oef 13-14 narrative history for 2d cavalry regiment

Download OEF 13-14 narrative history for 2d Cavalry Regiment

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A history narrative for 2d Cavalry Regiment during Operation Enduring Freedom 13-14

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  • 1.1 22DD CCAAVVAALLRRYY RREEGGIIMMEENNTT OOPPEERRAATTIIOONN EENNDDUURRIINNGG FFRREEEEDDOOMM JJUULLYY 22001133--AAPPRRIILL 22001144 1. INTRODUCTION. In July 2013, the Second Regiment of Dragoons were called to service once again. Soldiers from the 2d Cavalry began their preparation for the deployment to Kandahar Province, Afghanistan in March 2013 with a Mission Readiness Exercise at Hohenfels. The mission was very unique as compared to past deployments. Dragoons were tasked with training the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) as a Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB). This requirement was extremely taxing on personnel and 2CR was actually augmented with hundreds of personnel to man mission specific Security Force Assistance Teams (SFATs). All maneuver Squadrons were task organized to fulfill this mission as opposed to fighting as counterinsurgents as they had done the previous two rotations to Iraq and Afghanistan. The agility of 2CR leaders and Soldiers enabled the Regiment to transform into an advise and assist force in time to coach ANSF to secure their own country for the 2014 Presidential and Provincial Council elections. This narrative documents the operations conducted by 2d Cavalry while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from July 2013 to April 2014. While there are many details of operations held at a higher level of classification, this summary provides a comprehensive look at how the 2d Cavalry operated under the command of COL D.A. Sims and provides insight to the challenges and opportunities Dragoons encountered along the way. Although the nature of this deployment was incredibly dynamic and complex, Dragoons fulfilled their motto Toujours Pret! Always Ready! 2. MISSION. CTF DRAGOON, in partnership with ANSF, disrupts enemy capabilities and secures decisive terrain in Kandahar Province in order to protect the population and dislocate the enemy from their safehavens. 3. KEY PERSONNEL. Duty Position Name Duty Location Tenure ISO OEF CTF Commander COL DA Sims Kandahar Airfield 12 JUL13 APR 14 CTF CSM CSM Wilbert Engram Kandahar Airfield 12 JUL 13 APR 14 CTF Executive Officer MAJ Michael Berriman Kandahar Airfield 04JUL13 05JAN14 CTF Executive Officer MAJ Tom Fournier Kandahar Airfield 05JAN14 APR14 CTF Operations Officer MAJ Samuel Edwards Kandahar Airfield 12 JUL 13 APR 14 TF War Eagle (1/2CR) CDR LTC Phillip Gage FOB Zangabad 10 JUL 13 JAN 14 TF War Eagle (1/2CR) CSM CSM Martin Celestine FOB Zangabad 10 JUL 13 JAN 14 TF War Eagle XO MAJ Ben Zweibelsen FOB Shoja 10 JUL 13 JAN 14 TF War Eagle S3 MAJ Robert Green FOB Zangabad 10 JUL 13 JAN 14 TF Cougar (2/2CR) CDR LTC Charles Svelen FOB Frontenac 26 AUG 13 APR 14 TF Cougar (2/2CR) CSM CSM Christoher Spivey FOB Frontenac 26 AUG 13 APR 14 TF Cougar XO MAJ Matthew McQuilton FOB Frontenac 10 JUL 13 JAN 14

2. 2 TF Cougar S3 MAJ Tom Fournier FOB Frontenac 26AUG1305JAN14 TF Cougar S3 MAJ Shawn Conlin FOB Frontenac 01JAN14 APR 14 TF Wolfpack (3/2CR) CDR LTC Eric Smith FOB Pasab 22 AUG 13 APR14 TF Wolfpack (3/2CR) CSM CSM Michael Martin FOB Pasab 22 AUG 13 APR 14 TF Wolfpack XO MAJ William Dougherty FOB Pasab 22 AUG 13 APR 14 TF Wolfpack S3 MAJ Timothy Peterman FOB Pasab 22AUG1301JAN14 TF Wolfpack S3 MAJ Dave Preston FOB Pasab 01JAN14 - APR 14 TF Saber (4/2CR) CDR LTC Christopher Budihas FOB Lindsey 11 JUL 13 APR 14 TF Saber (4/2CR) CSM CSM Robert Ochsner FOB Lindsey 11 JUL 13 APR 14 TF Saber XO MAJ John Horning FOB Lindsey 11 JUL 13 APR 14 TF Saber S3 MAJ Clarence Wilhite FOB Lindsey 11 JUL 13 APR 14 TF Hell (FA) CDR LTC Steven Fandrich FOB Walton 23 AUG 13 APR 14 TF Hell (FA) CSM CSM Stanley Akins FOB Walton 23 AUG 13 APR 14 TF Hell XO MAJ Michael Teague FOB Walton 23 AUG 13 JAN 14 TF Hell S3 MAJ Brad Fausnaugh FOB Walton 23 AUG 13 APR 14 TF Muleskinner (RSS) CDR LTC Kenneth Bradford Kandahar Airfield 10 JUL 13 APR 14 TF Muleskinner (RSS) CSM CSM Michael Perry Kandahar Airfield 10 JUL 13 APR 14 TF Muleskinner XO MAJ Tanner Roy Kandahar Airfield 10 JUL 13 MAR 14 TF Muleskinner S3 CPT Thomas Hearon Kandahar Airfield 10 JUL 13 APR 14 SFAT S201 OIC COL Michael Atwell JRAC, OCC-R 8 JUL 13 JAN 14 SFAT S201 NCOIC SFC Donald Thompson JRAC, OCC-R 8 JUL 13 - APR 14 SFAT S220 OIC COL Anthony Burgess FOB Walton 8 JUL 13 - APR 14 SFAT S220 NCOIC SGM Tyrone Spratt FOB Walton 8 JUL 13 - APR 14 SFAT 101 OIC LTC Travis Cornett FOB Lindsey 8 JUL 13 - APR 14 SFAT 101 NCOIC SFC Kenneth Beecroft FOB Lindsey 8 JUL 13 - APR 14 SFAT 301 OIC LTC Peter Zike FOB Pasab 8 JUL 13 DEC 14 SFAT 301 NCOIC MSG Quinnus Caldwell FOB Pasab 8 JUL 13 - APR 14 SFAT 401 OIC LTC Robert Ballagh FOB Lindsey 8 JUL 13 - APR 14 SFAT 401NCOIC MSG Stevan Nave FOB Lindsey 8 JUL 13 - APR 14 Figure 1: CTF DRAGOON Key Leaders 3. 3 4. LINEAGE / BACKGROUND. The Second Dragoons are the oldest, continuously serving cavalry regiment in the United States Army. From its formation in 1836 to fight in the Second Seminole War, to its numerous deployments to the Middle East, the Regiment has distinguished itself in several major campaigns: the Indian Wars, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, both World Wars, and the Persian Gulf War. Along the way, members of the Regiment served gallantly in action and 20 were awarded Medals of Honor. A comprehensive history of the Dragoons can be found at: http://history.dragoons.org. Figure 2: 2CR OEF CREST 5. DEPLOYMENT OVERVIEW. a. Deployment Location: CTF DRAGOONs area of operations consisted of all 16 districts of Kandahar Province and encompassed an area approximately 20,858 sq miles (54,022 sq km) with 1,175,000 people. CTF DRAGOON operated out of Kandahar airfield, collocated with Regional Command South (RC(S)), about 12 km southeast of Kandahar City. TF WAR EAGLE operated out of FOB Zangabad, Panjwai; TF COUGAR operated out of FOB Frontenac, Shah Wali Kot; TF WOLFPACK operated out of FOB Pasab, Zharay; TF SABER operated out of FOB Lindsey, Daman; TF HELL operated out of FOB Walton, Dand; and TF MULESKINNER operated out of Kandahar Airfield. Major population centers included Kandahar City, Spin Boldak, Bazaar-e-Panjwai, Zangabad, Nakoney, Takt-e-Pul, Sahabay, Surkhabad, Sardagh, Baghtu, and Hutal. The social fabric woven throughout Kandahar consisted of over seventeen separate tribes and sub-tribes. Major tribal rivalries included the Poplazai and Barakzai in central and northern Kandahar and the Noorzai and Ishaqzai in western Kandahar. Other prevalent tribes throughout the area of operations consisted of the Achekzai, Alizai, and Alikozai. 4. 4 b. Home-station Mission Analysis: Home station mission analysis consisted primarily of determining how to transform a robust cavalry regiment into a Security Force Advise and Assist Brigade (SFAB). Following the Mission Readiness Exercise (MRE), the strength of the Regiment was over 4,200 people strong. Orders and guidance coming from United States Army Europe (USAREUR) changed on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. Originally 2CR conducted mission analysis for sending the majority of the Regiment to Kandahar, with its reconnaissance squadron deploying to Regional Command-North (RC (N)). This later transformed into the Regiment deploying to Kandahar, but at a significantly reduced strength of around 3,000 people and with five Security Force Advise and assist Teams (SFATs). In the final two months leading up to deployment, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) instructed 2CR to increase the number of SFATs to 20. This was a difficult task considering the number of senior officer and Non- Commissioned Officer (NCO) requirements. Dozens of augmentees were flown into Germany in May and June for deployment in July. Having just returned from Kandahar, Uruzgan and Zabul a year prior, 2CR had many resident experts on the enemy situation. Therefore focus for mission analysis remained on force disposition and task organization, with a priority on SFATs. FIGURE 3: AO DRAGOON 5. 5 6. PREPARATION OVERVIEW. a. Road-to-War: Preparations for deployment officially began in November 2012. On the 13NOV12, 2CR initiated leader reset transitioning almost every commander at the Troop, Squadron and Regimental level by January 2013. In addition, several training events began, including culture and language training, Combat Life Saver (CLS) training, range densities, Company Intelligence Support Team (COIST) training and UAV training. In December 2012, CTF DRAGOON sent all SFAT personnel to the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Ft Polk, Louisiana to attend the SFAT Academy. Training focused on mentoring and advising Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), the conduct of Key Leader Engagements (KLEs), cultural awareness, and language training. The training was a good first step towards preparing the team members for their advisor roles. Finally, CTF DRAGOON conducted Theater Specific Individual Requirements Training (TSIRT) throughout June 2013. In addition to all the deployment training requirements, 2CR retained responsibility for various USAREUR Contingency Plans with the ability to deploy at any time. b. Pre-Deployment Site Survey (PDSS): CTF DRAGOON conducted their PDSS from 15- 27APR13, following the Mission Readiness Exercise (MRE). The Regimental Commander, Operations Sergeant Major, Regimental primary staff, Squadron Command Teams and key SFAT leadership attended the PDSS. Due to the unique transition requirements with 2CR conducting a Relief In Place (RIP) with two brigades, the PDSS was split among both elements. Issues with flights from Manas, Krygystan delayed the trip and 2CR only had three days on the ground in Kandahar. They spent one day with each of the brigades, who provided an operations and intelligence brief and an aerial reconnaissance of their respective Areas of Operations (AOs). This initial interaction enabled enduring coordination with the counterparts whom 2CR key personnel would later replace. Most significantly, this initial as

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