HEADQUARTERS
278TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT
Tennessee Army National Guard, P.O. Box 10167
Knoxville, Tennessee 37939-0167
http://www.geocities.com/278acr/

OLD'E BILL'S CHIPS

Publishing Date 12 July 2002
Bulletin Number 02-07

 

1.      SABER 6 - REGIMENTAL COMMANDER (COL HASTON):

a.      Rotation 02-09: To start with, I want to thank each soldier of the 278th ACR who participated in our trip to the high Mojave. You met and exceeded every task and challenge that was presented to you. Morale stayed high during the entire rotation and you were always up for the next mission. I can't tell you how proud I was of this Regiment on Training day 10 when we breached the OPFOR defenses. You have every right to stand tall and be proud. You did things that our Active Counterparts usually don't accomplish. Thank you for being safe. We had very few injuries and no serious ones. This is a credit to the leadership and paying attention to detail. The Regiment is now the premiere unit in the ARNG. You raised the bar so high that most units can't see it. Our job now is to keep these skills honed. Thanks for a job well done!

b.      Taking Care of People:

(1)     The NTC rotation should give each unit a good indication of who their future leaders are. It should also give you some indication where changes need to be made. Don't be afraid to make these adjustments. The lives of America's sons and daughters depend on it. It also will provide insight to who needs schools. Promotions don't come without proper education.

(2)     Awards are in order for this rotation. Make sure that you take the time to put your soldiers in for awards. Make sure they get the one they deserve, not some "easy to do" award. Take your time. This is important for their careers.

(3)     I mentioned above the importance of military education. Next training year we start back with the basics. We must focus on MOSQ and more specifically on DMOSQ. OES and NCOES cannot be overlooked. Get your applications in now. "There is no money to go to school or there are no seats" is not a good answer from your FTSP. Get the application in! You may be entered in a "wait" status but that gets you in the running. Be sure that your soldiers are prepared to go to school, i.e. Height/Weight and PT.

(4)     The Regiment has not conducted live-fire gunnery for two years. That was my decision in preparation for the NTC. Now we must refocus toward live-fire gunnery. Crew stabilization is the key to success! TC/BC and gunner are mandatory but drivers and loaders are also a critical part of the team. Commanders must consider the residual effects when building crews. Don't build a crew that the TC goes to NCOES and misses critical events. Use common sense.

c.      Medical Issues: Prior to going to the NTC we had several soldiers who did not deploy for some type of medical problem. In a great number of these cases the problem was not an immediate issue such as a broken limb but medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart conditions, long-term back problems and diabetes. These types of conditions warrant a fitness for duty evaluation and a medical evaluation board (MEB). Some of these conditions have existed for years and either been overlooked or not reported by the soldier. This hurts everyone in the unit. Commanders, if you have a soldier who did not deploy for medical reasons (with the exception of conditions like broken bones or pregnancy) a fitness for duty must be accomplished immediately.

d.      Equipment Accountability: Inventories are critical! Find your stuff. I know that there are going to be losses from training, there always are. I just don't want soldiers paying for stuff that was not really lost, just simply not accounted for. I want all inventories completed by 13 September 2002. This will allow us to replace items with TY-02 resources. Commanders, this must be your focus. Don't get behind on reports of surveys and make sure they are complete with proper documentation.

e.      Safety: We got through the NTC rotation safely. This did not happen by accident. Risk Management is a learned skill and we are improving. Seeing section sergeants brief their soldiers on risk management both administratively and tactically was a great sight. Keep up the standard. Now that we are back we must continue to think safety both professionally and personally. Summer months bring on lots of outdoor activities. Be careful! Don't drink and boat. It's a mixture for disaster.

f.      Retention and Recruiting: We are going to lose soldiers because of our NTC rotation. It won't be the soldiers who participated but it will be the soldiers who didn't. We must retain the good soldiers. Each unit must continue its focus on recruiting events. What do you have scheduled during the summer months? Displays at ball fields? Have you planned for upcoming county fairs? What about the start of school and career days? Events like these do produce leads. I want the 12 months counseling program to continue. I have talked recently to soldiers who clearly indicated that they re-enlisted because someone talked to them as a result of this program. Keep it up!

2.      SABER 5 - EXECUTIVE OFFICER (LTC BELEW):

a.      Good Job. We have had an extremely successful NTC rotation, we had a great 4th of July and now our equipment is coming home from the NTC. What a great way to make a living. We set records for how quickly we moved our vehicles through instrumentation and then again when we de-instrumented them. We cleared the Pre-positioned equipment faster than any of the previous 5 Active rotations and quicker than any of the previous ARNG rotations. I can't think of any organization that has more to be proud of than this Regiment. Thanks for everyone's hard work and dedication to the mission.

b.      Recovery. NTC recovery is now the focus. Recovery of all our equipment, getting a good 100% inventory and making sure we have a good maintenance posture on our vehicles. We have the money for parts and missing MTOE equipment. Make sure you get everything on order before the end of August. If it's missing get it documented and use the system to replace it. Bad news does not get better with age.

c.      ADSW Opportunities. The opportunities continue for assistance in unloading track and wheel vehicles and move them to home station. Continue to check with your soldiers to see who is interested in ADSW for this effort. If you have crewman and maintenance soldiers interested, let your chain of command know so we can fully resource the requirement.

d.      Schools. The focus for 2003 is DMOSQ and schools. If you need a school, get with the training NCO and get your request in ATRRS. All of you that were part of the team at the NTC have put your careers in our hands and we intend to make good on the promise to get you to your school.

e.      Recruiting and Retention. We have had one of the best Annual Training periods we could ever have and now is the time to spread that story. It should be an easy story to tell about how real soldiers go to the US Army's premier training center and show the army how to kill OPFOR. We did what the AC does and in a lot of ways did it better. Let's make sure everyone knows the capability of the Guard.

3.      SABER 7 - COMMAND SERGEANT MAJOR (CSM PIPPIN):

a.      Rotation 02-09: The hard work, planning, preparation, cooperation, good attitudes and patience helped us to have an outstanding rotation that will be discussed for a lifetime. Thank you for your support.

b.      TY-03 Goals: The Senior NCO leadership will be focusing on the following goals for the remainder of this year and next training year: (1) MOSQ 100%, (2) Strength 100%, (3) APFT 100%, (4) IWQ 100%, (5) No faults on the NCO-ERs and 4100Es.

c.      ATTITUDE: As we continue to serve our great nation, we must continually reevaluate our attitude so that we maintain the proper level of motivation; esprit de corps and ' drive-on spirit' required to be successful. Our duties can be very demanding and may, at times, seem too much to bear. Your attitude, though, will remain the key component in determining the way you approach your duties and how you relate to those serving around you, good or bad. Attitude is a reflection of the person inside. While the external circumstances in your life may seem hectic, you can always chart a path of excellence by assuming a positive mental attitude. (from CSM William J. Gainey, CSM U.S. Army Armor Center)

4.      SABER 1 - PERSONNEL & ADMIN OFFICER (MAJ JONES):

a.      NTC. Our Regimental personnel sections received the best training ever during our NTC rotation. We got to do what we're supposed to: personnel accountability, replacement operations, emergency leave, awards, etc. Thanks for your hard work!

b.      OER's. We are still behind on OER's. Now that we have returned from the NTC, we need to shift our focus toward "catching up" on some of our administrative requirements. Start working on them now and you won't be swamped next month!

5.      SABER 2 - INTELLIGENCE & SECURITY OFFICER (MAJ KIEFER):

a.      Personnel Security - There are still too many Periodic Reinvestigations outstanding. TS clearance requires a reinvestigation every 5 years, Secret requires a reinvestigation every 10 years and Confidential requires a reinvestigation every 15 years. The Regiment, not STARC, will administratively downgrade the clearance of any soldier whose PR is delinquent beginning 01 OCT 2002.

b.      Physical Security - Physical Security Inspections will begin in September. The Regiment has not pushed for these prior to NTC. Now is the time to make sure our Facilities are secure and the paperwork is done to prove it.

c.      Equipment - Common Ground Station will prove to bee a great combat multiplier, as soon as we get to use it. It is imperative to use your ASAS LT every month. The tools available to the Intel community on this system will help us paint the picture for the commander. It is like all skills though, "use it or lose it".

d.      Doctrine - The new OPFOR doctrine is out and being used. The Regiment was to last unit to fight the old doctrine. Training tapes and CD's will be issued to each S2 shop. This will probably be the OPFOR we fight during WARFIGHTER next year.

e.      ADSW Opportunities - There are several opportunities for MI ADSW tours at NGB. These are both Officer and Enlisted. If you are interested contact CPT Mitch Murray at (856) 582-3229 or [email protected] <>.

f.      Musings from the RS2 -

(1)     We have received some positive feedback on the use of the "Saber Special" maps for the recent rotation. If you have any comments, I would like to hear from you. There is always room for improvement, and I haven't heard from all units as to how useful they were. The majority of the comments I have received pertain to the "DRT Sweep" zones. From a historical perspective, creation of "special" maps for a particular operation is not new to the Army. I would encourage all to look in the June Issue of National Geographic Magazine, and look at the special maps that were created for the D-Day invasion. I was impressed by the level of individual detail that went in to the production of maps for such a large operation. The good idea fairy was alive and well in 1944. With today's computer and printing capabilities, the creation of "special" maps is easier than ever, and should become more prevalent. Your input will ensure that future "Saber Specials" will be relevant and useful to the troopers of the 278th.

(2)     Vehicle ID was an issue at NTC. "Vehicles" rarely confirm or deny an enemy Course of Action, the presence or absence of SPECIFIC vehicles will. Some of it was clearly a result of being able to see "vehicles" at 10K away. In that instance, unless you have your own version of the Hubble Telescope, vehicle ID by comparison to a picture in the handbook will be a shot in the dark. However, 11 ACR scouts can categorize vehicles into tanks/tracks/wheels at ranges that exceed 10K. From my interviews with their scouts, they rely on other features than just pictures. Clues such as the amount of dust created while traveling is a large factor. While conducting concurrent training at the gunnery ranges, use other forms of Vehicle ID training than just flash cards. The RS2-shop will begin a search of different TTP to supplement your vehicle ID program.

6.      SABER 3 - OPERATIONS OFFICER (MAJ ARCHER):

a.      NTC 02-09 "APPALACHIAN THUNDER". Great Job! I have had numerous soldiers ask me how we really did. Please pass to your soldiers that we did the Regiment and the entire National Guard proud! In summary, we deployed 2,000 major items of equipment and approximately 6,000 soldiers to a hostile environment thousands of miles from home station. We set an NTC record by instrumenting 167 vehicles in one day, with basically all vehicles instrumented on Thursday, RSOI day 4. We successfully completed additional training during RSOI, including MILES validation, NVG certification, mine plow operations, and Tactical Ballistic Missile alerts. We successfully moved the Regiment to "the Box" in spite of minefields and a bad dust storm. There, we valiantly fought the OPFOR in two Squadron-level battles (Zone Recon and Stationary Guard) and two Regimental-level battles (Stationary Guard and Offensive Cover). We improved in the planning and execution of every successive battle, culminating with the last battle, where we penetrated the OPFOR defenses with a tank company assaulting through 2 breaches and a bypass! Then we consolidated in Squadron AA's and moved safely back to the RUBA where we began regeneration operations in preparation for our redeployment back to home station. We had no major injuries during our deployment! Our last 3 Regimental personnel redeployed on 2 Jul, only 9 days after the main body redeployment! Although we still have trains to unload, equipment to maintain and inventory, and paperwork to complete, YOU DID IT! GREAT JOB!

b.      TACSOP Review. As always after a major exercise, everyone should review their TACSOP's for required changes. As the proponent for the Regimental TACSOP, the Squadron common TACSOP, and the Troop, Company, and Battery common TACSOP's, I want your input on needed changes to these SOP's. Please send recommended changes ELECTRONICALLY to [email protected] <> or [email protected] <> . Include the justification for the change and the change as it should read. We will NOT be changing report formats since they follow the Army standard as outlined in FM 101-5-2. Requested changes must be submitted NLT 1 Oct 02.

c.      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

OR

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, you'll get 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 4 - LOGISTICS OFFICER (MAJ DARNBUSH):

a.      Rail Load Dates. Units have been notified or rail download dates (FCKY 8-10 Jul & 17 Jul; Oak Ridge 12-15 Jul; CSMS 15-17 Jul; FKKY 18-20 Jul; Holston 22 Jul). Each site must have a Safety NCOIC with an updated Risk Assessment complete and at least one CLS with designated evacuation vehicle. The next three weeks are critical. Pay attention to the details. POC is CPT Sharp.

b.      Fort Knox MATES. Reference memo dtd 9 Jul 02, RS-4, Subject: Equipment Regen @ Ft Knox MATES. Units with equipment at MATES will update hand receipts, inventory, clean, and document our equipment maintained at MATES.

c.      Redeployment. (from May 02 Chips) 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.

d.      Maintenance. The last two USR (Apr and Jul) indicates that Squadron's and Separate Units do not pay attention to its AMMS data that is available every month from its supporting OM Shops. This includes data on HS equipment, UTES and MATES. It is the Squadron's Senior Supply Sergeant and Separate Unit Supply Sergeants responsibility to maintain and update this monthly requirement. No more excuses. CPT Miller forwarded information last April as to what information the units were to bring to the next USR. Every "AA" unit received a "NO GO" this month. Ask the right question at the right time to obtain the information in a timely manner. If you have problems with your supporting OMS then call MAJ Darnbush or CPT Miller.

e.      NTC. Regardless of what you may hear from outside sources, the Regiment did what it was supposed to do during ADVON and Rear Detachment. Our timeline was synchronized with our supporting units accurately. Our plan that was published prior to departure was on target. Yes, we may have missed some suspense by a day, but our plan for mission accomplishment on the front and rear was ACHIEVED. Except for three outstanding soldiers, the Regiment came home when it was supposed to. To all of those that made it happen on the ADVON and Rear Detachment - THANKS. We broke National Guard and Active Component records in the conduct of our business.

8.      SABER SQUELCH - SIGNAL OFFICER (MAJ JESTRAB):

a.      Welcome back to the Great State of Tennessee and our Families. We just completed the training event of a lifetime for most of us. We had talked of NTC for the last 10 years not knowing if it would ever come, and then it went by so fast. I had a good learning experience and was pleased to work with each of you. The CAV and Attached Units truly demonstrated "Flexibility" and completed the mission.

b.      Communications: Did we communicate as we had planned for during our rotation? In some respects we demonstrated strong continuous usage such as "FM", had good success in Blasting the Sars/Sams, and TACLAN at least internal to the Regt Toc and to Division. We did not aggressively utilize our MSRT's, either incorrect fills or equipment malfunctions. Lesson Learned: During RSOI we had 90% of the units operational in MSRT's and then we had to change the loads (bad move on my part in not getting the actual fills from the get go). AM likewise was at 90% during RSOI, but had limited usage in the box. Need to identify the problems and fix them.

c.      MSE: It was a let down in that the LEN at the RSA was never was fully operational; fortunately the 2nd SEN at the RTOC was utilized to provide limited access for the RSA, which allowed the Blast to function. With the LEN down, we lost communications via DNVTs with a lot of customers severely affecting operations. Additionally the SENs were assigned to the CTCPs and these were very seldom used, mostly to selection of sites that did not allow the SENs transmit back to a Node Center. SIGO's needed to depict the CTCP locations so that this communication path is maintained. We had too many disk transfers.

d.      Training: Future calendar events will be upon us again, sustain those tasks shown as trained, improve those that we need improvements.

e.      Lessons Learned: I am sure we all learned a lot during this demanding high quality training that we received. We need to capture those thought now and implement corrections as needed. For those Items that affect the RSIGO, please let me know of them so that we can be fully functional with all our equipment. Additionally these items may be of interest for the next Guard unit in the box. We present the next HOTWASH in Sept and I need to provide them the best solutions. Thanks to "all" for your support,

9.      SABER REDLEG - FIRE SUPPORT OFFICER (MAJ HART):

a.      Congratulation on a job well done at the National Training Center. I recently read a short vignette from a famous General about how a Commander can influence the battle. The passage read, "A Commander being two things to the fight - his presence and his artillery!" Our RCO is proud of his Red legged soldiers and their contribution. Your effort and presence helped pave the way to our success at NTC.

b.      Don't let those lessons learned at NTC drop through the cracks. Document those sustain and improve for future training events. Build on what worked and repair that which didn't. It's not 'back to AT as usual.' Use your NTC experience as a reference point to training.

c.      We will again hone our field artillery skills during the BCBST seminar at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas (16-21 FEB 03). Be prepared. Have your smart book and battle staff tools ready. Our Warfighter will be in JUN 03.

d.      AFATDS (Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System) initial equipment brief is 14 AUG 02 in Knoxville. Fielding should be completed prior to our Warfighter. The IFSAS is soon to be gone. Ensure adequate redundancy is planned when identifying those personnel to train on AFATDS during the NET.

10.     SABER MIKE GOLF - MASTER GUNNER (SFC MICHAEL FOUTS):

a.      NTC ACCOMPLISHMENT:  Thanks to all the personnel in the Regiment, we have set a New Standard for MILES Instrumentation and De-instrumentation during our Rotation. I feel this is due to the positive and aggressive attitude we have in the Regiment. It was the major key to success.

b.      NTC MILES equipment shortages. All units during their 100% after annual training inventory need to look for MILES equipment they were short during the turn-in. If you find some MILES equipment please get the items to me and I will see to it that they get to NTC to be removed from your unit's report of survey.

c.      AFIST XXI News. We will be receiving the last of the systems during the month of July at the following locations and dates. Starting 22-27 Jul at Sweetwater, then on to Cleveland on 28 - 29 Jul, with another team doing Newport on 28 Jul and the final system at Erwin on 29 Jul.

d.      A/B-FIST News. The Regiment is in the loop of the review of the systems operation on the soon-to-be tested M3/M2 AFIST system. We should be in the testing and fielding some time in the early part of TY-03.

e.      PREPARATION FOR LFX. The time that we all have been leaning forward in the saddle for has finally arrived. The Goal of the Regiment is 100% crew qualification on GT VIII during our annual training in TY-03. All crewmembers must prepare and conduct proper training to produce the results we are looking to obtain. This goal is attainable thru good preliminary tables and utilization of simulations devices (AFIST XXI, M-COFT).

11.     SABER SAFETY -- REGIMENTAL SAFETY OFFICER (CW4 STONE):

a.      Boating Safety. Each year, many Americans take to the water for pleasure boating or sailing, fishing, water or jet skiing, or just cruising the nation's lakes, rivers, and inland waterways. Sailing is a fun sport, but it's not a breeze. Operating a boat requires concentrated skill and a keen sense of awareness in the boat and on water. A clear head and a responsible outlook are necessary to make a day on the water as smooth and as safe as possible.

Many soldiers and their dependents have drowned or been seriously injured in boating mishaps in the past. The majority of accidents would not have happened if the victims had taken time to learn proper small boat operating procedures.

If small boat enthusiasts observe the following rules, they will be nautical miles ahead in personal fun and safety.

1.      Know your boat - what it can and can't do.
2.      Don't overload - check the boat manufacturer's capacity plate.
3.      Keep a good lookout and situational awareness of other boats and objects.
4.      Operate at safe and legal speeds - watch your wake.
5.      Know and respect the weather - heed weather warnings.
6.      Take sufficient fuel in proper containers. Know your cruising radius.
7.      Keep your boat shipshape; check safety equipment.
8.      Take necessary equipment such as fire extinguishers and personal flotation devices.
9.      Secure the boat properly. Stow loose objects.
10.     Learn boating laws and obey them.
11.     Never operate a boat while intoxicated.

b.      SPINAL CORD INJURIES - AN AVOIDABLE SUMMER WATER ACCIDENT. Approximately 200,000 individuals in the United States have spinal cord injuries. Every year, another 11,000 people, mostly men under age 30, will sustain new spinal injuries. While most injuries are the result of auto and sports accidents and violence, more than 850 spinal cord injuries are preventable swimming and diving incidents. Many of the approximately 1,600 spinal cord patients treated at Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center in the last 25 years have sustained their injuries in water-related accidents.

Stacy Schreiweis was a high school student when she dove into a home pool fracturing her neck and spine at the C-5 (cervical) vertebrae just below the top of her shoulder. This type of injury affects the body below the level of damage, generally resulting in paralysis to all extremities. As a student at Carson Newman College, Stacy now moves around campus in a power wheelchair.

Angela Petty was 22 when she dove from a houseboat and hit bottom in a shallow area on Fort Loudon Lake. She, too, fractured her neck at the C-5 area. She drives a specially adapted van that accommodates her wheelchair and is equipped with hand controls to operate the gas and brake.

Tony Womac was an experienced lifeguard and thought the water in the lake was deep enough to dive, but he hit a submerged log head first, fracturing his C-5 vertebrae. He uses a power wheelchair for mobility and also drives a specialty van fitted with hand controls adapted to utilize the movement in his shoulders.

1.      A spinal cord injury has a sudden and lasting impact on individuals and their families physically, emotionally, and financially. The lifetime costs for spinal cord injury survivors can run in the millions of dollars. Think about it! Do you want your son or daughter to live the rest of his/her life paralyzed in a wheelchair? How about yourself? How would you handle it?

2.      Follow these guidelines from the American Spinal Injury Association:

a.      Check water depth before diving in a cloudy lake or creek. Check for objects under water such as rocks and floating debris. Feet first, first time.

b.      When using a swimming pool, educate yourself about depth markings, lighting, diving board location, and time for use. All pools should be secured with fencing.

c.      Do not swim alone or consume alcohol or drugs while swimming.

c.      SAFETY BRIEFS

1.      As safety receives more attention in the Regiment, unit commanders are expected to integrate safety into their training. This includes tasking the safety personnel to give safety briefs on the weekends. The subjects above are a good source for these briefs.

2.      Remember, now that NTC is over, we still want to keep our soldiers and their families out of harm's way. Think safety this summer!