19 July 2010

10th Mountain Division News Roundup

Panels approve Drum funding
Nearly $235 million in construction slated for next year at Fort Drum cleared a House subcommittee Wednesday, a first step toward securing money for new barracks, training facilities and other improvements.

The House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees military construction approved its spending bill for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, including the money for Fort Drum.

Lattes and Hot Showers in Afghanistan
A popular fake motivational poster here in Afghanistan is one that shows two pictures side by side: one of soldiers in full gear out on patrol covered in dust; the other of two soldiers holding trays of fast food with clean uniforms and big smiles. The caption below reads “Afghanistan: individual experiences may vary.”

This dichotomy is all too true for many soldiers around the country. As a new infantry lieutenant fresh out of Airborne and Ranger School, I arrived at the 10th Mountain Division expecting my experience to be much like the picture on the right. We had all seen images and video of firefights at remote outposts in the Hindu Kush, or house-to-house battles in Kandahar and Helmand Provinces.

Iraq US Troops Drawdown
In this Tuesday, July 13, 2010 photo, a U.S. Army soldier from 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division is seen on board a C-17 aircraft at Baghdad International Airport as they begin their journey to the United States. The soldiers, based at Fort Drum, N.Y., are headed home after nine months in Iraq as part of the U.S. drawdown of forces, which begins in earnest next month. The number of soldiers in Iraq is expected to go from 77,500 currently in the country to 50,000 by September 1.

Owens Announces Panel Approval of $6.7 million Requested for Fort Drum
The House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee approved Congressman Bill Owens’ funding request to construct an Alert Holding Area Facility for Fort Drum’s efforts to prepare our troops for deployment.

Command prepares 10th Mountain Division for Afghanistan
Members of U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) will conduct Unified Endeavor 10-3 Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Region Command - South (RC-S) Mission Rehearsal Exercise (MRX) July 14- 30 at Fort Drum, N.Y.

The MRX will help the Army's 10th Mountain Division transition smoothly into Afghanistan as it replaces a multinational contingent, led by British forces currently overseeing operations in RC-S under the command of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

SUNY Drum proposal advances
The effort to bring a State University of New York medical branch campus to the Fort Drum region advanced in a House subcommittee, Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, announced Friday.

An appropriations subcommittee approved $250,000 for the initiative, which supporters say will help attract health care professionals to the north country.
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