1st Battalion 22nd Infantry
Fort Hood, Texas
TASK FORCE REGULARS
During 2002 soldiers
from 1st Battalion were twice deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
for duty at Camp Delta. The first deployment was from April through June.
The second deployment was from October through December.
The following articles concern the second deployment.
The Kileen Daily Herald, September 22, 2002
4th Infantry Division troops ready for Cuba duty
BY KEVIN J. DWYER
Herald Staff Writer
FORT HOOD As part of the post's continuing effort in the war on terrorism, soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division are scheduled to deploy next month to reinforce the unit guarding al-Qaida and Taliban detainees held in Cuba.
Soldiers from Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, got the word this week that they will be heading to the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay as part of the guard force surrounding Camp Delta.
"It was pretty unexpected, I was surprised," said Capt. Randy Taylor, Charlie Company commander. "There were rumors, but when I got the call from Col. (Mark) Woempner, I was surprised." Part of Taylor's surprise can be attributed to an announcement earlier in the week that 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, would be handling the mission. However, 4th ID officials said, if 2-8 Infantry were to deploy, the unit would become over-extended and therefore 1-22 Infantry took over. "They're pretty excited with it being an unexpected deployment," Taylor said of his soldiers. "There's a little bit of apprehension because we're about to leave home, but that goes with any deployment."
Camp Delta is guarded by the 2nd Battalion, 241st Infantry Regiment of the Texas National Guard. The soldiers from 1-22 Infantry will not be taking over the mission, Woempner said, only augmenting the Texas guardsmen. "They needed a second company to take care of business," said Woempner, commander of 1-22 Infantry. He said it was his feeling that many of the soldiers in the Guard and Reserve who are college students had to return to school. "August happened," Woempner said simply. "It makes it hard for them to do their mission without working their guys seven days a week, so we're going to go down and help them out." Woempner said next month's deployment 80 to 90 soldiers will be about half the size of a similar deployment earlier this year. The battalion sent almost 200 soldiers to Cuba in April as Task Force Regulars, soon after detainees began arriving from Central Asia.
The first step for the soldiers of "Cold Steel" Charlie Company before deploying is making sure all their paperwork is up to date. During the next week, Woempner said, the soldiers will be going through a Soldier Readiness Packet, where they check everything from immunization records to wills. "After all the paperwork is done to get them ready to deploy," Woempner said, "the next week is riot control, control point, dismounted patrolling, weapons qualifications and media training."
After getting the word that his battalion would be sending a company to Cuba, Woempner said the most important task is figuring out exactly who can deploy. Because the unit is operating at a very high tempo, which he said will continue for the foreseeable future, he wants to minimize the effects on his soldiers and their families. "Am I going to send someone who just came back in June back to Cuba and then to Operation Desert Spring (in Kuwait) in the spring?" Woempner said. "If I did, I wouldn't be a very good commander. Somebody could be gone all but three months out of 18."
One benefit of having sent another company to Cuba earlier this year, Taylor said, is being able to walk down the hall to ask Maj. Brian Reed, TF Regulars commander, to ask questions. "It's very helpful that I have that depth of experience right in the battalion," Taylor said. "Part of Charlie Company went in April and six or seven of them will be returning."
While the exact date has not been made public, the soldiers from 1-22 Infantry will most likely be boarding planes heading south during the first two weeks of October.
Above story from the Killeen Daily Herald: http://www.kdhnews.com/texas.html
4th Inf. Div. soldiers adjust to life
By Pfc. Andrea R. Kramer, 4th Infantry Division PAO
The 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, C Co., 4th Infantry Division, returned to the U.S. Naval Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on Oct. 6. The unit is there to provide external security for Camp Delta, a camp housing over 300 Taliban and al Qaida detainees.
For many of the soldiers, deployment to Cuba is a new experience, for others it has become routine. Spec. Marcus Thompson deployed to Guantanamo Bay in June, and volunteered to return.
"I spent three months here before," said Thompson. "I wanted to come back because it was fun."
Fun isn't a word normally used when talking about deployments.
However, many returning soldiers agreed that their first experience in Cuba was enjoyable enough to prompt them to volunteer for a second mission.
"There's a lot more to do here than at other places of deployment," said Spec. Jarvis Gibson, who also volunteered for the return mission.
During the last mission, Gibson took advantage of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation, or MWR, activities offered on the base.
"I learned how to water-ski and had a chance to get my boating license and scuba diving certification," said Gibson. "There were a lot of new things here that I hadn't got to do before."
Gibson said there are things he still hasn't done and is looking forward to.
"I want to get my rescue diving certification while I'm here," he said.
Guantanamo Bay offers many activities normally unavailable to 4th ID soldiers.
"I look forward to doing stuff I can't at Fort Hood," said Thompson, who brought his diving gear to Cuba. "You don't get to go to the beach a lot in Texas."
You don't get to go to the beach a lot in Alaska either, according to Spec. Colin Weiboda, who is from the chilly state and still acclimating to the sticky Cuban weather.
"It's humid and I'm not used to it, so I'll be at the beach a lot." said Weiboda, who plans to go hiking and also get a boating license.
Military personnel at Gunatanamo Bay may also participate in kayaking, rock-climbing, and offshore fishing trips as well as standard activities such as bowling, soccer and Tae Kwon Do.
The base also has an outdoor theater able to accommodate many viewers with bleacher seating or drive-in options.
"Our role is to support their mission here," said U.S. Naval Commander Capt. Bob Beuhn, base commander, Guantanamo Bay.
Beuhn said the base has increased athletic facilities, transportation and busing, dining facilities, and MWR programs in order to meet the demand of the extra personnel.
The housing situation is also improving. Camp Bulkeley, the current home for 1-22 soldiers, will be replaced by more permanent, comfortable living quarters around the second week of November, said Capt. Randy Taylor, company commander, Co. C, 1-22 Infantry.
"There are roughly eight men per sea hut at Camp Bulkeley," said Taylor. The buildings have air conditioning and heating units, cots and detached shower and latrine facilities, he added.
"Right now we're storing our stuff in duffel bags," said Taylor. "Later on we should be getting wall lockers and other amenities that should make this place a little more homey."
Soldiers have a short walk from where they're living to Camp America. Camp America has a dining facility, gym, Internet access, two TV huts with cable, video games, washer and dryer units, a volleyball court, horseshoe pits, a barbeque area and other facilities.
Soldiers can also board a shuttle bus traveling between the camps and the base. GITMO has all the facilities normally found on a military base, such as a Post Exchange, commissary, gym, and an assortment of fast food restaurants.
"Everyone is eager to hit the ground running and become part of the team down here," said Taylor. "We're here on a mission and trying to make sure we stay focused and do what we're supposed to."
Staff Sgt. Joe Trainer 1st Battalion,
22nd Infantry, Charlie Co., 4th ID looks on lovingly as his
daughter Amanda tries to "fill his beret"
Spc. Michael Euresti 1st Battalion, 22
Infantry, Charlie Co., 4th ID takes advantage of last moments
with his wife, Mandy and son Cuba
by filling them laughter and smiles.
Staff Sgt. James Parker 1st Battalion,
22 Infantry, Charlie Co., 4th ID enjoys the company of his kids
Ebonee, Javier, and Adriyana
before his departure to Cuba.
1st Battalion, 22 Infantry Regiment, Charlie
Company 4th Infantry Division, assembled early Sunday morning in
preparation for their deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Their
mission is to guard the detainees at Camp Delta and provide
external security for the base. This is the second time 4ID has
been called on to guard Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees in Cuba.
The deploying soldiers assembled at Raider Gym for the deployment ceremony and words of encouragement from Col. Donald Campbell, 1st Brigade Commander, 4th Infantry Division. To the family members, first and foremost in our minds is to take care of you while your spouses are deployed, said Campbell.
Friends and family members hailed emotional farewells as the troops prepared to leave the gym. Overwhelming emotions rendered some wives speechless while others began to fall into routines that helped them weather the last deployment.
This is Geneve Cruzs first time dealing with her husband Sgt. Feliciano Cruz being deployed. Cruz is planning to fill the void that her husbands absence will bring with schoolwork. She remains supportive and optimistic in light of the fact that her husband may be gone for a few months.
Cruz was able to put into words what the friends and family members felt, but were too overwhelmed say.
I want them to just go and do what they gotta do and come home and well be here waiting for them, said Cruz.
For photos of 1-22 Infantry at Camp Delta click on the following link:
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