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The monthly newsletter highlighting the successes of the 1st stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

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  • HOME OF THE 1ST STRYKER BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM, 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION

    ARCTIC WOLVES

    VOLUME 1 ISSUE 1

    July 2011

  • CTZ Commander

    Col. Todd R. Wood

    Families and Friends of the Arctic Wolves:

    I want to start this letter by saying how proud I am of our soldiers who are serv-

    ing here in Afghanistan and back at Ft. Wainwright, their professionalism and

    dedication has allowed us to deploy and assume this mission in Regional Com-

    mand South (RC-S). Our soldiers are currently deployed across the entire area

    doing everything from combat missions of providing security to local popula-

    tions, training the Afghan security forces, to assisting the village, District, and

    Provincial leadership in providing a stable environment. The Arctic Wolves are

    having a positive impact everywhere they are deployed, providing people opportunities they would have

    never had under Taliban rule. These opportunities include access to medical and education services, ability

    to travel safely around the country, the ability to conduct commerce trade, farming, and work. This is all due

    to the hard work and presence of our soldiers.

    We all mourn the loss of soldiers from the Brigade Troops Battalion (73rd Engineers), 1-24 IN, and 1-5 INand the many wounded we have evacuated back to hospitals. Our thoughts and prayers are with those fami-

    lies and friends that have been affected by these tragic events. The soldiers here in those units continue to

    honor our fallen by dedicating our daily service to their memory and our continued determination to accom-

    plish the mission is our commitment to them and the legacy they leave behind.

    The Arctic Wolf Team has grown in many ways here in Afghanistan with the addition of a Romanian Bri-

    gade Headquarters with 2 Infantry Battalions, a Joint Provincial Reconstruction Team, multiple Special Op-

    erations Force elements, Battalions from 2 different Afghan National Army Brigades, and over 2,000 Afghan

    Police---all working together to improve the security and quality of life here in Zabul and Kandahar Prov-

    inces. We have been very busy in establishing ourselves on over 56 different Forward Operating Bases and

    Company/Platoon Operating Bases. We are reducing the IED threat levels, training newly recruited Afghans

    to take up policing in their villages, reducing the leadership of the enemy cells operating in the area, and

    maintaining our COIN and war fighting focus at every turn. Very proud of how hard everyone has worked

    and how successful we have been in a very short time.

    I want to give a special thanks the Rear Detachment Command for performing very well in the load out, movement, reception, and operation supporting the families which have allowed us to focus on the mission

    in Afghanistan. I want to thank the many FRG Advisors and Leaders and countless volunteers who support

    the Arctic Wolf units and families on a daily basis. Further, I want to thank the greater Fairbanks Commu-

    nity and the local leaders who look after the welfare of our families while were deployed. Deployments are truly a team effort and it is a great comfort to all of us deployed to know we have such great people at home

    supporting us so well.

    Thank you all so much for everything you do. We Continue Mission, Arctic Wolves!

    COL Todd Wood

    Page 1

  • CTZ Command Sgt. Maj.

    CSM Bernard L. Knight

    To the 1/25 SBCT Family and Friends:

    Our first thirty-days here in Afghanistan, or even longer for some, have been

    very fast and furious. The Soldiers of the Arctic Wolf Brigade have been very

    busy providing peace and stability for the Afghanistan people with the help of

    the Afghanistan government. Your Soldiers are performing their missions with

    very well with a high degree of discipline and morale. There has not been a task,

    order, or mission that has gone out where our Soldiers have not set the standards

    for others to follow and I am very proud to serve among them!

    The Arctic Wolves are currently spread out across two Afghan Provinces and twenty districts, we work long

    hard days and sometimes through the nights to accomplish the mission. This is a harsh and demanding envi-

    ronment that requires our Soldiers take care of themselves and each other. Most outposts provide a very good

    quality of life for our Soldiers. We do our best to ensure there is internet and phone service to stay con-

    nected to our families back home. The food is very good at some FOBs and just ok at others, but there is no

    shortage of food or water.

    I want to again thank each and every one of you for the outstanding support for our Soldiers. The outpouring

    of letters, care packages, e-mail, Skype sessions, and telephone calls that we receive never ceases to amaze

    me. This kind of support allows us all to perform at our peak thanks to added motivation. I have always said,

    A connected Soldier is a happy Soldier and a happy Soldier is a mission-effective Soldier!

    Our mission has not come without a cost. It is with heavy hearts when we reflect on the losses of PFC Mel-

    ton, Private Tucker, and Private Pressley of the 73rd Engineer Company, as well as SSG Self, of 2nd Stryker

    Cavalry Regiment. We also continue to mourn the more recent losses of SSG Sherer of 1-24 Infantry and

    PFC Larson of 1-5 Infantry who taken from us after given their all in defense of our country and in the hope

    of bringing a brighter day to Afghanistan, its people and to the world. I also would like to add our heartfelt

    condolences to the families of two of our Romanian Army partners, CPLs Ionel and Laurentiu of the Roma-

    nian 26th Infantry Battalion Red Scorpions, who also paid the ultimate sacrifice in the short time we have been here. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of our Warriors and know they will never

    be forgotten in the Arctic Wolf Brigade.

    Ladies and Gentlemen of the Arctic Wolves Community, please keep our Soldiers in your thoughts and prayers. They will keep the blanket of freedom strong for all Americans to sleep under tonight and every

    night!

    ARCTIC WOLVES!

    Command Sergeant Major Bernie Knight

    Page 2

  • FORWARD OPERATING BASE LAGMAN, Afghani-stan Two highly deco-rated Army units gathered in Zabul province to cele-brate a momentous occa-sion May 18 as the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment Dragoons relinquished command of the Afghani-stan province of Zabul, to the Arctic Wolves of 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Divi-sion during a transfer-of-authority ceremony.

    During the ceremony the 2nd SCR colors where cased signaling the end of a yearlong deployment while the 1/25 SBCT un-furled theirs. This time honored tradition is used to signify the official trans-fer of authority among the two command groups.

    Maj. Gen. James L. Terry, commanding gen-eral of Regional Com-mand South, 10th Moun-tain Division (LI), spoke on the significance of each units sacrifices, as well as their past mis-sions and future chal-lenges.

    Today, partnered patrols, new infrastructure, and an emerging Afghan base of governance and security solutions provide a frame-work that never previ-ously existed, Terry said. Through it all the Dra-goons have helped the district provincial govern-ment work with represen-tatives to improve govern-ance and development. With Afghan partners they

    built a foundation for safer and stronger communities that will free them from in-surgent influence.

    Due to the Dragoons effort we start this next season in a much better place, Terry said. The Dragoons now hand the home field advan-tage to the Arctic Wolves.

    After honoring the mile-stones set by the 2nd SCR, Terry turned his attention to the mission that lays ahead for the 1/25 SBCT Arctic Wolves.The Arctic Wolves have a proud history reach-ing all the way back to World War II and coming up through Vietnam and most recently through a year of hard fighting in Iraq, he con-tinued in his remarks di-rected to the 1/25 SBCT leaders.

    Welcome to the RC-South team. Colonel (Todd) Wood and Command Sergeant Major (Bernie) Knight, you are in command of one of the most versatile, powerful, and mobile fighting brigades

    in the Army, you have a proven history, and have sustained a legacy of com-bat in the proud 25th Infan-try Division, Tropic Light-ning, and I know you will carry Task Force Dra-goons mission forward through the pending fight.

    After the Speech, Col. James Blackburn, 75th Regimental commander of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, expressed his admiration for his Afghan counterparts and welcomed his succes-sor.

    We are proud to share a

    common history with the

    1/25 SBCT yet once again

    and we are privileged to

    serve with such heroes,

    said Blackburn.The 1st

    Stryker Brigade is commit-

    ted to working with the gov-

    ernment and leaders to

    assist the security forces to

    protect the people of Zabul

    province and to assist the

    province in its growth,

    Wood said.

    Arctic Wolves again provide relief to Dragoons Story and photos By: Spc. Thomas Duval 1/25 PAO

    WOLVES DEN WOLVES DEN

    US ARMY

    1-24 IN TOA 4

    2-8FA TOA 5

    Operation Kenei 5

    K9 Story 6

    Father son Feature 7

    Running with the

    Pack 8

    Memorial Run 9

    INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

    Army mom is

    Army Strong 9

    RETENTION

    UPDATE 10

    2-8FA Operation 11

    Army Birthday 12

    5-1CAV Operation 13