40 years ago today (July 1st, 1973) was the day that Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird directed the US Army to begin all-volunteer recruitment. The last Soldier was drafted in December 1972 and reported for training in June 1973. Project VOLAR (VOLunteer ARmy) was initiated to improve the Soldiers’ quality of life; the barracks design on Smoke Bomb Hill is called a “VOLAR” barracks. The all-volunteer force, originally a campaign proposal by President Nixon in 1968, was viewed with some skepticism at the time. But ten years after its inception, Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger declared in 1983 that the all-volunteer force program was no longer experimental and that the term, in capital letters (All-Volunteer Force), would no longer be used to describe the US military. Fears that the need to be more accommodating to the Army's new recruits would lead to an overall permissiveness detrimental to discipline underrated the professionalism of the noncommissioned officer corps and the tenacity of military tradition. The need for the Army to live up to individual promises recorded in enlistment contract has enforced a managerial discipline on the way soldiers are inducted, trained, and assigned to units. The new US Army volunteer Soldiers have proven their worth in many campaigns, including Operations URGENT FURY (Grenada, 1983), JUST CAUSE (Panama, 1989-1990), DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM (Kuwait/Iraq 1990-1991), RESTORE HOPE (Somalia, 1992-1993), UPHOLD DEMOCRACY (Haiti, 1994-1995), JOINT ENDEAVOR (Bosnia, 1995-1996), IRAQI FREEDOM and NEW DAWN (2003-2011) and ENDURING FREEDOM (Afghanistan, 2001-present). The 20th Engineer Brigade has participated in each of these campaigns, helping the Army to “Get There” and then “Building Combat Power” in each of these overseas deployments. So congratulations to you, the new volunteer Soldier, and your Family, as you complete 40 years as the Strength of the Army and the Strength of the Soldier! Given the resources of these United States of America, there is no reason to believe that the Army cannot successfully continue to maintain an all-volunteer force and remain the Strength of the Nation! Challenges will continue at home and abroad, but we will remain Army Strong! JAMES H. RAYMER COL, EN COMMANDING A Letter from the Commander INSIDE THIS ISSUE: CSM 2 A Message from the Chaplain 3 The NCO’s Corner 3 Our Battalions 4 544th EN DET 8 569th EN DET 9 Contact Information 10 Our Mission Statement 10 CASTLE TIMES JUL-SEP 2013 VOLUME 4, ISSUE 4 SPECIAL POINTS OF INTEREST: Unit Volunteer Serice Award The 20th Engineer Brigade Association
Coordination Cell) and our geospatial engineers supporting ARCENT, USARAF and operations in
Afghanistan in your thoughts and prayers.
Our Soldiers at Fort Bragg and Fort Eustis continue to excel in all engineering efforts. The Soldiers from the 74th
Engineer Detachment (Dive) recently returned from a 9-month tour in Kuwait. Upcoming missions for dive engineering
Soldiers include stops at Olmsted Lock and Dam in Illinois, Caven Point, New Jersey, and Ketchikan, Alaska. HHC will
conduct a command post exercise this summer, and the 100th Engineer Company hits the training season with platoon and
company exercises at Fort Bragg. The firefighters continue to support the Directorate of Emergency Services at Fort Bragg,
along with some additional fire training opportunities throughout the region.
Thanks to everyone who attended the recent Family Readiness Group training. A special thanks to our brigade's civilian
teammates for your hard work, dedication, and professionalism.
Better every day - Imprimis! DK6
30th Engineer Battalion
“Left surface! Charts mark time!” called SSG Daniel Weber as the yellow KM-37 helmets of his two divers submerged beneath the murky
water of the James River. “Zero nine three zero!” called back SPC Tomasso, marking the start of the first dive of the 544 th Engineer Detachment (Dive) Shallow Brown training exercise. The 544th Engineer Detachment (Dive) is one of five engineer diving units under 30th Engineer Battalion. The divers allow the Army to extend its engineering capabilities into the lakes, rivers, and costal waterways at home and
overseas. Engineer divers perform a variety of missions, such as inspection and repair of waterfront facilities, ship inspection and maintenance, underwater search and recovery, underwater obstacle removal, and underwater demolition. The execution of these missions requires the use of specialized equipment and constant training to remain proficient in the skills to operate it safely. Their Shallow Brown training exercise was an 11 day training exercise designed to allow the divers to develop their skills while simultaneously assessing the detachment dive supervisors’
ability to safely supervise dives. Each dive was conducted either in surface supplied mode where the air is pushed to the diver from the surface, or in SCUBA mode where the diver carries air in tanks below the surface. The first part of each dive was devoted to allowing the divers to demonstrate proficiency in
performing a task or operating a certain piece of equipment. While diving in surface supplied mode, the divers were required to operate a variety of hydraulic tools. They used jackhammers, hammer drills and grinders to work on concrete projects, and hydraulic chainsaws to cut through wooden projects. They used underwater welding and cutting torches to work on iron projects and lift bags to move heavy objects
along the river bottom. While in SCUBA mode, the divers conducted ships’ hull inspections and inert underwater demolitions training. These scenarios tested the knowledge and ability of the dive supervisors to assess and treat diving related injuries. The scenarios
included situations where the divers simulated carbon monoxide poisoning, pretended to be trapped
or injured on the river bottom or displayed signs of decompression sickness. The dive supervisors had to ask the appropriate diagnostic questions, determine the correct treatment for the injury and correctly carry out the treatment. The combination of working dives with supervisor scenarios
ensured everyone on the dive side was occupied and engaged throughout the training exercise. The detachment was able to complete 60 dives by the time Shallow Brown ended on 18 June. Every diver had the chance to train and demonstrate proficiency on their underwater skills and the detachment’s dive supervisors each received over 20 emergency scenarios.
Engineer divers are constantly executing their mission by deploying overseas, supporting the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Districts, or responding to natural disasters. The high demand for the divers’ skills means that they must be trained and ready at a moment’s notice. The hard work
and motivation of the Soldiers and NCOs of the 544th Engineer Detachment (Dive) during Shallow Brown has ensured their detachment is ready to respond when called.
544th Engineer Detachment (Dive)
P A G E 5
C A S T L E T I M E S
569th Engineer Detachment (Dive) In the wake of Memorial Day weekend, divers from the 569th Engineer Detachment (Dive), 30th Engineer Battalion, reacted to
a FRAGO for the salvage of a 4,750 pound steel container that had sunk to the bottom of the harbor. In reality, this was a
planned training exercise, but the divers who were quickly assembling and preparing a surface supplied dive side for movement to
the salvage site, received no warning to prepare them for the training. The efficient reaction of the divers demonstrated the
trained proficiency of a seasoned team under the leadership of SSG Joel Grover. As divers conducted a SCUBA reconnaissance
of the damaged container, the surface supplied dive side was loaded on a LMTV and trailer for movement to the job site. The
reconnaissance dive was completed and the specifications of the salvage job were relayed back to leadership by the time that the
dive equipment was leaving for the project site.
The damage to the salvage project was severe. There were four separate holes on each side of the container, and each
measured approximately 2.5 square feet in size. It rested just below the surface, but out of sight in a shallow 15 feet of water,
where divers would have visibility of no more than six inches from their faceport. These conditions cause most to experience
the panic of claustrophobia as they feel with their hands to “see” the work that they are completing, but these are the conditions
that Army Engineer Divers are trained to expect and thrive in.
Within six hours of receiving the FRAGO to salvage a sunken container that was blocking the port, all four holes were patched
with either sheet metal or wood and salvage matting. Holes were cut into the patches to allow for the 12 inch diameter hoses
from the Godwin pump to access the interior of the container. The pump is rated to transfer 1500 gallons of sea water per
minute, and when a second hose is run to the surface, the water that is pumped out is replaced by air. This method of
de-watering a project uses the buoyancy inherent to the container to lift it out of the water.
Seven hours after the FRAGO was received, the pump roared to life and a cascade of water was flowing out of the discharge
hose from inside the project. The first de-watering attempt was not successful because one of the patches shifted causing gaps to
form that allowed too much water to enter the project for the pump to raise it. After sending a more senior Salvage Diver into
the water, the patches were re-sealed correctly, and eight hours and 45 minutes after receiving the FRAGO, the project lifted off
the bottom and was kept at the surface. For training purposes, the project was sunk and salvaged again the following day, but the
quick and effective results from the day were validation of their ability to conduct salvage operations.
P A G E 6 V O L U M E 4 , I S S U E 4
11th Engineer Battalion Over the past few months, the 11th Engineer Battalion “Jungle Cats” have conducted rigorous
Defense Chemical Biological Response and Nuclear Response Force (DCRF) qualifying and Field
Training Exercises. This training culminated in a week long FTX in preparation for Vibrant Response
13.2 at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, in collaboration with the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade. The
successful completion of the training in Camp Atterbury will validate the 11th Engineer Battalion as
they assume their DCRF mission in October. Beginning on 10 JUN, the battalion began a large scale
FTX, training in DCRF related life-saving skills and tasks. Each company contributed time, manpower,
and expertise to successfully complete this battalion-wide training event. The soldiers of HHC and
the 153rd Engineer Detachment (Concrete) planned, coordinated, and maintained the obstacles for five training lanes to in-
clude moving cars and telephone poles in an effort to make training as realistic and applicable as possible.
The 63rd Engineer Company focused training on Command Post operations, decontamination training, driver’s training in
full JSLIST, and platoon level route clearing operations. Their DCRF related STX missions consisted of clearing debris, cars,
and rubble from the roads in order to provide freedom of maneuver for follow on Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) units.
The 60th Engineer Company, with attached elements of the 362nd Engineer Company, participated in urban search and rescue
training with the Fort Benning Fire Department and the Columbus USAR Team. They expertly executed missions that
exercised vehicle rescue, collapse structure, and rope rescue skills. In Camp Atterbury, they will validate months of USAR
training by conducting technical rescue missions in a CBRN environment while collaborating in a mass casualty scenario.
The 52nd Survey and Design Detachment is eagerly preparing for the Nogales Border Patrol Survey Mission. They will
conduct a road survey and design for extending a border patrol road near Nogales, AZ. This allows unhindered viewing of the
border area below, accounting for slope, culvert design, and erosion control. To prepare for this mission, Soldiers of the 52nd S Survey and Design Detachment conducted roadway surveys with the Trimble 5600 Survey sets, coordinated with Fort
Benning DPW Survey department to participate in R8 GPS refresher training. This is an excellent training opportunity for the
unit to deploy, execute a real world mission, and redeploy.
Jungle Cats! Forward!
C A S T L E T I M E S
C A S T L E T I M E S
P A G E 7
Friends and Family of ROCK,
The month of June was over before we knew it. The ROCK was extremely busy over the last thirty days. Your paratroopers have worked long days and nights preparing for missions. We routinely get selected by name to
accompany operational units. Your sons, husbands and loved ones have proven time and time again that they are the tip of the spear and the ones chosen when the mission requires the best. 1SG Latore and I could not be more proud. Over the last
few weeks we have worked hard and still found time to have fun and celebrate our successes. We have presented our ROCK Soldiers with hard earned and well deserved awards including Combat Action Badges, Good Conduct medals, Mechanic and Drivers badges. The ROCK
continues to lead the pack. Major General Abrams of 3rd Infantry Division and Colonel Adgie of 1st Armor Division personally named the 137th Sappers as the “Go To” Route Clearance Company in all of RC-South.
The platoons continue to impress. From the selfless dedication of the headquarters
and maintenance sections, to the commitment and resiliency of the route clearance pla-toons, the ROCK has never been stronger. 1st Platoon has been operating on all cylinders. Recently, they said goodbye to their platoon leader 1LT Garrett Beer and welcomed 1LT
Gavin White to assume control. 1LT White has been with the company for a year operat-ing the Company Intelligence Section and has made a seamless transition. For 2nd Platoon its business as usual. They continue shine among the rest of the battalion. Both 1st and 2nd
Platoon’s are leading the way. From the leaders to the Soldiers, mediocrity is not an option. Thank you again for the love and support you send daily to the ROCK. All or Nothing,
I Maintain the Right. CPT James Tenner
The Hammer Battalion has been hard at work over the last quarter as we just came
out of RESET in April. During this time, each of the companies conducted week long field
training exercises that tested the Soldiers by evaluating them mentally and physically, at
the same time building camaraderie within the unit. The battalion has also been diligently
getting all of their Soldiers qualified and properly trained on their assigned weapon
systems. Range weeks for different weapon systems were conducted each month to help
ensure every Soldier in the battalion were qualified.
During these summer months we look to take advantage of the beautiful upstate New York weather. It is during this time
that Fort Drums’ slogan of “The Army’s Best Kept Secret” is truly understood. The weather has been cooperating and has
made up for the bitter winter that seems to be a staple of the North Country. It is essential during this time that we remember
to be smart and be safe in everything we do, both on and off duty. With this beautiful warm weather, each company will be out
in the field conducting company and platoon level training events to evaluate their Soldiers. This training will culminate in a
battalion level field exercise that will take place in September.
This past quarter, we have had a couple changes of command. First to change out was
HHC with CPT Ryan Dunbar relinquishing command to CPT Anthony Armelino on 06 April.
On 31 May, FSC said goodbye to CPT Michael Carroll and welcomed CPT Joshua Lawrence.
We would like to thank the outgoing commanders for all of their hard work and dedication to
the 7th Engineer Battalion. At the same time we would like to welcome the incoming
commanders and wish them luck as they get their companies ready for our deployment next
spring. On a final note, we would like to wish the best to all of the Soldiers, friends and families of
the 7th Engineer Battalion, but particularly to the Soldiers and families of our 693rd Engineer
Company (Sapper) which is currently deployed to Afghanistan. We wish them a safe return in
July and we will continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers.
“FIGHT TO WIN”
307th En Bn
7th Engineer Battalion
P A G E 8
C A S T L E T I M E S
27th En Bn
19th Engineer Battalion The Seahorse Battalion put the pedal to the metal during 3rd Quarter, executing a difficult and busy schedule filled
with construction projects and training. The quarter kicked off in April with the Squad Designated Marksman
course featuring 40 Soldiers and NCOs from across the battalion. 76th Engineer Company (Vertical) continued to
execute high-profile construction projects by sending a team of Soldiers to Great Exuma, Bahamas for the
Coppertone Construction Project. Additionally, the battalion had the opportunity to play host to a platoon from
the 27th Engineer Battalion while participating in a Joint Operation. The 502nd Multi-Role Bridge Company
(MRBC) conducted a tactical river crossing, executing sling load operations on the Ohio River. Later in the month, the companies
went head-to-head to compete for the title of battalion champion during organizational week, playing such sports as volleyball,
ultimate football, and soccer. Headquarters company proudly claimed the title earning bragging rights for the next year.
May featured the Platoon Certification Exercise (CERTEX) in which the platoons and companies had trained for throughout the
year. The event began with Warrior Stakes, which challenged Soldiers and NCOs to complete various mission essential warrior tasks
while navigating the grueling terrain of Fort Knox. After completing Warrior Stakes, the battalion shifted into the Platoon CERTEX
where platoons executed missions such as Key Leader Engagements, Convoy Live Fire Exercises, and Dismounted Patrols. The
CERTEX helped to provide the battalion leadership with the current readiness of the battalion for the upcoming deployment.
Headquarters company conducted their Change of Command welcoming CPT Matthew K. McDaniel to the Company, and seeing
CPT Brian C. Dodd off to prepare to lead the 19th EN BN Rear Detachment during the battalion’s deployment. The 76th Engineer
Company (Vertical) sent a platoon to Fort Bragg to conduct construction, refurbishing and expanding existing buildings of the new
Fort Bragg Air Assault School. May ended with the companies enjoying Memorial Day Weekend and beginning the transition into
June began with the Forward Support Company Change of Command Ceremony welcoming CPT Matthew Mace to Command
and bidding farewell to CPT Adam DiGiovanni. The medics of the Seahorse
Battalion conducted Brigade Combat Team Trauma Training (BCT3) in
preparation for deployment. The month focused on recovery for the Battalion as
the companies enjoyed block leave and time home with friends and family.
However, prior to departing for leave, the Battalion defended its Post
Commander’s Cup title during Army Strong Days.
On 31 May 2013, the battalion held a Change of Command/Change of Responsibility ceremony between
the outgoing command team of LTC Michael Ellicott and CSM Josue Pinos and the incoming command team
of LTC TJ Moseley and CSM John D. Hankins. All the while, the Tigers have been training hard to prepare
for the upcoming JRTC rotation and assumption of our GRF mission.
In June, the battalion executed its Best Sapper competition. Fifty teams of two competed for the title of
“Best Sapper” in an event which included a 20K road march, modified APFT, urban orienteering, land navigation, demolitions,
weapons knowledge, and an airborne knowledge test. We recognized the winners and thanked our Families in an organizational
day at Rafferty Field. Also in June, the 161st Engineer Support Company and 102nd Sapper Company continued to hone their
skills while participating in the Joint Operational Access Exercise (JOAX) 13-03.
The 57th Sapper Company remains deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. We welcome the
919th Engineer Support Company (Airborne) to the Tigers and are anxiously
awaiting their arrival back to Fort Bragg from their mission in support of
Operation Enduring Freedom. Until that day, we keep them and all
deployed Soldiers in our thoughts and prayers.
All The Way! Airborne!
P A G E 9
C A S T L E T I M E S
83rd Civil Affairs Battalion From 25 April 2013 to 24 May 2013, the Soldiers of Charlie Company, 83rd Civil Affairs Battalion
had the honor of being the first Active Duty FORSCOM Civil Affairs unit to support a Joint Readiness
Training Center (JRTC) rotation. The company HQ, Civil Military Operations Center (CMOC), and
five, four-man Civil Affairs Teams (CATs) supported the 2nd Brigade, 1st Calvary Division. This training
opportunity provided valuable insight, not only the 83rd CA BN and 2/1 CAV, but also to the planners
and staff at the JRTC, as to the capabilities of a full Active Duty Civil Affairs company in support of a
Brigade Combat Team.
During the training rotation, the CMOC and CAT’s focused on identifying and affecting the key sources of instability within
their area of operations (AO), all while integrating into the staff and battle rhythm of the supported unit. Major events that
were supported during the rotation included a female Afghan Uniformed Police recruitment drive, District Council Elections,
and the closure of unoccupied bases throughout the AO. The teams actively engaged military, police and civil leaders from
the Provincial down to the local level and prepared unit commanders for critical engagements that shaped how the rotation
The company excelled not only in conducting Civil Affairs Operations (CAO), but also in providing medical support with
the company’s organic medics. The company’s medics easily distinguished themselves during mass casualty events. One
incident of note was when PFC Evan Nenkov and SFC Timothy Stehle successfully
“delivered” a baby, and provided proper treatment for the mother and baby at the field
clinic. The Observer Controller/Trainers (OC/Ts) commented that this was the first
time they had ever seen medics that were trained, equipped, and prepared for this sce-
nario. In all other rotations where this scenario had been implemented, the mother never survived, and the child often perished as well. C-Company showed they are pre-
pared for any mission.
CPT Aaron Hrabovsky, SGT Christopher
Maughan, and SPC Phyllis Brandon engage
with a local village leader during the Street
Level Engagement STX. 92nd En Bn Nearing the half way mark into the deployment, the 92nd Engineer Battalion Soldiers are running at full speed,
tearing down and literally leaving the Black Diamond symbol all over Southern Afghanistan. The 526th En Co is
sleeping under the stars with no luxuries of air condition, dining facilities or laundry in order to completely
deconstruct Forward Operation Bases. The 554th En Co deconstructed then reconstructed an impressive new
Tactical Operations Center, also known as the “Taj MaTOC.” This building is the pulse of the battalion and
because of their dedication and efforts, we will set the standard for CMRE operations in
Afghanistan. HHC’s S1 section is reviewing nearly 600 awards that recognize the valiant efforts of
all the Black Diamond Soldiers in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Reality hit home when
receiving the news that a 530th En Co Bloodhound lost his life while protecting his wife and home.
SPC Ortiz Jeremias was an honorable young man and defined what it meant to be a Soldier. FSC is
headed forward as several Soldiers were promoted to the Sergeant rank and others are furthering
their education, obtaining their Associates and Bachelor’s Degrees. An attached company, the 77th
En Co Outlaws, continue to dominate the basis. Mechanics have changed bulldozer tracks, dump
truck tires, hydraulic hoses, and more. Carpenters, plumbers, and electricians have deconstructed
walls, wire, and plumbing all over the country. The 984th En Co welcomed a new First Sergeant,
1SG Eric Smith. There is no doubt that he will have a positive impact and ensure the welfare of the Soldiers
and mission success.
The load team prepares to hook up a
container to be airlifted from Forward
Operating Base Hadrian to Kandahar
Airfield by a US Army CH-47 Chinook
from Task Force Knighthawk, 2-10
P A G E 1 0 V O L U M E 4 , I S S U E 4
Point of Contact
Point of Contact for the Newsletter
SPC Danielle Salley
Located in BDE S-1
We’re on Facebook
"Building Combat Power" is our business.
"Essayons" is our attitude. Let us try! We are
Army Strong with the spirit of Airborne!
Our mission is to provide proactive, timely,
and essential expeditionary engineer support to
the XVIII Corps, the Army, and when directed,
Joint and Special
BOSS BDE BOSS Representative
Point of Contact
Primary: SGT Ferencez Babinszki
Local in BDE S-3
Alternate: PFC Shelby Guarnieri
Local in BDE S-6
For more information about events occurring on Post or local surrounding