News: Artillery unit supporting Camp Adder operations
CAMP ADDER, Iraq " The 5-113th Field Artillery uses flexibility and civilian skill sets to run the several different missions of the garrison command at Camp Adder successfully.
The unit is in charge of everything from housing to anti-terrorism measures. They work closely with Kellogg, Brown and Root and other civilian contractors to make sure all the different projects around the camp are finished on time and up to the specifications and safety requirements of the Army.
In such a diverse job, flexibility is one of the main requirements. Maj. John Kennedy, the operations officer of 5-113th from the North Carolina National Guard, said that his unit's flexibility comes in part from being field artillery.
Traditionally, field artillery units attach and work closely with several different kinds of units in the field.
"Field artillery officers and NCOs are used to integrating with other elements," Kennedy said. "The ability to synchronize that we've done throughout our careers is an invaluable skill set for our mission here."
Staff Sgt. Loring Montague is an example of the 5-113th's ability to adjust fire. He currently works as the S-6 communications officer, which is usually a position a captain would fill.
"It's a lot more responsibility," Montague said, "and you definitely have to be flexible."
Montague plans on going to the Officer Candidate School upon returning to the United States.
In the meantime, Kennedy said that he has met and exceeded all expectations. Montague credits some of his success to skills he acquired in the civilian world.
"I work in the [information technology] field," Montague said. "My computer skills and being able to work well with other people has helped me with bridging the gap between civilian contractors and the military."
Montague is currently working to set up an Internet café for servicemembers to use. The other Soldier in the S-6 shop, Staff Sgt. Dwayne Dunn, is working with contractors to put cable connections in all the living quarters.
"I'm kind of excited because I want everyone to get AFN [Armed Forces Network]," Dunn said. "I want to make it as much like home as possible."
Kennedy agreed with Montague that civilian skills sets could be very useful in their mission. Kennedy runs his own technology company in
"I'm a businessman myself so I'm used to dealing with contractors and things of that nature," he said. "The garrison command almost needs to be run like a business. Yes, it is the military and we are professional military personnel, but there needs to be a blend."
And so the 5-113th keeps balance to make all the civilian and military parts work together for the good of the whole camp.