B*N*S*N1

Rangers receive awards for valor

FORT LEWIS, Wash. – It was so dark in that area of Iraq the night of April 26, 2008, Spc. Joe Gibson wasn’t certain what he had just stepped on as he walked through the chest-high grass between a series of two-foot-deep irrigation ditches.

Gibson, a mortarman with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, took two more steps forward and then turned around to investigate.

“It’s my job to make sure, so I turned around to make sure,” Gibson recalled. “I started moving the grass out of the way to see what I had stepped on.”

It was an insurgent, who raised his AK-47 rifle toward Gibson.

“He had an advantage on me,” Gibson said. “I knew he would have shot me first, so I just dived on him.”

As they struggled, the insurgent uttered the word “bomb” in English. He was wearing an explosive suicide vest.

“I thought at that moment that I probably was going to die, but I didn’t care,” Gibson said. “There was nothing I could do about it, so I kept on doing what I was doing.”

He ultimately shot and killed the insurgent, saving the lives of all the Rangers around him. For that and his other actions that night, Gibson, 23, was awarded the Silver Star at a ceremony Sept. 26 at the Evergreen Theater on Fort Lewis.

Gibson was one of 45 Soldiers from the 2nd Bn., 75th Ranger Regt. who received combat awards following their recent deployment at the ceremony, presided over by Adm. Eric T. Olson, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Fla. Lt. Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr., commanding general, I Corps and Fort Lewis, was in attendance.

“You are a special breed,” Olson told the assembled Rangers. “We do ask a lot of you. It’s all a part of your job. It’s a calling. And for that, the nation and I thank you, and we are fiercely proud of you.”

Olson called Gibson’s actions “awesome, and we were all inspired by them.”

Prior to Gibson’s encounter with the insurgent, the Rangers had been inserted by helicopter.

“It was in the middle of the night,” said Master Sgt. Bryan Barker, Gibson’s platoon sergeant. “It was a very dark night, about zero illumination. We were just out kind of in the middle of nowhere.”

After landing, the Rangers were met by intense small-arms and machine-gun fire. They immediately took two casualties, including a member of Gibson’s squad.

“The first thing that I wanted to do was just get to him,” Gibson said. “Me and another guy moved to him immediately.”

Under fire, they treated the Soldier and saw to it that he and the other casualty were evacuated.

“It was physically demanding,” Gibson admitted. “It’s your buddy there, and you don’t want to quit. He’s all right. He lived through that.”

A native of Yale, Okla., who joined the Army in May 2005, Gibson is married to Sgt. Samantha Gibson of the 61st Chemical Company. They met three years ago at Fort Lewis. Shortly after the raid, Spc. Gibson reenlisted for six years to become an infantry team leader in 3rd Platoon, A Co.

“That’s what I joined the Army to do,” said Gibson of that night last April. “I feel honored to get that chance to do what I did.

“I was just doing what I had to do. I don’t really think I deserve anything special for that.”

Bob Reinert is a reporter with Fort Lewis’ Northwest Guardian
(source)

Rangers lead the way!!!!! (The emphasis in the above is mine…lol)

B*N*S*N2

Paras return from Afghanistan to brand new accommodation

2 Oct 08

Soldiers from 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment have been moving into their new home in the purpose-built rooms in Merville Barracks at Colchester Garrison this week after returning from a six month operational tour in Afghanistan.

Members of 3 PARA moving into their new accommodation

Members of 3 PARA moving into their new accommodation
[Picture: Cpl Rupert Frere RLC]

The soldiers are moving from their old rooms in Hyderabad Barracks into the second and final phase of the £560 million development at Merville Barracks, which was completed in June 2008.

The centrepiece of the new Barracks is the new junior ranks single living accommodation (JRSLA), where each soldier has their own room with en-suite bathroom. These are built in 69-room blocks, split into flatlets of between six and eight rooms, each with a communal cooking and cleaning area, and common room. This makes a considerable change from the previous accommodation in Colchester, much of which dates back to the 1930s and 40s, and in some cases to Victorian times.

Private Ryan Hanks got back from Afghanistan last Friday, Friday 26 September 2008, with B Company and is enjoying his new surroundings:

“We were in four-man rooms before at our old barracks” said Pte Hanks. “We hadn’t seen these before we moved in on Friday so when I saw it, it was mega. Everyone has got a double bed and you’ve got your own bathroom now as well. We’ve also got a washing machine in the other room which is good.”

One of the communal kitchen areas

Soldiers making the most of one of the communal kitchen areas
[Picture: Cpl Rupert Frere RLC]

Major Aidan Coogan, Regimental Adjutant of The Parachute Regiment, said:

“The move into new accommodation, which is of a standard that our soldiers deserve, has actually been a long journey from Aldershot to Colchester.

“We are absolutely delighted that we now have accommodation and working conditions of the highest quality that befit the work that our modern soldiers do.”..

There is more, Go here to find out.

B*N*S*N2

Paras return from Afghanistan to brand new accommodation

2 Oct 08

Soldiers from 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment have been moving into their new home in the purpose-built rooms in Merville Barracks at Colchester Garrison this week after returning from a six month operational tour in Afghanistan.

Members of 3 PARA moving into their new accommodation

Members of 3 PARA moving into their new accommodation
[Picture: Cpl Rupert Frere RLC]

The soldiers are moving from their old rooms in Hyderabad Barracks into the second and final phase of the £560 million development at Merville Barracks, which was completed in June 2008.

The centrepiece of the new Barracks is the new junior ranks single living accommodation (JRSLA), where each soldier has their own room with en-suite bathroom. These are built in 69-room blocks, split into flatlets of between six and eight rooms, each with a communal cooking and cleaning area, and common room. This makes a considerable change from the previous accommodation in Colchester, much of which dates back to the 1930s and 40s, and in some cases to Victorian times.

Private Ryan Hanks got back from Afghanistan last Friday, Friday 26 September 2008, with B Company and is enjoying his new surroundings:

“We were in four-man rooms before at our old barracks” said Pte Hanks. “We hadn’t seen these before we moved in on Friday so when I saw it, it was mega. Everyone has got a double bed and you’ve got your own bathroom now as well. We’ve also got a washing machine in the other room which is good.”

One of the communal kitchen areas

Soldiers making the most of one of the communal kitchen areas
[Picture: Cpl Rupert Frere RLC]

Major Aidan Coogan, Regimental Adjutant of The Parachute Regiment, said:

“The move into new accommodation, which is of a standard that our soldiers deserve, has actually been a long journey from Aldershot to Colchester.

“We are absolutely delighted that we now have accommodation and working conditions of the highest quality that befit the work that our modern soldiers do.”..

There is more, Go here to find out.

B*N*S*N2

Paras return from Afghanistan to brand new accommodation

2 Oct 08

Soldiers from 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment have been moving into their new home in the purpose-built rooms in Merville Barracks at Colchester Garrison this week after returning from a six month operational tour in Afghanistan.

Members of 3 PARA moving into their new accommodation

Members of 3 PARA moving into their new accommodation
[Picture: Cpl Rupert Frere RLC]

The soldiers are moving from their old rooms in Hyderabad Barracks into the second and final phase of the £560 million development at Merville Barracks, which was completed in June 2008.

The centrepiece of the new Barracks is the new junior ranks single living accommodation (JRSLA), where each soldier has their own room with en-suite bathroom. These are built in 69-room blocks, split into flatlets of between six and eight rooms, each with a communal cooking and cleaning area, and common room. This makes a considerable change from the previous accommodation in Colchester, much of which dates back to the 1930s and 40s, and in some cases to Victorian times.

Private Ryan Hanks got back from Afghanistan last Friday, Friday 26 September 2008, with B Company and is enjoying his new surroundings:

“We were in four-man rooms before at our old barracks” said Pte Hanks. “We hadn’t seen these before we moved in on Friday so when I saw it, it was mega. Everyone has got a double bed and you’ve got your own bathroom now as well. We’ve also got a washing machine in the other room which is good.”

One of the communal kitchen areas

Soldiers making the most of one of the communal kitchen areas
[Picture: Cpl Rupert Frere RLC]

Major Aidan Coogan, Regimental Adjutant of The Parachute Regiment, said:

“The move into new accommodation, which is of a standard that our soldiers deserve, has actually been a long journey from Aldershot to Colchester.

“We are absolutely delighted that we now have accommodation and working conditions of the highest quality that befit the work that our modern soldiers do.”..

There is more, Go here to find out.

B*N*S*N3

Displaced Families Return to Al Khwalis

Thursday, 02 October 2008 By Sgt. Mark Albright
14th Public Affairs Detachment

AL KHWALIS — More than 100 Individually Displaced families returned to their homes recently in the town of Al Khwalis. The event was celebrated by a welcome ceremony and is a significant mark in the reconciliation process. The families left the area when tensions mounted after the Iraqi Army cleared the area of Al Qaeda last year.

“Today was a ceremony that represents the reconciling of differences between Sunni and Shia families,” said Capt. Roger Miranda, executive officer, 1st Battalion, 19th Brigade, 5th Division, Military Transition Team. “These people have been living in the town of Hib Hib since they were displaced.”

There were more than 500 people who returned to Khwalis in the reconciliation process that had been ongoing since January. The reconciliation council met multiple times and decided who is allowed to come back.

“I am so happy today because these families are able to come back to their homes,” said sheik Ratif Al Sa’adi, a member of the reconciliation council for Al Khwalis, “This is a great step for the council and for the people returning.”

Read the rest here.

B*N*S*N4

Private Desjarlais receives the Most Improved Award from LGen Andrew Leslie, as Aboriginal Chief Lawrence Joseph looks on.

Exercise Bold Eagle mixes First Nations, military

Thursday, September 11, 2008
Project Number:08-0560

Wainwright, Alberta – Exercise Bold Eagle, a six-week program that combines First Nation traditions with the Army Reserve Basic Military Qualification, opens the door to the military for young First Nation people.

In August, 57 newly-qualified young men and women received congratulations from Lieutenant-General (LGen) Andrew Leslie, Chief of Land Staff and Chief Lawrence Joseph of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations at the Bold Eagle 2008 graduation ceremony.

Before the start of military training, recruits participate in a four-day culture camp which eases their transition into the military. The camp allows the elders of their community to explain the ways of the warrior and the traditions of First Nations people.

B*N*S*N4

Private Desjarlais receives the Most Improved Award from LGen Andrew Leslie, as Aboriginal Chief Lawrence Joseph looks on.

Exercise Bold Eagle mixes First Nations, military

Thursday, September 11, 2008
Project Number:08-0560

Wainwright, Alberta – Exercise Bold Eagle, a six-week program that combines First Nation traditions with the Army Reserve Basic Military Qualification, opens the door to the military for young First Nation people.

In August, 57 newly-qualified young men and women received congratulations from Lieutenant-General (LGen) Andrew Leslie, Chief of Land Staff and Chief Lawrence Joseph of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations at the Bold Eagle 2008 graduation ceremony.

Before the start of military training, recruits participate in a four-day culture camp which eases their transition into the military. The camp allows the elders of their community to explain the ways of the warrior and the traditions of First Nations people.