News: S.C. Guard unit earns the "horse"
Story by Spc. Shea Butler
By Spc. Shea Butler
7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq – The unit crest of the 151st Field Artillery Brigade, South Carolina Army National Guard features a horseshoe symbolizing their historical background as a horse-drawn field artillery unit. They keep with the same theme as they donned the symbol of their combat service – the 1st Cavalry Division's large horse head combat patch.
With nearly three months since arriving in Iraq, troops from the 151st were awarded their combat patch for supporting Multi-National Division – Baghdad Jan. 11.
The unit plays a vital role within MND-B - they track locations and issues concerning the Iraqi security forces.
Though some members of the brigade have different roles supporting Operation Iraq Freedom, the majority of the unit's members can be found running the Iraqi security force cell in the division headquarters here. It's there at the Sumter, S.C. flag hangs proudly.
The ISF cell never sleeps. They run a 24-hour operation to act as the liaison between ISF and U.S. troops.
"We have Soldiers working anywhere from 12 to 18 hour shifts," said Command Sgt. Maj. Ralph Dorner, the senior enlisted member in the brigade. "We keep track of all the Iraqi Army and Iraqi national police in MND-B. We collect and distribute battlefield information between the ISF and us."
It is important to know where everyone is on the battlefield, Dorner said, so no one is crossing sectors.
"We provide the layout of the battlefield," he explained.
Not only do they track where the ISF are working and patrolling, but they also keep up with the issues concerning the ISF.
"We work their logistical problems, as well," Dorner said. "We help with their pay issues and living arrangements."
Though the language barrier makes it hard sometimes to communicate issues, it is easily curable with the help on an interpreter.
"We have an interpreter assigned to us and the ISF usually has one too, so that makes things easier," Dorner said.
Everyone plays an important role in making this operation go smoothly, Dorner said.
No matter what job a Soldier performs here, Dorner said there is one thing they all have in common - they all receive a patch for being here.
There are many different patches, but the command sergeant major said they all mean the same thing.
"It (the patch) reinforces that we are all one Army wanting to accomplish the same thing," Dorner said. "The patch really cements you to a unit."