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Raptor Times

2916TH Aviation Battalion, Issue 1

From the Commander:

My family and I would like to wish everyone and their Families a very Happy New Year! The time off during Opportunity Leave was well deserved and I am grateful everyone remained safe during the holidays. That said, I ask each of you to remain vigilant on and off duty to avoid accidents and mitigate risk in everything you do. We will need a full team for 2012. We should be proud of the many accomplishments Team Raptor achieved in 2011! Thank you for a seamless transformation of our battalion while simultaneously executing aviation operations to ten challenging rotations-without any degradation in mission support. Continue being true professionals! I would also like to say farewell to CSM John Morales and his family. Over the past six months, CSM Morales has been instrumental in every line of our operations. On behalf of Team Raptor, we wish you and Crystal the best of success and luck in your battalion at Fort Knox. Also, please join me and welcome CSM William Elliott and his wife, Tina to Team Raptor. Please give them the same outstanding support and friendship as youve done in the past. We have a great opportunity to build on our achievements of last year and have a safe and successful 2012. Raptors Rock! Thought for the Quarter: What we give our attention tostays with us. What we let go of will let go of us. Focus on what is important. LTC Hielke Hike Welling

LTC Hielke Welling Special points of interest:

Raptor Day Celebration UH-1N Retirement Ceremony Change of Responsibility

From the Command Sergeant Major:


Aviation Safety Award

I am humbled and honored to serve as Raptor 7 in this excellent organization. It is a privilege to be given this opportunity and one I do not take lightly. To me, Soldiers and their Families, which includes single Soldiers and their Families, are the cornerstone of any organization and therefore require that little extra from all leaders to ensure we can all put forth 100 percent effort in all we do. I am a Family oriented leader. My wife Tina and I look forward to meeting all of you as we begin to become fully integrated amongst the larger Raptor Family. Tina, and our five children, Cory, Zachary, Alexandra, Jacob and Noah are thrilled to be here at Fort Irwin and the National Training Center. Tina and I are Californians, born and raised, and see this assignment as one of excitement and a bit of a homecoming. Both of us grew up in Long Beach and have already made the trip through the Pass to the coast and are looking forward to the short trip to the east to see the lights just across the state line. We are looking forCSM ward to Spring and Summer, to get out and see the many sites and participate in the many activities available William Elliott to all those serving at Fort Irwin. If I was asked to suggest one thing to do for someone coming here, I would have to say get out and travel. The mighty Pacific Ocean is 2.5 hours away, the mountains are 1.5 hours or less, and there are places like - Hollywood, Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, San Diego Zoo, Sea World, vine- Inside this issue: yards, citrus farms, Queen Mary, redwoods, Pacific Coast Highway, etc There is so much to do and all of 2 HHC that is in California. 3 Company A I never realized what I had when I was here as a young man until I left. It may not be one persons cup of tea but I am positive that there is a place nearby that is exactly the right cup of tea for everyone. Ok 4 enough of the travel brochure. I want to thank all of the Soldiers who participated in and executed the Change Company B of Responsibilities for Sergeant Major John Morales and me. I truly felt welcomed and accepted as a member 5 Company C of the mighty 2916th Aviation Battalion. I look forward to the days, weeks and months ahead as we provide world class aviation support to Fort Irwin and the National Training Center. Humbly yours, Command Sergeant Major William (Will) and Mrs. Tina Elliott

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Headquarters & Headquarters Company:

The HHC conducted its annual FRG meeting /Christmas party on 16 DEC 2011 where the Soldiers of HHC shared in a pot luck lunch with a variety of food and drinks. The Soldiers also shared in a Secret Santa gift exchange that was a lot of fun and a huge success.

HHC participated in the 1st Annual Battalion Raptor Day

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Alpha Company:
A Company Rotational Support A Co. 2916TH Aviation Battalion Red Tails was very busy this quarter in support of rotations 12-01, 12-02, and 1203. A-Company averaged 70 missions accounting for 270 flight hours in support of each rotation. While the Red Tail mission is extremely diverse, our main focus is VIP Movement, Jingle Air, CASEVAC, and Aerial RECON. The Red Tails goal is to maintain a 100% mission success rate for each rotation that comes to Ft. Irwin. The VIP movement missions we support are always different and exciting. We support commanders, foreign dignitaries, congressional delegates, and the occasional celebrity. We usually pick up the VIP at a civilian airport in the local area. We then take him or her to Ft. Irwin for a meeting, Box Tour, etc. This quarter, we provided air transport for General Rodriguez, LTG Bromberg, BG Ferrell, as well as Congressman Buck McKeon. VIPs transported by A-Company consistently compliment on the professionalism and expertise of the Red Tail pilots. The Jingle Air missions consist of troop movements from Forward Operating Bases (FOB) Santa Fe, Miami, Denver, and Seattle. We run two circuits, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. On a recent Jingle Air mission our 100% mission rate was put to the test. We weathered a perfect storm of problems to ensure the mission would be salvaged. We had aircraft break and had to keep jumping to spare aircraft. Finally, after multiple attempts we were able to take off and complete the mission and train the rotational unit. The CASEVAC missions we support give rotational units the ability to train to respond to a medical emergency requiring air evacuation. We give each rotational unit 12 hours of coverage daily. We stage at Main Post Helopad and respond to 9 line* MEDEVAC from across The Box. During Decembers rotation, the A-Company CASEVAC crews responded to over two dozen notional 9-lines providing valuable real-world training for the rotational unit. We at A Co, 2916TH Aviation Battalion support a broad spectrum of training tasks for the National Training Center . We accept requests for a wide variety of missions and try to do our part to ensure that each rotational unit receives the best training possible. From everyone in A Co. we look forward to working with you on the next rotation. *9-Line is a request format used by Soldiers to request a MEDEVAC

A Company Simulated Training Exercise (STX) Lane The keys to success in Army Aviation are preparation and training. The elite Red Tails of A Company 2916 th Aviation Battalion, as the culminating event for the first quarter of FY12, were called upon to plan and execute a training mission that coincided with the companys Mission Essential Task List (METL). This exercise, a simulated VIP movement in the LA Basin, proved crucial to the company as they prepare the junior aviators of A-company to lead a real world VIP movement in the future. The STX lane was organized to simulate a mass VIP transport from Main Post Helipad (MPH) to Bakersfield and then to Santa Barbara airport. The lanes involved two serials of three aircraft. The first serial of three aircraft flew to Ft. Irwin and picked up LTC Welling and CSM Morales, our VIPs for the movement. The Raptor command team was transported from MPH to Bakersfield in serial one, while the second serial flew straight to Bakersfield and linked up with the first. At Bakersfield all crews re-fueled their aircraft and switched the VIPs from the first serial to the second. As with any good training event, this scenario wasnt without its twists. After landing in Bakersfield, the pilots were tasked to re-plan from Santa Barbara to Fresno, simulating that the VIPs, who were supposed to land in Santa Barbara, had to redirect to Fresno. The young aviators spread out their maps and within 30 minutes had a plan to fly IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) to the new destination. The junior pilots were required to complete all of the necessary paperwork and fuel calculations required to fly to the new destination. CW3 Joel Manfred supervised the revised product and said, The new pilots did a superb job at adjusting fire to the revised mission. After an updated mission brief at the Bakersfield airport, The Air Mission Commander, CPT Saad, decided to don the crews Night Vision Goggles and return both serials back to Barstow Daggett Airfield instead of going to Fresno. The weather was starting to come in and with safety always being the number one priority, CPT Saad made a wise call. Of the training he said, Our aim was to train and safely execute a Distinguished Visitor movement to and from the National Training Center. Im very satisfied with my companys ability to accomplish the task and think on the fly with the revised mission. The two serials returned, under lower than usual visibility, back to Barstow Daggett with the second serial stopping back at Ft. Irwin to drop off the Battalion Commander and the Command Sergeant Major. In addition to the simulated scenario change, the members of A-Company also had to deal with a real-world mission contingency. A fuel leak from one of the aircraft was noticed upon arrival in Bakersfield that could not be remedied. The Pilot-in-Command (PC), CW3 Morelan, decided to air on the side of caution and leave the aircraft in Bakersfield until the next day when proper maintenance could be performed. The downed crew rode along with chalk three of serial one back to Barstow Daggett. A recovery team was sent out the following morning along with the knowledgeable Sikorsky mechanics that were able to repair the leak and return the wounded bird safely back to Daggett.

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Bravo Company:
The retirement of the UH-1 marked the end of an era for an aircraft which began its service to Fort Irwin in 1980. The UH-1 served initially as a MEDEVAC aircraft but evolved to the SOKOL (opposing force) aircraft for units training at the National Training Center. Over 150 people from Ft. Irwin, the local community, veterans, and Soldiers attended the event held at the Barstow-Daggett Airfield. The guest speaker, CW5 John Harris gave a remarkable speech in which he was able to recall with great detail some of his stories about the UH-1.
Co B received their first streamer for the retirement of the UH-1. The pilots, crewmembers and maintainers for the UH-1 were given plaques to recognize their hard work on a historical aircraft in our nations history. The event concluded with a fly over by the UH-1 pilots and crewmembers of Co B, while the firefighters provided the arches for the water salute. Special thanks to CW4 Pratt for putting together such a great event and giving the UH-1 such a graceful departure. Chemical-Biological-Radiological-Nuclear (CBRN) Training Event was a great joint exercise with Co C that began at the Main Post Helipad with Co B flying in as part of a downed pilot scenario. The three mile ruck march with litter to a downed pilot showed great unit morale as a company conducting collective training. Upon arriving at the downed pilot, Soldiers maintained 360 degree security, while others evaluated the casualty and called for MEDEVAC via the 9-line* request. The capstone event ended with Co B. conducting their annual CBRN training by entering the CS (tear gas) Gas Chamber. The entire company maintained unit integrity and high morale throughout the training event. *9-Line is a request format used by Soldiers to request a MEDEVAC

UH-1 in foreground with UH-72 in background at Barstow-Daggett Army Airfield. Picture taken by Skip Robinson

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Charlie Company:
Charlie Company Families participated in several fun events recently. In November many came out to support the first annual Raptor Day. Highlights from the day included cheering on the Soldiers in various sporting events, a BBQ lunch, some Pie-in-the-Face fun, and kiddies activities to include face painting, bounce houses, and a piata. In December the FRG and Soldiers held the annual Santa Fly-In fundraiser. Hundreds of families came from around post to take pictures with Santa, his elf, and his amazing helicopter. This years photos were exceptionally beautiful thanks to the professional photography skills of Family Member Anja Perkins of Anja Perkins Photography. The final capstone of a great year was the Annual Christmas Party held this year at the Coyote Activity Center. This allowed approximately 80 Soldiers and Families to attend thanks to its proximity to the flight line. On this fun day the Soldiers and families played games while the children moved among craft activity tables and the basketball courts. Hawaiian BBQ catered the delicious main foods, and many others helped provide a huge selection of the best sweet treats on post! After a piata and White Elephant gift exchange, complete with the friendly theft of other peoples gifts, C Co. departed for some much-deserved slower tempo winter weeks. C Co was also glad to welcome SPC Crook , SPC Stuart, SPC Le, SGT Raines, SGT Hernandez, CW3 Hildebrandt and CW2 De Vaney. We said goodbye to SSG McDonald, SSG Purser, SGT Killian, and CW2 Hess. We wish them the best of luck at their new duty stations and sincerely appreciate their dedicated service and the unwavering support of their families.

Santa Visits Main Post Helipad!

Piata Excitement

Raptor Day Pie Casualties

Christmas Crafts

Ready for the Big Hit

Evasive Maneuvers

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Raptor Day November 23, 2011





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The 2916th Aviation Battalion raised $1,000 for the Wounded Warrior Program with their Pie-in-the Face contest.


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UH-1N Retirement Ceremony

Official UH-1 Retirement Ceremony On December 13, 2011, the 2916th Aviation Battalion held a retirement ceremony for the UH-1 at BarstowDaggett Airfield

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Change of Responsibility
Change of Responsibility On January 6, 2012 the 2916th Aviation Battalion held a Change of Responsibility Ceremony for SGM John N. Morales and CSM William G. Elliott

2916TH Aviation Battalion Command Team SGM Morales, LTC Welling and CSM Elliott (left to right)

Passing the NCO Sword

SGM Morales passing the NCO Sword to LTC Welling, relinquishing his responsibility for the battalion

LTC Welling passing the NCO Sword to CSM Elliott, assuming his responsibility for the battalion

1SG Martinez receives the NCO Sword back from CSM Elliott

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Change of Responsibility (cont)

LTC Welling makes his departing comments for SGM Morales and welcomes CSM Elliott

SGM Morales makes his departing comments welcomes CSM Elliott

CSM Elliott makes his comments thanking the Command Team for this opportunity and wishes SGM Morales farewell

BG Ferrell wishes SGM Morales farewell

Col Bosley wishes SGM Morales farewell

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Aviation Safety Award

FORSCOM Aviation Safety Award On 11 January 2011 the 2916th Aviation Battalion was presented with this award by the FORSCOM Commander General Rodriguez

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FMWR Trips:
Mammoth Mountain Trip Come on Down, Tickets and Tours is taking a trip to Mammoth Mountain, trip transportation cost is $40.00, lift tickets are $72.00 (with military ID Card), snowboard rentals are $30.00 (20% military discount available) and snow apparel will be available to rent at the facility. Lodging will be available for $50.00 per person based on double occupancy. Departs February 2 at @10:00 a.m. and returns February 3 @11:00 a.m. Pick-ups in Barstow, last day for sign up will be 16 January 2012. So tell your friends, and lets have some fun. WED 25 JAN 12 MST CollegeTrip The Teen Center will be taking a college trip to San Diego State University on Wednesday, January 25th leaving at 6 am and returning by 6 pm. This is a free trip for CYSS registered high school youth to get the college experience with a guided tour and entrance requirement information. Youth need to bring money for lunch, snacks, and any souvenirs. SVHS students will be excused. Permission slips due to MST by January 20th. Spaces limited. Call MST at 380-3732 for more information.

Fort Irwin Events:

MON-23 JAN 12, BOSS Meeting. From 1:00 pm-2:30 pm at the Garrison Conference Room, POC is SGT Davis at (760) 380-3586 WED-1 FEB 2012, Draw Your Favorite President, Draw your favorite president and win a prize. Categories are: Ages 4-6, 7-10, 11-13. All entries need to be submitted to the Arts and WED-25 JAN 12, COMBO MEAL Crafts by close of business on BOWLING, Buy a combo meal at the 24 Feb 2012. Foe more informaStrike Zone and bring your food receipt tion call 380-3431 to the Bowling Center Counter and your bowling is on us. Monday thru WED-8 FEB 2012 Friday, 11:00-13:00 and 17:00-19:00, There will be a Fort Irwin Comshoe rental applies. For more informa- munity Town Hall meeting at tion call 380-4249 17:00, 8 February in the Sandy Basin Community Center (760) 380-8917 SAT-28 JAN 12, STARZ DANCE, Various dance classes offered on TuesSAT-25 FEB 2012 day-Thursday and Saturday (every Mardi Gras will be coming to other) We offer classes for all ages 1.5 Fort Irwin, see flyer for details to 18 years old. Cost is $35.00 for the month and $20.00 for weekend classes. For more information call 380-7751

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Useful Links and FRG Information:

FRG Leaders and Upcoming Meetings HHC FRG Meeting: FRG Leader: Email: Phone: CO A FRG Meeting: FRG Leader: Stacey Goeppinger Email: Phone: 931-933-1468 CO B: FRG Meeting: FRG Leader: Sarah Pluto Email: Phone: 334-447-1806 CO C: FRG Meeting: FRG Leader: Julie Cummings Email: Phone: 254-6302596 Unit Service Coordinator: Silvia Moreno Employment Readiness Program Manager Army Community Service Bldg. 548, Second Street Fort Irwin, CA Army Volunteer Corps Program (AVC)Army Community Service (ACS) is the home to the Army Volunteer Corps, which is the center of volunteer recruitment, referral, recognition and advocacy efforts for Fort Irwin. Volunteers are needed in a wide variety of positions throughout the installation. Through volunteer service, individuals can learn or enhance skills, get to know the community and meet new people, build their resumes, and more. The Volunteer Coordinator is located in ACS, Bldg 548 on Second Street and is open Monday through Friday from 0800 to 1630. The office maintains a list of available positions and job descriptions. Stop by or call for information on how to track hours to ensure work credit experience and installation credit. Contact Mr Tony Untalan, 760-380-8422. See what opportunities are available at My Army One Source today!

Ft Irwin Employee Assistance Program

Bldg 573 Third Street Phone: 760-380-9092 Fax: 760-380-3403 Email: Valencia.barnes@us.army.mil

Army Emergency Relief (AER)- Provides interest-free loans or grants during times of emergency. Examples are loans for eviction, vehicle repossession, emergency travel, funeral expenses, repair of soldiers only essential vehicle, etc. Soldier or family members must visit with their Command Financial NCO prior to coming to ACS, with exception to a Red Cross message. Consumer Affairs and Finance Assistance Program (CAFAP)- Offers individual or group budget counseling, check writing classes, and financial management training. (760) 3803513 or (760) 380-4784 Financial Management Readiness Training (FMRT)- Financial Management Readiness Training offers a wide range of services to assist soldiers and their families to live within their means and invest for the future. Emphasis is placed upon money management, proper use of credit, financial planning for deployment, transition and relocation, insurance, and check writing principles. The goal is to enlighten soldiers and their families on procedures in resolving consumer complaint problems and issues. (760) 380-9194 Effective 1 Jan 2012, there are updates and new categories added to the AER Program that allow soldiers and family members to do more.

916th Support Brigade is now on Facebook!

Become a fan and receive updates on Brigade events and more Facebook search for 916th Support Brigade and click Or go directly to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fort-IrwinCA/916th-Support-Brigade/273421670237

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Around the Post

January is National Blood Donor Month
January is National Blood Donor month. Why donate blood? The need is con-stant and your contribution is important for a healthy and reliable blood supply. The requirements for giving blood are: Must be 17 years or older Must be in good health Must weigh at least 110 pounds Must bring ID with you when donating Drink an extra 16 oz of liquid before and after donating. Here is a list of blood drives in the local area. January 10, 2012- 11 am 5 pm- Four D College; 16534 Victor St; Victorville, CA January 5, 2012 8:30 am 2:30 pm, Holy Family Church; 9974 I Ave, Hes-peria, CA January 20, 2012- 1pm 7pm; Calvary Chapel; 15081 Center St, Victorville, CA

Underage Alcohol Usage: Soaking Gummy Bears in Alcohol is the Newest Trend For Teens
One of the scariest things about raising teens is the possibility that they might be influenced to drink. You can warn them of the dangers and consequences until youre blue in the face, but sometimes, peer pressure gets the best of them. The American Academy of Pediatrics found that more than four million adolescents drink alcohol in any month. And whats more frightening, is how clever theyve become about hiding that act from parents. Once upon a time, teens stole alcohol from their parents, so keeping a close watch on your own liq-uor cabinet was a fine way to curb the problem. But today, their creativity puts the old trick of refilling bottles with Sprite to shame. And the latest trend in under-cover drinking is especially savvy espe-cially around Halloween. Teens are using gummy candy (bears and worms to be exact) to get drunk. They soak the candy in alcohol, Kel-oland.com reports. Darcy Jensen from Prairie View Preven-tion Services in South Dakota works with school districts to prevent teen drinking as part of the Parents Matter campaign. She sent out a warning last week to warn them about the trend. Its important for parents to be aware so they can spot if their teen has tried it, she says. Maybe someone has offered the candy and they didnt even know. So telling the kids ahead of time this could be some-thing to be aware of is important, Jen-sen said. And though its hard to see the positive side of teens becoming sneakier when it comes to something as dangerous as underage drinking, a trend like this can be used to open communication on the topic. its a good conversation starter to talk about the whole issue of alcohol and underage drinking and the hazards, Jensen said. Huffington Post 10/12/11

After Christmas Humor: