News: 1-102 Cavalry takes over FOB Bucca headquarters mission
By Maj. Jason Fetterolf
50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team
CAMP BUCCA, Iraq - The Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, New Jersey Army National Guard, assumed control of the Camp Bucca Forward Operating Base headquarters mission from the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1-160th Field Artillery Regiment, Oklahoma Army National Guard, in a transfer of authority ceremony, Sept. 23, 2008.
The HHT, 1-102nd Cavalry will provide command and control, essential base support, logistics, S6 (communications) facilitation, Morale, Welfare and Recreation and FOB security planning, according to Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Marvian, the FOB deputy's command sergeant major. "The health and welfare of our service members is our number one priority," Marvian added.
The ceremonial casing of the colors of the 1-160th Field Artillery and uncasing of the colors of the 1-102nd Cavalry colorfully symbolized the early morning transition of authority. These events were followed by remarks from distinguished guests Col. Clyde T. Burton, FOB Camp Bucca commander and Col. David Glaser, Task Force Bucca and 42nd Military Police Brigade commander.
After eight months of mayoral and installation management duties similar to running a small city, the 1-160th Field Artillery has established an impressive standard for the 1-102nd Cavalry to improve upon.
"...We increased the number of "pods" [containerized housing units] by more than 25 percent, completed hundreds of force protection and construction projects, made improvements to MWR facilities and programs, improved battle drill responses, made significant improvements to logistics and contracting processes...," noted Lt. Col. David Jordan, 1-160th Field Artillery Battalion commander.
Lastly, it was time for Lt. Col. Dean Spenzos, the 1-102nd Cavalry commander and FOB deputy commander, to speak about his plans for FOB Bucca.
"Our mission is essential, what I call sustaining the force," said Spenzos. "In addition to sustaining the force, we will begin to set the conditions to transition FOB Bucca to an enduring U.S. base or transition it to the Iraqi government..."
The recently redesignated HHT, 1st Squadron, 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, mobilized beginning June 20 at Westfield, N.J. and completed pre-deployment training at Fort Bliss, Texas before deploying to Camp Bucca Sept. 4 as the first 50th IBCT unit to enter Iraq.
Eleven companies and nearly 1200 Soldiers from the Garden State's 50th IBCT have deployed to Camp Bucca for a scheduled nine month tour. The remaining 3100 Soldiers in the 50th IBCT have simultaneously deployed to other locations in Iraq as part of the largest mobilization of the New Jersey National Guard since World War II.