Did You Receive a Call About a Survey?

Fort A.P. Hill has contracted with Responsive Management to conduct a study in the surrounding area and communities to better understand residents’ awareness of and opinions on Fort A.P. Hill’s activities. Residents in the area may receive a phone call from Responsive Management asking them to participate in a brief telephone survey; selection of residents for participation is random to maintain a scientifically valid study. If you receive a call at home or on your cell phone, please consider participating in the study to assist Fort A.P. Hill in better understanding residents’ opinions and attitudes toward the installation’s impact on the area. If you have any questions about the study, please contact the Fort A.P. Hill Public Affairs Office, (804) 633-8120.

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Antiterrorism efforts are everyone’s responsibility, always

By Jason McLendon
U.S. Army Installation Management Command
Provost Marshal/Protection Office

As Antiterrorism Awareness Month winds to a close, it’s important to remember that vigilance is required year-round to protect ourselves from the global threat of terrorism.

“The awareness month program presented an opportunity to highlight the seriousness of this important topic given today’s threat environment,” said Dale Roth, chief, Protection Branch, U.S. Army Installation Management Command. “But it is always important to take extraordinary action to increase awareness across our Army communities worldwide, all year long.”

“The only way to prevent, protect, mitigate, respond and recover collectively and as individuals when faced with a hostile situation is to know what to watch for, and how to respond,” Roth explained.

“Our personnel must remain mindful of the potential circumstances that could develop,” he said, “placing them as a target of opportunity or consequential victim of a terrorist attack.”

Multiple attacks over the past year in both our homeland and abroad have resulted in increased force protection actions on our installations, but there still remains a need to remain vigilant and maintain an ever increasing awareness of activities around us. 

Threats may range from local criminal activity and insider threat actions to violent terrorists and radicalized active shooters to breaches in our security through the use of unmanned aerial systems or cyber-attacks. 

As individuals and units, we must synchronize awareness efforts to avoid circumstances that could increase risk of becoming a target, he said. For example, become current on all required antiterrorism and active shooter training, rehearse individual and collective response options, maintain high vigilance and awareness, and know when and how to report any suspicious activity.

“It is imperative that not only leaders but all Army personnel participate in AT Awareness activities year-round,” Roth stated. “We must be consistent in reinforcing the importance of protecting our Army communities against this ever-evolving and persistent terrorist threat.”

The online antiterrorism class at http://jko.jten.mil is not limited to uniformed personnel, and there is a “non-CAC holders” link on the training home page. Roth encourages spouses to take the class, and for parents to discuss what they’ve learned with children in an age-appropriate manner.

“Keeping us safe year round is everyone’s responsibility,” he said.

Original Story on Army CORE:  www.army.mil/article/173891

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Fort A.P. Hill offers first-rate ID card service

By David San Miguel
Public Affairs Officer

     True to Fort A.P. Hill’s legacy of offering first-rate service, the installation now boasts a fully operational DEERS ID card section to handle the needs of its customers.

     According to Deborah F. Bright, site security manager, the decision to establish an office here only made sense considering the distance from other military installations and the time needed to process changes through the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System.

     “We basically provide ID card service to all active duty and Reserve component service members to include their family members,” Bright said. “This service extends to Department of Defense employees, government contractors, military families, military/DOD retirees, and their respective widows/widowers.”

     DEERS is used by the defense department to update personnel records which identify and verifies specific benefits and privileges individuals may be entitled as indicated by Defense Finance and Accounting Services, she explained. Some of these benefits and privileges may include, entry onto a military installation, post exchange/commissary privileges, medical care provided or access to the government’s computer network.

     Located at the Visitors Control Center near the north gate entrance, individuals will find little trouble locating or accessing the building.

     We get a lot of retirees in this area because the facilities are handicap accessible and there’s virtually very little problem with traffic to and from the installation, Bright said.

     Unlike larger installations, the Fort A.P. Hill site is relatively easier to get to and, in most cases, appointment times average from 10 minutes to an hour depending on the circumstances, she said.

      Bright explained that sometimes, extended wait times may result from processing delays in scanning and emailing documents to the Human Resources Command at Fort Knox, Kentucky, before this office can complete the transaction and issue a card.

     “But a simple retiree card renewal or dependent ID issue probably takes just 15 minutes,” she said.

     To facilitate processing and reduce customer wait time, Bright employs the RAPIDS Appointment scheduling website at https://rapids-appointments.dmdc.osd.mil/ to schedule and manage appointments. There, the office location, hours of operation as well as available appointment days are posted for the individual’s convenience. In addition, the website outlines what documentation an individual needs to obtain a CAC card, update records or add an individual to DEERS.

     For those individuals not able to connect via the Internet, Bright said, “we do still accept walk-ins.”

     “Walk-ins, however, are handled on a first-come, first-serve basis,” she said. Nonetheless, she still advises individuals to call before coming into the office to determine wait time or to schedule an appointment. 

     For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (804) 633-8797.

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Aiming for a higher caliber: Developing future weapon systems for Marine Corps snipers

By Ashley Calingo
Marine Corps Systems Command

Every Marine is a rifleman, but a Marine sniper is not your average rifleman. Their “one-shot one-kill” mindset is heavily influenced by the precision weapons system they use.

The goal of equipping Marine snipers with a superior weapon system brought teams from Marine Corps Systems Command’s Infantry Weapons Systems and Marine Corps Scout Sniper Instructor School to Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, for a market research caliber study on a hot, muggy day in July.

“As the Marine Corps’ only systems command, it’s essential that we have Marine Corps snipers shooting and Marine Corps acquisition professionals collecting the data,” said Maj. Paul Gillikin, Special Purpose Weapons team leader for IWS. “This is a Marine Corps-driven event with Marines behind the guns, but we are still following along with SOCOM and other joint service programs. This data will inform our senior acquisition and requirements officials in buying the next rifle system.”

The goal of the caliber study was clear: to inform Marine Corps acquisition leaders about future Marine sniper weapon system requirements, while leveraging what is currently available in the marketplace. The sniper weapon system has three primary components — the projectile, the rifle and the optics. 

“You need to understand the application of the weapon system, then procure the system as a system,” said Gillikin. “If we want a weapon system capable of engaging targets at, say 1,500 meters, we need to find the right round — the right caliber — to shoot at that range. Once you find the round that best supports the criteria — the 1,500-meter target engagement — you build the rest of the system around it.  Even though we are assessing three calibers in this event, we are actively researching other nomenclatures to inform future system procurement.”

Gillikin and his team collected ballistic data on three different caliber projectiles: the .308 Winchester Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum and .338 Lapua Magnum — fired by Marine Corps snipers using different rifles at distances ranging from 900 to 1,500 meters to target. For each caliber round, the MCSC team determined the probability of snipers hitting the target at each distance. The six snipers participating in the caliber study routinely hit targets at distances greater than the current standing requirement for Marine Corps sniper rifles.

 

The snipers also had the opportunity to experience other calibers available across the Department of Defense, industry and those used by U.S. coalition partners, said Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Lalota, the staff noncommissioned officer in charge of the Scout Sniper Instructor School at Marine Corps Base Quantico.

“The event allowed us to see the capabilities and limitations of different calibers and compare them to our existing program of record,” said Lalota, who also participated in the event as a test sniper. “To be able to equip Marines with a weapon system that neutralizes threats in a higher caliber magnum cartridge would essentially save lives on the battlefield.”

When the next sniper rifle system will be acquired and fielded has yet to be determined.

Currently, Marines have the M40A6 sniper rifle, which uses the .308 WinMag. MCSC began fielding the M40A6 which offers better transportability, concealability and ergonomics than its predecessor to Marine snipers across the Corps in June.

The caliber research is an essential part of the overall acquisition cycle. These findings will be forwarded to the Marine Corps’ Combat Development and Integration Command, which writes requirements for new system procurements when determining Marine sniper weapon system attributes.

The ultimate beneficiaries of this research, of course, will be the Marine snipers.

“Marine snipers are taking shots way beyond what most infantry guys and riflemen do,” Gillikin said. “That’s why we select our snipers very carefully. It’s not something where you can give a guy a gun and an optic and tell him to go shoot at targets at great distance.”

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Fort A.P. Hill FMWR Flyer, August Edition.

The Fort A.P. Hill – Family and Morale, Welfare & Recreation August flyer is here! Check out this issue for all things F&MWR on Fort A.P. Hill with events in the local community.  Don’t for get to watch for your Army Athletes competing for an Olympic medal in Rio .The pool is open, movie nights are back and all-Summer paintball plans are available. Check out the Bulletin for the hottest deals on and off the Garrison. The long awaited Grand Opening of the lodge will be Aug 25 2016, Come check it out! More Commander Cup events this month as well.

 

Eligible Patrons include active duty Army, Department of the Army civilian employees, US Army Retirees, and members of the Army National Guard or Army Reserve (18 years or older). Family Members of the above groups, 18 years or older with a military/Government ID card are also eligible. Many MWR facilities and service are also available to all branches of service

 

 

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Fort A.P. Hill celebrates 75th Anniversary

By David San Miguel
Public Affairs Officer

Life on the farm was harsh. Days began before dawn and continued well into night. For the residents of Caroline County, Virginia, it was life – a life they etched out of the earth through hard times and good.

Still, life was simple. It had been that way since the mid-1700s when settlers first took root and began to farm the fertile Virginian soil.

In the spring of 1940, that life would change. The nation’s pending entrance into World War II would forever change the life and landscape of this once tranquil community.

Though President Franklin D. Roosevelt pledged to keep the United States out of the fight, events in Europe proved difficult to ignore. France had already fallen and England had come under siege by Adolph Hitler’s Third Reich.

Calls for America to enter the war could not be easily dismissed, and soon the War Plans Division of the Army General Staff developed a plan to raise a 4-million man Army to conduct simultaneous operations in the Pacific and European theaters. By July, the War Department had initiated a search to identify approximately 60,000 acres, independent of any post, and lying somewhere between the Potomac River and the upper Chesapeake Bay.

No one knows who suggested Caroline County as a site for heavy weapons and maneuver training facilities, but what is known is that Lt. Col. Oliver Marston, an artillery officer stationed in Richmond who was acting as an agent of the Third Corps Area commander, made a detailed investigation of the area in September 1940.

Seven months later, on April 5, 1941, the Army staff announced its decision to establish a 76,000-acre training camp in northeastern Caroline County.

On June 11, 1941, Camp A.P. Hill was established pursuant to War Department General Order No. 5; and almost overnight, military convoys moved in and troops set up camp. A strong military presence soon became commonplace.

          Named after Confederate Lt. Gen. Ambrose P. Hill, that presence is still felt today as the installation annually trains thousands of Army, Marine, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard personnel for military contingencies worldwide.

 

          Despite being uprooted from their farms, most residents accepted this land acquisition grudgingly, silently; others voiced their displeasure, but in the end, the majority complied for the common good of the nation. As a result, nearly one-third of the county’s families, farms, schools, churches, cemeteries, potato storage houses, grist mills and stores were appropriated by the Army.

In the book, Wealthy in Heart: Oral History of Life Before Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, Wright Durrett recalls how neighbors came together, pooled their resources and endured hardships.

“Dad farmed, and you better believe it, he made every inch productive,” she said. “He was a good farmer … dad would go up to his neighbors and mow the hay; his neighbors would come down and help him shuck corn, and it was that kind of a camaraderie among them down there.”

Such cooperation and respect for neighbor carried this agricultural community through the Great Depression, and it served them well when the nation called.

After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7 of that same year, the families closed ranks in full support of the war effort. Many, in fact, sacrificed their sons and daughters to serve in the military.

It is a sacrifice and service to the nation that has become their trademark – a heritage which has continued for every combat operation since, to include the Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict, Desert Storm and current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Today, Fort A.P. Hill boasts a reputation as the training destination of choice for all our military forces; and the veterans, the community and its leaders have all played a role in its success,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Q. Jordan, garrison commander, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort A.P. Hill.

He cited the command’s long record of achievement in the Army’s Communities of Excellence Award program, and its recent receipt of the Army Superior Unit Award.

“The training and resources Fort A.P. Hill provides undoubtedly supports, sustains and has saved the lives of our nation’s most valuable resource on the battlefield, the Soldiers of our great Army,” Jordan said.

“In fiscal year 2015, more than 58,000 warriors trained here. That is indicative of the value this installation provides in support of our nation’s warfighters,” he said. “It is our commitment to excellence and dedication, I envision will continue for the next 75 years.”

Editor’s Note: Quotes were taken from Wealthy in Heart: Oral History of Life Before Fort A.P. Hill, produced by the Cultural Resources Division of Paciulli, Simmons & Associates, Ltd., for the Department of the Army, Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia.

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Calling in backup; 2/8 Fox Co. trains for embassy reinforcement

II Marine Expeditionary Force
Story by Sgt. Michelle Reif

FORT A.P. HILL, Virginia — Throughout the world, U.S. embassies represent a small piece of American soil within a foreign nation. They serve as a home base from which ambassadors can conduct diplomatic affairs and act as a safe haven for the U.S. citizens residing overseas. Marine Security Guards are currently stationed at more than 150 embassies worldwide and carry the incredible task of keeping them safe for those who work within them. However, when the threat of violence and turmoil towards an embassy becomes rampant, backup is never more than a phone call away.

2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment conducted embassy reinforcement training at the Asymmetric Warfare Training Center at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, June 27-29, as part of their certification exercise for their upcoming deployment in support of Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force, Crisis Response,-Africa.

“Embassy reinforcement is basically where we take a force of Marines and supplement the existing security at the embassy as well as help out with any additional security needs,” said 1st Lt. Daniel Deminski, the Embassy Reaction Force platoon commander with Fox Company.
 
The Asymmetric Warfare Training Center is home to an exceptionally realistic training site, which contains a five-story embassy building, a working train and subway station, and multiple other buildings such as a church, synagogue, day care center and fire department. The site also employs more than a hundred role-players to act as local citizens for the Marines to interact with.

“The role players are here to make it as realistic as possible so that the Marines are really getting some good training,” Deminski said. “When the Marines are manning their security posts, they can get the real feeling of these actors that can actually speak the language and are acting aggressively.”

The training began with the platoon arriving at the embassy via aerial insert from a MV-22 Osprey. Once on the ground, the Marines made their way through a crowd of curious civilians to the embassy gate.

The training scenario that followed involved unsatisfied locals attempting to enter the embassy grounds illegally. The Marines were forced to take action and detain the civilians before the adversaries could rebel. Later in the day, a simulated mob swarmed the gate in retaliation. The unruly crowd chanted and hammered against the fence hoping to prompt a reaction from the Marines impassively standing watch on the other side. Despite the jeers and thrown bricks, the Marines never wavered in their resolve.

“If there is any civil unrest in the area or if there is any danger of an embassy to be overrun or anything of that sort, we get sent in to reinforce it, to beef it up,” said Cpl. Charles White, a squad leader with the unit. “We train for any situation that may come up such as riots, mass casualties or shooters.”

An important aspect of the training for the platoon was the opportunity to train alongside Marine Security Augment Unit personnel. MSAU Marines serve as a pre and post crisis security force to supplement MSG units. During the training exercise, the Marines gained valuable insight and knowledge from the experiences MSAU had to offer.

“The biggest thing that I want the Marines to come out of here with is the feeling that they have conducted some real training that will actually be used in the deployment,” Deminiski said. “This is stuff that we might actually be called upon to do when we deploy. This is some very realistic training in an awesome facility and we have excellent role players that make it feel like we are actually reinforcing an embassy.”


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