THE ARMY IN THE WAR AGAINST TERROR
The Army continues its efforts around the world in the war against terror. At the Pentagon, Secretary of the Army Thomas E. White announced that the service is ready to carry out any mission President George W. Bush asks of it. The Secretary stressed that today’s soldiers train with a complex scenario of asymmetric threats, dealing with civilians on the battlefield and urban combat.
On November 8, the U.N. Security Council unanimously passed a U.S.- and British-sponsored resolution demanding unfettered access to Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction by United Nations inspectors. Failure to comply with the resolution will open the door to military action to disarm Iraq. After the vote, President George W. Bush stressed that, while the United States will consult with the Security Council, U.N. approval will not be necessary for any U.S.-led attack against Iraq in event of Iraq’s failure to comply. British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the world has shown it favors Iraqi disarmament "through the U.N. with force as a last resort." Iraq accepted the resolution, under protest, on November 13th.
In Afghanistan on November 1, two U.S. forward operating bases came under fire. In the first incident, two rockets were fired at the forward operating base near Khost. They impacted several miles away. In the second incident, three rockets were fired at the forward operating base near Gardez. They impacted about a mile short of the airfield. A-10 Thunderbolt IIs flew over the area, but observed no activity.
On October 24, two rockets were fired at the U.S. camp in Kandahar. Both flew over the landing strip and impacted on the other side of the base. No injuries were reported and no suspects were found.
The 82nd Airborne Division’s 3rd Brigade Task Force in Afghanistan is returning to Fort Bragg and is being replaced by its 1st Brigade Task Force. The units leaving are the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) and the 1st Battalion, 504th PIR. They will be replaced by the 2nd Battalion, 505th PIR and the 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 504th PIR.
In Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, four detainees, who were no longer considered a threat to U.S. security, were released. At the time we went to press, there were approximately 625 detainees at Camp Delta.
NEW TRAINING MANUAL
After 21 months of review by senior Army officers and noncommissioned officers, the Army has released a new field manual (FM), FM 7-0 Training the Force, which updates the previous manual FM 25-100. Changes include combining training and leadership development into one program, establishing linkage to joint, multinational and interagency operations and synchronizing Army training doctrine with the full spectrum of Army operations. The new manual integrates lessons learned from recent military operations and reflects the contemporary environment, Army Transformation and technology.
FM 7-0 will be followed by FM 7-1, Battle Focused Training, which will update FM 25-101 of the same name. While FM 7-0 addresses overall Army training doctrine, FM 7-1 will deal with the specifics of how to train.
LASER DOWNS ARTILLERY SHELL
In a defense industry breakthrough, an Army high-energy laser shot down an artillery shell in mid-flight over the White Sands, N.M., test range on November 5. The test proves that a laser can track, lock onto and destroy an incoming artillery projectile.
The mobile tactical high energy laser, developed by the Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command and TRW Inc., will be used by the Army and the Israeli Defense Ministry. Previous tests have used lasers to shoot down rockets, but this is the first test to successfully defeat a projectile.
Lt. Gen. Joseph Cosumano, the commanding general of the Space and Missile Defense Command commented, "We’ve shown that even an artillery projectile hurtling through the air at supersonic speed is no match for a laser."
RC OFFICERS OFFERED ACTIVE DUTY
The Army is asking selected Reserve and National Guard officers and warrant officers to volunteer for active duty to offset active duty shortages.
Under the limited call to active duty program, the Army is seeking the following officers: captains in the Signal Corps; majors in all basic branches, except for Chaplain, Judge Advocate General and Medical Corps; and aviation warrant officers, except for air traffic controllers and aviation maintenance technicians.
The program is seeking the following warrant officers: Special Forces (180A); data processing technicians (251A); Criminal Investigation Command or Criminal Investigation Division special agents (311A); counter-intelligence technicians (351B) and human intelligence collector technicians (351E-Korea).
Qualified National Guard and Reserve officers are encouraged to apply. The program is competitive, so not all who apply will be accepted. For additional information, call U.S. Army Personnel Command Accessions Branch at 703-325-9970.
BUGLE DEVICE FOR MILITARY FUNERALS
Thanks to a new device that fits into a bugle, honor guard members, though not musicians, can now play "Taps" for military funerals. John Molino, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, unveiled the innovation as a dignified alternative to playing "Taps" on a stereo. The device allows for the presence of a military bugler at the ceremony. The bugler presses a button on the instrument while holding the bugle to his or her lips. The Department began a six-month test of the device at funerals in Missouri on November 7.
The Department of Defense provides military funeral honors free of charge to thousands of veterans’ families each year.
SOLDIER DECLARED DEAD
Sgt. Ryan D. Foraker, assigned to the Army Reserve 342nd Military Police Company serving in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was declared dead by the Department of Defense. He had been missing since September 24. An exhaustive ground, sea and air search was unable to find him, and a criminal investigation into his death did not uncover any foul play. Some of his personal effects were found stuck in a rock crevasse near his barracks at the bay’s edge.
Foraker, 31, was from Logan, Ohio and was married with two children.
SOME SOLDIERS GET BONUS
More than 7,300 Special Forces soldiers and Army career counselors, both active and reserve, have received bonuses. Both groups receive special pay based on the Army’s special duty assignment pay (SDAP) incentive for enlisted soldiers with assignments that are extremely demanding or require a high degree of responsibility.
All Regular Army career counselors in the rank of master sergeant and below whose primary military occupational specialty (PMOS) is 79S, and all reserve component retention and transition noncommissioned officers whose PMOS is 79V will receive an additional $220. Sergeants major will receive $165. About 1,748 career counselors will see the change in pay.
Special Forces soldiers, who are currently receiving monthly SDAP pay level 2, will receive level-4 payments. About 3,947 Special Forces soldiers under career management field 18 will receive the extra pay.
Rangers in the rank of sergeant and above who are airborne ranger qualified and assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment no longer have to be on station a year before receiving the bonus. All soldiers who are V coded (airborne ranger) in the 4th Tactical Psychological Operation Group will also receive $110 special pay.
9/11 VICTIM HONORED
Deborah A. Ramsaur, a former employee of the U.S. Army Europe Civilian Personnel Directorate, who was killed during the September 11 attack on the Pentagon, was honored with a suite named in her honor at the civilian personnel headquarters at Hammond Barracks, Seckenheim, Germany. Ramsaur’s final assignment was as the assistant to Lt. Gen. Timothy Maude, Army deputy chief of staff for Personnel who was also killed during the attack on the Pentagon.
RESERVE, NATIONAL GUARD UPDATE
Members of the Army Reserve and National Guard continue to serve as part of the partial mobilization authorized by President George W. Bush in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. As we went to press the total number of Army reserve component soldiers called up was 25,369.
KOREAN MIAs RETURNED
The remains of 11 U.S. Army soldiers killed during the Korean War were recovered from North Korea for identification. The remains were found in areas where fighting occurred during China’s entry in to the war in November and December, 1950.
Two teams from the Army’s Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii discovered the remains. One team operated near the Chosin Reservoir where the 7th Infantry Division fought, while the other made discoveries in Unsun county, approximately 60 miles north of Pyongyang, where the 1st Cavalry and the 25th Infantry Divisions fought.
At least 178 U.S. soldiers have been recovered in North Korea since 1996. There are 8,100 American soldiers missing in action from the Korean War.
VA GUIDE ONLINE
The Department of Veterans Affairs has put its comprehensive benefits guide on the web. Veterans and anyone interested can visit the site to look at the 100-page handbook, Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents. The guide explains VA benefits, such as healthcare and burial benefits, home loan guarantees, educational assistance, vocational rehabilitation, life insurance and compensation for service-connected disabilities. It also includes special sections on services for Gulf War veterans and those exposed to Agent Orange or radiation.
The guide can also be ordered from the Government Printing Office by calling toll free 866-512-1800.
WWII HERITAGE CENTER OPENS
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the Richard I. Bong Heritage Center on September 24, the same day as its namesake’s birthday. Bong was America’s "ace of aces" who shot down 40 Japanese planes in World War II. Located in Superior, Wis., Bong’s hometown, the center includes a P-38 Lightning fighter plane, exhibits about World War II, a library and a theater. Marge Bong Drucker, who married Bong during the war, attended the ceremony.
Bong served two tours of duty in the Pacific, where he earned the Medal of Honor. He shot down more enemy planes than any other American pilot during the war and flew 200 combat missions. He died in a crash during a test flight of the P-80 jet aircraft in California on August 6, 1945.
BAE WINS QUEEN’S AWARD
BAE Systems, Land Platform Communications Division, recently received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the United Kingdom’s most prestigious award for business performance.
The division produces the vehicle intercom system which provides increased voice and data communications in the high noise environments of vehicles such as tanks and Stryker armored vehicles.
A representative of Queen Elizabeth presented the award to Charles Penta, of the Project Manager, Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems at the company’s Blackburn, Lancashire, facility. It was BAE’s first win in the international trade category.
ARMY GAME POPULAR
The U.S. Army’s new computer game, "America’s Army," has received a warm welcome. In the two weeks after its July 4 debut, more than a million Americans downloaded the game for free, and more than 300,000 people registered to play the on-line version of the game. The game still receives favorable reviews.
The game, developed by the students and faculty of the Modeling, Virtual Environment and Simulation Institute in Monterey, Calif., allows players to either role-play in character-building scenarios based on Army values or take part in realistic missions against the enemy. Players can access the game at www.americasarmy.com. To learn more about the history of the game, see the June issue of ARMY Magazine ("The Army Game Project").
SOLDIERS ASSIST TYPHOON RECOVERY
After typhoon Rusa dumped 32 inches of rain on two communities in South Korea on September 9, soldiers from the Eighth U.S. Army assisted in recovery.
U.S. Army Troop Command-Korea responded in the town of Gangneung while the 17th Aviation Brigade coordinated its efforts with the Korean Army’s 8th Corps in Sokcho.
Soldiers provided supplies, including blankets, food and water, and also helped with repairs and medical services.