EOD Warrior Foundation Polar Bear Plunge

Fort A.P. Hill Soldiers with the McMahon EOD Training Center braved frigid temperatures to support the EOD Warrior Foundation at its 9th Annual Polar Bear Plunge, Feb. 6.

Despite a last minute change in venue from the Fredericksburg city docks to the James Monroe High School parking lot, the Soldiers and their military and civilian counterparts were able to raise more than $16,000 to support the foundation.

The EOD Warrior Foundation provides financial assistance and support to active-duty and veteran wounded, injured or ill EOD warriors, as well as to the families of those wounded and fallen EOD warriors. The foundation also maintains the EOD memorial located at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

To check out the photos, to to our Flickr.

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Wounded Warriors gather for annual deer hunt

By Michael Meisberger

Soldiers from the Fort Belvoir Warrior Transition Unit converged on Fort A.P. Hill for the 11th annual 2-day Wounded Warrior Deer Hunt, Dec. 11-12. Garrison volunteers, along with tenant units, such as the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Training Center, the Asymmetric Warfare Training Complex, and several local businesses, especially Pop’s Shop, the Association of the United States Army, and Mayor David Storke, Bowling Green, Virginia, made this hunt an unforgettable experience for the Warriors.

Soldiers from the Fort Belvoir Warrior Transition Unit gather for a group photo before heading out to their deerstands.

Soldiers from the Fort Belvoir Warrior Transition Unit gather for a group photo before heading out to their deerstands. Photo by Michael Meisberger

This year’s hunt was a tremendous success with eight wounded Warriors harvesting 10 deer, said Command Sgt. Maj. Ho. He made it a point to present Russell Harvey, owner, Pop’s Shop with a commander’s coin, for providing each Warrior with coolers of  professionally processed meat as he had for all the previous hunts. He also thanked all the behind-the scene efforts of the garrison volunteers as well as the Directorate of Family,
Morale, Welfare and Recreation staff for offering use of the new Hilltop cabins, cookers, and who provided various meals for the hunters, guides and support team throughout their stay here.

“This year we really have had a great time,” stated Steve Delovich, AUSA. “I have done 14 of these hunts and they just keep getting better and better.”

Steve Delovich, AUSA, and Russell Harvey, Pop’s Shop, review the check cards that the hunters will take home with their processed deer meat.

Steve Delovich, AUSA, and Russell Harvey, Pop’s Shop, review the check cards that the hunters will take home with their processed deer meat. Photo by Michael Meisberger.

Lance Didlake, range control officer, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, said that this was the smoothest hunt yet by far. “So many volunteers and directorates came together to provide what was needed,” he said. Something he credits
to Ho who he says provided top-notch coordination and motivation.

The sergeant major really pulled everyone together to create the best Wounded Warrior Hunt to date, Didlake said.

Madelaine Perrotte, DPTMS, Stacey Clingan, EOD, and Marsha Beazley, DPW, prepare burgers and hotdogs for the hunters and guides. They were part of the volunteer staff who supported the hunters throughout their stay at Fort A.P. Hill. This, according to Command Sgt. Maj. W. Alex Ho, garrison command sergeant major, helped make this an unforgettable hunting experience for the wounded Warriors.

Madelaine Perrotte, DPTMS, Stacey Clingan, EOD, and Marsha Beazley, DPW, prepare burgers and hotdogs for the hunters and guides. They were part of the volunteer staff who supported the hunters throughout their stay at Fort A.P. Hill. This, according to Command Sgt. Maj. W. Alex Ho, garrison command sergeant major, helped make this an unforgettable hunting experience for the wounded Warriors. Photo by Michael Meisberger

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Volunteers help cleanup, repair historic buildings

Fort A.P. Hill Environmental and Natural Resources Division conducted a clean-up and repair project at three storage buildings in the Travis Lake Historic District. According to John Mullin, manager, Cultural Resource, these buildings are listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and are eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. The buildings are centered on an 18th/19th century impounded lake that were initially constructed to support a mill. Travis Lake briefly supported winter encampments during the Civil War, and in the 1930s it became the focus of a recreational lodge that was constructed only a few years prior to the installation’s establishment.

John Mullin instructs a team of volunteers on the proper way to saw a board.

John Mullin instructs a team of volunteers on the proper way to saw a board. Photo by David San Miguel

Today, Travis Lake serves as a recreational area and wildlife refuge, with lodging available in the historic buildings and several modern cabins. The team of volunteers were comprised of Boy Scouts, installation staff and their families.

Following the cleanup, the team was briefed on the role of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act on federal lands and given a tour of the Historic District and nearby Liberty Church.

Several installation employees volunteered to assist with the cleanup and repair.

Several installation employees volunteered to assist with the cleanup and repair. Photo by David San Miguel.

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Noise management at Fort A.P. Hill

If you live in Caroline, Essex, Spotsylvania, Stafford or King George Counties, you likely have heard sounds of military training at Fort A.P. Hill, Marine Corps Base Quantico or the Dahlgren Naval Base. You may have heard low-flying Air Force C-130 aircraft or had windows rattled as an Army helicopter passed near your home. If you live along the southern boundary of Fort A.P. Hill, you may have heard small caliber weapons firing or you may have noticed window vibrations that coincided with sounds of artillery firing…Fort AP Hill Noise Citizens Guide

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U.S. Army Garrison Fort A.P. Hill loses a leader, friend and mentor

 Robert T. “Bob” Wright, 68 of Bowling Green, Va. passed away Monday Jan. 19, 2015 at his home. Born in Massachusetts, he served as the Deputy Commander of U.S. Army Garrison Fort A.P. Hill in Caroline County.


Robert T. “Bob” Wright, 68 of Bowling Green, Va. passed away Monday Jan. 19, 2015 at his home. Born in Massachusetts, he served as the Deputy Commander of U.S. Army Garrison Fort A.P. Hill in Caroline County.

Robert T. “Bob” Wright, 68 of Bowling Green, Va. passed away Monday Jan. 19, 2015 at his home. Born in Massachusetts, he served as the Deputy Commander of U.S. Army Garrison Fort A.P. Hill in Caroline County. Prior to being selected for Fort A.P. Hill Mr. Wright served as a Senior Specialist for the Regional Installation Support Team (RIST) with Atlantic Region of the Installation Management Command at Fort Eustis, Va. His specialty included working on the team that built Garrison organizations for Army Material Command installations that were being transferred to Installation Management Command. He also planned and conducted Region Team building staff rides to Civil War battle sites.
Prior to his assignment with Atlantic Region, Mr. Wright served as the Garrison Manager of Torii Station, Okinawa, Japan. Mr. Wright had direct oversight of seven U.S. Army installations and more than 5,000 Soldiers, family members and Retirees who lived on Okinawa. His job also included interaction with local Japanese Government Officials and daily interaction with the senior Mission Commander.
Before being assigned to Japan Mr. Wright was the Deputy Garrison Commander at Pohakuloa Training Area, a 138,000-acre training and range complex on Hawaii Island. Prior to serving at Pohakuloa he served a four-year tour as the Deputy Garrison Commander at Camp Hialeah in Pusan South Korea.
Before he returned to government service as an Army Civilian he worked in various jobs following his retirement from Active Duty service.
Mr. Wright retired from the Army in 1994 at the rank of Colonel. He began his Army career as an enlisted Soldier; among his enlisted assignments is a tour as a Drill Sergeant. Mr. Wright later attended Armor Officer Candidate School at Fort Knox, Ky. and was commissioned a second lieutenant. During his officer career he served in Joint Staff assignments in the Continental United States, Panama and South Korea. He commanded two Armored Cavalry Troops, an Air Assault Infantry Battalion, a Basic Combat Training Company, a student company at the U.S. Army War College and served as an Armored Cavalry Squadron Executive Officer. His combat experience includes three tours in Vietnam as a Tank Platoon Leader, a Tank Company Executive Officer and as a senior advisor to both a Vietnamese Armored Cavalry Squadron in the 1st Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 33rd Vietnamese Ranger Battalion (Airborne). Colonel (Ret.) Wright’s military decorations include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, three Purple Hearts, four Army Commendation Medals, three with “V” Device for Valor, and two Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry.
He is survived by his wife, Victoria Kim Wright. A funeral service will be held Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 at 2 p.m. in the chapel of Storke Funeral Home, Bowling Green. The family will receive friends at the funeral home, one hour prior to the service and will also host a reception following the service. Burial, with military honors, will occur at a later date in Wiscasset, Maine. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.storkefuneralhome.com.

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‘Know thy enemy’ Army Reserve, active duty OPFOR team enhance skills

by Maj. Sean Casey
78th Training Division

1/20/2015 – FORT A.P. HILL, Va. — Soldiers from the 78th Training Division and 101st Airborne Division join together to act as the Opposing Force (OPFOR) helping facilitate the 78th Training Division’s Warrior Exercise (WAREX) “Arctic Lightning” at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, Jan. 10 to Jan. 31.

Sunlight breaks through the upper canopy of the tree line bringing a glimpse of physical comfort to January’s frigid early morning moments before the OPFOR soldier breaks the silence and initiates his attack. The OPFOR’s mission this day is to ambush a U.S. convoy to test the convoy soldiers’ abilities to react correctly to a complex attack consisting of an IED and small-arms fire.

78th soldiers, who’ve had a lot of experience as OPFOR, taught us about threat behaviors, equipment and tactics, which can helps us learn more about the enemy, said Capt. Jeff Tolbert, commander of the 101st Airborne Division’s Charlie Company, 1-327 Infantry Regiment. “We’ve had an easy time integrating into the 78th’s OPFOR cell and have well a running team.”

Tolbert’s soldiers from Fort Campbell, Ky. teamed up with soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 3rd Operations Brigade, 78th Training Division from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. The division’s mission is to organize and host WAREX’s and Combat Support Training Exercises (CSTX) to train and assess U.S. Army Reserve units as they progress through the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) cycle.

“I’d rather units experience these threats here in a training environment first,” said Maj. Robin Islam, a commander from 3-329 Regiment, 3rd Operations Brigade, 78th Training Division. Islam’s mission during “Arctic Lightning” is to think like the enemy and organize his soldiers and role players to make the training as realistic as possible for units.

The 78th Training Division, along with other similarly organized units from the National Training Center or Joint Readiness Training Center, use Decisive Action Training Environment (DATE) 2.1, essentially a playbook for exercise planners to develop a scenario that’s highly likely to exist in the real world, Islam said.

Noncommissioned officers under Islam’s command underwent specific training at an academy that teaches soldiers about “hybrid” variables in geographic regions throughout the world. These variables range from loosely organized guerrilla forces and criminal organizations to foreign populations organized by cultural norms. DATE 2.1 is based on current intelligence, and injects a myriad of challenges for training units to face while simulating a real-world operational environment.

Organizing and acting as the OPFOR not only provides units training value, but provides the OPFOR soldiers a great training experience.

“Plenty of the soldiers in my and Capt. Tolbert’s command have witnessed and experienced real-world threats we’re simulating,” Islam said. “By having these soldiers already knowing our own tactics and, now, an increased understanding of the enemy’s tactics, they can be an even more flexible and effective combat leader.”

“Arctic Lightning” has approximately 4,000 service members, mainly from the U.S. Army Reserve, training on four military installations; Fort A.P. Hill, Va., Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, and Joint Readiness Training Center, La. The exercise also incorporates numerous aviation and special operations units from the active duty Army, along with units from the U.S. Navy Reserve.

“It’s been a phenomenal experience mixing the expertise of our soldiers in the Army Reserve with the experience and knowledge of the soldiers from the 101st,” Islam said.

Pfc. Jonathan Elledge and Pfc. Ryan Williams from Charlie Company, 1-327 Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, egress from their fighting positions during a simulated ambush on Fort A.P. Hill, Va., Jan. 16, 2015. The soldiers provide realistic encounters to units as they operate in a simulated operation environment. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Phillip Scaringi/Released)

Pfc. Jonathan Elledge and Pfc. Ryan Williams from Charlie Company, 1-327 Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, egress from their fighting positions during a simulated ambush on Fort A.P. Hill, Va., Jan. 16, 2015. The soldiers provide realistic encounters to units as they operate in a simulated operation environment. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Phillip Scaringi/Released)

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