PRSRT STD U.S. Postage PAID Permit #3071 Syracuse, NY Volume 13, Number 2March-April 2004 Long Awaited Homecomings, Page 16-17 NYNM New Patrol Boats, Page 9 Third NY Soldier lost, Page 4 Army Guard units return from Iraq The hopes and prayers of thousands of Guard family members and friends from across the state came true in April as five mobilized New York Army National Guard units returned home after nearly a year of duty in Iraq. From New York City and Rockland County, through the Capital District and Rochester and on to Buffalo 3 troops were flown and bussed home from Fort Dix, NJ to rousing ceremonies at local armories and at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.
The returned units included the 105 th and 442 nd Military Police Companies, the 719 th Transportation Company, the 27 th Support Center, Rear Area Operations and the 10 th Transportation Detachment. Red, white and blue streamers, yellow ribbons, posters and banners and cheering wives, husbands, children, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, civilian co-workers, neigh- bors and friends turned out in droves to welcome their heroes home from the stress, strain and ordeals of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The homecoming for more than 130 ... more. less.
members of the 105 th Military Police Company from Western, NY was bittersweet at the Niagara Falls Air Station on Saturday April 24.<br><br> The New York Air National Guard 9s 107 th Air Refueling Wing flew the troops back from Fort Dix, to the base, where the 107 th was hosting nearly 2,000 people who had gathered to celebrate the troops return. In a highly memorable and emotional moment, Kelly McMillin, the courageous wife of the late Sgt. Heath McMillin was the first to greet her late husband 9s comrades on the flight line before the crowd.<br><br> As the troops descended the stairs from the 107 th 9s KC-135 tankers, they waved to their waiting families. Each soldier then presented a carnation to Kelly and gratefully gave and received a deeply felt hug. (See the photo) NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION By Lt.<br><br> Col. Paul Fanning Guard Times Staff Guard notes March-April 2004 Guard Times Page 2 The Army & Air Force Exchange Service will update its shipping policy for internet and catalog purchases effective Jan. 20 to include a shipping charge of $4.95 on orders of $48.99 or less.<br><br> There will be exceptions to this policy. cWe remain committed to offering our customers a very competitive value both online and through our catalogs, d said Mike Westphal, senior vice president. cAnd we have designed the new shipping policy to offer a number of opportunities for our valued customers to continue receiving free shipping.<br><br> The opportunities will be offered everyday and not simply as promotions. We encourage them to keep these options in mind when placing an order. d Customers who place orders using their Military Star card or include a Military Clothing Sales Store (MCSS) item in their order will always receive free shipping regardless of order amount. Orders of $49 or more incur no shipping charges unless the item is classified as oversized.<br><br> Westphal went on to say that he believes the new shipping policy cwill help keep AAFES 9 pricing competitive while maximizing contributions to MWR programs. d Last year AAFES contributed more than $200 million dollars to MWR in support of youth activities, outdoor recreation, bowling facilities and other quality of life programs on military installations worldwide. The Army is an ever-changing entity on the Global War on Terror as seen from the leaders that we have today. By recognizing the skills, courage, and commitments in fighting in today 9s wars, the Army remains vigilant and defiant.<br><br> To that effect, the current policy of Combat Arms leaders only wearing the leader 9s identification insignia, currently known as the CLI, has been changed to include leaders of the combat support and combat service support units. The following leaders are now authorized to wear the Leaders Identification Insignia: Commanders, Deputy Commanders, Platoon Leaders, Command Sergeants Major, First Sergeants, Platoon Sergeants, Section Leaders (when designated in Unit MTOE), Squad Leaders and Tank Commanders, Team Leaders, Assistant SF Detachment Commanders, SF Operational Detachment 8B 9 Sergeants Major, and SF Operational Detachment 8A 9 Senior Sergeants. The Leaders Identification Insignia is a green cloth loop 1 5/8 inches wide.<br><br> It is worn in the middle of both shoulder loops on the Army green coat, the cold weather coat (field jacket), and on the center tab of the Gore-Tex parka. When leaders wear the green tab on the parka, they should also wear their grade insignia centered on the insignia. Personnel may wear pin-on grade insignia or they may sew grade insignia onto the LI insignia, the same cloth grade insignia that is worn on the collars of the BDU 9s.<br><br> Personnel may not wear the Leaders Identification Insignia when reassigned from a Command position or when taking an official photo. The new policy is in effect as soon as the Leaders can procure the insignia; however, it is mandatory for wear date NLT Sept. 11, 2004.<br><br> Policy change for Army leaders identification insignia AAFES adds shipping charge for some online, catalog orders On Jun. 11, the State Joint Forces Headquarters of New York will launch a virtual help desk that will be accessible through the DMNA web site (http:// www.dmna.state.ny.us/). The purpose of the virtual help desk is to act as a tool for answering and tracking questions and concerns that our NYARNG soldiers, family members and the like might have in regards to military affairs.<br><br> The virtual help desk link will be located on the front page of the DMNA website under Member services. Utilization of this link will take the subject to the virtual help desk. From the help desk page the subject will have three methods of asking his/her inquiry (via E-mail, written letter or telephone).<br><br> Clicking on the E-mail link will generate an E-mail that will come directly to MNP-MR (CPT Pinckney) inbox. On behalf of the Adjutant General, MNP-MR will then assign an agency within the Joint Forces HQ who is best suited to answer the inquiry. That agency will then be responsible for providing the answer to the inquiry back to MNP-MR within a specified amount of time.<br><br> Virtual Help desk to be launched June 04' From the desk of New York State Command Sergeant Major Robert Van Pelt I would like to take a moment to congratulate the newly elected President of the Enlisted Association, Command Sgt. Maj. (R) Claude P.<br><br> Imagna of the New York National Guard. As many enlisted members of the New York Army National Guard are aware, command sergeant Imagna is definitely no stranger to the Guard. Before Imagna retired from the military, he held numerous assignments and leadership positions at all levels during his service.<br><br> From March 1981 until May 1994, Imagna held the State 9s highest leadership position as the State Command Sergeant Major. Imagna 9s military career included Anti Aircraft Artilleryman, Recruiter, Maintenance Sergeant and Heavy Weapons Platoon Sergeant. As a civilian, Imagna retired as an educator from the Buffalo Board of Education where he was also very active in union activities.<br><br> He was on the committee that developed the original Association bylaws. Imagna currently serves as Chairman of the National Time and Place Committee. Imagna served as the Chairman of the 2002 Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States Annual Convention held in Niagara Falls and deemed the best of the 31 National Conventions held up to that time.<br><br> To-date Imagna is a Charter member of the Enlisted Association. Imagna replaces sergeant Stephanie (Mandy) Van Pelt, who completed a two- year term in April and is currently mobilized with the 42 nd Rainbow Infantry Division awaiting deployment. The Command Sergeant Major eagerly looks forward to representing the 15,000 enlisted members of the New York Air and Army National Guard as the Associa- tion seeks to maintain the benefits our Enlisted Forces now enjoy.<br><br> He also will seek to insure that we are remembered as a force at war when Federal and State Legislatures discuss additional benefits as many of our members are asked to make sacrifices unparalleled since WWII. When asked what his biggest concern was he stated cmembership within the organization. d cThere is strength in numbers, d he added, and he wants to make this the largest organization in the Northeast. The command sergeant and his wife, Jeannette, reside in Tonowanda.<br><br> He was quick to say that he could not consider taking on the position without Jeannette 9s support and will work tirelessly on behalf of the men and woman of the New York National Guard. JOINT FORCE HEADQUARTERS March-April 2004 Letters From the Field Page 3 As Memorial Day approaches I'm reminded of the day in which we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. It is a day of reflection, and a day of mourning, but it also a day of celebration.<br><br> A day when we reflect on lives cut short, often young lives, on the battlefields of history. Who knows how many future Presidents, Nobel Prize winners, scientists discovering cures for cancer, literary giants, artistic masters we lost in battle. Was it worth it?<br><br> Even to be able to have that thought proves that it was. What President wouldn 9t stand for freedom? What Nobel Prize winner hasn 9t made the world a little bit better place to live.<br><br> What Doctor wouldn 9t fight to save lives? What literary great doesn 9t hope to inspire. What artist wouldn't hope their art didn't cause us to reflect.<br><br> Those who have given their lives have done all of that, and so much more. We mourn their loss. I often think of the Movie cThe Fighting Sullivan 9s d when I think of the magnitude of that loss.<br><br> When the Chaplain pulls up in front of the Sullivan 9s house to inform them of the deaths of their five Sons on the USS Juneau, Mrs. Sullivan knows what he is there for. She knows that one of her sons is dead.<br><br> She draws on some inner strength and opens the door. She looks the Chaplain straight in the eye and asks a simple question. cWhich one? d He replies, cAll five. d All five, lost in a single battle.<br><br> Can you imagine the loss, the grief, and the gut wrenching emotion in those two words? Just saying it makes me well with emotion and grief for a family I never knew. Today we add the name of one of our own to that list of those we mourn.<br><br> Pfc. Nathan Brown. He will never marry, have children, or even play with his grandchildren.<br><br> Who knows what he could have done or might have become. Why him? We could dwell on the whys and what if's forever.<br><br> They would not change the hard and true facts. He died in battle. In a war Friends and Comrades: By Lt.<br><br> Col. Mark Warnecke, Hunter 6 Task Force 2-108th, Infantry Forward Operating Base O'Ryan Editor's Note: Lt. Col.<br><br> Mark Warnecke is the Battalion Commander of the 2nd Battalion 108th Infantry Division, presently serving in Iraq . I was writing about the sounds of war in Iraq. The sounds vary from the dreaded fires from enemy mortars and rockets to the songbirds that awaken me each morning.<br><br> Such contrasts, contrasts that are fre- quent in such a harsh land. The sounds vary according to the time of day. By early AM we hear the constant drone of 35 generators throughout the Forward Obser- vation Base (FOB).<br><br> They are constant sounds from diesel engines some of which are large 6 cylinder Volvo 9s turning the RPM 9s loud and into the heat. Others are on trailers that we brought all the way from New York. The sounds of Hummers are frequent and continuous as they kick up the dust in clouds.<br><br> The 5-ton trucks, Bradleys and tanks all have their own signature. They are the big ones the ones that take over the kingdom of sounds. They are reassuring noises.<br><br> Then there are the noises of the helicopters, constant and comfortable for me, the Black hawks, Apaches and the Kiowa. They are welcome noises and are recurrent. Their sounds begin just 10 km from our FOB and as we are in their flight path, good sounds, familiar sounds.<br><br> A new comer in the sound world has become more and more frequent, the sound of fighter jets, and the F-16 has found a new home at Anaconda or Ballad Airport. These sounds espe- cially with the afterburners open are reassuring incred- ible noises reminding us of our might and superiority in the world. Oh the night sounds, the quiet of a FOB trying to blend into the desert.<br><br> The infrequent traveling noises in the dark. The Hummers on patrol protecting the FOB with their drivers clad with Night vision devices round and round they go, watching for enemy or suspicious movement. These are good sounds.<br><br> The jackals, the running dogs and the quiet noises of the wild hogs. No birds at night, an occasional owl with its silent flight. Off in the distance one can often hear the traffic afar on what is called the MSR or main highway that goes from Kuwait through Baghdad and into northern Iraq.<br><br> This is our MSR, the one we protect and secure from terrorists. We often hear the trucks that bring supplies to Anaconda, our supply center and home for 20K troops and civilians. Oh the sounds of war.<br><br> All of this is offset by machine gun fire, small arms fire and as occasional blast from who knows where. Daily we explode large stockpiles of Sadams bombs in what is called a controlled blast. This is accomplished by specialists in the Army called EOD.<br><br> They have been setting off explosions daily up to three a day since we arrived. These sounds are unique as they shake the ground and everything for miles. Oh the sounds of war.<br><br> Thank God we rarely hear the screams of the injured or sick. Those are the worst. Those are the sounds of war that hurt.<br><br> I have witnessed several families of Sunni and Shia mourn their dead, those are horrible sounds of war. I guess the best sounds are yet to come. The sounds of an end to all of this, the sounds of our return.<br><br> That is the sound of war that we all are focused upon, the sounds of our families. The sounds of war& THE SOUNDS OF WAR SAMARRA, IRAQ By Col. Russell Zelman Battalion Surgeon Task Force 2-108th Infantry Forward Operating Base O'Ryan on terrorism, and a war against terrorists who hate Americans and everything America stands for.<br><br> Terrorists hated Nathan Brown because he was an American, because hate is their way. In war, people die, good people, good soldiers, good Americans. In Nathan 9s memory, let hate not be our way nor division our method.<br><br> Today we should also celebrate. Celebrate the gift given each of us as Americans. The gift of life, of hope, of dreams, in a free and democratic society.<br><br> The gift of liberty and freedom. We stand here at Forward Operating Base O 9Ryan, fighting a war, a war on terrorism, a war against those who hate freedom and democracy. If we can give freedom a foothold, give democracy a chance here, we will protect it at home.<br><br> We still face difficult times ahead. Hard work, separation from loved ones, sweat and maybe blood. But, no matter how hard it gets, no matter what, no sacrifice is greater, no gift more precious than that given us by those who gave their last full measure.<br><br> National Guard Military Honors team. And, the community responded with gestures of heart felt respect and sorrow. They saw his casket arrive at the airport and the emotional scene on the tarmac with family and friends as a military detail placed the flag over the casket and carried it to the hearse.<br><br> A motorcycle group comprised of veterans escorted the funeral motorcade. The New York State Police temporarily shut down the northbound access ramp to Interstate 87 to allow the motorcade to pass and served as the official escort. Along the route north, local firefighters had raised a 20-by-30 foot American flag on a ladder truck at the overpass as the procession passed underneath.<br><br> At the halfway mark, three additional New York State troopers parked their cruisers in formation and rendered a salute. In Glens Falls, scores of people of all ages lined the streets holding small American flags and yellow ribbons as the motorcade went by. The procession paused at the home of Nathan 9s grandmother, so that from her driveway and in her wheel chair she could place her hand on her grandson 9s casket as it was held by the honors detail.<br><br> The public saw the arrival at the funeral home and the posting of the guard during the viewing the night before the funeral. The next day, the route to the church was lined with flags, ribbons, veterans and youth groups. In every possible sense, he was extended a hero 9s welcome home.<br><br> Hundreds attended the funeral at Saint Alphonsus Church in Glens Falls. New York 9s Lieutenant Governor Mary Donohue, the Adju- tant General, Maj. Gen.<br><br> Thomas P. Maguire, Jr., and retired New York State Adjutant General, Maj. Gen.<br><br> Lawrence P. Flynn were among the dignitar- ies who came. It was standing room only.<br><br> Rela- tives, friends, civilian officials, veterans, the pub- lic and military members had all gathered to reflect on the young Guardsman, whose life was cut short by the war abroad. cThe last time I saw Nathan he was handing me his backpack, d said Sgt. Coon as he related to the assembly his fondest memory of his young recruit.<br><br> cHis origi- nal had gotten damaged and he was issued a new one. On a previous visit home from Fort Drum, I was admiring his new equipment, including the backpacks. As the Soldiers arrived at the armory for the final goodbye, Nathan approached me and said he wanted me to have something, and handed me the backpack.<br><br> At the time, it seemed like such a simple gesture from a Soldier, especially when you realize that he gave me the new one and he kept the damaged one. Now, for me, the backpack is far more than a piece of equipment. The back pack represents Nathan to me 4 a giving person, someone who thinks of others and is an unselfish and compassionate& d At the cemetery, there was a firing party, taps and a cmissing man d flyover by Guard Blackhawk helicopters.<br><br> His parents were presented with his military awards: The Purple Heart Medal, The Bronze Star Medal, the Combat Infantryman 9s Badge and the New York State Medal for Valor. At the very last, Maj. Gen.<br><br> Maguire presented the folded American Flag to Kathy. cThe 27 th Infantry Brigade has a long history of deploying to war zones and that history is full of young heroes of Nathan 9s caliber, d said Coon in the closing of his eulogy. cThe 27 th Brigade 9s shoulder patch is comprised of the brightest stars of the Orion star constellation and if you see it in the Southern sky you will find the brightest star there looking down on us saying, I am gone, but I am not forgotten. d A pleasant Easter weekend turned to tragedy for the family of a young infantry soldier when they learned that their son had become the third New York Army National Guard Soldier Killed In Action in Operation Iraqi Freedom.<br><br> Private First Class Nathan Brown, age 21, a member of Company C, 2 nd Battalion, 108 th Infantry Regiment was killed on April 11th when his unit was ambushed by a large insur- gent force near the town of Sammara, Iraq. A rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) had struck the 5-ton truck he was riding in. Four other members of the unit were injured in the attack.<br><br> Members of the unit later reported they de- feated the enemy force in full. The devastating news struck his family, and the families of the other deployed members of the company like a hammer blow. He was a popular young man, known for his vitality and friendliness.<br><br> Nathan was the oldest of four children of Ricky and Kathy Brown from the Town of Moreau in South Glens Falls. Brown enlisted in the Guard in March 2002 after earning his General Educational Development degree (GED) the previous June. Before being called up with his unit last fall, Brown held a number of jobs in the community.<br><br> He had worked for the Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing, Thomas 9s House Painting Company and the local grocery store. He was engaged and had talked about going to college. The news media quickly learned of the tragedy and flocked to the armory.<br><br> In honor of their son, the Brown family chose to grant interviews and speak openly about their Soldier even as the official Department of Defense news release was being distributed. Relatives and friends followed in suit. Press interviews were filled with tearful tributes.<br><br> There were a few young members of his unit in Glens Falls awaiting separate deployment orders when the tragic news had come. Now they took turns holding an overnight vigil by the sign bearing his name in front of the armory. Expressions of pride and sorrow poured from relatives, friends and the community.<br><br> cHe was a very up-tempo, energetic person who made those around him feel better, d said Pfc. Jason Parks, a member of the unit 9s rear detachment. cI am honored to have served with him and to have known him on a personal basis, d he added, reflecting the common sentiments of many.<br><br> Brown had joined the unit along with other friends from the community and a strong bond existed among the members. One newspaper headline described the situation as the cBand of Brothers has lost one of its own. d cIt was more like a family thing rather than men going off to war, d observed Tom Ryan, Nathan 9s uncle, commenting on his nephew 9s determination to serve and the close friends who had deployed with him. cNathan Brown became much more than an enlistment, he became part of our family, d said Sgt.<br><br> 1 st Class Arthur Coon, Brown 9s recruiter. Nathan 9s mother had brought her son to Sgt. Coon to join the Guard.<br><br> Like so many other parents, Kathy knew and believed that military service would help him focus and prepare for the future. Nathan loved the Guard and his unit. It was only natural for Kathy and Rick Brown to request Sgt.<br><br> Coon deliver the eulogy at the funeral service. From the moment his casket arrived at the Albany International Airport to his final resting place at the Gerald B.H Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery, Nathan Brown received full military honors and extensive media coverage. The family requested that the media be given as much access as possible to film their son 9s return, the memorial service and the graveside honors.<br><br> Residents of the Greater Capital District and Glens Falls region saw for themselves in detail the ceremonial honors executed by members of the 27 th Infantry Brigade and the New York Page 4 Army National Guard March-April 2004 NY 9s First Infantryman, Third Army Guard Soldier lost in OIF SAMARRA, IRAQ By Staff Sgt. Steve Petibone Guard Times Staff Pfc. Nathan Brown (Photo courtesy 2-108th Infantry Battalion) Pfc.<br><br> Nathan Brown is carried out by the New York Army National Guard. (Photo by SSG Peter Towse 138th MPAD) Adjutant General, Maj. Gen.<br><br> Thomas P. Maguire Jr. (Photo by Staff.<br><br> Sgt. Peter Towse, 138th MPAD) Above: The late Pfc. Nathan Brown and Spc.<br><br> Joshua V. Huestis, Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry with the cache of mortars. (U.S.<br><br> Army photo by Pfc. Brandi Marshall) Page 5 Army National Guard March-April 2004 Above: Army National Guard Lt. Joseph Merrill hands one of more than 2,200 mortar rounds found on Apr.<br><br> 10 on the outskirts of Samara, Iraq to Staff Sgt. Patrick Abrams. Merrill is assigned to 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry from New York.<br><br> (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brandi Marshall) Above: Army National Guard Staff Sgt.<br><br> Patrick Abrams pulls mortar rounds from a river bank on the outskirts of Samara, Iraq. Abrams is assigned to 2nd Platoon (Nighthawks), Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry National Guard, New York Army National Guard. Right: Spc.<br><br> Joshua V. Huestis, Charlie Company, 2 108th Infantry adds a mortar round to the cache seized on Apr. 10.<br><br> (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brandi Marshall) Charlie Company works together Recovering a cache of weapons Below: The final stack of more than 2,200 mortar rounds, which can be used to make improvised explosive devices, will never be used thanks to the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry National Guard.<br><br> (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brandi Marshall) Page 6 Army National Guard March-April 2004 A s the holiday season of 2003 was bringing winter weather and seasonal charm to New York, the Soldiers and family members of the 105 th Military Police Company were find- ing it difficult to celebrate.<br><br> The troops had been in there for al- most eight months and the one-year anniversary of the federal call up was within sight. Two members of the com- pany had been lost to combat action and there was no indication of a return date for the troops to look forward to. Fortunately, the unit had been moved from desolate Camp Kalsu to the safety and much improved conditions of a Sol- dier support base dubbed Combat Sup- port Center Scania.<br><br> It is a large logistical base built astride the Main Supply Route. Here there were actual buildings with air conditioning, mess facilities, recreational services and a gym for work- ing out. It is an Army coasis d in the middle of a war zone.<br><br> Cooler temperatures in Iraq had done little to diminish the threat from insurgent forces. In fact, there was genuine concern that the enemy would take advantage of upcoming Islamic holidays to increase their attacks. Soldiers and family members were confronted with the reality of family separation at the worst possible time of year.<br><br> And yet, though separated, the Soldiers and the families found the way not just to cope, but also to try and overcome it all. Pro-Active Families Even before Thanksgiving, the family readiness group had planned and organized a series of events to help its members, their Soldiers and especially the children who would be without a parent during what has long been considered a child 9s favorite holiday. At the unit 9s home at the Masten Avenue Armory in Buffalo, the group had been using the cBrock Room, d a wonderful, museum-like room that was set up and main- tained by the veterans.<br><br> The walls are covered with old photos and relics, and tables and chairs are arranged banquet-style for meetings and dinners. Retired Guardsman Don Barnes maintains the room for the 106 th Veterans Association and the group came to depend upon him to have the room available for a variety of special events. In addition, he maintained a bulletin board of photos, articles, cards and letters about the 105 th MP Company and its family readiness group for all to see.<br><br> The Brock Room had become the group 9s cclub room d and the welcome mat was out. There were the regular meetings and the gift-packing days. But for Barnes the most memorable event was the day that holiday video messages from the children were recorded.<br><br> They were to be sent over to the troops. While none were anxious to go back to Iraq, they all knew that their comrades were awaiting their return so they too, could take time off. For the Soldiers and their family members, that csecond d departure was far more difficult than the first.<br><br> Community Support Across the state, veterans and community groups reached out to offer support to local units and military families as the holiday season approached. These sentiments from the community would continue to build and extend throughout the period. The support being offered in Western NY, and in Buffalo in particular, exceeded all others.<br><br> Phyllis Murawski, the lead volunteer of the family readi- ness group and Dara Fowler, the commander 9s wife were quick to acknowledge the especially sensitive and appreci- ated support rendered to the group from local chapters of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Vietnam Veterans of America. cThe veterans did so much and so many things for us, d said Phyllis. cI think one of the most welcomed things was that so many were willing to be around so spouses and others family members had some one else to talk to.<br><br> I don 9t think they realized how important that was for us, d she said. cToys R Us d in Buffalo sponsored special holiday shopping events exclusively for military families featuring heavily discounted prices. Local businesses organized and ran a holiday food drive to benefit military families in need.<br><br> A video and photo com-pany offered mili- tary family members freefamily portrait ses- sions and video tapingso that the images could be shipped to theirmilitary loved ones in Iraq. And, there weremany more such ef- forts to reach out to theSoldiers and their families Though separated bythousands of miles 3 a distance of half theworld away 3 it was apparent that the resi-dents of the Greater Buffalo region wanted theSoldiers to know that they were behindthem; were thinking of them; and, in their ownway, trying to fight the war, too. In Iraq, the members ofthe 105 th received Soldier Care packages,holiday gifts, cards and letters.<br><br> Family mem-bers also began sending over school sup-plies so that the Sol- diers could share themwith Iraqi children 3 an effort and an invest-ment for peace and friendship with Iraq 9s nextgeneration. Nearing the End As the holidays passed, additional Guard units were activated and one unit from the NY Army National Guard was identified as a replacement in theater for the 105 th MP Company. Across the state, family members of deployed units looked forward to good news that their Soldiers would soon come home.<br><br> Soldiers and family members anxiously awaited news that a date would be set. It wouldn 9t be that simple. The national shortage of available military police units prompted the Army to activate and deploy Guard field artillery units and press them through condensed military police training.<br><br> Two batteries of NY 9s 258 th Field Artillery Battalion were so activated. To meet mobilization requirements, additional Soldiers from other Buffalo-area units were called up to deploy with them. In nearly every case, the training program for these artillery units proved to be too short in duration.<br><br> The units needed additional training time. In addition, in order to rotate units in and other units out of the theater, US Central Command would embark in the largest rotation of US troops since the Vietnam War. The logistical challenges would be huge.<br><br> For the Soldiers in theater and their awaiting families the stage was set for an excruciating period of waiting, deep concern and possibly for disappointment. In the Next Issue& The Path Home for the Valiant 105th Troops and Family Members wage the 8Good Fight 9 COMBAT SUPPORT CENTER SCANIA, IRAQ By Lt. Col.<br><br> Paul Fanning Guard Times Staff Part III in a continuing series on the deployment of the 105th MP Company The Strain of War Perched over the top of a building are two soldiers from the 105th Military Police Company cautiously scanning over the city of Bagram. (Photo courtesy of 105th MP Company) Sunset on MSR Tampa. (Photo courtesy 105th MP Company) Page 7 Army National Guard March-April 2004 Now that New York Army and Air National Guard units have reached historical deployment levels, individual combat units are realizing that their traditional roles as tank crews, artillerymen and infantrymen have expanded to include combat arms and tactical skills.<br><br> The 1 st Battalion, 127 th Armor utilized four days of their annual training (AT) this year to stage some Common Task Training (CTT)-style operations at Fort Drum 9s Military Operations on Urban Terrain (MOUT) site. Normally, previous AT 9s concentrated on tank crews getting their tanks prepared for tank lanes training, which was also conducted this year. cYou never know what you 9ll be doing or where you 9ll be doing it, d stated Lt.<br><br> Col. David Zysk, battalion com- mander, 1 st Battalion, 127 th Armor. cIt never hurts to provide the best training you can. d These have been words to live by as the 127 th was activated for Operation Noble Eagle for security and stability operations at West Point, Fort Drum, N.Y., the Letterkenny Army Depot, Pa., the War College, Carlisle, Pa.<br><br> and the Picatiney Arsenal, N.J. 127 th Armor trains outside their lane 'Hellfighter 6' Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Steve Petibone Guard Times Staff FORT DRUM Lt.<br><br> Col. Zysk added that the unit was exposed to a garrison environment during Operation Noble Eagle and that combat training is practical. The 127 th is currently not being deployed, however, more than 100 Soldiers were transferred to the 42 nd Infantry Division for deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom .<br><br> Each of the five lanes combined aspects of CTT and other tasks from the Security Operations and Support Operations (SOSO) handbook, according to Lt. Col. Zysk.<br><br> The first lane consisted of tank convoy escort scenarios that required Soldiers to react to air attacks, refugee 9s on the battlefield, rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) ambush attacks, and enemy tank ambush attacks. The second lane dealt with media and civilian relations in an urban setting. Situations included looting, mediating conflicts, establishing relationships with the media and controlling the movement of civilians.<br><br> The third lane focused on urban operations in a warehouse and/or industrial part of a village serving as a primary supply point for mines and explosives. Soldiers trained to conduct search and sei- zure, react to unexploded ordinance, conduct an urban patrol, react to a sniper attack and assist casualties. The fourth lane tasked the medics and engineers.<br><br> Soldiers conducted patrols through a village and discover they have moved into a minefield, which produced casualties. They performed first aid on the casualties and extract themselves from the minefield. The fifth lane concen- trated on military checkpoint operations.<br><br> Situations that could occur at and around a military checkpoint such as smuggling weapons and contraband were tested. Tasks consisted of establishing and operating an observation post, conducting a vehicle search, and reacting to unexploded ordinance. To accent the MOUT site-training scenario, the 127 th incorporated the services of several members of the 105 th Military Police (MP) Company recently returned from Operation Iraqi Freedom.<br><br> Additional support came from the 152 nd Engineers and 342 nd Forward Support Battalion, both on AT status, to assist with maintenance, medical and refueling. Transitioning the tank crews from their turrets to the art of clearing a room was met with mixed reactions. cAt first, the training was a little uncomfortable because I was not used to carrying all the gear on my back, d said Sgt.<br><br> James Solomon, tank mechanic, 1 st Battalion, 127 th Armor, cbut this type of training offers a realistic change of pace for the unit. d cToday, we need to be more than tankers, d said Spc. Adam Anderson, 105mm main gunner, A Company, 127 th Armor. cThis is different than our usual training, but we need to always be ready and that 9s the reason we train. d Soldiers from the 127th Armor prepare to clear a building during MOUT training at Fort Drum, NY.<br><br> ...combat units are realizing that their traditional roles as tank crews, artillerymen and infantrymen have expanded to include combat arms and tactical skills 'Hellfighter 6,' Lt. Col. Irving Donaldson Commander, 369th CSB and cMayor, CedarII, Iraq d sends his greetings from Lsa Adder, Iraq.<br><br> He is pictured here (center) along with the local Sheik another Iraqi national, Lt. Col. (Chaplain) Breyer (far right) and another soldier from the 369th.<br><br> "This photo is from the site where the 369th pumps water from the river into a canal that feeds our installation. The local shiek is paid monthly for water access. We supplied the generator and the fuel to keep the operation running.<br><br> The 369th normally maintains a 5 DOS on hand." (Photo by Courtesy of 53rd Troop Command) Safety is also a major concern during nighttime operations, because much of the activity must be done in the dark. cThere have been some nights when you can 9t see your hand in front of your face, d said Sergeant Mann. cWe have a lot of briefings on safety practices, and we make sure that all the teams stay in constant communication.<br><br> Both Sergeant Coomes and Sergeant Mann have a lot of pride in what they are currently doing and how they are impacting the on-going operations against terrorists in Afghani- stan. cThis is a big change from the stereotypical one weekend a month and two weeks a year, d Sergeant Mann said. cThis isn 9t the typical 9 to 5 job 3 we have all kinds of great challenges. d cThis is also a great opportunity to get out and see new locations, d agreed Sergeant Coomes.<br><br> cI get a great deal of satisfaction knowing that I am helping another country become safer and give the people the opportunity to enjoy a number of those freedoms we have in the United States. d Page 8 March-April 2004 Air National Guard By Master Sgt. Andrew Gates 455th Expeditionary Operations Group Public Affairs Serving the World E very day, between 50 and 100 tons of equipment and supplies come into Bagram, flown in by a constant stream of cargo aircraft at all hours of the day. Since this is a combat environment, getting the aircraft down, unloaded quickly and off the ground again is extremely important.<br><br> Keeping that logistical pipeline running smoothly and efficiently falls to the men and women of the Air Terminal Operations Center, or ATOC, here. cWe do all the aircraft load planning, passenger terminal operations, logistics, loading and unloading that happens at a regular airport 3 except at a much higher pace, d said Master Sgt. Janet Coomes, 455th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron.<br><br> Sergeant Coomes was activated from the 67th Aerial Port Squadron, a Reserve unit from Hill AFB, Utah. In fact, the entire ATOC is made up of members of the Guard and Reserves 3 all 28 team members. Six of them come from Sergeant Coomes 9 outfit; two more Reservists are from the 69th Aerial Port Squadron, in Maryland.<br><br> The remaining members of the team are from the 109th Aerial Port Flight, a New York Air National Guard unit from Stratton Air National Guard Base. This total force effort is invaluable to keeping Bagram supplied. The ATOC operates seven days a week, 24 hours a day.<br><br> cI don 9t think we have had a day when we didn 9t have aircraft in, d said Master Sgt. Mark Mann, 455th ELRS, who is here from the 109th APF in New York. The high operations tempo sometimes requires the team to perform an engine- running off-load 3 a challenging maneuver where the airplane parks, keeps the engine running while the logisticians remove the cargo and upload any new cargo.<br><br> This speeds up the process and minimizes time an aircraft spends on the ground, said Sergeant Coomes. Besides cargo, the logisticians also move more than 9,000 passengers in and out of the Bagram area each month. Although the people can cself-load d onto an aircraft, ccargo doesn 9t talk back, d joked Sergeant Mann.<br><br> With the amount of traffic on the flight line, the large numbers of inbound and outgoing aircraft and large numbers of passengers moving into and out of the area, safety is extremely important on the flight line. cWe have to make sure we adhere to all Air Force loading instructions 3 we can 9t load people on an aircraft carrying ammunition, for instance, or with a pallet of hazardous material, d said Sergeant Coomes. The 109th Airlift Wing Military Personnel Flight (MPF) achieved the 2003 Gerrit D.<br><br> Foster Jr. Outstanding Military Personnel Flight Award from the Air National Guard and signed by Lt. Gen.<br><br> Daniel James on Mar. 23. The personnel flight here was one of eight ANG units nationwide to receive the award.<br><br> The award, named in honor of the late Colonel Foster, a former field activities division chief with the then-named Air Force Military Personnel Center, recognizes the top ten-percent of per- sonnel flights that give outstanding service or make significant contributions to the Air Force. cOur MPF and recruiting and retention sections have been working at elevated levels since September 2001, but 2003 was a year of significant achievement, d said Lt. Col.<br><br> Thomas Mason, Director of Personnel. He explained that some of the more outstanding achievements for MPF in 2003 included serving a 101-percent increase in ID-card customers due to a Navy site deactivation, presenting a 109 th Airlift Wing Personnel Flight receives top honors By Staff Sgt. Mike R.<br><br> Smith 109AW Public Affairs STRATTON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE premier Commander/First Sergeants 9 Workshop, process- ing record numbers of mobilization/demobilization actions - such as DD214s - and in the words of the AMC IG inspectors, cthey superbly screened deploying person- nel d for the initial response operational readiness inspec- tion held here last summer. cWe strive to maintain excellence in service to our cus- tomers and provide world-class support to the deployed missions of the Wing, d said the colonel. MPF here is charged with managing all life-cycle person- nel actions, from initial recruitment to formal training, through sustainment such as assignments, promotions, awards, appraisals and retention programs and reenlist- ments to relocations, such as transfers and retirements.<br><br> In addition, MPF also provides deploying personnel readi- ness processing and personnel support for contingency operations, which support Polar, Aerospace Expeditionary Force, and contingency deployed operations. Senior Airman Mike Byerwalters, 455th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron, directs Tech. Sgt.<br><br> Ray Boyea, driving the forklift while talking to the driver of the Next Generation Small Loader. Both logisticians are from the 109th Aerial Port Flight, Stratton Air National Guard Base, New York Air National Guard. (U.S.<br><br> Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Andrew Gates) A 109th Airlift Wing C-130 On the skiway outside the National Science Foundation's (NSF) newly constructed Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. The new building replaces the NSF dome that was constructed in 1975.<br><br> The Wing set all new records for total missions accomplished, total cargo hauled and most mis- sions ever to the South Pole. The Wing moved over 600,00 gallons of fuel to the South Pole and over 12 million pounds of cargo, fuel and passengers over the Antarctic continent. "Day in and day out the 109 th fought the elements , deep snow, cold temperatures, blinding storms and, if that isn't much, hazardous situations to get the job done," said Col.<br><br> Verle L. Johnston Jr., Wing Vice Commander. "We also accomplished a record setting polar mission this year in support of Operation Deep Freeze." (Photo by Master Sgt.<br><br> Willie Gizara, 109th AW) Aerial port flight provides global mobility in war on terror BAGRAM AIR BASE, AFGHANISTAN Page 9 March-April 2004Air National Guard/Naval Militia Members of the New York State Naval Militia are operating a fleet of small boats in NY waters including one 40-foot, three 28-foot and two 22-foot vessels to support the militia 9s new NYS Emergency Boat Service (NYSMEBS), which augments law enforcement and civilian security personnel at bridges, tunnels, train stations, subways and other sites to deter terrorists, respond to attacks and help victims as part of Operation Empire Shield. Since their introduction, NYSMEBS 9 small boats have moved over 29, 850 boat crew and NY Army National Guard personnel, making over 12, 257 trips covering over 18, 152 miles (excluding security zone patrols). NYSMEBS participates in marine search and rescue missions, assisting vessels grounded or in distress and is assigned to other homeland security assignments.<br><br> In addition to their military mission, NYSMEBS also provides safe navigation and protection of the environment within NY. Naval Militia 'Fleet' sets sail to guard NY JOINT FORCE HEADQUARTERS Left: Members of the New York State Naval Militia including (from left) Lt. Alan Loeffler, SH3 David Burice, Maj.<br><br> Willard Lochridge, BM2 Beth Spain, SKSN Chris Espinosa, UT2 Andrew Kirvak and SWO Frank Rogers man the 40-foot patrol boat, PB-400, stationed in Buffalo, NY. The patrol boat is one of a fleet of small boats supporting the militia 9s New York State Emergency Boat Service. PB-400 is powered by two 430-horsepower Cummins diesel motors, which provide a maximum speed of over 34 knots and a cruise speed of about 25 knots.<br><br> The boat carries a maximum of 40 people and can be armed with three .50-cal. machine guns. By Cmdr.<br><br> Robert H. Pouch NY Naval Militia Individual instruction Stratton Jujitsu Club Instructor, John Borter (right), demonstrates a technique on Lt. Col.<br><br> Richard Edwards during practice at Stratton's Dining Hall on Mar. 31. (Photo by Staff Sgt.<br><br> Mike Smith) Air Guard Jujitsu Club starts classes, invites new members G uardmembers now have means to self-defense and physical fitness since the Stratton Jujitsu Club began classes at the B-dining hall early this year. The club, which meets every Monday and Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., is open to all guardmembers, families and friends of good character. According to the Club 9s informational brochure Modern Jujitsu is based on natural body motions and natural reactions; meaning, the techniques involved will not take years of practice.<br><br> In fact, classes do not require prior attendance, and members can join anytime, at any skill level and not feel left behind. Those interested should call 344- 2480 for more details. cI enjoy the workouts because every night you learn something different, d said Senior Master Sgt.<br><br> William Pryor, club participant. He added that the instruction is informal, leaving crank at the door. d Instruction is also ongoing, so you can start anytime and not need to catch up to the rest of the group, he said. John Borter, a certified instructor of self-defense and martial arts to the general public, law enforcement, security and military personnel, instructs members.<br><br> He has six black belts in the Martial Arts and is a Martial Arts Hall of Fame inductee. cThe decision to train in the martial arts enhances every area of your life, d said Borter. cFrom a Guardsman 9s perspective, it 9s designed as part of the overall fitness program, d said CE Commander and club participant, Lt.<br><br> Col. Richard Edwards. The Colonel explained that the club is an accumulation of six years of interest and effort 4the original members met at the Saratoga YMCA and sought permission to move the club on base.<br><br> Once approved, Moral, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) supplied the club with new practice mats. Uni- forms were ordered, brochures were sent out and colorful patches were sewn up to identify the club and recruit up to thirty new members. So far, ten new members have joined.<br><br> The plan is to grow the membership and promote physical fitness through base participation, said the Colonel. Practices start with warm-up exercises, stretching, rolling and breakfalls. The instructor then leads the group through a multitude of fighting and self defense techniques such as rolls, falls, finger and wrist locks, arm bars, strikes, kicks and escapes.<br><br> Other techniques, which fall within Modern Jujitsu 9s White to Black belt ranking system, include finger, wrist and arm locks, head, neck and leg techniques, Making fitness a daily standard is what the Guard wants for everyone, but can exercise match your interests? Some guardmembers are taking the 'Fit to Fight' concept to the mat... STRATTON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE By Staff Sgt.<br><br> Mike R. Smith 109AW Public Affairs throws and takedowns, pressure points, ground fighting and weapon defenses. The goal for students is to work hard to prepare for the rank evaluation tests, which are scheduled approximately every three months.<br><br> cThe Bottom line is, it 9s fun, d said Master Sgt. Craig Talarico, club participant. Again, those interested should call 344-2480 for more details.<br><br> Page 10 March-April 2004 Air National Guard T ake 1,250 pounds of brawn, spread it across five football players who bench press an average of 400 pounds each, then corral them into a 23 million dollar flight simulator for about three hours. The result of that mix: harsh takeoffs, even rougher landings, poor aerial refueling procedures and plenty of laughs from the powerhouse leviathans huddled inside. For the handful of star players and staff from the Orange County Bulldogs, a Hudson Valley semipro football team, who had an opportunity on March 30, 2004 to tour the 105th Airlift Wing 9s C-5 flight simulator, quickly learned that using finesse rather than their big biceps and brute force was what it would take to tackle the cGalaxy. d cI knew our military had technological stuff, but I didn 9t know it was as advanced as that simulator, d said Co-President Frank Williams after the tour.<br><br> cWith equipment like that and with the people we have serving in the armed forces; I now understand why we have the best military in the world. It was a great experience and we had fun, d he said. This year marks twelve years of football in the Orange County area for the Bulldogs.<br><br> The team 9s record is 70 wins, 12 losses and one tie. Having won several minor league titles, earning them the right to be called the 1996 and 1997 Northern Division Champions as well as the 1997 Big Apple Bowl Champions, the Bulldogs climbed even higher on the semipro totem pole in 2002 when they won the Empire Football League Championship. cIn 1997, our first season as part of the Garden State Football League, we went undefeated at 9-0 and were nationally ranked third in the East by Minor League News .<br><br> Then in 2000 we finished the season at 10-2 and ranked 14th nationally among all semipro teams in the country. I think we 9re making excellent progress as a team and with a little luck we 9ll have better seasons and more championships to come, d said Paul Williams Jr., also Co- President of the Orange County Bulldogs. According to their mission statement, as an organization the team is focused on achieving and maintaining a winning tradition, committed to excellence and leadership, and seeks to provide opportunities for personal development through participation in athletic competition.<br><br> Defensive Tackle, Dave Smart added, cWe 9re much like the military because we believe in similar things, such as teamwork and fitness. Having said that I appreciate what the military does and what they stand for. I don 9t know anyone who thinks differently. d He added, cThe sad thing is most people don 9t realize what the military does on a daily basis because they simply don 9t see it in action, in person everyday.<br><br> I know one thing though, when we pulled up to the front gate in our van and guys with guns stopped to check our credentials, all of us knew our visit was for real. d So, beyond the front gate and onto their tour, how did the band of colossal football players accustomed to arduous practices and punishing games, which often yield cuts, bruises, sprains and strains, think they would do against their unknown foe, the C-5 flight simulator? cIt looks like an alien spacecraft. Not that I 9ve ever seen one before, d said Defensive End, Michael Boykin, who first thought flying the simulator would be easy.<br><br> His assumption changed a few engine fires and rainstorms later, when he had a chance to sit in the copilots seat adjacent to Maj. Steve Grant from the 137th Airlift Squadron. cHonestly, it was tougher to fly than I thought.<br><br> But it did move around like a spaceship, d he said while laughing. cIt was a great experience; I never knew technology like this existed in Newburgh. I always thought they kept stuff like this locked up with the aliens. d After 320 pound Offensive End, Joe Zoffoli had his turn in the hot seat, having been tossed a little fog and wind while trying to land the simulator at LaGuardia Airport; he too had a change of heart.<br><br> cI didn 9t expect it to fly like a plane. I really thought it would be simple. I was wrong.<br><br> It wasn 9t like playing Top Gun on X-Box, d he said. Deceived by the seemingly innocent looking flight simulator was Ron Alindogan, Offensive Center for the Bulldogs, who said the simulator was a contraption that bared a stark resemblance to what in his mind was a gigantic meat locker on hydraulic stilts. cOK, when I first looked at the thing I thought, 8Where 9s Gilligan and the Skipper for my three hour tour? 9 I was wrong; it wasn 9t a big freezer with a bunch of hoses sticking out the sides.<br><br> It was a really hard to fly freezer with hoses sticking out the sides, d he said. All shattered misconceptions aside, when the tour was over and it was time to head home for the night, to rest up for another day of push-ups and pull ups of course, everyone said they had a great time flying the simulator, even if it was a bit cboxy d looking like they all thought. cIt was a real experience, we just need to learn a little more grace when it comes to flying aircraft, d Frank Williams said.<br><br> cIt was also nice to have an opportunity to say thanks to our men and women in uniform for all they 9ve done and for all they 9ve sacrificed. We 9re lucky to have a few star players on our team, but the military is even luckier to have individuals willing to give up everything for this country. You 9re all heroes. d NOTE: As a token of their appreciation to the men and women of the 105th Airlift Wing for their participation in cOperation Iraqi Freedom, d the Orange County Bulldogs dedicated an autographed football and a championship T-shirt to the unit.<br><br> Both are on display outside of the 105th Dining Facility. To see a season schedule for 2004 or for additional information about the team, visit www.orangecountybulldogs.com. Orange County Bulldogs Offensive End, from left to right, Joe Zoffoli, Offensive Center Ron Alindogan, and Defensive End Michael Boykin stand strong in front of 105th Airlift Wing, C-5 Galaxy.<br><br> By Staff Sgt.. John Gassler 105th Public Affairs Office NEWBURGH Bulldogs tackle the 'Galaxy' Page 11 Air National Guard 105 th Female vocalist makes 8Tops in Blue 9 Senior Airman Erin Holzapfel, a member of the 105th Medical Group was recently selected to join the Air Force cTops in Blue d entertainment group as a female vocalist. Her tour with cTops in Blue d is a year long, during which time she will travel the world.<br><br> The cTops in Blue d entertainment group started in 1953, and since then over 1,700 airmen have performed in more than 7,000 shows since the program 9s inception. The Air Force cTops in Blue d entertainment group is an active duty unit made up of amateur performers who have outstanding entertainment abilities. The 30-member group travels throughout the continental United States, Central America, Alaska, Canada and Europe, entertaining more than 250,000 military personnel and their families every year.<br><br> cMy friends are a little jealous that I 9ll be traveling the world, d Holzapfel said. cBut I tell them 8Sure, I 9ll get to visit about 27 countries, but you don 9t see all the hard work that goes with it. 9 Sometimes you need to work extremely long days, d she said. Senior Airman Holzapfel 9s journey to Air Force stardom began when Master Sgt.<br><br> Mike Antinucci, 105th Retention Office Manager, handed her an application the day before an audition tape was due. Although Holzapfel is in the Air National Guard, her current military status made her eligible for the program. cI knew about 8Tops in Blue 9 because Antinucci has been telling me about it since I joined the military.<br><br> I just never knew how to apply. Then, he gave me an application and I went searching through my tapes at home, d Holzapfel said. Hundreds of hopeful candidates submit applications for a possible audition with cTops In Blue, d but only 70 are chosen to attend a 10-day audition conference.<br><br> Holzapfel 9s gambit paid off, as she was one of those 70 individuals chosen to light up the stage at San Antonio, TX, during auditions. According to Holzapfel, tryouts consisted of dance, voice and instrument auditions. She performed Sarah McLachlin 9s cAngel d for the crowd.<br><br> cI had several people approach me, to say they never liked that song before they heard me sing it. That was a pretty good feeling, d she said Although Holzapfel has been singing since the age of 10, candidates for cTops in Blue d also had to compete on another level 4they needed to undergo a grueling per- sonal interview whereby everything from an individual 9s motivation for auditioning to their composure under pressure would be questioned and evaluated. Holzapfel attested, the judges even pushed back interview times and dates, and turned the most innocent answers around on candidates to test their ability to handle stress.<br><br> cDuring my interview the judges asked me to do an impression of a hot dog when they found out that I was from New York. So, I stretched and made myself look really still, but they kept throwing things in like, 8Okay, now you 9re being cooked. 9 So, I started wiggling around. 8Now someone 9s putting mustard on you, 9 they said.<br><br> So, I got up and pretended to put mustard on myself. It was a lot of fun, d Holzapfel said. After returning from her audition, all the while being cglued to her cell phone d waiting to find out if she made the final cut, the good news finally came.<br><br> Her father, Master Sgt. Rob Dana, Recruiting Office supervisor for the 105th Airlift Wing added, cAt first I didn 9t even know she submitted an application. But once I found out she did apply and was accepted for an audition, I really wasn 9t surprised.<br><br> When Erin does something extraordinary, I 9m never surprised because she always excels at what she does. I very proud of her, d Dana said. Holzapfel 9s next step is to travel back to San Antonio, where she and her new teammates will learn to break down and set up their stage equipment, attend professional make-up lessons, and learn the dance, instrument and song aspects of their new show routines before they begin their tour.<br><br> Tops in Blue, Senior Airman Erin Holzapfel (Photo courtesy 105th AW) SAN ANTONIO, TX By 2 nd Lt. Anthony L. Bucci Wing Public Affairs Officer L t.<br><br> Col. Brian J. Lauri, 152 nd Air Operations Group 9s Judge Advocate, received the New York State Colonel Gouverneur Morris Citizen/Soldier Award for outstanding contributions to the state 9s organized militia during a May 1 st ceremony at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base.<br><br> Presenting the award to Lt. Col. Lauri was Major General Thomas P.<br><br> Maguire, Jr., Adjutant General for the State of New York. The award was in recognition for his outstanding record of dedicated community service and exemplary professional military judge advocate skills . cI was very surprised and even more honored at receiving this award. d Lt.<br><br> Col. Lauri said after the award ceremony. He has actively supported various community organizations, while juggling his military, civilian, and family responsibilities.<br><br> He has and continues to be extremely involved in a diverse assortment of volunteer organizations throughout Central New York. Some of those groups that he works with are the New York State Prosecutor 9s Training Institute, Onondaga County Public Schools, Columbia College of Missouri 3 Hancock Field Extension, Knights of Columbus; Food Bank of Central New York, Friends of Life, Anna 9s Food Pantry, Girl Scouts of America, Boy Scouts of America, Morality in HANCOCK AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE 152 nd Airlift Operations Group Judge Advocate receives award the Media, American Heart Association, and Crop Walk. Serving in these assorted organizations is extremely impressive, but only part of the reason he won the coveted New York State Colonel Gouverneur Morris Citizen/Soldier Award.<br><br> Lauri 9s resume within the Air National Guard as a legal officer is impressive, and he continues to distinguish himself an exceptional lawyer, leader and military officer. Lt. Col.<br><br> Gordon Howard, Vice Commander of the 152 nd AOG said; cHe is a great officer, incredibly supportive of the community, a wonderful family man, and a valued member of this unit. d He voluntarily deployed for homeland support for Operation Noble Eagle in 2002. In 2003 he was handpicked by the National Guard Bureau to support a Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force in which he was the lone Air National Guard member in the entire Combined Task Force. cWorking with Special Forces was very much like working with the Air National Guard.<br><br> They are very talented, professional, and focused on the mission. d Lt. Col. Lauri said.<br><br> This Special Operation saw engagements in active combat throughout Jordan and Iraq. He returned to his civilian life and his family, but his thoughts turn to those within the Special Operations Task force he accompanied as they prepare to redeploy overseas. cIt is one of the most unique experiences in my military career. d He added that this experience changed his life, giving him a greater appreciation for those men and women who serve within the Special Forces.<br><br> As I spoke to him about this experience he continued to be very modest and humble, even downplaying his significant role in this mission. cLt. Col.<br><br> Lauri has been one of the finest citizen soldiers in the air National Guard. His involvement in the community, his church, his family and his total dedication to the defense of our country made him an outstanding choice for the Citizen Soldier of the Year Award. He volunteered to work with the Army 9s Special Forces in Iraq and was the only Air National Guard JAG assigned in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, d said Col.<br><br> Joseph Bulmer, Jr., 152 nd AOG Commander. Lt. Col.<br><br> Brian Lauri, stands proudly with his wife, Christina, and two sons, (from left) Zachary and Joshua Lauri. By Staff Sgt. Ann~Marie Santa, 105th AW Public Affairs Office March-April 2004 42 nd Infantry Division readies for Iraq Page 12 March-April 2004 Army National Guard S oldiers of the 42 nd Infantry Division are on the move.<br><br> Over the past 30 days, the citizen- soldiers of the Army 9s famous cRainbow Division d departed home station armories across the United States for movement and in-processing at their Fort Drum, NY, Fort Dix, NJ, Fort Hood and Fort Bliss, TX and Camp Shelby, MS mobilization sites. In the past month, more than 3,000 division Soldiers mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the nation 9s Global War on Terror. Assisted by the training support members of the Army 9s 78 th Division, Rain- bow Soldiers began their individual training preparations as a first step towards valida- tion and deployment.<br><br> All divisional troops will undergo evaluation by their Army unit trainers in a number of individual Soldier combat skills as well as team or collective training tasks. cWe 9ll get this mission done as a team, d said Maj. Gen.<br><br> Joseph J. Taluto, the 42 nd Infantry Division Commander, cit 9s just that simple. d The division expects to complete its training tasks later this year and deploy to Iraq at the end of 2004 and early 2005 The mobilization of the Rainbow Division pro- vides a foundation on which the Army can build a combat task force for operations in Iraq. It is a reflection of the Army 9s transfor- mation towards division-level command and control cunits of employment d and combat brigade cunits of action d in which different organizations can be assembled to form a combat force.<br><br> Division Soldiers will provide the command and control, logistics and operational base for maneuver brigades to succeed in their mission to establish a safe and secure environment in Iraq. While the maneuver brigades have yet to be announced by the Department of the Army, they may reflect any combination of Army, Army National Guard, or multinational forces. The entire process is part of the Army 9s design for employing smaller, modular units for mobilization and deployment.<br><br> The concept provides cplug and play, d capabilities-based forces, capable of seamlessly integrating with other Army formations in joint and combined operations. cThis division headquarters has some significant experience in standing up an opera- tional task force, d said the division Chief of Staff, Col. Mark Heffner.<br><br> cHundreds of our Rainbow Soldiers deployed for state active duty in New York City following the terror attacks of September 11 th , 2001. Command of the Army National Guard, Air National Guard and Naval Militia forces for the State of New York was in the hands of the 42 nd Division Headquarters, d he said . The 42 nd Infantry Task Force represents National Guard members from more than twelve states.<br><br> Rainbow Division Soldiers mobilized from their home states of New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Delaware, Vermont, Rhode Island and Florida. The Rainbow Tea