Thoughts while working out in the gym
Maj. Gen. Dana J. H. Pittard,
1st AD and Fort Bliss Commanding General:
1/1 AD, CAB, and 47th Trans. Co. are Prepared to Deploy
Team Bliss is sending three of its best units to Kuwait and Afghanistan. The entire installation is supporting 1st Brigade, the Combat Aviation Brigade, and the 47th Transportation Company as they finalize their preparation for deployment.
First Brigade, 1AD continues to prepare its Soldiers, leaders, and families for its winter deployment to southern Afghanistan. This week, the brigade and battalion leaders are attending a great workshop on the politics and culture of the region of Afghanistan to which they are headed.
Meanwhile, 2-3 FA and 3-41 IN are wrapping up their battalion-level training this week while the rest of the brigade is packing containers for shipment into Afghanistan. The “Ready First” brigade also held a pre-deployment fair, ensuring all families are informed and prepared for the unit’s departure. This weekend, the brigade will cheer on Spc. Kyle Butler and Pfc. Jeff Cassel, as they depart for Washington, D.C., to compete in the Army Ten Miler.
Like 1st Bde., our CAB will depart Fort Bliss for Afghanistan this winter while sending one battalion on a separate mission to Kuwait. In preparation for their mission, the Iron Eagles sharpened their combat skills at NTC and JRTC this summer. Additionally, the brigade’s Apache helicopters conducted over-water training in Ellington, Texas, in August.
This week, the CAB is training hard, engaging in aerial gunnery and Hellfire missile ranges. This weekend, the brigade is cheering on 1st Lts. Maia Paris and Ashely Ehasz, as they head to Washington to represent Team Bliss and the CAB in the Army Ten Miler.
Meanwhile, the 47th Trans. Co., 142nd Combat Sustainment Support Bn., 15th Sustainment Bde. is readying to deploy to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. In preparation, the 47th TC has conducted weapons ranges, Family Readiness Group briefings, and Individual Readiness Training.
Throughout the training, some of the company’s great Soldiers and leaders, such as Spc. Willie Dickworth and Sgt. 1st Class Dominique Bobiles, demonstrated their worth to the team. Spc. Dickworth received 100 percent first-time “GOs” in every single training requirement. He shot expert on all weapons system and coached his fellow Soldiers on weapons qualification. Sgt. 1st Class Bobiles, the company’s senior truck master, coordinated and designed the company’s individual readiness training program, ensuring that the entire company is ready for deployment.
The company’s training will conclude with a Situational Training Exercise at McGregor Range next week that will serve as their deployment-certifying exercise.
Staff Delegation Visit
Congressional staffers representing nearly 60 members of Congress visited Fort Bliss last week to observe daily life here and participate in training with 1st AD and Team Bliss Soldiers. Soldiers from 212th Fires Bde., along with leadership from the division, put together a great itinerary for these staffers, and allowed them to observe that the future is here at Fort Bliss.
Over the course of three days, the staffers conducted an air assault movement to an urban village replicating the environment in Afghanistan, held a Q&A session with some of our best Soldiers, conducted Physical Readiness Training, and tested their marksmanship skills on an M4 range. The congressional staffers also met with 1st Brigade’s Female Engagement Team and visited the Counter IED Integration Cell for a first-hand look at the techniques and technology used in Afghanistan to protect the force from IED’s. It was an overall great visit.
Governor Rick Perry Visit
Last week, Texas Governor Rick Perry visited Team Bliss to see our great Soldiers and our installation’s training capabilities. During his visit, Governor Perry received an update on the Fort Bliss expansion and Net Zero projects. The governor witnessed some of our world-class training facilities and observed a briefing on our partnership with Joint Task Force-North. Team Bliss thanks Governor Perry for taking time out to visit our Soldiers and post.
Environmental Campaign Plan Tip of the Week
As we continue along our environmental campaign plan, we are taking active measures to reduce our carbon footprint by examining the full spectrum of renewable energy platforms. Our most successful initiatives thus far are with our transition to solar energy. Once complete, the solar arrays we are developing in the Fort Bliss housing developments will become the largest solar projects in any housing area in our Army and will pay for themselves through the installation’s reduced utility bills. We are moving closer to achieving our goal of reducing our carbon footprint and becoming completely self-sufficient in energy as an installation by 2018, but we need your help.
This week’s advice is focused on the workplace. In the office kitchen, avoid using paper plates and plastic utensils by providing reusable dishes and utensils. Paper plates and plastic utensils are wasteful and, unlike office paper and newsprint, cannot be recycled because they are contaminated with food residue.
The logging associated with paper plates a tremendous burden on our forests and the wildlife that relies on trees for food and shelter. Further, the pulp used for paper plates depends on virgin wood-based fibers which must be bleached with hazardous chlorine compounds. When these plates are bleached at large manufacturing sites, large amounts of these harmful compounds are released into the ecosystem.
Whether you work on Fort Bliss or in El Paso, whether you are a Soldier, a retiree, or a civilian, let your co-workers know that you’re making this one simple change to reduce your impact on the environment. Move away from paper plates and go with sustainable dishes and utensils.
Resiliency Tip of the Week: Courage, Understanding and Acceptance
As we continue to develop a culture wherein seeking help is a strength, our leaders and Soldiers have found success in stopping their fellow Soldiers from ending their lives. They do so by listening to the signs and asking the hard questions. With Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, we teach a simple skill that makes asking the hard questions a lot easier, and we cultivate an attitude of understanding and acceptance. With the ASIST techniques, the person at risk feels safe to talk and is willing to take the next step to get help without being judged. This past week I am happy to report that we at Team Bliss trained 168 personnel who are ready, willing and able to help fellow Soldiers who may be suffering. Keep looking out for each other. It is no accident that Fort Bliss has one of the lowest suicide rates of any major FORSCOM installation. You are making a difference and saving lives – keep it up!
Everyone on Fort Bliss and in El Paso has an opportunity to communicate their concerns, complaints, and suggestions to me and the Fort Bliss Command Group through my hotline. While the CG’s hotline is not a substitute for the chain-of-command, I can assure you that any call placed to my hotline will receive the attention of me and my staff. Call 744-IRON any time of the day or night and you will be greeted by an Iron Soldier trained to provide you with information or receive your complaint or compliment. Everyone who calls the hotline will be treated with dignity and respect. All calls are reported to my staff and me and followed up on. Call 744-IRON to make your voice heard at the CG’s hotline.
Army Ten Miler
This Sunday Washington, D.C. will play host to the Army’s biggest athletic competition. Team Bliss is set for the Army Ten Miler, with three teams representing the installation. Our men’s, women’s, and master’s (age 40 and over) teams have been training since July. All of our athletes are in “race week,” mode; ready to let the adrenaline take over on Sunday. I fully expect all of our teams to finish in the top three in their respective divisions. Particularly, I expect a big race out of two of our hardest-training runners: Spc. Stephen Czupryna from HHBN, 1AD and Sgt. Melody Wright from the 93rd MP Bn. I will be running the Army Ten Miler myself and I look forward to a great run and a great time.
Well, back to the gym!
Be combat ready, be fit, be resilient and be Iron Strong!
Iron Soldiers – A Bias For Action!
Short URL: http://fbmonitor.com/?p=16247