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Topic: Task Force Wings

Pilot’s pinnacle promotion bittersweet

 

Written by Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Carl
159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne DivisionKandahar Airfield, Afghanistan – For warrant officers, career progression is a little different – often a little slower – than the career progression of non-commissioned officers and commissioned officers. With only five ranks to progress through, they tend to spend a little more time at each rank.

When the aviation community’s newest chief warrant officer five, Kyle Hill, received his rank December 1st, he knew the promotion was bittersweet.

“Getting promoted to W5 is the pinnacle,” said Hill, the standardization instructor pilot for Task Force Wings (4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment) at Forward Operating Base Wolverine in southern Afghanistan. “I’ve reached the top rung, but it’s bittersweet, because I know it’s not going to last forever.”

Col. Todd Royar (left), the commander of the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, promotes Tyler, Texas, native Kyle Hill to chief warrant officer five during a ceremony at Forward Operating Base Wolverine, Afghanistan, Dec. 1st. (Courtesy Photo)

Col. Todd Royar (left), the commander of the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, promotes Tyler, Texas, native Kyle Hill to chief warrant officer five during a ceremony at Forward Operating Base Wolverine, Afghanistan, Dec. 1st. (Courtesy Photo)

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Coalition forces distribute school supplies in Zabul Province

 

159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division

Zabul Province, Afghanistan – Task Force Wings, 4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment; along with TF 77, conducted a humanitarian assistance visit and key leader engagement at the Bolla Baba High School October 1st.

Members of the task forces met with the headmaster and principal of the school, which has around 250 students and 15 teachers, to discuss the challenges the school faces. At one time, the school had nearly 700 students, but attendance declined due to insurgent threats against families that sent their children there.

Master Sgt. Terrence Reyes, the operations NCOIC for Task Force Wings (4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment) hands candy to an Afghan girl during a humanitarian visit here October 1st. TF Wings and TF 77 conducted a humanitarian assistance visit and key leader engagement at the Bolla Baba High School here.  (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Dewitt, Task Force Wings Fire Support Officer /released)

Master Sgt. Terrence Reyes, the operations NCOIC for Task Force Wings (4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment) hands candy to an Afghan girl during a humanitarian visit here October 1st. TF Wings and TF 77 conducted a humanitarian assistance visit and key leader engagement at the Bolla Baba High School here. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Dewitt, Task Force Wings Fire Support Officer /released)

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HUMS allows helicopter repairers predictive maintenance

 

Written by Jennifer Andersson
159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division159th Combat Aviation Brigade

Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan – Despite increased operation requirements, the Army’s Class A aviation accidents – which are the most costly accidents in terms of money or people – have decreased dramatically this fiscal year.

“We’ve had only one Class A since we deployed six months ago,” said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Timothy Burke, the safety officer for Task Force Thunder, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade. “That is down from previous deployments. We had no Class A through C aviation accidents at all from November 2009 to February 2011.”

The numbers are down for Class A accidents, and that’s remarkable, he said, because Afghanistan’s environment is more stressful on the aircraft – given the types of missions Task Force Thunder flies, the terrain and the temperature.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Joel Sizelove, the production control officer in charge for Task Force Lift, checks the readouts from the integrated vehicle health management system on a UH-60M Black Hawk to determine, among other things, track vibrations in the rotors. IVHMS ultimately saves maintainers hours or even days of work and gets the aircraft and its crew back into the fight faster. (Photo by Jennifer Andersson, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Joel Sizelove, the production control officer in charge for Task Force Lift, checks the readouts from the integrated vehicle health management system on a UH-60M Black Hawk to determine, among other things, track vibrations in the rotors. IVHMS ultimately saves maintainers hours or even days of work and gets the aircraft and its crew back into the fight faster. (Photo by Jennifer Andersson, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

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‘King of Battle’ steps back from the gunline

 

Written by Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Carl
159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division159th Combat Aviation Brigade

Forward Operating Base Wolverine, Afghanistan – The closest a combat aviation brigade normally gets to artillery is sling-loading a gun from point a to point b. Likewise, the closest artillerymen normally come to aviation is when they call for close air support on the battlefield.

Despite the lack of howitzers, the fire support teams within Task Force Thunder (159th Combat Aviation Brigade) carry an important part of the brigade’s mission in Regional Command South.

“We work in conjunction with the [intel section] for targeting and developing effects on the battlefield,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua DeWitt, the fire support officer for Task Force Wings (4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment). “We manage and control fixed wing, (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) and indirect fire assets to support the unit.”

Staff Sgt. Joshua DeWitt, the fire support officer for Task Force Wings, calls to establish a restricted operating zone as he verifies grid coordinates for support from a mortar team at Forward Operating Base Wolverine July 27th. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Carl)

Staff Sgt. Joshua DeWitt, the fire support officer for Task Force Wings, calls to establish a restricted operating zone as he verifies grid coordinates for support from a mortar team at Forward Operating Base Wolverine July 27th. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Carl)

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Pathfinders, Surrie District Police take the fight to the enemy at BP Osman

 

Written by Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Carl
159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division159th Combat Aviation Brigade

Battle Position Osman, Zabul Province, Afghanistan – The melody of a flute drifts over on the wind from the room in the compound their Afghan National Police partners call home. All of the men wear the evidence of days of enduring the sandblasts of southern Afghanistan’s summer winds.

In fighting positions around the compound, a few other Pathfinders and Afghans maintain a security watch, keeping a close eye out for any suspicious movement that could be a threat to the position, the villagers nearby or, more importantly, Forward Operating Base Wolverine, the group’s home base that sits just a few miles away.

Spc. Ryan Grace, a Pathfinder with Company F, Task Force Wings (4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment), pulls security at Battle Position Osman July 27th. IED emplacements and enemy attacks have significantly dropped in the area since the Pathfinders established the battle position nearly two months ago to increase security at Forward Operating Base Wolverine. (Photo by Sgt. Shanika Futrell)

Spc. Ryan Grace, a Pathfinder with Company F, Task Force Wings (4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment), pulls security at Battle Position Osman July 27th. IED emplacements and enemy attacks have significantly dropped in the area since the Pathfinders established the battle position nearly two months ago to increase security at Forward Operating Base Wolverine. (Photo by Sgt. Shanika Futrell)

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Making the grade: BSEP helps soldiers raise GT scores

 

Written by Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Carl
159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division159th Combat Aviation Brigade

Forward Operating Base Wolverine, Afghanistan – With the Army tasked to cut soldiers, tens of thousands of many are facing limited options.

It’s getting harder for soldiers to obtain promotions, and many career fields are merging or eliminating job specialties. Soldiers who plan to progress in the Army have to take more initiative.

One way soldiers here are doing this is by participating in the Basic Skills Education Program classes to help them improve their general technical scores on the ASVAB.

The class focuses on math and English skills, explained 1st Lt. Qiong Garner, the executive officer for the Task Force Wings Forward Support Company and a math instructor for the class. These are the two areas evaluated by the GT score. «Read the rest of this article»

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