11 July 2010

10th Mountain Division News Roundup

Two units back on Drum after war deployments
Families welcomed home two units Thursday after yearlong deployments. The 173 returning soldiers of the 630th Engineer Company, 7th Engineer Battalion were deployed to Afghanistan and 154 members of the 543rd Military Police Company, 10th Sustainment Brigade returned from Iraq.

New JCC community survey shows more people optimistic about life in NNY
We are optimistic, with the majority reporting that life in Jefferson County is getting better. We typically think this is a good place to live, a good place to raise children, and a good place in which to grow old. We are concerned about the national economy and think our own economy needs some improvement, but we think we have better shopping opportunities and better access to higher education than we did last year. We think the expansion of Fort Drum has a positive impact on our community.

Geothermal Energy Could Make the Department of Defense a Supplier of U.S. Energy, Not Just a Consumer
The U.S. military’s drive to replace fossil fuels with sustainable energy could result in an interesting twist: the military could wind up being a net supplier of energy to the U.S. electricity grid, in the form of geothermal power tapped from land owned by the Department of Defense (pdf alert).

Since 2004, Fort Drum in upstate New York has been installing geothermal systems in 19 buildings in various stages of completion. Across the country in Texas, Fort Bliss is looking to geothermal for achieving net zero carbon emissions in ten years. There are many more examples in between, and a study by the the Engineer Research and Development Center of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers suggests that that the Department of Defense has enough geothermal resources to produce electricity for the national grid as well as its own bases.

Chowing down in the Army: New Fort Drum dining facilities compete with modern food options, changing tastes
If you served in the military more than a few years ago, or grew up watching old war movies, your image of an Army cook might be a guy in a white T-shirt and apron, glumly pulling KP duty in the mess hall by peeling a sack of potatoes.

The food he helped prepare was likely to be served (and received) with a dose of surly GI attitude. (Think almost any Beetle Bailey comic strip.)

At Fort Drum near Watertown, Specialist Ryan Rumminger is not that Army cook.

Wind study hits a snag
INDIAN RIVER: Drum officials not consulted, see tower problem

PHILADELPHIA — Gaining approval to erect a meteorological tower to assess wind conditions has been tougher than Indian River Central School District officials expected. And the delays in the wind study stem from a lack of communication between the Federal Aviation Administration and Fort Drum about how erecting the tower could affect low-flying aircraft.

"We thought with FAA approval, we could just go ahead with the study," Superintendent James Kettrick said.

FAA officials didn't consult Fort Drum officials directly when they approved a 164-foot-tall meteorological tower to assess wind on district property, and Fort Drum officials have an issue with the tower because its chosen site is close to the flight path of aircraft approaching Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield.

Spotted: People, Places & Things
Army Maj. Cornelius J. Pope has arrived for duty at Fort Drum, Watertown, N.Y. Pope is the son of Barbara Thurmond-Archibald of Bogart and the brother of Eddie L. Berry and Bryant K. Gantt of Athens. He graduated from Clarke Central High School in Athens.

"Assisting Locals, Increasing Trust" in Iraq During Drawdown
Colorful bags emblazoned with cartoon characters such as Winnie the Pooh and Barbie sat in a small, beat-up metal trailer, reflecting the early morning sun; a colorful contrast to the glistening sweat dripping from under the dusty helmets of soldiers working nearby.

The soldiers seemed to be everywhere at once, organizing supplies, arranging lines of concertina wire, and doing everything necessary to prepare for the people who would soon be descending on their temporary camp.

Even as the morning continued to heat up and the sweat continued to pour down, the soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, remained in high spirits, laughing and joking with each other and their Iraqi Army counterparts from 1st Battalion, 25th Brigade, 17th Iraqi Army Division.

BETH WILSON: Meet Me at the Flagpole at Disney
I love Disneyland. Oh, I know it is the smallest of the Disneyland Resorts but I love it. My husband and I have been season pass holders for most of our marriage. Several years ago, we happened to be walking along main street USA when we noticed something happening at the flagpole. The Disneyland Band, the Dapper Dans (barbershop quartet), and a “detail” were surrounding the flagpole. We joined the gathering throng to discover a special ceremony; the Flag Retreat Ceremony.

As the band, the “Dans” and the detail retire, something indescribable happens. Those vets gathered around the flagpole are slow to disperse. Joined by spouses, many wonderful connections are made. Gary spent six years in the Navy, on a boomer. David, who just returned from his fourth tour to Afghanistan, serves with the 10th Mountain Division out of New York. Gerald is a Vietnam era retired Air Force vet — with some great stories to tell. Donald, a World War II veteran, teared up during the ceremony. He landed on the beach on that “Day of Days” and swapped stories with several other Army vets and gave a warm and emotional, “Take care” to the active duty soldiers standing there.

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