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

 

 

Posted in Family and MWR, Garrison news | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Garrison news | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.”


Posted in Garrison news, Military Training, US Army news | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Want to ‘catch them all?’ Keep safety, security in mind with AR games

Amy Perry, Production/News Assistant Editor
USAG Fort Lee

In the last week, a new augmented reality game for smartphones has flooded social media streams – from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram. Pokémon Go is the talk of the town.

The free game – released July 9 – reportedly has more daily users than Twitter. It involves hunting for the little creatures while walking or driving.

Even on Fort Lee, hunters can find new pets, Pokéstops and Pokémon gyms to progress in their game. Once the application is downloaded for an Android or Apple product, users will see various points of interest to collect items or engage in battles for experience and ownership of a gym.

Pokegym2

In Pokemon Go, players can visit real-world locations to fight other creatures, like this gym located at Memorial Chapel. At least four gyms are located on Fort Lee, and the community is reminded to be careful of using their phones when it appears like they are taking photos of restricted locations.

However, anyone playing this game – or any game that sends them wandering around – should be aware of where they are going and what they are trying to do.

“Playing these types of games can pose a serious safety concern if people aren’t paying attention to their surroundings,” said Maj. Joe Tull, Post Provost Marshal. “Also, it’s against Fort Lee policy to use a phone while driving, even if you’re not talking on it. You can get ticketed for that.”

Additionally, walking around with a phone in the air can appear like someone is taking photographs on the installation, Tull said. Some locations here – like those that support infrastructure, high-risk target locations, key command posts and headquarters buildings, arms and ammunition storage areas, medical facilities, or restricted sites that includes training areas or communications equipment – are off-limits for photography and require pre-authorization for anyone who wants to take a photo.

However, unofficial or personal photography is authorized for residents, personnel and other DOD-identification cardholders at recreational activities and facilities, family housing areas, military billets, official military functions, and events open to the general public. For more information on the Fort Lee photography policy, visit http://www.lee.army.mil/about/policy.letters.aspx.

“If you’re walking around and it seems like you’re taking photos, you may be reported to PMO and an officer may ask for your phone to see if any photos have been taken,” Tull said. “We do get calls when people are seen taking photos of training or restricted areas.”

Tull also said community members should be aware of their actions while playing these games.

“If you’re walking behind the commissary, main exchange or one of the banks, for example, that could look suspicious because people aren’t expected in those areas,” he said. “You may get stopped and questioned in these instances.”

For those who keep in mind these safety and security issues, there are special spots on the installation where people can find Pokémon battles and items to collect. While there are a smattering of Pokéstops scattered around the installation – near the post office, Anzio Annie, the Ordnance Bridge and the railcar on the Ordnance Campus – the best spot to grab several at once is near the Petersburg National Battlefield entrance on Fort Lee and close to the Quartermaster Museum and Army Women’s Museum. There are at least two Pokéstops and one gym near the battlefield and nine Pokéstops and a gym near the museums.

Additionally, there are three other gyms scattered around the installation. One is at Memorial Chapel on Sisisky. However, the other two are in locations that are either public infrastructure or a barracks facility, which is limited to Marines in ordnance training. Players should avoid venturing into those areas.

Collected a rare Pokémon? Share it on the Traveller Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ftleetraveller.

 

Pokestop1

There are several Pokestops located on the installation, including this one at the Petersburg National Battlefield entrance on Mahone.

GAME TIPS

Pokéballs are not endless – practice your aim and try not to lose your ability to capture more Pokémon.

Need more Pokéballs? Visit Pokéstops and click on the icon when it turns into a bullseye. Spin the bullseye and you’ll get a variety of items, including Pokéballs, revive potions, incense and experience.

Capturing a Pokémon more than once gives you items to upgrade the creature with – vital if you want to take on a gym held by an opposing team.

Got an egg and you’re not sure what to do? Click on the Pokéball in the bottom center, then on the Pokémon icon. Click out the eggs portion at the top to see what eggs you have waiting to hatch. Click on one to incubate it, and remember, you have to walk to unlock them – just don’t stare at your phone while doing it!

Posted in Family and MWR | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fort A.P. Hill – Family and Morale, Welfare & Recreation July Bulletin

APHillFMWRJuly2016

The Fort A.P. Hill – Family and Morale, Welfare & Recreation July Bulletin is here! Check out this issue for all things F&MWR on Fort A.P. Hill with events in the local community. 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.

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

Posted in Family and MWR, Garrison fitness | Leave a comment

Fort A.P. Hill recognized as community of excellence

By David San Miguel

In what has become a legacy of success, Fort A.P. Hill has once again been recognized as one of the Army’s top installations during an Army Communities of Excellence Awards ceremony held at the Pentagon, May 24.

Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley hosts the Army Communities of Excellence Awards Ceremony, May 24, 2016 in the Pentagon Auditorium.

Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley hosts the Army Communities of Excellence Awards Ceremony, May 24, 2016 in the Pentagon Auditorium. (Sgt. Alicia Brand/Released)

Including this year’s Bronze award, it is the eighth time the installation has ranked in the annual ACOE competition.

Gen. Mark A. Milley, chief of staff of the Army, presented the award to Col. David A. Meyer, garrison commander, and several representatives from the installation and the community.

“Our garrison commanders and awardees today are not only recognized for the excellence that they bring for the garrisons they represent, but they are also being recognized for what they do outside the fort,” the general said.

Milley added that it’s a necessity driven by the Army’s demographics.

Sixty percent of today’s Soldiers are married, have children and reside off the installation, he said. It’s vitally important for garrison commanders and their staffs to be actively engaged with the surrounding communities.

“It’s not just for excellence and quality of life, it’s really a direct and causal contributor to the readiness of our force,” he said.

 “If our families are taken care of, if they have the medical care, the education, the housing… and so forth. If they have all that, then the probability is that our Soldiers are going to focus in on the job at hand,” Milley said. “That is so fundamental to readiness.”

Thus, the ACOE program was established in 1987 to help installations improve their processes to meet these and any future challenges.

Dianne Smith, acting chief for Plans, Analysis and Integration Office, said the ACOE program uses the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program Criteria for Performance Excellence to evaluate competing installations.

It evaluates and recognizes installations for their continuous business process improvement, and dedication to efficiency, effectiveness and customer service in providing support to Soldiers and all those who train, work, live and participate in on post recreational activities, she said.

Part of that process includes evaluating the installation’s leadership, strategic planning, customer service, process management and a host of other categories, but most importantly, results achieved.

“In every case, they got results,” Milley said. “So they are setting the standard for the quality of life we expect for all of our Soldiers and families. They’re setting a standard for the Army as a whole.

“It’s all about continuous process improvement,” Smith added. “We continuously evaluate the effectiveness of our processes, everything from leadership, strategy, workforce and operations with a focus on providing excellence in facilities and services in support of Soldiers and the Army community.

“This is the way we run our installation,” she said. “The competition is secondary!”

Meyer attributes the post’s success to the 325 employees who carry out their mission at Fort A.P. Hill in support of the military.

“It really is a testament to the workforce – their hard work and perseverance,” he said.

Posted in Garrison news | Leave a comment

475th Quartermaster Group Hone their Skills as Petroleum Specialists

FORT A.P. HILL, Virginia, UNITED STATES
06.14.2016
Video by Spc. Ashland Ferguson
372nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Army Reserve Soldiers with the 475th Quartermaster Group hone their craft by purifying petroleum brought in for the Quartermaster Liquid Logistics Exercise. Includes soundbites from Sgt. Chiag Patel, petroleum lab specialist, 475th Quartermaster Group, and Spc. Matthew Hennessey, petroleum lab specialist, 475th Quartermaster Group.

Posted in Garrison news | Leave a comment