Making a Huge Difference as Part of One Team

Article excerpt

U.S. Army Pacific

Orders arrived for Task Force 1-501 Parachute Infantry Regiment while they were at Fort Knox, Ky., assisting with Stryker brigade combat team (SBCT) training. The task force would deploy within 45 days to Afghanistan as part of CJTF-180 (Combined Joint Task Force-180), an airborne task force that trains in the arctic of Fort Richardson, Alaska, runs lanes at Fort Knox for SBCT training and then deploys to fight on one of the global war on terrorism's battlefields. U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) soldiers and civilians remain focused on the Pacific but are ready and able to answer the call to arms anywhere. Our desire to get the job done-and then some-defines the Army in the Pacific 'One Team" spirit.

Pacific Army soldier and civilian deployments outside the Pacific Theater are now a common occurrence, but have always been part of our mission: to provide trained and ready forces to the commander, U.S. Pacific Command and as the world situation dictates, to other supported combatant commanders. More than 11,000 USARPAC soldiers and civilians are on duty outside the Pacific region fighting the war on terrorism or ensuring stability. Combined efforts of active and reserve component soldiers and civilians from across the Army in the Pacific are accomplishing a lot of heavy lifting.

Company B, 193rd Aviation, an Aviation maintenance company from the Hawaii Army National Guard, mobilized, trained and deployed in August 2003 as one of our first units to engage in operations in Afghanistan. Task Force 1-501, formed around the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, deployed from Alaska in October 2003 for duty in Afghanistan. Company A, 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation, a UH-60 helicopter company from the Alaska Army National Guard, arrived in Kosovo in February 2004 to help maintain the peace in the Balkans. The 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT) from the 25th Infantry Division deployed to Iraq in January 2004 to serve as part of the 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized) team in some of the toughest parts of that country. Company C, 193rd Aviation, a CH-47 helicopter company from the Hawaii Army National Guard, and the 411th Engineers, a heavy construction engineer Battalion from the Army Reserve in Hawaii, Guam, Alaska and American Samoa, both departed in March 2004 for duty in Iraq. Company C, 84th Engineers, a heavy engineer company from Alaska, has left a lasting legacy by executing reconstruction projects for the people of Iraq. The remainder of the 25th Infantry Division (Light) under Maj. Gen. Rick Olson deployed to Afghanistan in April 2004 to assume duties as the combined joint task force headquarters and to provide the major fighting elements of the CJTF. Additional USARPAC reserve and active duty units remain postured or are in postmobilization training to continue their mission.

USARPAC soldiers and civilians are also deploying to global war on terrorism battlefields in the Pacific. Since December 2002, soldiers from the 10th Area Support Group, U.S. Army Japan, with help from the 9th Theater Support Command (Army Reserve), Fort Belvoir, Va., have been operating the intermediate staging base (ISB) at Kadena Airbase on Okinawa, supporting Special Operations Command-Pacific (SOCPAC) Enduring Freedom operations in the Philippines (OEF-P). As of June 2004, this small detachment of soldiers staged and moved 5,400 short tons of cargo, and 7,000 personnel aboard 620 aircraft. In addition, USARPAC soldiers with logistics, intelligence and communications specialties are augmenting the OEF-P staff on Mindanao in the Philippines. The Republic of the Philippines has enjoyed relative stability in a region previously rife with terrorism. The people of the Philippines are resolute in defeating terrorism. The slackening grip of Abu Sayaf terrorists in Mindanao demonstrates that resolve. Our soldiers and civilians, alongside the armed forces of the Philippines, are winning this fight against terrorism, but there is more work to do. …