MAGAZINE OF THE OHIO NATIONAL GUARD ~ Vol. 35, No. 4
LOAD DIFFUSER 17
BUILDING STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS AROUND THE WORLD
Volume 35, No. 4 - July/August 2017
FOCUS ON HISTORY
A closer look into the origins and lineage of the Ohio National Guard’s Troop C, 2nd Squadron, 107th Cavalry Regiment, which began in Hillsboro, Ohio.
In July 1917, The 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team was constituted for service in World War I, beginning 100 years of storied “Buckeye” history.
THE OHIO NATIONAL GUARD
he appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts or supplements, does not constitute endorsement of the products or services advertised by the Ohio Adjutant General’s Department. Everything advertised in this publication will be made available for purchase, use, or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other nonmerit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the Public Affairs Office will refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation has been corrected.
Col. Corwin Lusk discusses what it has been like to lead soldiers from different nations as commander
of Multinational Battle Group-East and work with the Kosovo Police
as part of NATO’s Kosovo Force-
Joint Guard peacekeeping mission.
Through the State Partnership Program, Ohio National Guard captains and majors have the opportunity to serve a two-year tour in Hungary or the Republic
of Serbia as bilateral affairs officers, working with the U.S. Embassy to coordinate with partner nation personnel.
Fun with Flags
Collection Connects to State’s Military History
The Ohio Adjutant General’s Department owns a collection of more than 900 battle flags, making it one of the largest collections in the U.S. With flags dating back to the Mexican War, the collection is held in partnership with the Ohio History Connection.
Hungary: Load Diffuser 17
The Ohio National Guard joined forces with five European nations in a multinational, air-to-air and air-to-ground exercise, the largest Hungarian-led, large-force integration exercise in the country’s history.
Republic of Serbia: Platinum Wolf 17
Soldiers from multiple Ohio Army National Guard units boarded planes this summer to attend Platinum Wolf 2017, a two-week, multinational event focused on peacekeeping operations.
KFOR: A Unique Mission
The 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team wraps up its rotation providing command and supervisory oversight of Multinational Battle Group-East (MNBG-E), tasked with maintaining safety and security in southeastern Kosovo.
Commander in Chief
Gov. John Kasich
Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman
Director, Government and Public Affairs
Lt. Col. Dan Roche
Public Affairs Officer (Federal)
Capt. Sam Atkins
Public Information Officer (State)
Ms. Stephanie Beougher
Mr. Steve Toth
Layout and Design
Ms. Cindy Ayers Hayter
Army Historical Content
Sgt. 1st Class Josh Mann
- Army and Air National Guard Photo/
- Unit Public Affairs Representatives (UPARs)
- Ohio Army National Guard Recruiting and
Retention Battalion Marketing Office
The Buckeye Guard is an authorized publication for members of the Department of Defense (DOD). Contents of the Buckeye Guard are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, the DOD, the Departments of the Army and Air Force, or the Ohio Adjutant General’s Department. The Buckeye Guard is published bimonthly and is available for viewing at ONG.Ohio.gov/buckeyeguard.html . The editorial content of this publication is the responsibility of the Public Affairs Office (NGOH-PAO), Ohio Adjutant General’s Department, 2825 West Dublin Granville Road, Columbus, Ohio 43235-2789. Direct communication is authorized to the editorial staff at 614-336-7003 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Guard members, Family and other interested persons are encouraged to submit any articles and photos meant to inform, educate or entertain Buckeye Guard readers. Submitted content, if approved for usage, may be used additionally or exclusively on the Ohio National Guard website, ONG.Ohio.gov, official Ohio National Guard social media sites, or in other Public Affairs Office products.
The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts or supplements, does not constitute endorsement of the products or services advertised by the Ohio Adjutant General’s Department. Everything advertised in this publication will be made available for purchase, use, or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other nonmerit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the Public Affairs Office will refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation has been corrected.
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Col. Cory Lusk, commander of Multinational Battle Group-East and the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, discusses the Kosovo Police and what it is like to work with them. Video by Sgt. William Washburn, Multinational Battle Group-East.
Col. Corwin Lusk is the commander of the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, which recently returned home from a deployment in Operation Joint Guard-Kosovo Force (KFOR). The 37th IBCT was tasked with command and supervisory oversight of Multinational Battle Group-East (MNBG-E), maintaining a safe and secure environment and ensuring freedom of movement for people living within the MNBG-E Area of Responsibility, the sector along Kosovo’s southeastern border. He has previously deployed for Operation Sea Signal (Guantanamo Bay, Cuba), Operation Joint Guard (Tuzla, Bosnia) and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Previous command assignments include: commander, 1st Battalion, 145th Armored Regiment (Combined Arms); deputy commander, 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team; and commander, 174th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.
Coming into this deployment, I had some preconceived notions and generalizations that caused me to miss what now seems obvious. Leading soldiers is basically the same, regardless of what nation’s patch a soldier wears on his or her shoulder.
I have led U.S. Soldiers at the platoon, company, battalion and now brigade level. I have deployed to Bosnia, Cuba and Kuwait. However, this deployment to Kosovo is the first time I have ever had another nation’s soldiers under my command.
As the headquarters for Multinational Battle Group-East, the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team is directly responsible for leading soldiers from four other NATO countries — Hungary, Poland, Romania and Turkey. Leading other nations’ soldiers was much simpler than I thought it would be. These multinational soldiers are professionals from professional armies. While they might not have the same standards as far as more cultural aspects, like wear of the uniform and grooming, when it comes to the professional side, they know their jobs. Despite differences, historically and culturally, our NATO allies have integrated well and we have been able to execute at a high level. This is a testament to the professionalism of every soldier.
In the United States, we all have friends who aren’t like us, so we are used to diversity in our individual lives. For that reason, I think U.S. Soldiers easily bond with our NATO Allies, not only the ones directly under our command, but also the soldiers of the nearly 30 different countries that contribute forces to NATO’s mission in Kosovo.
At the beginning of the deployment, I wondered if multinationals would be hesitant to be led by another nation’s officers. I wondered if there would be differences in our levels of training. I wondered if we would have to scale back on some technical things like communications. The reality was the multinationals integrated seamlessly, were easily led, and were just as functional as we are in technical areas. Any challenges were easily overcome with professional leadership and commitment to the mission.
It is easy to forget that Hungary, Poland and Romania were all former adversaries during the Cold War. Now they are highly functional under the NATO organization. That is a testament to their leadership, national pride, commitment to Western values and willingness to serve along other committed professionals, regardless of nationality.
What I have learned the most, leading within this multinational mission, is we are more similar than different. We are all soldiers. Like us, other nations’ soldiers serve for the flag on their shoulder. They are just as patriotic for their country as we are for ours.
I never thought I would have the opportunity to lead soldiers of other countries. It has been an honor I will cherish.
Col. Corwin Lusk
37th Infantry Brigade
Combat Team commander
Leading in a multinational mission
Soldiers are soldiers, regardless of flag on their shoulders
By Col. Corwin Lusk, 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team commander
Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t is the much anticipated sequel to the global best seller, Start with Why by Simon Sinek. This book talks about how great leaders sacrifice their own comfort for the good of those in their care. With the help of numerous intriguing examples, the author attempts to prove that the best organizations foster trust and cooperation. As the author points out, this book is not a management theory, but is actually a biological one. Individuals thrive only when they feel safe among a group.
See the Adjutant General's full reading list on the Ohio National Guard website.
The Adjutant General’s Department Diversity & Inclusion and Equal Employment Office provides opportunities for Ohio National Guard members to enhance their professional development and embrace diversity and inclusion. Among those opportunities is a reading list suggested by Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman, Ohio adjutant general.
This issue’s featured title is:
Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t
By Simon Sinek
2014, New York, N.Y.
Ohio Battle Flag Collection
connects to state’s military history
By Stephanie Beougher, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs
VIEW THE ENTIRE BATTLE FLAG COLLECTION
For centuries, battle flags have served as a symbol for Soldiers of the state or country they’ve sworn to protect and serve. At one time, the flag served as a rallying point on the battlefield. Soldiers could look to the flag to know when to move forward, or when to pull back. It was a position of honor to carry the flag and keep it flying, but it also meant enemy guns were aimed at you.
“There are so many stories of valor and heroism that these flags tell. In some cases the blood of the color bearers is on these flags. That speaks to why it’s important to maintain and preserve for future generations,” said Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Mann, Ohio Army National Guard historian.
The Ohio Adjutant General’s Department owns a collection of more than 900 battle flags, which makes it one of the largest collections in the country. The collection is held in partnership with the Ohio History Connection. Mann keeps a watchful eye over flags from post-World War I through the present at the Adjutant General’s Department located at the Maj. Gen. Robert S. Beightler Armory in Columbus, while Cliff Eckle, a history curator at the Ohio History Connection in Columbus, maintains flags from the Mexican War through World War I.
“One thing to notice is when you open those storage cabinets, it concentrates some of the smells of the past. You can smell the gun powder and the wood smoke from 150 years ago,” Eckle said.
The flags include many variations of the stars and stripes, intricate embroidery and the names of battles and honors painted along the stripes.
Time has taken its toll on some of the older flags in the collection, especially those made of silk. The Ohio History Connection has worked since 1998 to raise funds to conserve some of the Civil War flags. At a cost of up to $30,000 per flag, the majority of the collection still hasn’t been conserved. Mann said specially designed cabinets keep some of flags protected from the elements.
“There are special trays in the cabinet where the flags can lay flat and out of the light. Light is very bad for textiles. It breaks the fabric down. The flags are maintained at about a 68 degree, 50 percent humidity environment, and kept at that level throughout the year,” he said.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I, and a new exhibit at the Ohio History Connection includes flags from the 37th and 83rd Divisions, which were primarily composed of Ohioans.
BACKGROUND IMAGE: Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Mann, Ohio Army National Guard historian, inspects a National Flag, among the flags housed at the Ohio National Guard headquarters located at the Maj. Gen. Robert S. Beightler Armory in Columbus, Ohio. The Adjutant General’s Department works in partnership with the Ohio History Connection to maintain the Ohio Battle Flag collection. Ohio National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Carden
Cliff Eckle, a history curator with the Ohio History Connection, examines the Organizational Colors, 12th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (1861-1865), part of the “Follow the Flags Exhibit” at the Ohio History Center in Columbus, Ohio. Eckle is the curator of the pre-World War I inventory of the Ohio Battle Flag collection maintained at the center.
Ohio National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Mann
Our greatest strength is working together
Ohio National Guard Airmen and Soldiers work with members of the Hungarian Defence Forces and other European nations during Load Diffuser 17.
By Senior Master Sgt. Beth Holliker, 180th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
KECSKEMET AIR BASE, Hungary — As part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program, the Ohio National Guard participated in a Hungarian-led, multinational, air-to-air and air-to-ground exercise, Load Diffuser 17, in May and June.
An approximately 200-person ONG contingent comprising members of the 180th Fighter Wing, 179th Airlift Wing and 2nd Squadron, 107th Cavalry Regiment joined forces with an additional 200 military members from five allied and partner nations from throughout Europe — Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic for the two-week exercise, which included 10 different airframes.
Load Diffuser 17, the largest Hungarian-led, large-force integration exercise in the country’s history, took more than a year to plan and four meetings between ONG and the Hungarian Air Force mission planners.
Though the last Load Diffuser exercise took place seven years ago, when the Ohio Air National Guard’s 178th Fighter Wing participated in the exercise, the U.S. has maintained a positive relationship with the Hungarian Defence Forces for more than 20 years, recently supporting several other integrated training exercises, including a heavy airlift wing partnership at Papa Air Base, Hungary; a bilateral KC-135 air refueling training event in June 2015, an F-15 Eagle fighter jet training event in September 2015 at Kecskemet Air Base; and an F-16 Fighting Falcon training exercise at Papa Air Base in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
The Ohio National Guard and Hungary began their partnership in 1993 as part of the State Partnership Program, which links the unique capabilities of the National Guard with the armed forces of partner nations in support of geographic combatant commander security cooperation goals. The Ohio National Guard was originally partnered with Hungary because of its units' capabilities, similar geographic characteristics between Ohio and Hungary, as well as the large number of Ohio citizens with Hungarian ancestry.
By connecting a state’s National Guard with a partner nation’s military, both build cooperative, mutually beneficial relationships, focused on enhancing capabilities and readiness, and a stronger commitment to the collective defense and security of Europe through combined operations and interoperability.
Multinational training exercises like Load Diffuser 17 allow both the U.S. military and participating NATO-allied and partner militaries to hone joint warfighting capabilities through operational training while building successful and progressive relationships leading to tangible and mutual benefits during peacetime, contingencies and crises through regional security and coalition operations.
“Emphasizing the coordination within this exercise is significant,” said Maj. Gergely Grof, Hungarian Chief of Air Operations and lead planner for Load Diffuser 17. “To learn and acquire new procedures, to carry out these learned new things, in real during the flying sorties, showing the other participants what we are capable of and providing the opportunities for mutual support. This state partnership is the best way to fulfill our plans, to train our pilots and to cooperate in this multinational environment. This cooperation with the Ohio Air National Guard has already (been) a 10-year-old tradition but with this exercise we tried to expand it regionally, also involving the neighboring countries for a better training, understanding of procedures and a preparation for a situation in the future.”
Gen. Tod Wolters, commander of United States Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, along with several other senior military and government officials from the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, U.S. Air Force, Hungarian Defence Forces and Ohio National Guard, visited the air base throughout the exercise, underscoring the impact that multinational exercises, such as Load Diffuser, have on the enhancement of joint readiness and interoperability.
“Here at Exercise Load Diffuser, we have touched every mission in the air domain, from interdiction, to air superiority, to strike, to surveillance, to airlift, and to command and control,” Wolters said. “And what we know after this exercise is that each and every one of our maintainers, operators and mission supporters will be much more capable in their ability to defend the nation and the cause.”
Highlighting the strong friendship between the U.S. and Hungary, Wolters touted that U.S. Air Force participation in the exercise was made possible by the Total Force team of the Ohio National Guard.
“The Ohio National Guard has been the state partner with Hungary for more than two decades,” Wolters said. “I am pleased that the Ohio Guard’s six F-16s and two C-130s could deploy here to engage with our NATO allies, support defense security goals and take advantage of these valuable training opportunities.”
The Air National Guard has long provided critical support throughout the USAFE-AFAFRICA region and areas of operation by deploying and interacting with a variety of nations in combined exercises that strive to enhance capabilities and skills among allied and partner air forces.
Participation in multinational exercises improves overall coordination with allies and partner militaries, helps to ensure interoperability and enables the United States’ European allies and partners to globally deploy their forces alongside the U.S. It is exercises like these that are the key to maintaining joint readiness and reassuring U.S. regional allies and partners.
“Exercise Load Diffuser is emblematic of what it takes to have a functional and effective defense alliance,” said Mr. David J. Kostelancik, chargé d’affaires with the U.S. Embassy in Budapest. “Behind all of the ideas and planning and agreements and discussions and paperwork, it comes down to talented, committed men and women in uniform who will reach across language, cultural and historic divides and do the difficult work of communicating, coordinating and solving problems, and that’s what we see here today.”
Along with the rare chance to interact with foreign militaries, Load Diffuser 17 also provided the opportunity to conduct force integration sorties, as well as training with dissimilar aircraft including the Hungarian and Czech Republic JAS 39 Gripens, Slovenian PC-9 Swift, Croatian Mi-17 HIP Helicopter, the Czech Republic L-39 Albatros and L-159 Atlas and U.S. C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft.
Training with dissimilar aircraft allows allies and partner militaries to work together on mastering combat tactics and operational-level campaigns in a controlled, strategic, advanced and realistic environment.
“Conducting these realistic training missions in this environment was an intentional aspect specifically built into the exercise to help pilots and mission planners learn to overcome the obstacles they would face in a real-world coalition effort, such as language barriers and differences in operational procedures,” said Lt. Col. Greg Barasch, 112th Fighter Squadron commander and deployed detachment commander. “Many of the issues can be easily resolved from using brevity words, short phrases used by pilots to communicate information contributing to the ability to successfully execute world-wide deployments and coalition missions.”
Throughout the exercise, the Ohio National Guard’s F-16s and C-130s flew 125 missions totaling 147 flying hours, training in simulated combat missions with a high number of allied aircraft attacking or defending against a high number of adversary aircraft and ground targets.
Flying a variety of missions to include basic fighter maneuvers, air combat maneuvers, defensive counter air, close air support, strike coordination and reconnaissance, rescue efforts and airlift missions, the exercise honed vital readiness skills by enhancing multilateral air operations, and promoting stability and security throughout the European region.
Leaders noted that the training provided the opportunity to exercise the strategic agility needed to fight against a formidable and aggressive adversary by training as they would integrate to maintain air superiority and conduct offensive and defensive tactics in combat situations.
“We demonstrated the capability to operate in a complex, multinational environment with precise execution,” said Maj. Gen. Stephen Markovich, commander of the Ohio Air National Guard. “We must have a deep bench of Airmen with first-hand experience operating in these types of environments with different regional partners. This type of exercise builds confidence, identifies opportunities for improvement and creates trust between partners.”
“Our ability to manage the challenges of today’s dynamic security environment hinges on how well we work together,” Wolters said. “Load Diffuser is an opportunity for allies to learn from each other and recognize the unique strengths each nation brings to the fight and it highlighted that our greatest strength is working together.”
This exercise is supported by the European Reassurance Initiative, which enables the U. S. to further support the defense and security of NATO allies and to bolster the security and capacity of U.S. partners. A persistent, rotational presence in Central and Eastern Europe is fully in line with U.S. international commitments and agreements, and a visible sign of a commitment to collective defense.
“The participation of six NATO allies in this exercise proves that we are stronger together than we could ever be by ourselves,” Wolters said.
Throughout the past 20 years, the State Partnership Program has built 73 partnerships with allied nations around the world. The partnerships have cultivated unique cultural exchange experiences, provided valuable training opportunities and improved international relations.
SEE MORE ON LOAD DIFFUSER 17 ON DVIDS
LOAD DIFFUSER 17
helps U.S., ONG strengthen partnerships with allied nations
Story and photos by Spc. Emilie Sheridan
196th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
SOUTH BASE, Serbia — Soldiers from multiple Ohio Army National Guard units boarded planes this summer to attend Platinum Wolf 2017, a two-week, multinational event focused on peacekeeping operations, hosted by one of Ohio’s State Partnership Program partner countries.
The exercise began with five days of round-robin style lanes training, which consisted of urban operations, medical, non-lethal weapons, virtual battle space, crowd and riot control, cordon and search, and weapons range operations. The Ohio Army National Guard contingent comprised Soldiers from the 585th Military Police Company; Company A, Special Troops Battalion, 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team; and 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment.
“The last two weeks, 10 countries have gotten together,” said 1st Lt. John McCoy, officer in charge of Platinum Wolf 2017 and a member of Company C, 1-148th Infantry. “And we’ve conducted five days of lanes training, a cultural day, a sports day and now were on an FTX (field training exercise) version of that where the soldiers are being evaluated by the former trainers who have now become the OCs (observer-controllers) and they are evaluating how these tasks are being applied during a mission.”
Serbian Armed Forces Lt. Col. Branislav Stevanovic, commander of the Peacekeeping Operations Training Center at South Base, further explained: “Over the last 10 days, we have conducted the training here, aiming to enhance the interoperability and mutual understanding among members of the partner nations’ armed forces at a tactical level, and to train the units in tactics, techniques and procedures during the execution of the tasks in peace-support operations.” Platinum Wolf began as a peacekeeping exercise in 2014, with the U.S. Marines facilitating for the last three years. The Ohio Army National Guard took charge of the mission for the first time this year, which had the largest participation to date.
“It’s a partnership operation,” McCoy said. “We focus on peacekeeping operations with other countries. It’s bringing all the countries together. It’s developing the underdeveloped countries. It’s allowing Serbia to host and utilize its facilities which are growing here at South Base.”
Serbian Armed Forces Command Sgt. Maj. Sasha Mudrinich, sergeant major of the international training center at South Base, said there were nine different countries that participated in Platinum Wolf 17, and there possibly be more than that next year. “There were 384 exercising participants from nine countries taking part and 483 engaged people in total,” he said. “The major goal is that we connect with different nations to deliver knowledge to each other.” Training in a foreign nation alongside soldiers from around the world is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Ohio Soldiers.
“It broadens our Soldiers’ scope,” McCoy said. “This might be the first time our Soldiers have gone out of the country. It shows the conditions in which the rest of the world is operating in. It allows our Soldiers to show their adaptability in order to complete the mission at hand.” The main mission of Platinum Wolf is to inform, educate, and exchange information with our partner nations. “The main benefit is that we get to know each other and we get your knowledge and you get our knowledge,” Mudrinich said. “That’s the most important thing. I tell you how we solve this problem with crowd and riot control and you tell us your experience.”
Each nation was asked to send instructors as well as soldiers to participate in the training.
“The trainers have been complete professionals,” McCoy said. “From our side, we’re getting the benefit of seeing professionals doing this who might have been doing this a month ago for real. We’re getting that seasoned experience in the trainers, and I think that’s very valuable.”
Executing this mission required months of prior planning, including three conferences in Serbia with representatives of each country that was going to participate, and even more planning and preparation on the home front before traveling to Serbia for the exercise. Looking ahead to next year, the Serbian Armed Forces plans to grow the Platinum Wolf exercise and add two new nations to the exercise for 2018.
“Platinum Wolf 18 is already being discussed, and I think as good as this exercise has been, the improvement has already been noted were it needs to be,” McCoy said. “I think we’re going to dial back some of the tasks, allowing for more time for training.
We want to bring a more realistic approach as well.”
SEE MORE PLATINUM ON WOLF 17 ON DVIDS
prep Soldiers, Airmen for today’s missions
Ohio works with SPP partners, other countries during
Ohio Soldiers, Serbians learn
non-lethal weapons tactics
Two sets of Guard siblings reconnect during unlikely overseas visit
Soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment and members of the Serbian Armed Forces participated in non-lethal weapons training here as part of an annual, two-week multinational Platinum Wolf 2017 training exercise.
“Today we conducted INWIC (Inter-service Non-lethal Individual Weapons Instructor Course) training which is non-lethal training for the United States Army,” said Sgt. Robert Bye, a team leader with Company C. “We used Tasers, non-lethal shotguns, and went over the use of OC (oleoresin capsicum) spray.”
The non-lethal training for Platinum Wolf 2017 was instructed by Sgt. Jason Crosser of the 585th Military Police Company, Sgt. Steven Kendel of the 1-148th and Macedonian Capt. Zoran Stankoski. Kendel explained that he and Crosser were selected as instructors because they have been INWIC trained in the states. During the training, Soldiers learned the proper techniques for using a Taser, OC spray and non-lethal munitions.
“It was good, valuable training because it let them know if you’re going to employ a Taser, that’s the business end of it,” Kendel said after getting the chance to use a conducted electrical weapon on his own Soldiers.
Many of the U.S. Soldiers are training abroad for the first time in their lives. Sharing tactics and information on a multinational level is an experience they could never get at home.
“It gave us the opportunity to work with our partner nations to help diversify our training, our wealth of knowledge,” said Sgt. Jeremy Conaway, a squad leader from Company C. “I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012, but as far as training with a multinational event, this is the first time.”
Added Bye: “I would say assimilation with other countries is probably the biggest benefit, especially some of our young Soldiers who haven’t had the opportunity to go overseas or to other countries.”
During Platinum Wolf, U.S. Soldiers rotate lanes each day and the training conducted is often with different nations’ militaries each day as well. Nine different nations participated this year in Serbia.
“As far as working with our Soldiers, I think this has opened their eyes to seeing that our way is not the only way nor is it (always) the best way,” Conaway said. “By working with our partner nations, I think we have definitely had the opportunity to learn bigger and better things and help to develop our professional careers and our tactics, moving forward.”
As the young, female Soldier stands in the small café here, making small talk and drinking a coffee, you can tell by her calm nature and mundane conversation that she has no idea of the surprise in store for her today. Suddenly the sounds of a helicopter rip through the mostly quiet café as the excitement is about to unfold.
Spc. Mackenzie Crawford, a military police officer with the 585th Military Police Company, is on South Base, Serbia for Platinum Wolf 2017, an annual, two-week, multinational exercise focused on peacekeeping operations. Her brother, Spc. Matthew Crawford, with Headquarters, 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, happens to be deployed to Kosovo for a peacekeeping operation at the same time, only about an hour and a half drive away from his sister, even though they are both hundreds of miles away from home back in Ohio.
She quickly walks to the doors of the café with Sgt. Vanessa Gazerk, another MP with the 585th. Gazerk’s sister, Spc. Kelsey Gazerk, is deployed with Crawford’s brother Matthew. They peer out the doors and are encouraged by others to walk outside to check out the excitement generated from the helicopter landing.
While the two MPs gawk at the helicopter landing, a military vehicle convoy comes onto South Base and parks on the other side of the café, which goes unnoticed in the midst of all the activity. After the excitement from the helicopter is over, the two MPs head inside to finish their coffee.
However, the excitement really isn’t over yet. Once inside, the Soldiers from the convoy that just arrived saunter up to the door of the café and begin pouring in. Among the group is Matthew and Kelsey. Mackenzie lets out a scream when she realizes her brother has just walked in the small Serbian cafe. They embrace each other in a tight hug as tears trickle from Mackenzie’s eyes. Her hands shake as she releases her brother from her grasp.
“My mind blanked as soon as I saw him,” Mackenzie admits after she’s had a moment to let the reality sink in. “I was surprised, because I was told it wasn’t going to happen!”
For weeks leading up to Platinum Wolf 17, Vanessa had been in contact with her chain of command about the possibility of arranging a meeting of the two sets of siblings, however she told Mackenzie that the plans had fallen though so she would be surprised.
“It was great, because I just spoke with her about a week ago on the phone and she was telling me that some of our guys were coming down here and I acted like I had no idea,” smiled Matthew, “but the whole time I knew. It was really great to be able to come and surprise her. We haven’t seen each other in a long time.”
Matthew and Kelsey deployed with the 37th IBCT in August 2016 and hadn’t seen any of their Family members until now. Their units’ leadership worked to reunite them with their siblings since they would be so close to each other for these two weeks during Platinum Wolf 17.
“Thank you command team!” shouted the four giggling siblings, elated to be reunited.
Stories & photos by Spc. Emilie Sheridan, 196th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
CLS training affords look at different countries’ medical techniques
Army combat engineers with the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and soldiers from the Royal Irish Regiment participated in combat life saver training, conducted by three Ohio Army National Guard medics and a Macedonian medic during Platinum Wolf 2017, an annual, two-week multinational training exercise focusing on peacekeeping operations.
Training consisted of application of a tourniquet, managing hemorrhaging, penetrating wounds, chest wounds and how to set up a landing zone and call a medevac.
“Today we’ve been doing medical training for emergent field care, so
(it is used) for any major battlefield injuries,” said Spc. Ariel Groom, a combat medic with the 585th Military Police Company and one of the
CLS instructors. “One of the major causes of death on the battle field is blood loss, so that’s one of the major things we have addressed in this training is how to effectively stop bleeding.”
Groom said although there is a language barrier, through the use of translators and hands-on demonstra-
tion, the training was very successful. “The benefit of multinational trainers is you can have all different approaches,” she said. “Not just from my experiences. We can get experiences from the other trainers. We are working with a Macedonian nurse, so she’s going to have a different point of view than we will.”
Along with multinational trainers, the CLS lane incorporates training tools from different nations as well. “One thing that has been really helpful that the Serbian military has provided is there is a dummy — a mannequin — that can spurt blood and the limbs move to simulate the injury better,” Groom said.
Cpl. Richard Stewart, a section commander for 2nd Battalion, C Company of the Royal Irish Regiment, also said the robotic dummy was a good training asset. “It was good that the limbs moved. It sort of simulated
a patient struggling,” Stewart said.
During the training, soldiers from different nations interact with one another and share their tactics and thought processes on how to approach different situations.
“My goal as a section commander
is to teach my young rangers who have recently finished training a couple of months ago, to better them and make them more accepting of other cultures.” Stewart said.
One of the goals for the CLS lane
is to expose soldiers to different treatment approaches for battle field wounds and facilitate open communication on the best way to save causalities during combat.
“The primary goal of this training is
to save as many lives as we can,” Groom said. “Ultimately, this is just
to give people more information,
more tools in their toolbox as far as how to address injuries and how to save lives.”
A UNIQUE MISSION
Photos by 1st Lt. Dustin Lawson
Ohio’s assistant adjutant general goes back to Kosovo
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Ohio’s 37th IBCT leads Multinational Battle Group-East rotation
CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo — At the end of a deployment, Soldiers often ask themselves, “Have I made a difference?”
Rarely, does a Soldier have the opportunity to return to the location where they were deployed to assess first-hand the long-lasting effects of their earlier mission.
Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., Ohio assistant adjutant general for Army, had that opportunity earlier this year as he, along with state Command Sgt. Maj. Rodger Jones, traveled to Kosovo to visit Soldiers from the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team deployed there in support of Operation Joint Guard-Kosovo Force (KFOR). Harris was able to see first-hand the progress Kosovo has made since his deployment in 2004.
Five years after the war in Kosovo ended and just five months after significant rioting, Harris, then a lieutenant colonel, deployed to Kosovo where he commanded the 2nd Squadron, 107th Cavalry Regiment and Task Force Lancer. Harris said it was their job to “provide some semblance of harmony.”
Almost 13 years later, Harris traveled through some of those same towns where Task Force Lancer had been responsible for security in 2004-05. He said it was good to see there were no longer Humvees patrolling the streets.
Now, NATO forces serve as third responders, and they only patrol along the Administrative Boundary Line that separates Kosovo and Serbia.
During this visit, Harris joined U.S. forces on a joint patrol with the Serbian Armed Forces. There, he met with Serbian Maj. Gen. Slavoljub Janićijević. They discussed the Ohio National Guard-Serbian Armed Forces pairing through the State Partnership Program.
Later that day, Harris held a town hall discussion at Camp Bondsteel with 37th IBCT Soldiers. Two of those Soldiers — Capt. Robert Moffitt and Sgt. Maj. Robert Corner — served under Harris on the 2004 deployment. At that time, Moffitt was a specialist and Corner was a sergeant first class.
Harris explained how the incremental improvements of everyone doing their job add up over the course of a deployment to progress throughout Kosovo. Harris said he understands that, in the midst of carrying out the day-to-day duties, it can be difficult to tell whether the mission is making a positive and lasting impact. Harris said he hoped to answer that question for everyone when he said, “you may wonder if you have made a difference. The answer is ‘absolutely.’”
Harris praised the current leadership of NATO forces in eastern Kosovo, the 37th IBCT command team of Col. Corwin Lusk and Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Schuster.
Harris said it was OK to look forward to going home at the end of the deployment, but each Soldier owed it to all rotations that came before them and the rotations that come after to continue working hard to maintain and improve the situation in Kosovo until the 37th redeploys back to the U.S.
Lusk followed that challenge by using his own sports analogy when he said, “I don’t want to turn the ball over on downs. I want to turn the ball over after a touchdown.”
Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr. (left), Ohio assistant adjutant general for Army, laughs with Serbian Armed Forces Maj. Gen. Slavoljub Janicijevic while on a joint U.S.-Serbian patrol during Harris’ trip to Kosovo to visit deployed 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Soldiers.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Members of the Headquarters, the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, based in Columbus, return home this summer from their nearly yearlong deployment in support of Operation Joint Guard-Kosovo Force (KFOR).
Soldiers of Multinational Battle Group-East travel on foot toward a link-up point on the Administrative Boundary Line between Kosovo and Serbia in February 2017, where they will meet with Serbian Armed Forces personnel to conduct a joint patrol.
U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Caleb Barrieau
Soldiers from the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and their supporting units stand in formation during a transfer of authority ceremony Nov. 19, 2016, at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo.
U.S. Army photo by Spc. Adeline Witherspoon
Kosovo Border Police Lt. Col. Mentor Shabani, director of regional directorates, briefs Multinational Battle Group-East leadership and staff during a joint meeting Jan. 26, 2017, in Lluzhan, Kosovo.
U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Caleb Barrieau
Capt. Nathan Chiudioni points out one of several areas the Kosovo Border Police interoperate along the Administrative Boundary Line between Kosovo and Serbia while at a joint meeting Jan. 26, 2017, in Lluzhan, Kosovo.
U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Caleb Barrieau
Stories by 1st Lt. Dustin Lawson
37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo — Many Soldiers of Headquarters, 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team previously have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, but the unit’s deployment to Kosovo has been a unique experience for many because it is a peacekeeping mission. For the past 18 years, since Kosovo’s war ended, NATO’s mission under Operation Joint Guard-Kosovo Force (KFOR) has been to help maintain peace there.
During its deployment, the 37th IBCT has provided command and supervisory oversight of Multinational Battle Group-East (MNBG-E), tasked with maintaining a safe and secure environment and ensuring freedom of movement for people living within the MNBG-E Area of Responsibility, the sector in southeastern Kosovo adjacent to Macedonia and Serbia.
As Kosovo makes progress toward maintaining its own security, KFOR has relinquished more responsibility with each rotation. Being a third responder in a peacekeeping mission does not mean the 37th IBCT headquarters has had little to do — just that there’s been more opportunity to help further Kosovo’s progress in other ways. For example, the 37th trains with the Kosovo Security Forces, monitors illegal activity along the boundary line between Kosovo and Serbia, and recently began providing an environmental non-governmental organization with support as Kosovo works toward fostering greater environmental regulations. In addition, the 37th has used this deployment as an opportunity to conduct training that would not be as easily accessible on other missions. For example, the 37th had Army instructors, stationed in Germany, come to teach two rotations of Basic Leader Course to almost 100 Soldiers, helping them further their military careers. Another reason the mission in Kosovo has been unique is because of the many different countries the unit has worked with in the past year.
“When I was deployed to Iraq, the only other Soldiers I worked with were the Iraqi Army. Then, for about one week there was a team of British Soldiers on the same base as me. That was it,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Douglas Isanhart.
Currently, about 30 countries contribute forces to the KFOR mission. Over the course of the deployment, the 37th probably worked with every one of those countries in some capacity. In addition, the 37th had soldiers from four different countries — Poland, Hungary, Romania and Turkey — directly under its command. Another unique aspect of the 37th’s mission in Kosovo was the appreciation that Kosovars express for the KFOR mission. Kosovo might be one of the most U.S.-friendly places in the world. Whenever U.S. Soldiers are out in the public, it is common for the locals to voice their gratitude and ask for a photo with them. Locals often say that they wish Kosovo could become the 51st U.S. state.
While interviewing one of the 37th’s Soldiers, a journalist named Lorik from a local television station in Kosovo’s capital city of Prishtina summed up Kosovars’ appreciation of U.S. Forces when, with tears in his eyes, he said: “We are so thankful to you (NATO forces) for sacrificing time away from your families to help protect our families.”
37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team
A group of Multinational Battle Group-East troops, which included an element of the Polish Army’s 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, take a group photo with Serbian Armed Forces members after a short sync patrol along the Kosovo-Serbian Administrative Boundary in February 2017.
U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Caleb Barrieau
Honoring the colors
to start the duty day
Capt. Anthony Vogel, a Soldier with the Ohio National Guard’s 174th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, and his children sit for an interview with NBC4-TV, Columbus, following a call to duty ceremony June 15, 2017, at Reynoldsburg United Methodist Church in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Vogel was preparing to deploy with Task Force Guthrie Greys to the National Capital Region in Washington, D.C., to provide command and supervisory oversight to the homeland defense mission as part of Operation Noble Eagle.
Ohio National Guard photos by
Sgt. Andrew Kuhn
Always Ready, Always There
371st Sustainment Brigade
takes charge overseas
Spending time on TV with
daddy before saying goodbye
An honor guard comprising Ohio National Guard Soldiers and Airmen participates in the Governor's Wreath Laying Ceremony, part of the annual observance in honor of Memorial Day, May 25, 2017, at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. The event honors the memory of Ohioans who lost their lives in military service to their country.
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Ohio National Guard video by
Sgt. Andrew Kuhn
Col. Greg Betts (left), commander of the 371st Sustainment Brigade, and Command Sgt. Maj. Scott M. Barga, the brigade's senior enlisted advisor, uncase the brigade colors during a transfer of authority ceremony June 26, 2017, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The 371st is deployed for a limited duration to conduct sustainment operations in support of security cooperation, joint exercises and training in the region.
371st Sustainment Brigade
U.S. Army photo by
Sgt. Christopher Bigelow
Live fire from the sky
Service members hunt for signature of ‘The Shark’
Former PGA player and 2017 Memorial Tournament Honoree Greg Norman (from left) signs programs for Maj. Brandy Piacentino, of the 179th Airlift Wing, and 1st Lt. Aaron Smith, of the 174th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, during a luncheon for service members as part of Military Appreciation Day at the Memorial Tournament May 31, 2017, at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Go to Flickr for more photos and YouTube for a video roll-up of the day's events.
SEE MORE PHOTOS | WATCH VIDEO
Ohio National Guard photo by
Staff Sgt. Michael Carden
The Ohio National Guard
Spc. Alphonso Grant, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crew member with Company B, 1st Battalion, 137th Aviation Regiment, waits to engage targets with a M240C machine gun from the door of a Black Hawk June 8, 2017, during an aerial gunnery range at Camp Grayling, Mich. Soldiers of the battalion, based in Columbus, Ohio, were conducting their two-week annual training.
Ohio National Guard photo by
Staff Sgt. Michael Carden
Paying tribute to those Ohioans who gave all serving the nation
Airmen of the 121st Air Refueling Wing raise the flag just after sunrise May 6, 2017, at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Columbus, Ohio. Raising the flag during reveille on a military installation is a tradition that signals the start of the duty day.
Ohio National Guard photo by
Senior Master Sgt. Ralph Branson
Officers of Company C, 1st Battalion,
147th Infantry, 1964.
Soldiers of 1st Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry stand at ease during a welcome home ceremony at Xenia in September 2002 following a mobilization in support of Operation Noble Eagle.
Company D, 1st Infantry Regiment, circa 1917.
DATE & PLACE OF BIRTH
31 July 1876, Hillsboro, Ohio
To conduct reconnaissance and surveillance supporting the development of the brigade's situational awareness and knowledge in the area of operations.
World War I
World War II
Air Offensive - Japan
War on Terrorism
Iraq - Iraqi Sovereignty
Army Superior Unit Award
Streamer embroidered: 2004-2005
Members of the sniper team from Troop C, 2nd Squadron, 107th Cavalry Regiment demonstrate their capabilities during training at Fort Knox, Ky. in May 2014.
View a more detailed lineage of the
Troop C, 2nd Squadron,
107th Cavalry Regiment
Company E, 1st Battle Group, 147th Infantry, Camp Grayling, Mich., 1960.
Soldiers from Company H, 147th Infantry work on the engine of a jeep during field training, circa 1950.
Capt. Eugene Gall presents a trophy to a noncommissioned officer of Company H, 147th Infantry at Camp Breckenridge, Ky., 1956.
Company G, 147th Infantry, Camp Perry, Ohio, 1934.
Machine Gun Company, 147th Infantry, Camp Sherman, Ohio, 1919.
THE OHIO NATIONAL GUARD
LINEAGE LINK UP
Troop C, 2nd Squadron
107th Cavalry Regiment
By Maj. Daniel Davis
Ohio National Guard bilateral affairs officer
A bilateral affairs officer (BAO) is a unique job within the entire Department of Defense, and its demands rest squarely in the wheelhouse of National Guard officers. We bring diverse skill sets to a role that focuses on partnerships and relationships. There is no substitute for the trust built by interactions between military personnel over months and years. Within the entire DOD, the National Guard does this best because we can utilize the same Soldiers and Airmen to see a project through from start to finish. The BAO works to focus and leverage these relationships for mutual benefit.
The most rewarding part of the job is setting up events that allow Ohio National Guard members to interact with our partner nation’s military. Done correctly, these events should highlight the strengths of the Ohio Guard members and benefit the receiving party. However, the benefits flow both ways. Ohio Soldiers and Airmen often discover that our way isn’t the only way to do things. When this happens, bridges are built and friendships form. Said another way, the BAO tees up the baseball for Ohio National Guard members to hit a home run.
Preparation starts with marching orders from the Ohio adjutant general, who provides guidance about where the partnership should focus. We sync that guidance with formal DOD initiatives and the U.S. embassy country team. Finally, we work with our partner nation counterparts to turn that strategic guidance into actual contact events that bring together Ohio National Guard members and Hungarian Defence Forces and Serbian Armed Forces personnel. The events can take on different forms. Many are small team interactions that last a few days on various topics, such as disaster management or air traffic control. They can also be multinational exercises, as we just completed in Hungary with Exercise Load Diffuser 2017, a seven-nation air exercise involving three Ohio Air National Guard units and an Ohio Army National Guard unit. Ohioans were operating in Hungary beside their counterparts from Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom. The ultimate goal was to train as we will fight — in an international coalition with our European allies.
Whatever the event, I can tell when it has been properly prepared. At first, both the U.S. and Hungarian personnel are tentative. As the event continues and walls break down, personnel start talking shop. They find they have much in common. By the end of the event, people from different countries are talking like friends while they discuss plans for meeting together again next year.
Ohio Air National Guard Maj. Daniel Davis is the current bilateral affairs officer (BAO) at the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, Hungary. The BAO is part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program, which was established in 1993 and supports partnership with more than 70 countries all over the world. Each state partners with its own unique country for the purpose of improving bilateral relations with the United States.
The Ohio National Guard is partnered with Hungary and the Republic of Serbia, each with its own BAO position. It is a temporary Active Guard/Reserve position, a Family-accompanied tour lasting about two years, and is considered a diplomatic-level assignment. Current Ohio National Guard captains and majors interested in learning more about the application and experience requirements for the position may contact:
Capt. Trevor Ducey
Ohio National Guard State Partnership Program director
READ MORE about the life
of a bilateral affairs officer in
this article on Capt. Daryl Scott, who previously served as a
BAO in Serbia.
The job of a bilateral affairs officer
A view from the chair of an Ohioan in Hungary
The skyline of Budapest, Hungary serves as the backdrop for Ohio
Air National Guard Maj. Daniel Davis (left), the current bilateral affairs officer in Hungary, and Capt. Matthew Blackburn, the incoming bilateral affairs officer. Through the National Guard State Partnership Program, the Ohio National Guard is partnered with Hungary and the Republic of Serbia, each with its own BAO position to work with U.S. Embassy and SPP partner nation personnel.
Request information about upcoming opportunities
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Need help from the PAO?
If you would like to request public affairs support or guidance for your upcoming training event or unit activity, contact Stephanie Beougher, state public information officer, at 614-336-7369 or Stephanie.K.Beougher.email@example.com
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Guard members, Family and other interested persons are encouraged to submit any articles and photos meant to inform, educate or entertain Buckeye Guard readers. Submitted content, if approved for usage, may be used additionally or exclusively on the Ohio National Guard website, official Ohio National Guard social media sites, or in other Public Affairs Office products.
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Eight Soldiers of
the 37th have earned
the Medal of Honor.
The 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Buckeye) was constituted on July 18, 1917, as Headquarters, 37th Division, and this year marks a century of service to the state and nation by Buckeye Soldiers. To commemorate this, here are some important facts about the Buckeye Brigade’s history.
The Ohio National Guard in the
During World War II the 37th Infantry Division spent 592 days in combat.
Maj. Gen. Charles Treat was the first commander appointed in 1917. Since then, there have been 29 commanding generals or officers and 15 command sergeants major of the division/brigade.
The 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team displays eight campaign streamers and two unit awards signifying the unit’s service in World War I, World War II, Kosovo and the War on Terrorism.
In 100 years of existence, across the 37th Division, 37th Infantry Division, 73rd Brigade, 37th Brigade and 37th IBCT, 137 communities have been home to division/brigade elements. This breaks down to 126 in Ohio and 11 in Michigan.
A glimpse into the history of Ohio Army National Guard units. Constituted on July 18, 1917, as Headquarters, 37th Division, the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team celebrates 100 years serving the citizens of Ohio and the nation. Video by Sgt. 1st Class Josh Mann, Ohio Army National Guard command historian.
The Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of the 37th was approved on Nov. 5, 1918, and is described as a white disc with a red disc in the center and is taken from the state flag of Ohio.
Maj. Gen. Robert S. Beightler commanded the division from start to finish in World War II and was the only division commander to retain his command for the duration of the war.
Hall of Fame NFL Coach Don Shula, 1950 Heisman Trophy Winner Vic Janowicz and the fourth Sergeant Major of the Army Leon L. Van Autreve all served in the 37th.
Buckeye: 100 Years of the 37th Buckeye Division and Brigade