posted by 147 FA on Mar 26

Quick Reaction Force members from the 1-147 Field Artillery secure the entry to the pier to ensure only required personnel are near the oil spill to ensure safety of everyone during an Oil Spill Response Exercise Dec. 14.Alpha Battery mobilized on 15 April 2009 in support of OIF 9.2, with the combining of 133 Soldiers from 5 different units and a multitude of MOS's. The SECFOR Company was Commanded by CPT Collin Enstad with 1SG Terry Ching serving as Battery First Sergeant. This group of fine men and women created 1 Headquarters Platoon and 3 SECFOR Platoons. Alpha Battery 1st Battalion 147th Field Artillery (MLRS) was called to active duty to perform a nonstandard mission for the Security Force (SECFOR) at Camp Patriot and Kuwait Naval Base (KNB). During deployment Alpha Battery planned, executed, and provided security for three Theater Resupply Missions / Theater Retrograde Missions. The mission consisted of direct coordination with the US and Kuwait Navy to provide security of KNB while the MV Virginian was on berth. The mission required security in excess of 3,000 containers from the vessel to the theater storage area. The containers were loaded with over 12 million pounds of Net Explosive Weight (NEW). This vital mission ensured the safe delivery of Ammunition and Armaments from all 5 Classes of ammunition in the US inventory. This ammunition resupplies both the Iraq and Afghanistan Theater of Operations. The second Retrograde Operation was the single largest Retrograde Operation ever conducted at KNB. The success of this mission depended on the seamless redistribution of SECFOR Soldiers, the coordination between three separate Host Nation entities, twenty- four civilian contractors, as well as all four branches of U.S. military services. Units involved comprised of Air, Sea, and Land components. Our leaders utilized past experience and prior training to solve issues and complete this critical mission Alpha stuck to their Artillery Pride and enforced the standards from the beginning. Shortly after the Replace in Place (RIP) and the transfer of authority, comments were heard at other camps in Kuwait about the professionalism of the security force at KNB. The values of the men and women of Alpha Battery were expressed throughout the deployment, in the inspections, training exercises, as well as the day to day performance of our Soldiers. The performance of each and every Soldier was a testament to the quality of the Soldiers and the Leaders in Alpha Battery. The Coyote Patch once again became a source of pride for our unit and state due to the superiority and tactful performance of its Soldiers. The Base Defense Liaison Team (BDLT) performed exercises where they evaluated our SOP. They would hide contraband or explosives in a vehicle and see if the SECFOR personnel could find them. The BDLT exercises were a great training tool for our Soldiers’ proficiency and alertness, keeping them trained and up to date with the latest tactics and techniques of our enemies. As the SECFOR element, Alpha Battery was responsible for the Safety and Security of Camp Patriot and KNB. During the period of 14 July 2009 to 25 March 2010 over 200,000 personnel searches were accomplished on Third Country Nationals (TCN) wanting installation access to KNB. In excess of 73,000 Vehicles were searched and approved for access on KNB. Unsecured convoys adding up to more than 13,000 vehicles were searched and allowed access to the movement control lot. The speed and accuracy of these searches were vital to the retrograde and draw down of the troops in Iraq. The SECFOR mission consisted of 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, for the duration of the deployment. 1st Platoon served on the day shift, 2nd Platoon served on the night shift, and 3rd Platoon served on the swing shift. With the guard mount and dismount the 8 hour shift normally took closer to 10 hours. Headquarters Platoon ran the Arms Room and supply 24/7 and staggered shifts in the Orderly Room to ensure Soldiers from every shift had access to Administrative support. A Battery also received outstanding results from inspections from several different entities. One inspector commented that “You guys are the best I have ever seen here”. The 1st Theater Support Command (TSC) conducted several Physical Security inspections during mobilization. During the initial Physical Security inspection, the inspector was so impressed that they changed the initial inspection into a more thorough quarterly Physical Security Inspection. At the completion of the inspection, the inspector stated “You guys are more squared away in your first inspection than the last unit was in their last”. The inspector went on to say that he felt the performance of the Soldiers warranted a comment to the Commanding General. Area Support Group (ASG) Kuwait weapons maintenance inspectors deemed the units weapons maintenance program a “Role Model Operation”. “If all arms rooms ran like this one, I would not have a job”. This performance was remarkable in the fact that the unit did not have a trained Armorer or trained Supply sergeant. In excess of 100,000 separate Supply and weapons transactions were completed by a section that did not have one school qualified Supply NCO. Alpha Battery was also tasked with the security of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles during their delivery to Afghanistan. These Soldiers would improvise return routes based on the airplane hops available at the time they were mission complete in Afghanistan. These missions usually came up with little to no advance notice and forced the unit and its Soldier’s to stay flexible with the unknown nature of the MRAP mission. Alpha Battery was also tasked with providing support personnel to Convoy Escort Teams (CET) in Iraq. All three medics completed Class Three Training while deployed as well as assisting USMC Marines in Class 3 Training at Camp Buehring. These missions would again come up with little to no advance notice and the unit would adjust fire for the loan out of its Medics. The MWR competitions were also an area of success for Alpha Battery. Individual and team trophies and medals were won in Softball, Volleyball, Flag Football, Pool, Poker, Dodgeball, Weightlifting, Video Games, Horseshoes, and Basketball. All totaling over 100 MWR awards were garnered by Alpha Battery. When our time is done for this deployment, our families and the people of South Dakota can be proud. The legacy left by the men and women of Alpha Battery 1st Battalion 147th FA will have a lasting impact on the future Soldiers of KNB. In conclusion, our entire Battery would like to take the time to personally thank the family and friends we left at home. Your “Soldiering On” gave us the peace of mind we needed to focus on our mission and complete it, safely and securely. The true strength of our Battery is our families. CPT Collin Enstad/1SG Terry Ching

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