Our focus these past two weeks was supporting 1-505’s MASTAC on 3 NOV with all ground duties and Safeties, participating in the 508 PIR Reunion in Charleston, conducting change of command inventories for HHC, A, and J companies, EIB training and testing, and the D Co/HHC company JFE on 3 NOV.
FIGHT TONIGHT – READINESS
On 7 NOV, 13 Paratroopers from 1-508 PIR earned their Expert Infantryman Badge with 1BCT. Two of our Paratroopers – CPT Simpson and 2LT Robben – earned their EIB “True Blue.” On 3 NOV, D Co and HHC conducted a company airborne operation, seizing assault OBJs by P+1 in conjunction with 307 BEB. 1-508 PIR supported that line and the line later that night with all ground duties, issue, recovery, and Safety duties – allowing both 307 BEB and 1-505 PIR to have all available leaders participate in their battalion missions. Also on 3 NOV, 1-508 PIR’s Fire Support team won the DIVARTY Best of the Best competition after a four day course consisting of an Army Physical Fitness Test, a combat fitness test, land navigation, a written exam, a hands on examination of various fire support equipment, and a 20km foot march (storyboard attached).
During the last two weeks, HHC, A Co, and J Co conducted change of command inventories. Concurrently, CPT Roubicek and A Co sent team leaders to train with B/307 BEB at a demolition range and executed SQD level training on MOUT and Battle Drills for three days. Platoon leaders developed CONOPs and executed battle drills focusing on team and squad level tactics (storyboard attached). CPT Newell and B Co conducted an M4 zero, qualification, and close-quarter battle ranges last week (storyboard attached). B Co also qualified 6 Paratroopers on the Javelin training system and conducted a field training Team Leader Academy in NTA 5 this week. CPT Elgin and C Co conducted land navigation training in the northern training areas this week, while CPT Kearney and D Co continue with Gunner Skills Testing and Ground Mount firing in preparation for their gunnery at Fort Benning in JAN ’17. CPT Suslik and J Co conducted issue, recovery, chute shake out, and DZ cleaning in support of 307 BEB’s and 1-505 PIR’s airborne operation on 3 NOV. Additionally, they conducted MTRC (Multi-Temp Refrigeration Container) training and they fielding and trained on the Camel II (800 gallon water container).
On the maintenance line of effort, 1-508 PIR participated in an extended Maintenance Stand-down, where we helped clean the Lewis & Pratt container yard and conducted further maintenance on our vehicles. Our efforts to increase personnel readiness over the past two weeks included flu shots for the battalion, clearing PRR/FRR/DD93/SGLV across the companies, and sending Paratroopers through a BN SRP on 1 NOV.
WIN TOMORROW’S FIGHT
On 28 OCT we had two leaders pass PWAC to become Jumpmasters – SFC O’Brien (D Co) and SSG Cole (A Co). 1-508 PIR has 2 leaders currently in the Jumpmaster course, while CPT Gavin passed JMPI testing today and is now a Jumpmaster. We also have 2 Paratroopers in Ranger School – PFC Black (A Co) and PFC Reynolds (HHC).
Last week 1-508 PIR had 7 Paratroopers graduate the MRT Course, and we will have 6 new or recertified CAO/CNOs graduate the course by the end of the week.
On 31 OCT, BG Jebb (West Point Dean of Academics) visited 1-508 PIR to discuss the academy and future instructor positions with all our leaders. BG Jebb fielded questions about leader development and career opportunities with USMA.
PARATROOPERS FOR LIFE
From 3-5 November, 1-508 PIR had 50 Paratroopers and spouses participate in the 508 PIR reunion in Charleston, SC. The Family and Friends of the 508 PIR Association sponsored the event, which included multiple veterans from WWII, the Vietnam era, and OEF/OIF. The event concluded with a formal banquet in which 1F6 was the guest speaker (storyboard attached).
On 08 NOV, HHC conducted its monthly FRG meeting at Dragon Lanes Bowling center. The event was a huge success drawing a large crowd of 97 Paratroopers, spouses, and children (storyboard attached).
AMERICA’S GUARD OF HONOR
On 12 NOV, C Co will provide 100 Paratroopers to march in the Veteran’s Day Parade in Southern Pines. D Co will be providing a truck section in support of the parade as well. On 10 NOV, 12 Paratroopers from 1-508 PIR will conduct the ruck march with our Chaplain to donate items to the Cape Fear Veteran's Home.
NEXT TWO WEEK'S FOCUS
Our focus over the next two weeks will be 1) Clean Sweep, 2) Family Readiness Liaison training and Family Care training, 3) continued change of command inventories, and 4) preparing for and conducting our battalion ball on 19 NOV.
MAJ Dru Rhodes
1-508 PIR Operations Officer
3BCT, 82nd ABN DIV
FURY FROM THE SKY