and your Country regardless of the situation in which you find yourself. You should not use your grade or position to attain pleasure, profit, or personal safety. Competence will always be your watchword. There are two basic responsibilities that should be uppermost in your mind, accomplishment of your mission and the welfare of your soldiers. You should strive to remain tactically and technically proficient. You should be aware of your role as a Noncommissioned Officer. You will fulfill your responsibilities inherent in that role. All soldiers are entitled to outstanding leadership; you will provide that leadership. You should know your soldiers and always place their needs above your own. You must communicate consistently with your soldiers and never leave them uninformed. You must be fair and impartial when recommending both rewards and punishment. Officers of your unit should have maximum time to accomplish their duties; they will not have to accomplish yours. You should earn their respect and confidence as well as that of your soldiers. You will be loyal to those with whom you serve; seniors, peers and subordinates. You will exercise initiative by taking appropriate action in the absence of orders. You will not compromise your integrity, or your moral courage. You will not forget that we as a Corps ARE PROFESSIONALS, NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERS, LEADERS!
4. SABER 1 - PERSONNEL & ADMIN OFFICER (MAJ JONES):
a. ID Cards/ID Tags. The NTC Rotation is fast approaching. It is imperative that every unit ensures that all of their soldiers have a CURRENT green ID Card and a set of ID Tags. Any units that may need to have ID Cards made can coordinate with the Regimental S-1 to have the unit come to Knoxville or to have the mobile ID Card machine brought to their location.
b. Family Readiness Guides. The Family Readiness Guides have been published and distributed to the units. Please ensure that all soldiers get a copy of the Family Readiness Guide to take to their family members. There is a lot of information contained in the Guide that will be useful to family members while we are at the NTC.
c. Projected Pay Schedule for June 2002. After reviewing the DFAS production schedule, USPFO recommended the following regarding pay for NTC-AT. Orders will be split in half. The first order will be from 1-11 Jun 02 (11 days) with 14 Jun 02 as the pay date. The second order will be from 12-22 (11 days) June 02 with 21 Jun 02 as the pay date. Unfortunately, this is change 3 to the projected pay schedule. As a result, upon receipt of change 2, the information was put into the Family Readiness Guide. The guide has already gone to print and cannot be changed. Please inform all soldiers of the new change so they can let their family members know.
d. SGLI Family Coverage. Effective 1 November 2001, SGLI Family Coverage became available. Information on Family Coverage can be found on VA’s web site at www.insurance.va.gov. The main requirements for family coverage are: The service member must be married and insured under SGLI in order to qualify for Family Coverage for his/her spouse. The service member must have coverage in order for his/her spouse. The service member must have coverage in order for his/her children to qualify for free coverage. The maximum amount of spousal coverage is $100,000. The amount of the spouse’s coverage can never by more than the member’s coverage. The amount of coverage for each child is $10,000.
The service member must assure that himself/herself, spouse and children are loaded into the DEERS system. The cost of coverage for the spouse is calculated on data that is obtained from the DEERS system. The service member may verify enrollment by calling 1-800-538-9552 and selecting option 3. The hours of operation are 0700-1900 Central Time. After contacting DEERS, if service member, spouse and/or children are not enrolled, service member should contact the nearest DEERS site to coordinate enrollment.
In addition to the requirements listed above, request that each service member complete a SGLV 8286A showing intent of coverage. This form will be place in the official DA 201 file. For further information and/or forms, the service member may contact the unit clerk.
5. SABER 2 - INTELLIGENCE & SECURITY OFFICER (MAJ KIEFER):
a. INTEL Handbook. The Intelligence Handbook is scheduled to be ready at the Deployment Rehearsal in May. An exact distribution list and subtotal has not been prepared. There should be enough for each vehicle crew/section. Be prepared to carry them back for your unit(s). The information has been reviewed and refined extensively and has not been copied from the last rotational unit. It is not too large and can easily be read by several people on the flight to Tierra Del Diablo.
b. Country Study. The Tierra Del Diablo Country Study book has been sent out in electronic format. Due to limited printing resources, there will not be a large number printed (if any). We will endeavor to prepare a 1 page (front & back) "Cliff Notes" version for distribution to each and every soldier.
c. INTEL Products Available. A large number of products have already been issued from our shop. They are: A Current Critical Events Lists for each of the 4 main combat operations. (Meeting Battle, Attack, Defend, Security Zone) Task & Purpose charts for virtually every known enemy formation for each of the 4 main combat operations.
d. Due Outs. Items that are still due out: Annex B for the deployment order. Should be ready by the first May drill
e. Questions. Any questions as to what has been provided in the past, and what you will receive from the RS2, email me @
6. SABER 3 - OPERATIONS OFFICER (MAJ ARCHER):
a. Education Verification. Effective 1 June 2002, all soldiers receiving education benefits through the Montgomery GI Bill Chapter 1606 (Select Reserve) and Chapter 30 will be required to contact the Veterans Administration (VA) monthly to verify their enrollment (continued enrollment) in college courses. This will be required before monthly benefits will be released.
How Will You Verify Your Enrollment? You can verify your monthly enrollment in one of two ways.
If your enrollment has not changed during the month, call 1-877-823-2378 on a touch-tone phone
Connect to the VA's Internet site at www.gibill.va.gov and follow the link to the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) program. If your enrollment has changed during the month, you must verify your enrollment through the WAVE program.
You do not have to use the same method each month. Remember that you must verify your enrollment each month from now on. If you forget to verify your enrollment and have benefits that could be paid we’ll send you a reminder on or about the 15th of each month.
FTSP: Please ensure that every soldier in your unit who is receiving GI Bill benefits is aware of this new requirement. While the VA is sending written notification to all participants by mail, invariably someone will be missed. As payments will not be released without monthly verification, failure to do so will result in an interruption of payments, which may cause extreme hardship for some. You can contact MAJ Lyles (Comm. 615-313-0594) for a memorandum from the VA, which explains this change in detail, but the process, is actually very simple. Our job is just to ensure that our soldiers are aware of the requirement and understand how to accomplish it. It would also be a good idea to have your soldiers verify their mailing address with the VA by calling 1-888-442-4551. This will ensure that the original written notifications, as well as any reminders, will be received in time to be acted upon before payments are interrupted.
7. SABER REDLEG - FIRE SUPPORT OFFICER (MAJ HART):
a. Safety. Recent training accidents at Ft. Drum, NY and the NTC have resulted in fatalities. Both these fatal training accidents involved indirect fire weapons. As we complete our last minute preparations before our deployment to Mojave, please remind your soldier about safety. Don't allow them to become complacent. The equipment we train with and ride on was designed to kill soldiers. We choose the appropriate time and place for this to happen. Leaders must maintain safe, operational control over our equipment and soldiers. Don't fall victim to a preventable accident. Stay focused! Stay alert! Stay alive!
b. Preparedness. Several times during recent warfighters, our artillery compliment (TASKO) was only able to employ part of its artillery muscle for one reason or another. Massing of fire was limited. If our artillery is to be effective in supporting the fight, we must define the conditions for success. We must be able to close our eyes and see our self, visualize the enemy, and understand the terrain. This equates to being proficient at time and space management. Our artillery must be in position and ready to fire at those critical points in the battle. Failure to be in the right place and at the right time, concedes defeat. Our artillery must not be caught out of position or lagging back. Scheme of maneuver from PAA to PAA must be executed in a timely manner and reported. Time and space management at the NTC will be difficult. Remember, we will push our artillery forward; not drag it from behind!
c. Ammunition. Ammunition management at NTC will be important, whether virtual or simulated. Our UBL for NTC will be set by Corps Artillery. All Paladin Batteries will receive notification of the UBL by the RFSE. While at NTC, combat loads for howitzer will be determined by Sqdn / Bn, except when the Battery is detached. Combat loads for detached HOW Batteries will be determined by the receiving unit. Ammunition management requires a conscious effort - don't get caught short.
d. HGSS. At the NTC the HGSS system is used during Force on Force operations while in the box and the Ground Vehicular Laser Locator Designator (G/VLLD) is used during the Live Fire portion. Since we are not conducting the Live Fire, the FIST /COLT teams will not take the Laser Designator Rangfinder, (LDR). The laser itself will not go. BUT, you must bring everything else that is associated or accompanies the G/VLLD, i.e. cables, G/VLLD batteries/ charger, inhibitor plug, etc. AGAIN, bring everything except the designator itself. HGSS will be used in place of the G/VLLD during Force on Force. HGSS will be issued during your initial MILES draw and is valued at $90,000 (+). The WOLVES will conduct the train up for HGSS during RSOI week. The HGSS is powered by the G/VLLD batteries that we currently have on hand.
e. NTC will prove to be a defining experience in the Regiment. I encourage all of you to rise to the challenges. Show your professionalism. Be proud of your accomplishments. It took a great deal of effort to get to this point. You are to be congratulated and I know the your best is yet to come. SABER REDLEG, Roger Out.
8. SABER MIKE GOLF MASTER GUNNER (SFC MICHAEL FOUTS):
a. AFITS XXI. Status of the initial fielding of AFIST XXI is completed in the 1/278th ACR, 3/278th ACR as of 19 Apr 02. The 2/278th ACR will complete theirs on the 26 Apr 02. This is the initial fielding we will receive the additional systems as they are completed by the contractor. Estimated date of arrival should be by the 1st Sep 02.
b. Meeting Postponed. Regimental Master gunners meeting to talked about the TY-03 gunnery will be postponed to a later date. Due to we the RS-3 and RCO have a meeting with Ft. Knox, FY, G-3 the last of the month to talk about the TY-03 support requirement, and to attempt to lock in range support.
c. MILES Info. The draft Appendix and MOI for the NTC rotation in reference to MILES is completed near completion. Before it will be released the RS-3 and RCO will approve it. I estimate to put it out on or about the 1st of May 02.
9. SABER SAFETY -- REGIMENTAL SAFETY OFFICER (CW4 STONE):
I must have a copy of unit orders in memorandum format assigning each safety individual as an additional duty. Below the commander’s signature I need a signature line for the individual receiving the additional duty with his/her signature (Too many soldiers have additional duties and don’t even know it). Make copies: one for your additional duty file, one for your safety file and one for the individual. Email it to me at: .
10. SABER 4 - LOGISTICS OFFICER (MAJ DARNBUSH):
a. Rail Load Dates. Units should have rail plan complete. Each site must have a Safety NCOIC with an updated Risk Assessment complete. The next three weeks are critical. Pay attention to the details. POC is CPT Sharp.
b. ADVON/Rear Detachment. Units need to make sure that drivers at YERMO for unloading and loading are qualified track and wheel drivers. We need to get the most of our dollars and have soldiers that are licensed on the most pieces of equipment performing that duty.
c. Time Line. Please review and distribute the Time Line that was forwarded the week of 16 Apr 02. It contains valuable information for ADVON and Regeneration.
d. Redeployment. For initial planning purposes use the same scenarios for our return from NTC. We will have the same requirements to off load, stage, and return to respective home stations.
11. SABER 5 – CIVIL AFFAIRS OFFICER (MAJ KEISMAN):
ESGR Sponsored Breakfast. The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) sponsored a breakfast for the 190th Engineer Company in Morristown on 16 April 2002. They had approximately 85 people in attendance that received a delicious meal and a program of events assisted by the Recruiting and Retention Office. The program also included an awards ceremony that recognized certain employers and county officials. This breakfast was a big success and demonstrates a positive way to inform employers of what their employee does with the Army National Guard. We want to encourage all of our units and/our Squadrons to take advantage of any opportunity we can to enhance visibility in the Tennessee Army National Guard.
12. SABER 6 – SIGNAL OFFICER (MAJ JESTRAB):
a. Communications: As previously stated "Communications is a showstopper:" This must be a high priority for all units. Command Emphasis Required to make sure your units are ready. SIGO’s to maintain unit status and keep me informed of problems. ( hm) or e- wk)
b. Fills and Tactical Phone Book: From the TEWT and LTP you received the AT Fills and from Old Bills University the Tactical Phone Book. Each unit is required to review these and denote any changes that are required for their unit. If a unit is not listed then requests were not made and this must be done immediately. Changes must be turned in ASAP, however NLT 9 Apr 02. These changes need to be sent to Mr. Newsom ( [email protected] ) or myself. If you do not have the data, give me an e-mail or call and I will get it to you.
c. Operator Manuals: Make sure your have the -10's for all your communication equipment and your maintenance sections need the -20. This is part of the PCC/PCI that will be checked during RSOI.
d. Frequency Planning: Some units just recently gained or are gaining new equipment. We need the technical info on your equipment. If it transmits or receives a signal or emits energy (i.e. radar, IFF, etc.), let us know immediately so that we can get the required frequencies and approval for usage at the NTC. Provide the Automation system (Specify operating system), and the List of crypto-variables required, Frequency range, wattage, nomenclature, etc.
e. NTC Comms: Feedback received from the TEWT indicated that line of sight communications worked well, even beyond the planning ranges, however the terrain will inhibit us greatly. Make sure you are planning retrans from your headquarters to your line units that will not be in Line-of-sight. SIGO’s as SOP it is part of your responsibility to locate your TOC’s so that they can communicate; it will do no good to be hidden well but not able to talk. Utilize Terra-base in your planning. Normally the Engr. Units have this system, if not available it can be downloaded off the Net, however you will need the NTC datum’s.
f. NTC Fills: NTC spectrum management provides the fills, make sure you zero your Zero your ANCD’s prior to loading the NTC fill. Utilize PLGR time, Zulu.
13. HONORARY COLONEL OF THE REGIMENT: COL (R) Matt McKnight:
I am writing to the men and women who are the soul of our Regiment. I’m speaking to the privates, specialists, and sergeants, who are ones who carry the fight to the enemy. I have noted with great interest that the deployment to the National Training Center is almost at hand for the 278th Armored (“By God!”) Cavalry Regiment. I would give anything to go with you to take part in the most significant training event our Regiment has ever undertaken.
This will be the closest we can come to combat without really going to combat. You should approach this with the will to win burning in your heart! LTG George S. Patton said in his address to Third Army in 1944. His remarks hold true for us today. “Americans love to fight - traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble player; the fastest runner; the big league ball players; the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win - all the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost, not ever will lose a war, for the very thought of losing is hateful to an American.” The though of losing at the NTC should be hateful to you and to your pride. Your commanders are trained to put you in the best positions on the battlefield to win. It’s up to you to do your job! Keep your equipment operational! Keep your weapons zeroed and ready to shoot! Keep yourself focused on the task at hand ready to hand the OPFOR their butts on a silver tray! Can we win in the Desert against the OPFOR? Yes, if each soldier does his duty to the very best of his abilities all the time! Remember where you come from and who you are. You come from Tennessee and are descendants from fighting men like John Sevier, Sam Houston, David Crockett, Nathan Forrest, Alvin York, Buck Karns and a host of others who have brought great credit to our State and our people! The eyes of the National Guard and the Regular Army will be on you in the Desert. Don’t take shit from anybody!
Go forth and do battle to win!
Matt D. McKnight
COL (R), CAV
4th Colonel of the Regiment