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NATO Battle Group Poland conducts transfer of authority ceremony
BEMOWO PISKIE, POLAND
BEMOWO PISKIE TRAINING AREA, Poland—NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Poland after a year as an established and legitimate battle group in the Baltic Region conducts a transfer of authority ceremony for the third rotational unit.
Battle Group Poland, commanded by U.S. Army Lt. Col. Scott Cheney also serves as commander of 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment- Wolfpack, Vilseck, Germany transfers authority to U.S. Army Lt. Col. Adam Lackey, commander of 1st Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment- War Eagles here April 20.
Cheney, led elements of the multinational unit for the past six months. The U.S.-led battle group, comprise of U.S., U.K., Romanian and Croatian soldiers, serve with the Polish 15th Mechanized Brigade as a deterrence and defense force in northeast Poland in support of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence.
For the past six months, the multinational unit trained together in numerous operational and training exercises. The Croatian Volcano Battery conducted their first fires coordination exercise outside its country’s border. The Romanian Army Air Ground and Defense Battery “Black Bats” enhanced their capabilities through practice of targeting and launching munitions from their 35-mm cannons. The U.K. Light Dragoons, Balaklava Troop soldiers engaged in winter training, patrolling tactics and sniper training in support of the battle group. The U.S. Soldiers of 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment- Wolfpack conducted squad and troop live fire exercises and validated their squadron capabilities in a squadron live fire exercise.
The lead up to the NATO eFP Battle Group Poland tested and prepared Soldiers, leaders and equipment of 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment- Wolfpack.
“The year prior to our deployment we deployed and trained with our NATO allies, specifically troops were sent to Romania and Croatia,” said Cheney. “Subsequently, Romania and Croatia deployed elements here to the battle group that further enhanced cultural understanding and training.”
Key preparation before the squadron’s deployment occurred in May 2017. This preparation came in the name of Saber Junction ’17, a U.S. Army Europe-directed exercise designed to assess the readiness of the U.S. Army’s Stryker-based 2nd Cavalry Regiment to conduct unified land operations with a particular emphasis on rehearsing the transition from garrison to combat operations, and exercising operational and tactical decision-making skills.
“Prior to the deployment we had a British and Polish element attached to our squadron at Saber Junction ‘17,” said Cheney. “We were able to work with our multinational partners and developed tactics, techniques and procedures to overcome challenges.”
Battle Group Poland over the span of six months practiced, rehearsed and executed means of enhancing both digital and analog Common Operating Pictures (COPs) for mutual understanding.Through extensive staff preparation and use of the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) potential hazards and gaps were replaced with measures that secured mission success.
In January 2018, Bull Run III was the first major alert exercise and test of the battle group. Communicating as a battle group within a multinational unit was the overall objective. Speed, freedom of movement, defense capabilities and offensive operations were important functions of a multinational unit like that of the Battle Group Poland.
Entering and operating in a multinational unit is challenging, the acme of success is to defeat said challenges. The art of leadership, efficient staff and clear orders creates a clear operating picture.
“To overcome and adjust around our challenges we implemented liaison officers and applied people to overcome technical obstacles,” said Cheney. “Each allied country, with its national caveats, came together under the NATO umbrella to operate as one cohesive unit.”
The next six months training of the Battle Group Poland will cover combined arms live fire exercises, tests and enhancement in interoperability and defining a mutual understanding through enhanced joint capabilities training. These small-scaled training exercises lead up to Saber Strike 18. Saber Strike is a long-withstanding U.S. Army Europe-led cooperative training exercise that helps facilitate cooperation amongst the U.S., Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland with allied and partner nations.
Under the direction of Association Historian, T. J. Linzy, we have a newly designed 2CAV Association history website at: https://dragoonshistory.com
This edition's featured history post:
Thoughts from the President
Greetings Dragoons! We are well into 2018 and your Association is riding hard and great things are happening!
I had the distinct honor of attending the Stryker Leader Symposium at Ft Lewis, Washington back in January. You can be proud that the Stryker community is strong and your Regiment is leading the way! The Stryker brigades are increasingly relevant as our nations “go to” force because of their tremendous capability across a wide range of environments and conditions. Your Regiment, already forward deployed in Europe, remains very active as a testbed of innovation in addition to their mission of building partnership capacity and, demonstrating our resolve and commitment to the people of Europe. Our Dragoons breath new life into the saying “hit the leather and ride” as the Regiment puts more miles on its vehicles than any other unit in the Army!
On that note, I ask that you make plans now to join the Regiment in Vilseck, 17-20 July for the Week of the Dragoon. The week promises to be action packed and designed to entertain and inform cavalrymen both new and seasoned. Climb aboard the Regiments Stryker’s, including the “Dragoon” armed with a 30mm cannon, and unique to your Regiment. Also, step up to the challenge and slip on your running shoes if you want to participate in a Regimental Run! For those that prefer a more relaxed venue, the Regimental Dining Inn is sure to please! The Regimental Change of Command on the 20thwill be bittersweet as we bid farewell to a man that has taken good care of the Dragoons, Colonel Pat Ellis, and we welcome Colonel Tom Hough as he takes the reins. As always, we will also take time to remember our fallen and rededicate our Global War on Terrorism Memorial. We will also kick around the old stomping grounds and enjoy a bit of comradery always evident when cavalrymen get together!
So, don’t delay, plan now, and make your way to the home of the Regiment, and don’t forget your Stetson and Spurs! For coordination info please reach out to the Association Adjutant, Major Joe Roberts, at firstname.lastname@example.org. And I look forward to seeing you in Vilseck this July.
Always Ready! Dragoon for Life
2d Cavalry Association
CSM Thomas J. Melvin, Sr. (US Army, retired), 72, passed away at home Tuesday, March 13, 2018, surrounded by his family.
A resident of Hinesville for the past 35 years, he retired from the United States Army after 25 years of service. After serving three tours in Germany and one to Korea, his career culminated as the Command Sergeant Major, 1st Brigade, 24th Infantry Division at Fort Stewart. He enjoyed skeet shooting and fishing with his grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Delores “Dee” Melvin; children, David Melvin (Jennifer) of Ocala, FL, Elizabeth McGowan of Ludowici, Thomas J. Melvin, Jr. (Bianca) of LaVernia, TX, and Daniel Melvin (Susan) of Guyton; two sisters, Virginia Sue King and Connie Weaver both of Crescent City, FL; brother, Walter Weaver of Crescent City; ten grandchildren, one very special great-granddaughter, several nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers will be the members of the United States Army Honor Guard. CSM Melvin’s grandsons Ryan McGowan, Gavin McGowan, Justin Floyd, Jason Floyd, Austin Melvin, Joshua Melvin, Cain Melvin, and Cole Melvin, will serve as honorary pallbearers.
Visitation will be 6-8 pm, Thursday, March 15, 2018, at Carter Funeral Home Oglethorpe Chapel. Funeral services will be held at 1 pm, Friday, March 16, 2018 at Carter Funeral Home Oglethorpe Chapel, followed by burial at Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Glennville at 3 pm with Full Military Honors.
Carter Funeral Home Oglethorpe Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. Online condolences can be made at www.carteroglethorpe.com.
Spanish-American pragmatist George Santayana once said: "People who can't remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
I think that we almost take it as an article of faith that the Marine Corps does a better job of training its Marines on Marine Corps history, than we do with Army history and our Soldiers. I remember as a lieutenant, my initial understanding of our Regimental history included Capt. May, Bastogne, the Seminole wars, and some vague understanding of the Constabulary. Maybe in a high-speed, low drag unit during the Cold War that was enough.
Listening to CSM Muhlenbeck during a recent Association board meeting, I heard a senior leader also in a high-speed, low drag unit, patrolling the frontiers of Europe, express a need for troopers to understand their history.
We were discussing the restoration of the Global War on Terror Monument in Vilseck, and the Sgt. Maj. expressed its importance by saying if “I could get a young trooper to think about his heritage, before doing something stupid downtown, maybe it could have a big impact."
In collaboration with the Association History Site, managed by TJ Linzy, The Thoroughbred is taking up the challenge, and will be adding a bit of regimental history to its pages.
Particularly, you old Cold Warriors, Border Rats, and Scouts, please fill out the Cold War questionnaire, it is vital for the assembly of contemporary histories of a relatively unknown era in the history of our Army. Even our contemporaries a few tens of kilometers behind us, are unfamiliar with what happened along the Trace. Desert Storm and GWOT troopers need to help us preserve our history before memories fade. Tell you Army story, tell your Dragoon story.
Dragoon for life!
Dragoon GWOT Memorial update/Memorial to all fallen Troopers
GWOT Memorial to be dedicated in July
Due to the tremendous efforts by the Regimental Commander and his team, the Army has agreed to replace the memorial utilizing appropriated funds. This has been a huge undertaking by the Regiment and we are extremely proud of them for taking the lead and owning this.
This means the funds we have raised to date for the replacement of the memorial in Vilseck can now serve as a jump start to funding a more encompassing memorial to all the fallen Dragoons lost since its inception in 1836.
The memorial (conceptual) will be located at Ft. Benning, the home of Armor/Cavalry and Infantry. A team of dedicated Dragoons has been working diligently to identify the over 1,000 fallen troopers by campaign. While other units have memorials like this, we, the oldest continuously serving Regiment in the U.S Army, do not.
We are going to need an estimated $125,000 to make this a reality. This will be by far the most ambitious effort ever undertaken by the Association and many feel it is long overdue.
We have started in earnest preparations for the memorial and promise to keep our members fully apprised of progress toward this goal. This project will not happen if it is left up to a few stalwart Troopers to carry this message. This target must be engaged by all Dragoons, so please reach out and ensure the message gets passed down the line. Each of you needs to be involved in this project to ensure we Remember Our Regiment and those great men and women that have given all since 1836.
If you have not yet contributed, consider making a donation or even a pledge that can be funded over time. The target is that the Association will be able to dedicate the Ft. Benning memorial at our 2021 reunion, which we propose to hold in Columbus, GA. Anyone who has concerns about this new memorial project, please reach out to Frank Hurd, our Exec VP/Treasurer, at FrankKHurd@gmail.com
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Mike Pompeo, a former three-term U.S. congressman from Kansas, became director of the Central Intelligence Agency and then U.S. secretary of state under President Donald Trump.
Mike Pompeo was sworn in as Secretary of State on April 26, 2018. He previously served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from January 2017 to April 2018.
Prior to joining the Trump Administration, Mr. Pompeo was serving in his fourth term as congressman from Kansas’ 4th District. He served on the House Intelligence Committee, as well as the Energy and Commerce Committee and House Select Benghazi Committee.
Prior to his service in Congress, Mr. Pompeo founded Thayer Aerospace, where he served as CEO for more than a decade. He later became President of Sentry International, an oilfield equipment manufacturing, distribution, and service company.
Mr. Pompeo graduated first in his class at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1986 and served as a cavalry officer in the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment patrolling the Iron Curtain before the fall of the Berlin Wall. He also served with the 2nd Squadron, 7th Cavalry in the US Army’s Fourth Infantry Division.
After leaving active duty, Mr. Pompeo graduated from Harvard Law School, having been an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Mr. Pompeo was born on December 30, 1963, in Orange, California. He is married to Susan Pompeo and has one son, Nick.
Douglas V. Mastriano, PhD (US Army Colonel, retired) for Congress
Doug Mastriano is the son of a career US Navy man, West Pointer, 2d Cavalryman and Eagle Scout. He was commissioned and began his military service on the Iron Curtain with the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Germany. While serving along the East German and Czechoslovakian borders, he witnessed the end of the Cold War and deployed to Iraq for Operation Desert Storm (1990-1991). Here, his regiment led the attack against Saddam Hussein's elite Republican Guards culminating in the Battle of 73rd Easting. By God's grace and having survived many close calls of death, he subsequently served in tactical, operational and strategic assignments in Washington D.C., the 3rd Infantry Division and US Army Europe (USAREUR). After 9/11, Mastriano was the lead planner for the operation to invade Iraq from Turkey. He served four years with NATO, from where he deployed thrice to Afghanistan. While there, Mastriano was the director of the Joint Intelligence Center, overseeing intelligence across the war torn region, leading 80 soldiers from 18 nations. He personally led, planned and organized seven relief operations helping Afghan orphans.
Mastriano is a historian and has a PhD from the University of New Brunswick, Canada. He has four master's degrees, which include: Military Operations, Strategic Intelligence, Airpower and Strategy. He also earned a BA from Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania (1986), and was selected as Eastern's Alumnus of the Year in 2009. He led the search to locate where America's greatest World War One hero, Alvin York, received the Medal of Honor. American and French authorities endorsed his findings, and he led the construction of a three mile trail, replete with two monuments and nine historic markers in the Argonne Forest, France for visitors to walk where Sergeant York fought. Mastriano's website www.sgtyorkdiscovery.com has details. He authored the acclaimed book Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne, which received four awards: the William E. Colby Award from Norwich University, the Crader Family Book Prize from Southeast Missouri State University, the Army Historical Foundation Book Award, and the Army War College Madigan Award for Excellence. His next book, Thunder in the Argonne is the first complete story of America’s largest battle, the 1918 Meuse-Argonne Campaign.
Mastriano is married to Rebecca (Stewart), whose ancestors were "first family" having settled near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania in 1732. Their son Josiah is an Eagle Scout, Chief Scout and is the recipient of the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. Mastriano is an active member of his community church where he teaches Sunday School. The family resides in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.