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    Red Warrior NCO honored for being top CREW specialist in battalion

    Red Warrior NCO honored for being top CREW specialist in battalion

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class John Etheridge | Staff Sgt. Dustin Simmons, a native of Stillwater, Okla. and an infantry section...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. John Etheridge 

    ISAF Regional Command South

    KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan –After being in Afghanistan for nearly eight months, the Soldiers of Dog Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Inf. Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Division, are finally winding their mission down. The responsibility of patrolling outlying sectors around Kandahar Airfield has been replaced by conducting base security. Along with their new assignment, there is still plenty of work to do as they prepare to turn in and transfer a large amount of equipment to their replacements before redeploying home.

    For Staff Sgt. Dustin Simmons, this not only means an eight-hour nightshift pulling guard duty, but also spending a large portion of the next day working his extra duty prepping his company’s electronic warfare systems for turn-in and transfer.

    As a CREW specialist, which stands for Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare, Simmons works to keep his unit safe from radio-controlled explosives by use of vehicle mounted and personally carried electronic warfare devices. His responsibilities include the upkeep, maintenance and repair for the vehicle mounted and the dismounted units.

    In recognition for his hard work and expert knowledge of his company’s electronic warfare systems, Simmons, an infantry section leader with Dog Co. and native of Stillwater, Oklahoma, was recently “coined” by the 1-12th Inf. Bn. executive officer.

    “I was recognized as the best CREW specialist in the battalion,” said Simmons, as he explained that there was a recent inspection of the battalion’s CREW systems where the staff officers walked through and ensured the equipment was operating to standard.

    As part of the walk-through, Simmons said he also gave a presentation to the officers on general information of the electronic warfare systems and a step-by-step demonstration on how everything should work and operate, the cleaning procedures, and the before and after maintenance checks.

    According to Staff Sgt. Wesley Barnwell, the battalion’s electronic warfare noncommissioned officer in charge, this kind of hard work and excellence is normal for Simmons.

    “Sgt Simmons is one of the best CREW specialists I have worked with throughout my career,” he said. “When it comes to maintenance, we never have any issues coming from his company at all.”

    Barnwell also said that the recent inspection was initiated so the battalion could validate each company’s CREW program.

    “Staff Sgt. Simmons’ company was head and shoulders above the rest,” he added. “Overall, he has done an outstanding job keeping up with maintenance. When a system goes down he’s on top of it and gets it back up in the same day, and that’s truly what puts him head and shoulders over the rest.”

    The inspection was also to prepare the units’ combat vehicles for turn in and ensure they would be in good condition for the next unit. According to Simmons, he spent at least four days prepping the equipment as well as doing his guard duty at night.

    “We have just over a hundred vehicles in the battalion and my share is a little over thirty vehicles,” he said. “I’m doing a midnight shift in a guard tower for base defense and once I’m off, I come over here and start working on the (CREW) systems themselves.”

    Although the hours are long, Simmons enjoys the extra duties as a CREW specialist and has a positive outlook at the long workdays.

    “It definitely makes the day go by quicker and it’s something I actually enjoy. It’s also gratifying and I take pride in that I’m accomplishing something,” he said.



    Date Taken: 10.21.2014
    Date Posted: 10.25.2014 05:38
    Story ID: 146056
    Hometown: ROANOKE, VA, US
    Hometown: STILLWATER, OK, US

    Web Views: 822
    Downloads: 2