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    FORSCOM CG visits Bagram Air Field

    FORSCOM CG visits Bagram Air Field

    Photo By kevin walston | Sgt. Michael Groover, CRAM operator with Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 265th Air...... read more read more



    Story by kevin walston 

    10th Mountain Division

    BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan - Soldiers had an opportunity Feb. 11 and 12 to address concerns and discuss lessons learned related to pre-deployment training when the commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) visited Bagram Air Field.

    Gen. Robert Abrams, who became the command’s 22nd commanding general on Aug. 10, 2015, accompanied by FORSCOM Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Schroeder, came to Afghanistan to see first-hand what improvements can be made in the deployment process and to validate current pre-deployment training.

    “The Soldiers, leaders and members of the Joint Forces military and civilian team that continue to serve in Afghanistan are truly an inspiration for both myself and our Nation … I’m grateful to them and their families for their sacrifices,” he said. “Their commitment to readiness, dedication to advising and assisting the ANDSF (Afghan National Defense and Security Force), the people of Afghanistan and their service as vital members of the joint team.”

    FORSCOM, headquartered at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, trains and prepares a combat ready, globally responsive total force in order to build and sustain readiness to meet combatant command requirements. During his visit, Abrams received a National Security Element headquarters briefing, had lunch with Soldiers, and received a Task Force Iron Eagle mission briefing.

    Sgt. 1st Class Woody Woodward, first sergeant for Bravo Company, 303rd Military Intelligence Battalion, said after having lunch with Abrams, he felt Abrams was very receptive and the insight he provided will prove to be invaluable in the future.

    “Would have loved to have had more time to ask him questions and get his feedback,” Woodward said. “Most memorable moment was when Gen. Abrams was explaining the differences in the Services when it comes to things like eating chow….it was an experience that I’ll always remember and appreciate the time he took visiting us.”

    TF Iron Eagle conducts multifunctional aviation operations in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel and Resolute Support to enable security force assistance, promote regional security, and deny insurgent or terrorist safe havens.

    Command Sgt. Maj. Rob McConnell, TF Iron Eagle command sergeant major, said they were able to impress upon Abrams that there’s a need to train with all components of the task force prior to deployment in order to get a better feel for each organization’s strengths and weaknesses.

    “We have elements that are not organic to TF Iron Eagle that we would have liked to train alongside prior to meeting in theater,” McConnell said. “Our takeaway was that we need to communicate effectively with our replacements and ensure that they are prepared to fight in the current conditions.”

    McConnell said he feels Abrams has a clear understanding of the mission of TF Iron Eagle in theater and how it’s changed significantly from what it was a couple years ago.

    “I believe that he’s already engaged his staff to look at ways to better prepare future aviation task force elements for the mission ahead,” he explained. “We will continue to provide information to [Gen.] Abrams and his staff in order to set conditions for aviation units of the future.”

    Afterwards, Abrams held a troop engagement with Task Force Iron Shield, a Florida Army National Guard unit assigned the responsibility of protecting Bagram from airborne force protection threats. The unit, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 265th Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Regiment based in Palm Coast, Fla., maintains an air defense battery at Bagram and at Camp Dahlke. It has the distinction of not allowing any property destruction or injuries to personnel during the unit’s tour of duty in Afghanistan.

    Capt. A.J. Bautch, who commands Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 265th ADA, said Abrams was briefed on the history of the unit and its diverse mission sets from defending the skies over Washington, D.C. to its current role as a counter-rocket battery.

    “1-265 ADA brings a large amount of experience and leadership to this fight,” he said. “To date, the unit has been the most successful C-RAM [Counter-Rocket and Mortar] unit at Bagram Air Field and our multiple mobilizations are clearly demonstrated by the high performance level of the Soldiers.”

    Bautch said he briefed Abrams on the Land Based Phalanx Weapons System, its capabilities, and also explained the battery’s composition and what he felt attributed to the large number of successes they’ve enjoyed during the deployment.

    “During his visit, we conducted a routine ballistic coefficient test fire, demonstrating the firepower capabilities of the system,” Bautch said. “[He] reminded us that our operational tempo isn’t going to get any easier…balancing overseas tours with the National Capital Region duties. The challenge for the commander to retain, train, and develop the unit is more critical now than ever.”

    During his visit with them, Abrams recognized Staff Sgt. Andrew Dalton, Sgt. Joseph Horsch and Spc. Jorge Hernandez and presented them with FORSCOM CG coins for outstanding performance of assigned duties.



    Date Taken: 02.12.2016
    Date Posted: 02.16.2016 02:36
    Story ID: 188888
    Location: BAGRAM AIR FIELD, AF 

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