Tuesday, April 27

Several people have asked why I didn't have any photo's with me in them early on in the blog-- that was because I was taking the photos. Well, I scrounged up several photo's this week from others in the unit-- so here you go!

This is NBC training that we did in Topeka the week before we reported to Fort Riley. I'm wearing a training chemical protective suit and the M-40 mask. The suits we're taking to Afghanistan are a newer design. It was actually snowing during the picture, although it's difficult to see. We were training on the donning of the protective gear correctly and within certain time standards. We also trained on proper decontamination procedures.

Here we are on a early morning road march with battle rattle and ruck sacks. Since we were in a public park, we couldn't carry our weapons like we usually do.

The Kabul team, plus the First Sergeant and I, during a rest halt.

Discussing after the road march things we want to do differently for the next. We're always tuning our procedures and making the training more challenging.

Staff meeting late in the evening during one of our busier weeks. Normally we try to hold them during the day and in uniform.

Greeting Kansas' Adjutant General. He flew out with the Command Sergeant Major to visit us. The helicopter landed right across the street from our barracks. He was impressed with what he saw ;-)

Lunch with the Assistant Adjutant General for Land Component. He flew out a different week with is CSM and stayed almost the whole day with us to talk to the soldiers, observe our training and otherwise see how we're doing.

Here's the A-TAG observing some of our soldiers training on our new video acquisition system. They were shooting video for a 30 second humorous spot about littering. It turned out great. He actually has a good understanding of photography. The soldiers were impressed :-)

Unit photo.

Well, what do you think? There's more to come in the next few days.

-- Rick

Wednesday, April 21

It's been a while since I've posted... but rest assured we're still keeping busy. Meaningful training is the best way to combat boredom and other morale issues that can arise when stuck in a holding pattern at the mobilization station.

Here are some photos of our Combat Life Saver certification course we conducted. CLS is a one week course (we got a slightly accelerated version of it) designed to train normal soldiers to be first responders for treating injured soldiers. The thought behind CLS is that for each Army platoon, there is typically one medic authorized. That medic is tremendously busy in a combat situation, too busy to treat all the injured right away. So the army certifies one soldier from each section of about five soldiers to be a CLS. Their quick action in treating a wound until the medic can get to them can make a huge difference. CLS certified soldiers carry an aid bag equipped with two IV kits, splints, special bandages, etc. The big hands-on exercise in the course is administering an IV to a classmate. All twenty personnel in the 105th MPAD are now CLS certified and equipped.

In this photo we're checking and setting up the IV kit:

In this photo I'm gaining a full appreciation of the size of the needle :)

In this photo I have already inserted the needle into the vein, slid the sheath fully into the vein, and am removing the needle. Some blood oozed out because I didn't pinch the catheter off quick enough when removing the needle-- a little messy buy not a problem. My 'patient' didn't mind. He is a former Marine that doesn't scare easily.

Monday, April 5

We're still waiting for some new, required equipment to come in before they'll let us leave. We could be here till the first week of May. In the meantime, we're lining up some more good training. On Wednesday we fire on the Reflex Range. This is basically an opportunity to test our reflexes firing our weapons-- practicing being quick and accurate on the draw. We're also learning some hand-to-hand combat techniques every morning this week taught by Fort Riley's SWAT team.

In addition to the hooah training I just mentioned, we're checking out the new equipment as it trickles in. It's all state-of-the-art photography and videography equipment that has my journalists drooling! We are performing functions checks on the new stuff, inventorying it, training on it, and packing it for shipment to Afghanistan.

Thursday, April 1

Hi everyone,

I just want to give you the web address for the Fort Riley Post, Fort Riley's weekly newspaper. We've been augmenting the post PAO shop here and you'll find some of my soldiers' work in it. Look at the by-line of the articals and the cutline of the photos. They usually list the journalists rank, name, and the 105th MPAD unit name.

We rotate one of our three PA teams into the PAO shop each week so that our soldiers can get valuable real-world experience before we go. Also check the previous issues for our work. We also have been doing media escort and video work that of course you won't see in the newspaper.


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