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Crosswire TheIssue 6 | July 22, 2012 Official Newsletter of the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat TeamBrigade Special Troops Battalionbrings specialized skills to the fightBy Lt. Col. Jeff Camp, to a battalion, all of these com- cannot maximize its effective-Commander, 33rd BSTB manders worked directly for the ness without highly trained and Over the last decade the Army brigade commander. By form- motivated soldiers.has transitioned into a more mod- ing a battalion, the burden on The BSTB contains over 60ular fighting force. One of the the brigade commander of com- different military occupationalmajor changes occurring during manding four battalions and four specialties (MOS). Soldiers in of these Soldiers attend morethis period was the inception of separate companies was lessened the BSTB span throughout all than one annual training a year.the Brigade Special Troops Bat- to five battalions. The Soldiers of Illinois; from Machesney Thanks to our highly motivatedtalion (BSTB). Many soldiers benefitted because they now had Park near the Wisconsin border and dedicated soldiers, the BSTBhave no idea what the BSTB a battalion that they belonged to to Carbondale near the Missouri provides the highest level of com-does and why it exists. and a complete headquarters that border. Some of the MOS train- bat multipliers to ensure that the The BSTB is very similar to could process all administrative ing is so specialized that they take 33D IBCT can fight and win onthe Marine Corps Headquarters requirements for them; freeing over one year to complete. Many any battlefield, at any time. nBattalion in that we include the them up to focus on their careerBrigade Headquarters and the development and training. Theother units that are too small to brigade commander became ablewarrant their own battalion. In to focus on fighting the brigade.the pre-911 configuration, each But what does all this reallybrigade had three separate com- mean? During the transforma-panies; these were the Engineer, tion, the BSTB was fielded withthe Signal, and the Military state of the art equipment to in-Intelligence companies. Each clude tactical unmanned aerialof these companies were com- systems, joint network nodes,manded by a captain except the trojan spirit, armored securitybrigade headquarters which was vehicles, prophets, and the lat-commanded by a major. est engineer equipment. Al- Since each of these sepa- though this listing of equipmentrate companies did not belong is impressive, the equipmentEngineers dig in artillery Spc. Jose L. Cardenas of Bensenville, Company A, 33rd Brigade Spe-by: Sgt. Jesse Houk, 139th Mobile role in our operations,” said cial Troops Battalion, operates a High Mobility Engineer ExcavatorPublic Affairs Detachment Capt. Dustin W. Cammack, 1 July 16 as he digs a trench in which a generator for a field artillery commander, Btry A, 1st. Bn., unit will be placed. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jesse Houk/released) Soldiers from Company A, 122nd FA. “It’s the first time33rd Brigade Special Troops that we’ve used them in this to combine their expertise andBattalion partnered with Battery kind of capacity. They’ve been to operate at full capacity like in In this issueA, 2nd Battalion, 122nd Field able to dig our fighting positions a wartime environment.Artillery Regiment July 18 dur- as well as our battery defense “We are one team with thising the Army National Guard’s field artillery unit right now,” Specialized units bring power and holes for our generators. page 2-3eXportable Combat Training It’s been a really big help.” said Sgt. Willard J. Baker of Pon-Capability (XCTC) and proved XCTC has allowed many tiac, Ill. with Co. A, 33rd BSTB. Armored Knight lethalityto be a valuable asset. units who normally have lim- “And that’s paramount because page 4 “They’ve played an integral ited interaction with each other they can do their job better when continued on page 4 Page 1
Specialized units multiply combat powerSoldiers with Company B, 33rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion Pfc. John Hartseil of Washington, Ill. with Co. B, 33rd BSTB waits(BSTB) based in Peoria, Ill. prepare a RQ-7B drone for launch for the OK to launch an RQ-7B Shadow drone July 12 at CampJuly 19 at Camp Ripley, Minn. The drones can fly up to six hours Ripley, Minn. The RQ-7B Shadow can be flown manually or pro-and send real-time video surveillence back to their operators. grammed to visit a series of pre-determined locations for sur-(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Dustin Harlow/released). veillance. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Allison Lampe/released) Pvt. Ryan D. Rodriguez of Rockford and Spc. Joshua J. Goudy also of Rockford with Headquarters and Headquarters Compa- ny, 33rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion based in Machesney Park fix a broken generator July 21 at Camp Ripley, Minn. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Allison Lampe/released) “Thanks to our highly motivated and dedicated soldiers, the BSTB provides the highest level of combat multipliers to en- sure that the 33D IBCT can fight and win on any battlefield, at any time.” Lt. Col. Jeff Camp, Commander, 33rd Brigade Special Troops BattalionCadet Harry D. Lanpher of Carbondale, Ill., Sgt. Dustin L. Har-low of St. Louis, Mo., Spc. Zach L. Jahns of Glencarbon and Spc.Dennis R. Blevins of Belville, Ill. with Company C, 33rd Brigade Spc. Raymond B. Georg, Satellite Transport Terminals (STT) op-Special Troops Battalion raise an OE-254 antenna July 21 at erator, Belleville talks with a level one operator to maximizeCamp Ripley, Minn. Company C, a signal company, runs commu- satellite efficiency while Spc. Adam W. Fager, STT operator, Car-nications for the brigade’s operations on base and in the field. bondale assists with inputting information. Both Soldiers were(U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Allison Lampe/released) a part of Company C, 33rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jesse Houk).Page 2
Spc. Michael J. Brown of Palatine warns Spc. Allen R. Simmerman of Chillicothe of suspicious looking vehicles during a patrol July 16 at Camp Ripley, Minn. Both Soldiers are combat engineers in Company A, 33rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion and, for the mission, attached to Company A, 1st battalion, 178th Infantry Regiment partici- pating in the Army National Guard’s eXport- able Combat Training Capability program. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jesse Houk/ released)Sgt. Willard J. Baker of Pontiac, team leader,directs Spc. Martin G. Guerrero of Rockfordon July 16 as they dig defensive positionsfor Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 122nd FieldArtillery Regiment. Both Soldiers are fromCompany A, 33rd Brigade Special TroopsBattalion and participating in the Army Na-tional Guard’s eXportable Combat TrainingCapability program at Camp Ripley, Minn.(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jesse Houk/ released) Spc. Jose L. Cardenas of Bensenville, a heavy equipment operator with Company A, 33rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion receives directions from Sgt. Willard J. Baker of Pontiac, a team leader also with Co. A, 33rd BSTB, on July 16 as they dig a sound-reducing trench in which they will place a generator for a field artillery unit. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jesse Houk/ released) Stay Informed. Stay Connected. www.facebook.com/33rdIBCT Page 3
Armored Knight provides lethality and securityby: Sgt. 1st Class Mike Chrisman,139th Mobile Public Affairs Det. also ford through 60 inches of water and muddy terrain without “It makes me the most lethal guy getting stuck.on the battlefield,” said Staff Sgt. “It’s fun to drive,” said Pfc. JakeKurt Russell of Peoria, Ill., with Johnson of Mason City, Ill. withHeadquarters and Headquarters HHT, 2nd Sqd., 106th Cavalry inTroop, 2nd Squadron, 106th Cav- Kewanee. “We are pushing thealry in Kewanee, Ill., as he talked limits and testing the capabilitiesabout the new M1200 Armored of the vehicle. There is so muchKnight vehicle that his unit began armor, it would take a lot to tearusing at Camp Ripley, Minn. one of these apart.” The M1200 Armored Knight is Russell deployed to Iraq withan improved version of the M1117 the 1744th Transportation Com-Armored Security Vehicle (ASV) pany in Streator in 2006-2007that has been used overseas and where he drove the M1117 ASV The M1200 Armored Knight is an improved version of the M1117recently acquired by Illinois Army and up-armored humvees. Rus- Armored Security Vehicle (ASV) that has been used overseas. TheNational Guard military police sell said he is thrilled to be able to sole purpose of the M1200 Armored Knight is to provide a forwardcompanies. The sole purpose of train for a future deployment with observer team the best communications, protection, and target-the M1200 Armored Knight is to such great vehicles. ing technology available to quickly and accurately bring fires ontoprovide a forward observer team “There is no comparison,” Rus- an enemy. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Mike Chrisman/ released)the best communications, pro- sell said. “It can take a direct im-tection and targeting technology pact and keep going. With the run- Brigade Combat Team in Urbana out first and scout the enemy,”available to quickly and accurately flat tires, you can pop a tire and received four of the vehicles. Russell said. “We have to getbring fire onto an enemy. still get back to base. If given the “It’s a great vehicle that is capa- a good lay of the land so the in- “It’s very similar at a glance,” choice between an MRAP (Mine ble of driving on any terrain,” said fantry elements don’t come intosaid Russell. “They have changed Resistant Ambush Protected vehi- Pvt. Mark Gibson of Pekin, Ill. a surprise. This vehicle allowsthe turret, improved the equip- cle), up-armored humvee and the with HHT, 2nd Sqd., 106th Cav- us to take fire and lay down sup-ment technology on the inside Armored Knight, I would take the alry in Kewanee. “I feel lucky to pressive fire while targeting bothand improved the armor to bet- Armored Knight every single day be one of the nine guys assigned hard and soft targets for sup-ter protect us.” and twice on Sunday.” to these trucks.” porting elements and continue The new Knight vehicle weighs The Kewanee National Guard Russell said it’s important for to move through the area. Weapproximately 16 tons and can unit received three of the $1.7 mil- the cavalry unit to be equipped have the communication assetstravel about 400 miles on one tank lion dollar vehicles while at Camp with high tech equipment like the to warn other elements about theof fuel, with a maximum highway Ripley. Headquarters and Head- Armored Knight. enemy’s position, make-up andspeed of 63 miles per hour. It can quarters Company, 33rd Infantry “The cavalry’s mission is to go other information critical to the battlefield.”Engineers dig in artillery While the technology helpscontinued from page 1 make the missions a success, mostwe’re here and we can do our Although the field artillery “It’s always great to see peo- of the Soldiers talk about the pro-job better when we’re here with unit benefits greatly from this ple doing their jobs,” said Spc. tection the vehicle provides.them. They can give us eyes and exchange, the engineers also see Juaquin Bandera of Melrose “I feel pretty secure and com-guidance; what works best and it as adding value to their train- Park, Co. A, 33rd BSTB. “We fortable,” said Gibson. “The armorwhat doesn’t work best.” ing as well. get to see them provide field ar- provided a lot of protection. From The engineers of Co. A, 33rd “My guys are learning things tillery support and they get to see the thick armor on the sides to theBSTB used their specialization they never fathomed they would us do what we do.” deflecting shield on the bottom forto save the field artillery Sol- be able to do,” said Baker. “So Although the mutual respect IEDs, it’s a solid vehicle.”diers time and sweat so they can it’s fantastic. It’s a good learning and appreciation are created Russell said the new sense offocus on getting set up to start experience. They now know the through the combined training security makes his team moreproviding fire support as quickly difference between a hasty and a environment, the focus is ulti- confident they will be preparedas possible. regular construction project. It’s mately on preparation for real- for combat when called upon. “We can roll into a position a whole different mindset when time scenarios. “In a mobile battlefield, theseand the engineers already have it you’re trying to protect troops “Their work helps in the fact trucks lead the way,” Russell said.prepped for us,” said Cammack. and get them in a secure position that we are trying to do com- “This is just one more piece on the“It really reduces the time that versus trying to build a finished bined arms in this exercise and brigade’s chess board of pieces towe have to spend on position paved road.” so having engineer assets like we bring absolute and immediate le-improvement. All we have to do A mutual appreciation has been would in the real world really just thality to the enemy.” nis set up, throw up the nets, and built as a result of the two units facilitates in having that realismwe’re ready to roll.” training together. in training” said Cammack. n Page 4