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 03 May 2003
Bulletin Number 05-03

 

1.  "SABER SIX"   REGIMENTAL COMMANDER,  COL HASTON

a.      RETENTION AND RECRUITING  The Regiment is now at 80% and looks like we may fall further before our next reporting period.  Commanders, You are accountable.  We all must get serious about retaining quality soldiers and recruiting to fill our vacant ranks.  Do you really have a plan or is your plan to leave it up to the local recruiter?  If that's the plan then we all will fail.  It must be a team effort. 

        Each Commander should build an information package to give to each soldier so they can talk intelligently about what the TNARNG has to offer.  Does your soldiers know enough about the education benefits that the ARNG has to offer.  Do they have current pay scales and know the benefits?  These are important selling points that we all must be able to articulate.  I have to use cheat sheets. 

        Commanders, your Administrative Officers and NCOICs have access through the TNARNG LAN to obtain statistical information about your units retention and recruiting trends.  It also has info about new REP 63s.  Get this info, analyze it and it may help you do and see thing differently.

b.      GOVERNMENT TRAVEL CARD  This is the hottest topic around.  We have several people in the Regiment who have improperly used this travel card for unofficial travel.   You will be getting notified with instructions on how to correct the situation.  The Government (Bank of America) Travel card is for official use only.  The best "rule of thumb" is only use it when you are on travel orders and will be filing a 1351-2 to get refunded expenditures.  Use during Annual Training is not authorized.  This card is for "official" travel convenience.  Not to buy gas and milk on the way home from work.

        The new rules on filing a travel voucher where you had charges and did not use the travel card, the 1351-2 must have written across the top  Did not use Government Travel Card Program.  If this is not written on the 1351-2, it will be returned.

c.      SCHOOL NO SHOWS  Soldiers across the state are canceling out of schools for many reasons however their unit is not canceling them out of ATTARS.  This is unit and readiness NCO business.  Cancel the school if they don't go!

d.      SOLDIER SUPPORT CENTER  A new Soldier Support Center will soon be opening in Smyrna with a Toll Free Number.  Each Soldier will be mailed a letter with two cards providing these numbers for both the service members and their spouse.  This center will be manned in the late evening to answer after hour's calls regarding anything from education to pay.  However, the first question to be asked by the SSC will be has the soldier or his spouse used the chain of command and who did they talk to.  DO NOT USE THIS SSC WITHOUT USING YOUR CHAIN OF COMMAND FIRST!

e.      CLRT/COMET INSPECTIONS  This fall each unit in the 278th ACR will receive an inspection from the Command Logistic Review Team from NGB.  This is an extremely important event.  To prepare for this we have been conducting COMET inspections.  These internal looks have given the leadership some idea of how prepared we are for the CLRT.  Each Commander must look at their results.  You have time to make corrections using your FTSP and M-day Soldiers.  Commanders--you will pass this inspection!

f.      MEDICAL REVIEW   Before the Regiment went to the NTC we did a very close examination on medical conditions.  We found soldiers who had medical conditions who were hiding it because they wanted to deploy and we found soldiers who claimed they had medical conditions, who really had none and created these stories because they didn't want to deploy.  Well, it's time again to get your story correct.  If you can't deploy because of medical conditions, soldiers must document it now and be prepared to undergo a Medical Evaluation Board (MEB).  Same with dental.  Get your teeth fixed!  We have insurance available.  See your readiness NCO. 

g.      SAFETY  2/278 just finished their AT period with an excellent record, up until the last day of Annual Training.  SPC William T. Baggett died of injuries received in an automobile (POV) accident while returning from Annual Training.  Two other soldiers from 2/278 had to have major orthopedic surgeries from injuries sustained in non-training related accidents. These three events could have possibly been avoided by a little common sense. 

        Commanders/Leaders:  Risk Analysis will be done for each event, to include off duty hours events.  POV drivers and passengers will be briefed on their responsibilities and conditions.  Leaders, you have to make hard decisions.  This is not a popularity contest and if by one of your hard decisions saves a life or prevents and injury, so be it.  It's worth the cost.

h.      FUTURE EVENTS  Lots of rumors are flying around about the possibility of the Regiment participating in Operation Bright Star in Egypt.  We are working the details at this time.  No official news yet.  All Annual Training Periods are still planned as scheduled.  The minute it becomes official, we will notify everyone.   Tentative dates for the events are in September and October of 03.  Short fuzedMore to follow.

2.      HONORARY COLONEL OF THE REGIMENT (COL(R) McKNIGHT):

        Some people have called the Cold War "World War III" because of its global nature and included the Korean War and the Vietnamese War.  We won the Cold War, because of several reasons.  The first reason is the Soviets knew we had sufficient nuclear capacity for assured mutual destruction, which prevented the Soviets from using nuclear war as a means to beat us.  Secondly, they built a huge conventional force built on masses of armored mechanized forces.  They knew our Army was good with better equipment but we had something they could never match which was a large standing, well trained, well organized reserve component force that could be mobilized quickly to double the size of our conventional forces and thrown into the fight.  The WARSAW Pact Countries could never afford to build a standing Army of sufficient strength to over come the advantage of the National Guard and Army Reserve in the United States.  Did being in the National Guard mean anything?  You damn right it did!

 

Some people have been grumbling now about not being mobilized for the War in Iraq.  I am the first person to say that I wouldn't mind being mobilized to fight a war if we were really needed!  It would be demoralizing to be mobilized and taken away from my home, my job, and my community and never used because they really didn't need us in the first place.  The 3d ID, 1st Marine MEF coupled with the British and Australians going up against Iraq's Republican Guard was like the Oakland Raiders playing some Junior High School football team.  Do you think they needed us for the fight in Iraq?  No they didn't and that is not an insult to us.  Look at the forces they didn't need or use in the Active Army.  They didn't call III Corps from Fort Hood, or I Corps from Fort Lewis.  They didn't use the 1st Armored Division, 1st Cav Division, 8th ID, 2ID, 10th Mountain, 6th CAB, or the 25th Infantry Division.  The 3d ACR was recently deployed to Iraq to police up the empty brass of the 3d ID and the 1st Marines. 

        Does your membership in the 278th ACR mean anything now?  Just like your membership meant something during the Cold War, it sure means something now because we are still facing other and more determined enemies in the war against terrorism.   More than ever before, Duty, Honor and Country is most important for all Guardsmen to keep our country safe and secure.

 

3.      "SABER 5" - REGIMENTAL EXECUTIVE OFFICER (LTC BELEW):

a.      INSPECTIONS  As FY 03 continues to speed up we continue the cycle of inspections.  The COMET Team has visited some units and several even passed.  The intent is for all regimental units to be visited during the next year for unit inspections as we prepare for the CLRT.  The COMET is your pre-CLRT inspection.  Use that as a guide to continue to prep for the CLRT.

b.      SUPPLY ACCOUNTABILITY  Your commanders end balance hand receipts should reflect only documented shortages and un-issued items.  All other unit equipment should be on individual and section hand receipts with the document numbers where the shortages have been ordered.    Your section hand receipts should reflect all MTOE equipment that the section has inventoried and has on hand in a serviceable condition.  A further part of this is excess equipment you have on hand.  All excess equipment should be either ready for turn-in or awaiting a work order for serviceability checks. 

c.      MAINTENANCE  As the CLRT process moves forward and AT 03 gets closer we must not forget maintenance on our equipment.  We have over 100 ERC items currently reported as NMC.  Management of reporting the mileage on our vehicles is critical.  Proper dispatch and reporting into the ULLS is the only way to get those numbers recorded.  The mileage report is how we get funded.  The OMS cannot do it all.

d.      PERSONNEL ACTIONS  OER's and NCOER's and awards are what make the army work.  We are not getting OER's/NCOER's that reflect the quality of our soldiers.  If you want a soldier promoted the report card you write or have written about you is what gets that done.  A good report does not write itself and must be a reflection of the service that the soldier has performed.   The OER support form is a critical part of being able to write the OER and contributes to the quality of the report.  The NCOER should not be all centers to avoid having to write bullet comments.  If you want to keep the NCO, spend the time to write the comments. 

e.      SAFETY  I want to stress SAFETY to each of you.  We had several incidents in the past several weeks that reflect poorly on our leadership.  A soldier was involved in an automobile accident on the way home from FT Knox.  He died 9 days later.  Imagine.  What could we have done to have prevented this?  That question is the one that haunts us after a fatality like this.  Safety is a Commander's job, it isn't the S-1, it isn't the S-3 or the XO, it is the commander.  He who is ultimately responsible for the welfare of the soldier.  Take charge of your safety program.  It could be you looking at the young wife with 2 babies and telling her why her soldier is dead.   This is not a hand wave issue, it is life and death.

 

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

a.      RECRUITING AND RETENTION  We need to take advantage of recruiting opportunities that are present with us daily. It takes just a few minutes to talk to a high school student who is working at a grocery store or at a car wash.  We seem to miss out on recruiting at high school athletic games.  How about keeping a few lead forms in your truck or car and take care of the opportunities to strengthen the Regiment.  We have to do a better job retaining our soldiers.  The Regiment can not be successful if we do not take care of our soldiers. Good training, soldier support and good leadership equals retention.

b.      ANNUAL TRAINING  2/278 completed their annual training with only one major accident that claimed a soldier's life.  When the Regiment looses a soldier, it is like loosing someone close to all of us.  As you know, we are one big family in the 278th.  We have to do risk assessments / management for every activity / event that includes our soldiers.  The next annual training rotation is scheduled for June. I am encouraging all leaders to take care of their soldiers not by lip service but by your actions.

c.      REGIMENTAL TRAINING CALENDAR  During my visits to units I ask soldiers if someone discussed the training calendar with them. The answer most of the time is "no". We have to keep our soldiers in the know of what type training is scheduled for them. As I mentioned before good training including communications will keep a soldier interested in staying in the Regiment. 

 

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

a.      MORALE, WELFARE AND RECREATION FUND  Reminder the Annual MWR Report is due to this headquarters, ATTN:  RS-1, NLT 1 September 2003.  Please remember to furnish receipts for all moneys received from the MWR account.  Your account will be frozen if receipts are not received NLT 30 days after issuance of check.  POC for this action is CPL Eileen McAfee at 865-582-3225. 

b.      RETIREMENT SEMINARS  If you have a soldier with 19 good years of service or more and they have not been to a retirement seminar, please schedule them immediately for one. SFC Diana Moore is responsible for putting together these retirement seminars. She cannot help our soldiers without us helping them also. We are doing our soldiers an incredible injustice if they have 19 years and are not scheduled for a seminar.

c.      ARMY PERSONNEL TESTING  ACT and SAT testing is available                   through Fort Campbell, KY at no cost to the soldier.  The ACT test is    available on the 1st Friday of each month at 0730.  The SAT test is available on the 3d Friday of each month at 0730.  Please call and make arrangements prior to at (270) 798-3402/2662, hours of operation 0730 -1600 CT.

d.      2003 TENNESSEE NATIONAL GUARD YOUTH DEVELOPMENT WEEK (KID'S CAMP)  The Ninth Annual Kid's Camp will be held in Smyrna, TN during the period July 13-19 2003.  Ages 9-12 who are dependents of current members of the Tennessee Guard are eligible to attend.  There is also a program for ages 13-14  and 15-17.  Check with your local unit administrator for details.

e.      71L PHASES OUT  71L MTOE positions will be phased over the next four years starting in Fiscal Year 05.  More information to follow.

f.      DIRECT APPOINTMENTS  If you are an E-5 with a BS degree and have 2 years experience in the Army National Guard you may be eligible for direct appointment to 2LT.  Please contact CW2 Fly at 865-582-3206 for more information.

6.      "SABER 2" - INTELLIGENCE OFFICER (MAJ KIEFER):

a.      ANTI-TERRORISM  While there has been no specific indication of planned terrorist activity in our area, we must still be cognizant of the possibility. The number one indicator of planned terrorist action is surveillance, and surveillance is always a component of the terrorist planning cycle. The key indicators of surveillance are persons with cameras, video equipment, NVGs, maps or drawings, etc. Be aware of your surroundings and the activities in your immediate area. Report incidents of possible surveillance through your chain of command.

b.      OPSEC  We often do a poor job of maintaining Operational Security (OPSEC). If information is classified, it can ONLY be shared with personnel who hold a security clearance AT OR ABOVE the classification of the information AND a NEED TO KNOW. While much of what we do is unclassified, it is often For Official Use Only (FOUO). When information has been deemed FOUO, we are directed to treat it as such. That means that we do not discuss it with persons that do not have a NEED TO KNOW. Discussion of information that is FOUO or has not been released for dissemination is harmful to our unit and our soldiers. It often creates unnecessary concern among our soldiers' families and can obviously jeopardize our security. The same can be said about Rumor Intelligence (RUMINT). It is incumbent upon us as leaders to control RUMINT and to enforce good OPSEC.

7.      "SABER 3" - OPERATIONS OFFICER (LTC ADAMS):

a.      ANNUAL TRAINING  Second Squadron just completed annual training at Fort Knox and had several issues that were discovered during execution.  One of a Cavalry Regiments strongest traits is the inherent cross talk. All units need to spread the word with AARs and help your fellow Cavalrymen.


b.      WARFIGHTER  The order has been issued and all units are required to provide their orders with overlays back to this Headquarters NLT Sunday of May Drill. We have to provide consolidated graphics back to Leavenworth that week.

c.      REGIMENTAL YEARLY TRAINING CALENDAR (YTC)  This has become a critical tool in planning and resourcing all training events in the regiment. CPT Turner cross checks this against TROUPERS to ensure that they match. If your training event is not on the Regimental YTC it will not have the visibility required to be resourced.    

8.      "SABER 4" - LOGISTICS OFFICER (MAJ DARNBUSH):

a.      LOSTISTICAL FOCUS  The Regiment's Logistical Focus for FY 03 is Pass CLRT.  To do this we must 1) Decrease Excess Property; 2) Complete Lateral Transfers; 3) Comply with CSDP; and 4) successful COMET's.

b.      CSDP  FY 03 CSDP, change 2 was published and distributed 6 Feb 03.  Each Separate Unit and Squadron HHT will receive two this FY.  The first visit's focus is the checklist provided in the CEP.  The second visit is to review corrective actions and focus on CLRT checklist.

c.      NEW EQUIPMENT FIELDING  New Medical sets for each squadron, HHT,  and 190 EN Co is planned for 12-17 Sep 03.

d.      CENTRAL ISSUE FACILITY (CIF) CONVERSION  ReferencesMemo dtd 27 Nov 01, AGTN-DOL; Memo dtd 11 Mar 02, USPFO-SS; memo dtd 5 Nov 02, AGTN-DOL.  Units were to complete 100% showdown inspection of all soldiers prior to 1 Oct 02.  Memo dtd 29 Jan 03 was distributed for specific unit execution.

e.      COMET  FY 03 COMET schedule was distributed October 2002 and January 2003.  Requests for changes must be submitted to this office.  It is the Sr Sqdn Supply Sgt and Sep Unit Supply Sgt's responsibility to update AMSS data on the ULLS-G.  They must ensure it is updated based on new equipment, lateral transfers, or H/R.  The AMSS data is the number one "NO GO".  The number two "NO GO" is Primary Weapons and Equipment.

  1. AT 03.  Annex I (Service Support) to OPORD 03-01 was issued Friday, 24 Jan 03.  Please review and execute those items with suspense dates.  This includes updating the MATES Hand Receipts!!

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

        DOCTRINAL TERMINOLOGY  During the recent BCBST seminar at Ft. Leavenworth, KS,  one of the key points our trainers discussed was the importance of correctly using doctrinal terminology.  The regimental staff spent an inordinate amount of time simply trying to word our essential tasks, mission statements, etc... correctly in an attempt to use a common language that means the same thing to all units across the Army National Guard as well as the Regular Army.   The reason is obvious:  if we can get to a common language and definitions, theoretically, orders writing and understanding of intent should be much simpler and faster, taking less time for all staffs, and making it easier to adhere to the one-third/two-thirds rule with regard to time management.

        In the spirit of that thought, under the "TASK" section of the regimental EFSTs (Essential Fire Support Tasks), I will always begin each task with one of the five following words, now commonly used across the entire Army community.  I will define them for you here:

        (1)  LIMIT - To cause force to shift to another approach/isolate defender
        (2)  DISRUPT - To preclude efficient interaction of enemy combat/CS systems; forces enemy into ineffective tactical dispositions and degrades movement of material, forces and supplies

        (3)  DELAY - To alter the arrival time of enemy combat forces/slow defensive prep.
        (4)  DIVERT - To tie up critical resources.
        (5)  DESTROY - To ruin the structure, organic existence, or condition.  Must be quantified by the commander and validated by the FSO as an attainable objective. 

        It's important for all BOSs to understand these terms, and it's absolutely critical that all maneuver commanders understand them when outlining their intent for fires during the battle.  When the FSO asks the commander, "Sir, what do you want to do to the enemy with fires?," his response should always begin with one of these five words.  Get into the habit.

10.     "SABER SQUELCH" - SIGNAL OFFICER (CPT(P) SMITH):

a.      REMINDERS FOR AT  Make sure you have your ANCDs loaded and have verified the fill is good. The time needs to be taken from the PLGR. A successful technique is to load it prior to AT so that the soldiers don't have delays. All users, not just commo guys, need to be able to operate the commo equipment effectively and how to troubleshoot it if it isn't not working properly.

b.      BATTERIES  Make sure you have plenty of batteries. As leaders we must ensure we have the proper batteries on hand and plenty of spares, especially for the PLGR, ANCD, and the SINCGARS. Unfortunately, each device needs it own special type of battery to operate it. Be extra careful that you are using the correct stock numbers when ordering and using batteries. At the late stage, if you haven't already ordered the batteries, you probably won't receive them in time for your AT. You may have to borrow to get you through your rotation.

11.     S-5 CIVIL AFFAIRS OFFICER (MAJ KEISMAN):

a.      SOLDIERS OF THE YEAR 2002  On 1 March 2003 the following soldiers were selected as the Tennessee Army National Guard Soldiers of the Year for 2002. This is the second consecutive year that the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment has won the "State" competition. Each soldier was interviewed by a panel of five Command Sergeants Major.  Questions ranged from First Aid, Map Reading, Weapons, and Physical Fitness to Field Sanitation.

                (1)  ENLISTED SOLDIER OF THE YEAR 2002  Specialist Gregory D. Barnett, Headquarters Headquarters Troop, 3rd Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Cookeville, Tennessee.  Specialist Barnett is 30 years old and originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma.  He is single and presently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.  He graduated from Charles Page High School in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, attended Tulsa Community College and is currently attending Columbia State Community College.  Specialist Barnett has served in the Tennessee Army National Guard for over two years.

                (2)  NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICER OF THE YEAR 2002  Staff Sergeant Jamey M. Murphy Headquarters, Headquarters Troop 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Knoxville, Tennessee.  Staff Sergeant Murphy is 28 years old and originally from Maryville, Tennessee.  He graduated from William Blount High School and attended the University of Tennessee for two years.  He is married to Alison and they have a five-year old daughter, Sheridan, and a three-year old son, Camden.  They presently reside in Corryton, Tennessee.  Staff Sergeant Murphy has over 9 years of military service.  He had six years active duty before joining the Tennessee Army National Guard.

        Staff Sergeant Murphy was then nominated and won Soldier of the Year for First Army South.  All Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to the First United States Army South Region competed for this distinguishable position.

        It is certainly an honor to have Staff Sergeant Murphy and Specialist Barnett serve within the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment.  We should all congratulate them for their outstanding professionalism.

b.      CO R, 4/278TH ACR  Soldiers of Company R , 4th Squadron of the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment finally received the AH-64A Apache Gunships that they have been waiting for.  Four of the helicopters arrived at the end of March 2003, and another two are scheduled to arrive within a week.  The company will eventually have a total of nine.  This new equipment will pose some training challenges for the soldiers of Company R, since they will have new maintenance and piloting proficiency requirements.  Company R has been training to meet those requirements since September 2001, when the unit turned in its older Cobra helicopters in anticipation of being tasked with the Apaches.

        As soon as the unit turned in its Cobras, it immediately began the task of training its pilots and maintenance personnel.  All but a few pilots from Company R have completed the initial flight school at Ft. Rucker, Alabama.  This school is three months long and requires that these citizen-soldiers take time away from their civilian jobs and families.  After returning from the course, they are classified as Readiness Level 3 pilots, and still have many flight hours ahead of them before they are qualified at Readiness Level 2, and then eventually Level 1.  The 1/337th Training Support Battalion is sending several full-time instructor pilots to help with the training.  These instructors will first train some of the pilots at Company R to be instructors themselves.  The instructor trainees are required to attend an additional 45-day school.

        The pilot training consists of flying the Apaches themselves as well as time spent in a flight simulator.  The deployment of the 101st Airborne from Ft. Campbell has provided an unexpected opportunity for the pilots from Company R.  Because of the deployments to Afghanistan and now to Iraq, the pilots of Company R have been able to utilize Ft. Campbell's flight simulators, that would otherwise have been reserved for pilots of the 101st.

        An Apache helicopter has two seats.  The back-seat is for the pilot who does the actual flying.  The front seat is for the co-pilot gunner ("CPG") who controls the weapon systems.  The pilot and the CPG have different proficiency requirements and most pilots are trained only in one seat.  It is anticipated that five or six of 18 pilots from Company R will be trained in both seats and have a dual proficiency.

        The maintenance requirements are also daunting, but as with the pilots, many soldiers from Company R have already begun their training.  Each Apache will be assigned three soldiers, two for maintenance and one for armament.  There are 23 different manuals to be followed and numerous inspections that must be completed to keep the Apaches in combat shape.  The biggest inspection comes after every 250 hours of flight time.  The Apache is completely torn down and reassembled.  The inspection checklist for this inspection contains 300 pages of detailed inspection items.  The training for this type of work is every bit as time consuming as the training that the pilots go through.  Beginning level soldiers must complete a 14-week course to learn the maintenance requirements of the Apache systems.  Senior level soldiers that have already completed an aviation maintenance course must return to school for five weeks.

        The acquisition of the Apaches has dramatically increased combat power.  The Apache is bigger, stronger and faster than its older counterpart.  For instance, the Apache has a 30mm chain gun, much bigger than the 20mm rounds fired by the Cobra.  The gun can be synchronized with sensors in the pilot's helmet that allow the gun to move and aim at targets that the pilot looks at.  The Apache can carry up to 16 Hellfire anti-tank missiles, with a range of over eight kilometers.  The Cobra could carry only eight anti-tank missiles that were inferior to the Hellfire.  But perhaps the most significant difference between the two aircraft, and the item that poses the greatest training challenges for the pilots, is the Apache's night vision system.  Apache pilots use the aircraft's "forward looking infrared" ("FLIR") system instead of night vision goggles that they used to wear in the Cobra.  The Apache pilot lowers a monocle eyepiece over his right eye.  With the images that are electronically displayed on the eyepiece from sensors on the front of the aircraft, the pilot "sees" the battlefield.  Once the pilots get used to this night-vision system, it is vastly superior to the old way, but it will take some getting used to.

c.      PUBLIC AFFAIRS COVERAGE  Please contact the S-5 at email [email protected] or by mail to HQ,278th ACR, ATTN: S-5 (MAJ Rhonda Keisman) if you have a significant event scheduled that would be of interest for public affairs coverage. We will prioritize events and capture all that we can.

  1. "SABER MIKE GOLF" -- REGT MASTER GUNNER (SFC FOUTS):

a.      TABLE VIII  Well, gunnery Table VIII is complete for the 2/278th ACR and the 3/278th ACR event is up and coming fast with 1/278th ACR just right behind them.  Keep in mind that good crew drills and the crews' ability to fight their weapons systems are the keys to being 100% qualified.  Key areas of concern are boresighting of weapons systems, target acquisition, utilization of our primary sight -being the night sight-, and range operations.  Don't forget to use thermal blanks on the front of all targets and utilization of TGT signature devices. 

b.      AARs  After observing some AAR's it appears that some of the crews are not completely familiar with the Task, Conditions, and Standards of their engagements.  Not only is it important to be able to fight your vehicles, it is a MUST to know your Task, Conditions, and Standards  

  1. "SABER SAFETY" -- REGIMENTAL SAFETY OFFICER (CW4 STONE):

        The first Annual Training iteration had a rough time of it.  Everything was going so well.  Then they had 3 bad accidents at the very end. Every one of these accidents was preventable.  I believe I could role it up into a nutshell by making this statement:

        "Our Soldiers (to include the leadership) throughout the Regiment do not clearly understand the Risk Management Process."

        That being said, I can follow with a few other statements:

        The soldiers that completed the "Train the Trainers RM Course" last year taught very few classes.  That is, the information was not passed down to the rest of the soldiers as it was supposed to.

        Fact:  Every soldier in the US Army, as well as NG and Reserves, is required to complete and pass the RM course.  There should be a certificate in every soldier's personnel file.  (By the way, the same goes for the HAZCOM "Right to Know Course".)

        Even the soldiers that took the course do not really understand it.  There is a lot to it.

        I am probably the only one who really understands it.  I have taught it many times.  You need me to help you.  Call me.

        Any Commander at any level that walks up to his Safety Officer and says: "I need you to knock out a Risk Assessment for mission/task XYZ".  This person does not have a clue.

        We are in a training environment.  There is no reason to get hurt.  It's not wearing a safety dot on your watch that might prevent an accident.  But add to that: looking after your buddy, a safety brief, a final walk around your vehicle.  Now all of these little "pain in the butt" stuff are beginning to add up.  Next thing you know, you have saved someone's life - maybe your own.  But you will probably never know it.  

        Half of you people don't have the guts to make on the spot corrections.  For example, a refueler is not wearing gloves and apron.  You are too chicken to shut down the refueling operation.  It is easier to say: "we have always done it that way", and walk on.  You guys ain't leaders, you are a bunch of p____s.

        OK. I'll calm down.

        Other ideas:
       

  1. This year at Annual Training, we will be using green dots on our watches.  Units can purchase them at their office supplies store for $2 for 450.  Make sure everyone has one on his watch.
  2. NVD use requires training and qualification annotated on the driver's license.
  3. Bring all your BII, including chock blocks and drip pans
  4. Spill Kits
  5. Must have a HAZMAT Certifier for all trucks carrying ammo and fuel.
  6. Every driver must be certified to drive ammo and fuel loads, which must be annotated on their driver's license.  The HAZMAT Certifier can certify your drivers in one day.  It is a requirement every 2 years.  Call me if you need help.
  7. Also, Accident Avoidance Training is required for every driver.
  8. Practice rollover drills now.
  9. Talk to your people about the Buddy System.  Everyone should have a buddy to keep an eye on them.  This is required.
  10. Make sure you have the COVOY AHEAD and CONVOY FOLLOWS signs.
  11. If you take all of your weapons instead of taking just enough for each individual, you will end up securing them in the rear and you will need a 24 hour armed guard.  It's your call.
  12. When pertaining to soldier injuries, AGAR's will now be treated as LOD's.  That is, if you need an LOD, then attach an AGAR with it.  Try me.

        Finally...

        Walking around vehicles in a recent convoy, I found a lot of trailers improperly connected.  There is obviously a piece missing on the back of many of these trucks.  I looked it up.  It is called a shackle. The NSN is 2540-00-318-0326.  I found it in TM 9-2320-272-10 on page B-20, number 1.  It is part of the BII.  It is in every -10 for vehicles that can pull a trailer.  The part was not written up in the 2404 or the 5988E.  Handle it.

        What else do you check on trailers?

  1. The pintel cotter key is in place.
  2. The lights are hooked up and working.
  3. The brakes are hooked and working.
  4. The emergency brake lever has a chain that is connected to the truck to stop runaway trailers.
  5. Manual brake levers must be released.
  6. Everything is secured.

        I don't believe PMCSs are being completed before driving a vehicle.  Are the first line supervisors making sure this is being done?  Are the platoon SGTs and Platoon Leaders making sure the fist line supervisors are checking it?  Are the CDR and 1SG making sure the Platoon Leaders and Platoon SGTs are doing their job?  C'mon you people, do your job.  Micro-manage.  It doesn't hurt my feelings.  Don't take these things for granted that they are being done.  They're not!

        What does it mean when a Commander's own vehicle has a taillight out.
        There are loose oil cans in the back of trucks.
        No load cards.
        Drip pan hanging off the side of a truck with no chain attached.

        Check your people.  Don't trust them.  Nail them.  Forget being nice guys.  Nice guys don't do you any good.  Save their lives.

"You owe it to your men to require standards which are for their benefit even though it may not be popular at the moment."

 

- General Bruce C. Clarke