News

Thu
16
Mar

Females jump into Geronimo history

By JEAN DUBIEL

Editor’s note: In honor of Women’s History Month in March, the Guardian features a series highlighting the careers of accomplished women that work and serve at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk.

FORT POLK, La. — You can easily spot a Soldier in the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 509th Infantry Regiment, walking around Fort Polk. Their uniforms are generally classic olive drab or tiger-stripped. Many of the Soldiers wear beards… authorized due to their mission of being the opposing force for rotational units. But a new dynamic has been thrown into the Geronimo mix: Females.

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Thu
16
Mar

710th BSB Soldiers make Mountain Peak surmountable

By Staff Sgt. NATHAN AKRIDGE

FORT POLK, La. – Patriot Soldiers participating in the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division Mountain Peak exercise from Feb. 26 to March 14 faced an enemy that has plagued Soldiers from the time of Genghis Khan to the Dough Boys fighting in the trenches of World War I — mud.

When the rains moved in and thick mud stopped heavy vehicles, a group of Soldiers from 710th Brigade Support Battalion got down and dirty to help recover vehicles that were stuck in the quagmire.

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Thu
16
Mar

Louisiana leadership learns what it takes to be Soldiers

By Capt. JOSHUA ELLERSON

FORT POLK, La. — The partnership between a military organization and its surrounding communities has long played an important role in the effectiveness, training and readiness of the unit.

Leaders from around Louisiana were extended an invitation from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division “Patriots” to see how the unit operates during the Mountain Peak training exercise at Fort Polk from Feb. 26 to March 14.

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Thu
16
Mar

Fort Polk, National Guard Soldiers earn air assault wings

By CHUCK CANNON

FORT POLK, La. — More than 130 Soldiers from Fort Polk and the Louisiana National Guard began a two-week trek Feb. 24 to earn air assault wings. When the dust and chaff had settled, 49 survivors pinned the coveted badge to their uniforms during a graduation ceremony at Fort Polk’s Honor Field March 10.

Lt. Col. Joel Vernetti, senior intelligence trainer for the Joint Readiness Training Center Operations Group, was guest speaker for the ceremony. He told the crowd of Family members and fellow Soldiers what air assault Soldiers bring to the fight for today’s Army.

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Fri
10
Mar

No Soldier left behind

Medics from 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, remove a Soldier’s equipment to administer treatment during a mass casualty training event, part of the Mountain Peak exercise held at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk.

Units from Fort Polk’s 3rd BCT and the 36th Infantry Division, Texas National Guard, participated in the training, the first two units in the Army’s Associated Unit Pilot program to participate in a major training event together.

 

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Fri
10
Mar

Tigerland, Vietnam veteran pays visit to Fort Polk

By CHUCK CANNON

FORT POLK, La. — As a young draftee from Oklahoma, Jim Ross found himself exiting a plane at the Fort Polk landing string in the summer of 1969 to begin training for an eventual assignment to Vietnam.

On March 4, 48 years later, Ross returned to the sprawling post in southwestern Louisiana to revisit the area and sign a copy of his book, “Outside the Wire,” for Fort Polk’s Allen Memorial Library.

Fri
10
Mar

Generations of Soldiers meet for breakfast

By JEAN DUBIEL

LEESVILLE, La. — On the first Saturday of every month, Rangers and Special Forces veterans throughout the country get together for a special breakfast. Each group posts photos to a centralized social media site to share the experience across the miles, linking old and new friends in a common goal: Comradery.

“There is no agenda, just brotherhood and a chance to catch up with old friends,” said Army veteran Matt West. “We come together informally, say a prayer, get in line (for chow) and try to talk to everybody. It gives us all a chance to do a ‘buddy check,’ and see what’s going on with everybody.”

 

Fri
10
Mar

Patriots, Arrowheads conduct first AUP major training event

By Staff Sgt. NATHAN AKRIDGE

FORT POLK, La. — Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division “Patriots” trained side by side with members of the 36th Infantry Division “Arrowhead” during the Mountain Peak exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center on Fort Polk, writing history together as the first two units in the Army’s Associated Unit Pilot program, or AUP, to participate in a major training event together.

In September 2016, the Patriot Brigade became the only active duty brigade combat team to wear a National Guard patch. By partnering an active duty brigade with a National Guard unit, the Army hopes to drastically cut the time needed for the National Guard to prepare for a deployment.

 

Fri
03
Mar

Mobile Training Team brings Air Assault course to Fort Polk

By JEAN DUBIEL

FORT POLK, La. — “Air Assault! Air Assault! Air Assault!” was the mantra of more than 130 candidates trying out for a slot to attend the Air Assault course offered at Fort Polk. The Soldiers were gathered at the obstacle course on Georgia Avenue Feb. 24 for “zero day,” the day before the 10-day course actually begins, to complete a grueling set of physical tasks before they could be accepted as students. Throughout the obstacle stations, candidates were required to shout “Air Assault!” at either the beginning or end of each task, or as they ran from one obstacle to another — loud and proud while maintaining their military bearing.

Sgt. 1st Class Mikey Fernandez, Air Assault course noncommissioned officer in charge, is on the Mobile Training Team from Fort Drum, New York. He said the course is held at Fort Polk at this time of year because of one advantage: The weather.

Fri
03
Mar

Acquisition community: ‘Army can't wait for 'perfect solutions'

By C. TODD LOPEZ

WASHINGTON — To get Soldiers the latest equipment they need now, say Army acquisition professionals, the Army must accept that it can't have perfection right up front.

Maj. Gen. David G. Bassett, the Army's program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems, said Feb. 27 during a public forum on Capitol Hill, that the Army must be willing to accept some temporary shortcomings if it's going to meet the chief of staff's demands to get needed capability out to the force quicker.

One example where this strategy has proven successful was with the Stryker Double V Hull capability, which provides additional protection to Soldiers in the Stryker.

 

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