1st Battalion 22nd Infantry

 

1st Brigade Combat Team Updates
2005 - 2006

 

1-22 Infantry is part of the 1st Brigade Combat Team
of the 4th Infantry Division.

 

1st "Raider" Brigade Combat Team Organization:

  (Note: In each BCT, the IN and AR battalions are also called CAB (Combined Arms Battalions) and are composed of two infantry companies,
two armor companies, one engineer company, and a headquarters company.  The new Special Troops Battalion in each brigade
includes Military Intelligence, Signal, Civil Affairs, Military Police, and other specialities that formerly reported directly into 4ID HQ. 
That's part of making each BCT a modular organization that can be snapped into wherever they are needed in the world
and to work as an indpendent organization if required).

 

 

The following updates, sent by the Commanding Officer
of the 1st BCT give a good idea of what life is like for our soldiers in Iraq.

 

 

From CO of 1st "Raider" Brigade Combat Team (BCT)  

13 DEC 2005

Raider Brigade Families and Friends:   ... This is the first update from our operational deployment in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM.   I'll try to do these every ten days or so ...   As I hope you understand, I cannot delve into operational matters for security reasons.   I'll try to give you an appreciation for how we are doing as a unit and provide you some feedback on your Soldier from my perspective as the brigade commander.

Conditions here in Kuwait are not bad.   The weather is great.   It's about 50 degrees at night and about 75 degrees in the day - perfect.   We have about 1400 or so Soldiers on the ground here.   The hardest part is getting over jetlag the first day or two.   The plane ride here is about 15 hours in the air with additional time for refueling stops along the way (planes are stopping in Bangor , Maine and Shannon , Ireland for the most part).   We're in the midst of some individual training (small arms live fire ranges, improvised explosive device classes, etc) along with setting conditions for reception of our equipment by ship later on this month.

Most Soldiers are living in large tents with cots.   The tents are air-conditioned / heated as required.   There are two mess halls.   The chow is great - but they are overcrowded.   It's hard to find a seat once you've been through a line to get your food - and the cooks yell at you to "move out" once done eating to free up room for those behind you.   We have mini-PX at three different places that stock the essentials but little else.   Again, there are long lines to get in to these places.   There is a nice gym, too, for those with time to take advantage of it.

All in all, the Soldiers are glad to be here after training up and thinking about this for so long.   It's a relief in some ways - although leaving during the holidays is no fun.   Everyone is focused.   We'll be extremely busy once our equipment arrives at the port.   We'll go to 24 hour operations to get it offloaded, moved to our location, and conduct mounted training before we deploy into Iraq

I hope all of you are enjoying the holidays so far given the turbulence in your lives.   Leaving my wife and three boys was one of the harder things I've had to do from a personal standpoint in a long time.   Your support on that end is critical so that your Soldier can focus on the job on hand on this end.   I truly appreciate what you do as an Army spouse or family member.   The average American doesn't appreciate it - but I do.

Hope this has been informative.   I'll send another update later this month.

Colonel Jim Pasquarette

"Raider 6"

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1BCT (RAIDER BRIGADE) FRG & Family UPDATE - 22 Dec 05

Raider Brigade Families and Friends:   time for another update on how the Raider Brigade is doing here in Kuwait and Iraq.

We’ve been quite busy since my last update about ten days ago.   Since then, all our Soldiers have completed their deployment from Fort Hood to Kuwait .   We’re presently still located in the Kuwaiti desert in a training base.   Conditions – though crowded – are good.   Soldiers are living in upgraded tents and buildings that are temperature controlled.   The food is excellent.   Last night we had steak and lobster tail!   We’re conducting physical training here as the schedule permits so that we all don’t get fat!

We’ve continued to focus on the mandatory training requirements here in Kuwait in preparation for our move north into Iraq .  Every soldier has fired his or her personal weapon, attended classes on the environment in Iraq , and other related training tasks.

Our equipment has all arrived by ship within the last week.   We have been feverishly working to prepare the equipment for the move north into Iraq .   This is all incredibly complex work, but the Soldiers are making things happen.   Our experience in September at the National Training Center is proving invaluable as we build combat power here in Kuwait .   We are just starting to get to the point where the Soldiers can train on their tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, artillery, and assorted other wheeled vehicles.   The training area is just around the corner from our location.   We’ll be shooting all these weapon systems and conducting myriad training tasks that will prepared us for the environment we are about to enter.

The weather continues to be perfect.   The low at night is around 55 degrees and the high during the day is in the mid 70’s.   This is much better than coming through here in mid-summer when the temperature is 120 degrees.   It did rain one day, but it quickly moved on and things dried up.

The Soldiers remain focused and are relieved their equipment is here at last.   Christmas will be here in three days.   We’ll be reenlisting about 100 Soldiers that day from across the brigade.   I’ll make sure to send home some pictures.   The mess hall is working to prepare us a great meal (turkey, ham and all the extras).   We’ll certainly miss our loved ones on this day – I’m sure the lines at the phones will be long.

Once again, I want to thank you for what you do in support of your Soldier.   It’s my honor to be their commander as we get ready to move into Iraq

I’ll write another update in a few weeks once we get up into Baghdad.

Colonel Jim Pasquarette

Raider 6

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29 December 2005

Raider Brigade Family and Friends:   time for another update on the Raider Brigade.   I was going to wait until I got into Iraq to send another update, but there is enough to report now – and I’m a little bored – so here it is...

The entire brigade combat team has been extremely busy preparing for our move north into Iraq .   The focus here in Kuwait has been training.   It is, in my assessment, the best Soldier level training I have seen in over 22 years in the Army.   All the normal distractions that keep NCOs and their Soldiers from training are non-existent here.   We have focused on firing our weapons (multiple times) in order to gain additional confidence in our ability to be lethal and accurate.   We have also conducted extensive Improvised Explosive Device (IED) training.   Almost every training event has incorporated counter-IED procedures into it.   Convoy Live Fire, Entry Control Point, Combat Patrol Live Fire, close quarters marksmanship, and checkpoint operations are some of the training events that our Soldiers have taken part in.   Additionally, we have calibrated the Paladins (artillery) in 4-42 FA, screened our tanks in 1-22 IN and 1-66 AR, zeroed our Bradley’s in 1-22 IN, 1-66 AR, 7-10 CAV   and 1STB; and registered our mortars in 1-22 IN, 1-66 AR and 7-10 CAV.   In all, we are just about complete with both mandatory and opportunity training.

Maintenance has been another focus for the brigade.   Some of our equipment arrived out of shape after sitting on a ship for five weeks.   Our mechanics and crews have been working overtime to assess the problems, order the parts, and get equipment fixed.   We’ve made great progress in a short time.

Validation of our digital systems has been another focus area.   We have the most modern equipment in the United States Army in the Raider Brigade.   Over the last ten days we stood up our network and validated over 400 vehicles on FBCB2 (our digital “situational awareness” system on a lot of our combat vehicles).   We also validated our communications “backbone” at the brigade level.   The Soldiers of B Company, 1STB have been instrumental in this – and have done a superb job.

Christmas here in Kuwait was cold and rainy.   The weather conditions didn’t dampen our spirits, however.   I found the Soldiers upbeat, focused and enjoying the training.   CSM Wells and I took satellite phones to some of our Soldiers training out in the desert on Christmas Eve and Christmas night so they could call home to loved ones.   One Soldier found out that his wife is expecting their first child on one of these calls.   He was excited to say the least – and is planning his mid-tour leave for the arrival of their baby.   The officers took their place behind the chow line and served our Soldiers on Christmas – to include MG Thurman and CSM Riling (4ID Commander and 4ID CSM) - and made sure our men and women received extra portions to the chagrin of the cooks.

On 27 December we held a brigade formation to reenlist over 90 soldiers from across the brigade.   These Soldiers will receive over $500,000 in reenlistment bonuses.   Plenty more are planning on reenlisting over the course of this deployment to take advantage of the tax free bonus.   The next big brigade reenlistment ceremony will be on the 4th of July…we’re planning it already.

As I write this, we’re in the process of moving north.   Rehearsals and pre-combat checks and inspections are underway.   CSM Wells and I are extremely proud of how the entire Raider Brigade team has performed to date.   Everyone is focused, maintaining a positive attitude, and ready to get on with the mission.   We’re breaking out the ammunition and passing it around to the Soldiers – which usually gets everyone’s head in the game.   The road ahead will be challenging, but I’m very confident that our experience, leadership and training have set us up for success.

That’s about it from this end for now.   I hope you are communicating in some form or fashion with your Soldier.   I know you are proud of your Soldier – you should be.   He or she is making a real difference in a tough part of the world.   I’ll send the next note from Iraq with a report on how things are on that end.   I wish everyone on that end a Happy New Year.

Raiders!

Colonel Jim Pasquarette

Raider 6

Commander, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division

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1BCT Family Readiness Group Report  

7 January 2006

Raider Brigade family and friends:   time for an update on the Raider Brigade.   Things have been picking up pace-wise in the brigade since my last update about ten days ago.

As I write this, the entire brigade of about 3700 Soldiers are in Iraq .   The trail party that cleared the brigade out of Kuwait should close in the next day or two – then the entire team will be on board.

1-22 Infantry is continuing as planned with their follow-on mission. LTC Osborne, CSM Beal and the Regulars will be missed – but I’m confident they will perform brilliantly in a tough area of operation.

The remainder of the Raider Brigade has been busy receiving equipment and conducting relief in place operations in Taji.   The facilities on Camp Taji are fantastic.   Every Soldier is in a trailer that is climate controlled.   The living area has running water and power.   Soldiers can pay for satellite TV and internet connection (this is not your father’s deployment into a combat zone!)   The dining facility is the best I’ve ever seen in the Army.   The PX is the largest in Iraq .   Our command posts are in buildings – and are very nice.   Though it remains a dangerous place outside the forward operating base, our Soldiers are well taken care of once they return to it after conducting operations.

The weather continues to be very nice.   It is cool in the mornings (about 45 degrees) but not too uncomfortable.   The high in the day is about 70 degrees – very nice.   It is mostly sunny every day – although it rained fairly hard last night and the entire place is a mud-pit right now.

I can’t get into much more detail for operational security reasons.   I will say that we are gaining a lot of first rate experience with the unit we are replacing – which will mitigate the risk to our soldiers as we pick up the fight...

We are very busy every day – and getting busier each day as we get ready to take over the fight.   I continue to be impressed with the discipline and focus of our Soldiers.   Morale is good in my estimation – but it will be a long year and it’s something CSM Wells and I want to monitor.

I hope you all had as good a holiday season as can be expected given your Soldier was away from home.   I appreciate what you are doing on the home front to support what we are doing over here.

COL Jim Pasquarette

Raider 6

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  1BCT Raider Brigade Update to Families and Friends

29 January 2006

Raider Brigade Family and Friends: it’s been a few weeks since my last update. Here’s what I know and how we’re doing.

First, the Raider Brigade is off to a fantastic start.  We’ve taken over the responsibility from the brigade we replaced about two weeks ago –
and have been running hard ever since.  We are working closely with our Iraqi Army brothers – both in the training and operational fronts.
We’ve conducted a large number of combined U.S and Iraqi operations in the last few weeks – everything from air assaults to checkpoint operations. 
I’ve found the Iraqi Army eager to learn, enthusiastic, proud and well respected by their community.  Most importantly, they are well suited
for operations over here – they can inherently tell when something is out of place in their community – and can act on it. 
We have over 140 Soldiers integrated into the Iraqi Army formations here at Taji.  Those Soldiers are making a real difference on our most important mission –
to train the Iraqi Army.

I see our Soldiers operating both on and off of the forward operating base and could not be happier on how they are doing.  They are focused,
have a true sense of purpose, and remain disciplined even in the most trying circumstances.  I’ve cautioned our Soldiers to work hard
to maintain this outlook every day.  Complacency can slip into the ranks at a certain point – and we’re working hard
to continue to enforce basic standards and discipline.

Life at Taji continues to be nice given we’re in a combat zone.  It’s much better than living on a tank for months on end –
something a lot of our Soldiers have done in past deployments.  I see this as "payback" for all the miserable experiences conditions-wise.
 The weather continues to be cool and rainy.  I think we’ve had several inches of rain in the last two weeks.
Mud is everywhere – something we will surely wish we had as a problem about six months from now.

I’m in close contact with LTC Osborne (CO of 1-22 IN, attached to a BDE of 101st ABN). We trade emails about every day –
and got to see him in person a few days ago as he came up to Taji. The "Regulars" of 1-22 IN are in the midst of transitioning
with the unit they’re replacing. They are doing fantastically...

The mail flow seems to be wide open now – I see Soldiers with letters and packages these days. I hope you’re hearing from your Soldier by some means.
If you haven’t, get word to me and I’ll make sure he or she checks in with you ASAP.

Thanks for what you are doing on your end.  Although things are a challenge here, I know it is just as challenging on your end as you deal with the separation,
kids, bills, etc, as a single parent. For the parents out there, I know there are other challenges you face emotionally. 
I know you are as proud of your son or daughter as I am. He or she is making a real difference for our country.

OK – that’s about all I have time for now.  I’ll send another update in February.  Take care.

Colonel Jim Pasquarette Raider 6 Commander, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division

 

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1BCT “Raider” Brigade FRG Update – 3-23-06

Raider Brigade Families and Friends :   it’s been awhile since my last update on how things are going over here in Iraq .
  What follows is my assessment on how things are going – and some feedback on how your Soldier is doing from my perspective.

The Raider Brigade Combat Team has settled into a steady battle rhythm (finally) after the first eight months of my command.  
Since last June, the pace has been incredibly busy:   Task Force training at Fort Hood in July and August;
a deployment to the National Training Center in September; pre-deployment preparations in October; deployment of our equipment in November
while simultaneously closing out barracks, motor pools and headquarters; deployment to and training in Kuwait in December;
and deployment to and relief in place of 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division in January.  
Believe it or not, the challenging pace here in Iraq right now seems a little more bearable when I look back on what we’ve done to date.  
Like most things in life, the anticipation of doing something is often not as bad actually doing it.  
That’s what most every Soldier has found out about operations here in Iraq .   The worries about a pending separation from loved ones,
the long days preparing to go, the uncertainty of what things will be like once there all add up to increased anxiety –
most all of it unfounded in my opinion.

Things here in Iraq continue to be incredibly complex.   I don’t get a chance to watch much news,
but the glimpses I do get seem to be more pessimistic than what I am seeing on the ground.  
I admit to only being able to gauge a relatively small part of Iraq – but it is a very diverse area (a mix of Sunni and Shia’)
that may be representative of how things are going in other parts of this country.   There has been a surge in sectarian violence
over the last month relative to previous months.   However, it seems to be small, covert, low level violence rather than large,
overt, well-coordinated operations by one sect or the other.   The civil war question is a hard one.   I don’t see it –
but I think over here anyone can see what they wish to – and perhaps the optimist in me doesn’t want to see it.  
But the facts are that Sunni and Shia continue to live together across the area I am responsible for in relative harmony;
the Iraqi Security Forces (the Army and the police) continue to improve; and the Council of Representatives was recently seated.
  Civil war certainly remains a possibility – but I think all are hoping the selection of the key leadership through the established constitutional process
and the seating of the government will be another stake in the heart of the insurgency and step farther away from civil war.

While the future of Iraq continues to be argued by all, what is unarguable in my eyes is how your Soldier is performing over here.
  I see the Soldiers every day making a meaningful contribution as a part of a great team.   The 4th Support Battalion
continues to provide outstanding logistical support to the entire brigade – while also operating the detention facility
and providing combat escort for myriad operations.  

1-22 Infantry continues to make a difference south of Baghdad as a part of 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division.  
I talk to LTC Craig Osborne periodically – he is very proud of how the Regulars are doing.  

4-42 FA has begun providing artillery delivered illumination in support of operations – so they are happy!  
They also have assumed responsibility for some battle space from 1st Special Troops Battalion.  
Their primary task remains securing our forward operating base – and no one could be doing a better job than the Straight Arrows.

  7-10 Cav is operating day and night over about 250 square miles of Iraq .   They have established a strong relationship with 2nd Bde, 9th IA Division.  
I see the troopers of 7-10 Cav on patrol every day – working hand in hand with the Iraqi Army.  

1st Special Troops Battalion continues to provide the brigade with a diverse set of capabilities:   military police; chemical recon;
command posts; military intelligence; signal connectivity; unmanned aerial vehicles and other unique support.  

Finally, 1-66 AR continues to make a big difference in some of the toughest places to operate in Iraq .
  Like 7-10 – I see the Iron Knights operating day and night with their Iraqi partnered unit improving the security situation.

We have begun our leave program.   Every Soldier that deployed into Iraq prior to 31 January will be afforded the opportunity
for a two week leave (known as EML).   I hope you and your Soldier have a great time together during this leave period.  
I ask that you apply some common sense.   The division has lost a Soldier on EML to an auto accident.  
Apply all the measures that ensure you have a great time on leave and stay safe:   wear your seatbelts; slow down; don’t mix alcohol and driving, etc.
  Losing Soldiers at this point in the fight cannot be replaced.

As far as what will happen in the future…I think we will all know something soon.  
There is nothing to the rumor that we are coming home earlier than expected.   (I heard that rumor from a Soldier in 4th SB today!)  
The planned deployment is still a year long.   Stop Loss will be lifted after our return + 90 days.   For planning purposes,
I believe that will be sometime in early March of 2007.   This is when Soldiers will be able to PCS to other locations, go to school, ETS, etc.  
Of course, this is all subject to change.   I promise to inform you through the Rear Detachment Commander once the situation is locked in.

That’s about what I know for right now.   The Soldiers and I over here appreciate what you are doing back at Fort Hood.
Frankly, I wouldn’t trade places with my wife, Liz.   I don’t know how she does it – manages the finances,
takes part in brigade and division level family readiness group activities, sends me stuff I need over here, keeps in touch with our parents,
cuts the grass, walks the dog, and – most importantly – continues to raise our three boys.   When I think about what I do compared to Liz –
my job as brigade commander here in Iraq seems easy!   I know that you are doing the same on your end.  
It takes a special person to be an Army spouse.   I appreciate the sacrifice and commitment you are making right now.

OK – back to work for me.   I hope all is well on your end.   Thank you for what you are doing for your country.

Colonel Jim Pasquarette

Raider 6

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From 1BCT Commander – 17 April 2006

 

Raider Brigade Family and Friends:   not sure how long it’s been since I last sent an update.   Time has been flying by – and the pace continues to increase (somehow).   Every time I say to myself that it can’t get any busier – it gets busier!   But I am having a great time still as the commander of our brigade.

The weather here is slowly starting to warm up.   It is getting into the 90’s during the middle of the day.   It’s not unbearable by any means,
but I think all are starting to wonder what it will be like in July at 115 degrees.   We’ve been working for the last couple of months
on what we call “heat mitigation” – a technical name for finding ways to keep Soldiers comfortable and equipment functioning in extreme heat.

Significant events since the last update are as follows:

         1-66 Armor – along with 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 9th IA Division – entered Tarmiya on 25 March and established a patrol base.  I must admit
of having some butterflies in my stomach as I tried to sleep at the brigade TAC on the night of 24 March.   Things have gone better than expected to date –
but much work remains here.   Great work has been done by A Co, 1-66 in this town – led by CPT Bill Rodebaugh and 1SG Parker.

         7-10 Cav continued a great partnership with 2nd Brigade, 9th IA Division.   This included a command post exercise in early April,
establishment of a combined patrol base, and countless combined operations throughout their battlespace.   A personal highlight was a medical operation
both 7-10 Cav and 2/9 IA conducted about a week ago that provided medical service to Iraqis on 11 April.

         4-42 FA assumed responsibility for battlespace from 1STB earlier this month to allow 1STB to focus on project management.   LTC Newman
and 4-42 FA have done a superb job patrolling this complex area.   They also continue with the critical responsibility of securing Taji for it’s occupants.

         1STB continues to provide a diverse set of services / functions to the brigade combat team.   This includes route clearance, EOD escort,
military police, unmanned aerial vehicles, signal interconnectivity, and other critical capabilities.   Most importantly, I’ve tasked the 1STB
with managing about 150 separate projects across our area of operation.   Most focus on essential service improvements.   We are off to a great start here –
I believe the efficiencies we’ll gain here will be of immeasurable help.

         4th Support Battalion continues to provide the entire BCT with on time, first rate logistical support.   I want to personally thank
the Packhorse Soldiers for what you are doing behind the scenes to make things happen for the entire brigade.

         1-22 Inf continues to do great things in support of 2nd Brigade, 101st Abn Division.   I am extremely proud of LTC Craig Osborne, CSM Beale
and the Regulars as they operate in a tough part of Iraq .   They remain disciplined and focused on the mission at hand.

The Anti-Iraqi Forces (AIF) activity has increased along with the weather lately.   It has been a tough week or so.   We lost three great troopers in 7-10 Cav
with two additional troopers badly hurt in the same attack.   Subsequently, we had a Soldier in 1-66 badly hurt in an attack on Easter morning.
  I appreciate everything that the rear detachment and families on your end at Fort Hood and around the country have done
to ensure our family members affected by these attacks have been taken care of.   We are all committed to ensuring these losses are not in vain
as we focus on future operations.

We continue to send a lot of Soldiers on leave.   I hope you and your Soldier have planned a mid-tour reunion.   Please be safe –
we had a Soldier in the brigade hurt badly in a car accident about a week ago while on leave.

This place ( Iraq ) continues to be an incredibly complex problem.   We are all spending a lot of mental energy every day
on how to make our part of Iraq better.   I believe we are making some inroads – though they are not easily measurable.  
I’ve found that comparing today with yesterday is an exercise in frustration.   You can feel like you are taking one step forward and two steps back.  
I believe it is more important to focus on things that are impossible to measure on the daily scale.   It takes consistent application of energy
and a focus on established priorities.   Chasing the crisis of the moment and losing focus on the long term objectives will result in a less than optimal result
in the long run.   I’ve seen us recruit thousands of police where we had no one volunteer when we first arrived.   I feel relatively safe in some areas
of our battlespace that overtly loathed us and the Iraqi Army when we arrived.   I’ve seen the Iraqi Army continue to gain confidence and capability
over time thanks to the hard work and commitment of the Raider Brigade Soldiers.   These things can’t be measured every day –
but if you look back over time we have made real, tangible progress.   You should be proud of your Soldier for this – and for what he will do in the future
during our tour here.   As I said before, I believe we’re heading in the right direction.   Every day isn’t pretty.   I have seen some things here
I never want my children to see.   But I believe we are doing things here that may prevent my children from having to see such things.

I want to reiterate my thoughts on being related by some means to a Soldier deployed to Iraq .   I can’t thank you enough for what you are doing on your end.
  I must admit that I would be very worried if my wife or one of my sons were in Iraq while I was at home.   It’s natural to worry for the ones you love.
  But I know at the same time that I would be immensely proud if they were here – and would support them just as you are supporting us.

Finally, for all those mothers out there – happy Mothers Day!   I know it’s a little early – but I’m not sure I’ll be disciplined enough to send another update
before Mothers Day.   (Liz and Mom:   I’ll try to send something – but if I don’t this note will have to count for now and I’ll make it up next year!)

Thanks again for what you are doing.   Your Soldier on this end is serving proudly and making a contribution to a great team.

Colonel Jim Pasquarette

Raider 6

 


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