3 April – 1 May 2005: Relief in Place with 2-504th

Captain Ken Barr (center). Weapons Company. Khowst Province, Afghanistan. April 2005.

Captain Ken Barr (center). Weapons Company. Khowst Province, Afghanistan. April 2005.

3/3 conducted a relief in place with the 2-504th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the Khowst, Paktia, and Logar Provinces.


3/3 Chronology

“After the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) 76 change of command in late March, America’s Battalion saw the reconfiguration of TAOR Trinity and the arrival of Second Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (2-504 PIR) in early April. Based on a warning order from CJTF-76 given on 3 April, 3/3 convened an Operational Planning Team (OPT) to create a Plan of Action and Milestones (POA&M) for conducting a Relief in Place (RIP) of the southern provinces (Khowst, Paktia and Logar) and consolidating CTF Trinity in the northern provinces (Nangarhar, Kunar and Laghman). Two months from a RIP and TOA with Second Battalion, Third Marines (2/3), the Battalion began to expedite this process in order to have the equipment account relocated in time for a smooth RIP. With the Battalion consolidation, 3/3 faced the complete construction of a new Command Post to house the Battalion COC and H&S Company guard force, literally from the ground up at Jalal Abad Airfield (JAF) while simultaneously executing normal Battalion operations as part of Operation DETERMINED RESOLVE in support of OEF.

“On 14 April, the 2-504 PIR arrived in Salerno and began the RIP of TAOR Trinity South, which would be re­designated TAOR White Devil. While roughly half of the 3/3 personnel in Salerno convoyed to JAF, the Battalion leveraged the airlift that embarked the 2-504 PIR into Salerno in order to displace the remaining 3/3 equipment and personnel. By 19 April, the Alpha Command Group had displaced to JAF to direct Operations DETERMINED RESOLVE and CELTICS in Nangarhar, Kunar and Laghman while thc Bravo Command Group managed the RIP with 2-504 PIR in Khowst, Paktia and Logar. Also during this time, H&S and Weapons Companies conducted a turnover with Alpha and Bravo Companies, 2-504 PIR with Weapons Company detaching 2nd Platoon back to its parent unit, Lima Company, in Jalal Abad. Concurrently, Kilo Company conducted a turnover with Charlie Company, 2-504 PIR while sending 2nd Platoon to Mehtar Lam to conduct a turnover with 3rd Platoon, Lima Company in the newly established forward operating base (FOB) in Mehtar Lam, Laghman Province. Throughout April, extensive construction continued at both FOB Mehtar Lam and JAF in order to set 2/3 up with the best possible facilities in TAOR Trinity.

“On 1 May, a ceremony in Salerno completed the TOA of TAOR White Devil (formerly TAOR Trinity South) to the 2-504 PIR. The Bravo Command Group and Weapons Company participated in the TOA ceremony at FOB Salerno, then quickly completed their respective Ground Assault Convoys (GACs) to Jalalabad Air Field (JAF) in order to join the ongoing task of FOB construction and the guard force for the new camp at JAF. By 3 May, the Battalion had completed consolidation of TAOR Trinity in the northern provinces of Nangarhar, Kunar and Laghman.” — Source: 3/3 Command Chronology for the Period 01 January to 30 June 2005


Timeline

“3 Apr – CTF Trinity received the warning order from CJTF-76 specifying a Relief In Place (RIP) with the 2d Battalion of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (2-504th PIR) in the Khowst, Paktia, and Logar Provinces.”

“12 Apr – 2-504th’s ADVON arrived at FOB Salerno and began the turnover with CTF Trinity in the Khowst, Paktia, and Logar Provinces.”

“14-21 Apr – Kilo Company conducted a RIP with Lima Company in Mehtar Lam but remained TACON to Lima Company until Kilo completed their RIP with Charlie Company, 2-504th in Gardez District, Paktia Province.”

“19 Apr – CTF Trinity began its redeployment of the Battalion Command Post (CP) to the Jalal Abad Air Field (JAF) with the movement of the Alpha Command, H&S Company, and Weapons Company to Jalal­ Abad.”

“21-30 Apr – H&S, Weapons, and Kilo Companies commenced left seat/right seat turnover of their TAOR with the Soldiers of the 2-504th.”

“30 Apr – Kilo Company completed their TOA with Charlie Company, 2-504th PIR.”

“30 Apr – Weapons Company completed their TOA with Alpha and Bravo Companies of the 2-504th PIR.”

“30 Apr – CTF Trinity completed the RIP with the Soldiers of the 2-504th PIR in the Khowst, Paktia, and Logar Provinces and consolidating the Battalion into the Nangarhar, Kunar, and Laghman Provinces.”

“1 May – CTF Trinity completed TOA ceremony with the 2-504th PIR and completed personnel movement of H&S Company and Weapons Company to the CP at JAF.” — Source: 3/3 Command Chronology for the Period 01 January to 30 June 2005


News

‘White Devils’ recon area of operation in Khost province

By Staff Sgt. Bradley Rhen, Editor

ZAMBAR, Afghanistan – Led by a Marine captain who spent the last six months leading his company of Marines through Khost province, Soldiers from Company A, 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment got a good look at the region they will be patrolling for the next year April 29.

Captain Ken Barr, commander of Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment took the White Devils to three villages in the northern part of Khost province, including one where a patrol he was leading was attacked in January.

The first stop was Yaqobi, the Sabari district headquarters where about 20 elders from around the district had gathered. There, Barr bid the elders farewell and introduced Capt. Edward Hollis, commander of Co. A, 2-504 PIR, as his replacement in the district.

Following that, Barr led the patrol to Zambar where a patrol he was leading was attacked in the middle of the night Jan. 12 with machine guns and rocket propelled grenades. There, Barr also introduced Hollis to a couple of village elders.

“Zambar district is kind of a hotter area so I wanted in the daylight to get a good recon of the area,” Hollis said. “If there are bad guys out there, we’re here to root them out, so I wasn’t really too worried about (the attack).”

The purpose of the mission, Hollis said, was to let the Soldiers see the village in the daylight. Afterwards, he said it was a good experience for all.

For some of the Soldiers, it was their first time outside the wire since arriving at Forward Operating Base Salerno about two weeks earlier.

Many of them spent the majority of the day fending off hordes of Afghan kids who swarmed the Americans during every stop in the efforts to get an up close and personal look or, perhaps, to get a pen or some
candy.

“I felt kind of sorry for the kids, but I guess there’s not much we can do about that,” said Pfc. James Robinson, an M240B assistant gunner with Co. A, 2-504 PIR.

The 23-year-old, Bartlesvill, Okla., native made his first trip outside the wire on his first deployment since joining the Army. Robinson said he was nervous at times, but in the end he thought the mission went smoothly.

“It went good because nobody got hurt, we didn’t take any fire, we got back here safe, and we’re ready to go back out again and do what we got to do,” he said.

Robinson said this mission was a good learning experience and he thinks it will be useful when preparing for future missions.

“Knowing what I experienced today, I’ll be more prepared in the upcoming mission that we have out there,” he said Since arriving at FOB Salerno about two weeks earlier, Hollis said he’s worked quite a bit with the Marines. Although he never worked with Marines before, but if what he saw is the standard, he said they have an excellent organization.

“Everyone in Weapons Company was extremely professional with all our guys, wanted to pass off as much information as they could prior to us trans- ferring authority, and I was really impressed with all the
Marines,” he said.

Although the Army and the Marine Corps are two distinct services with many different characteristics, Hollis said that once it comes down to having boots on the ground, Soldiers and Marines aren’t that much
different.

“Everyone is here to do a job, and I think deep down inside everyone just wants to go home to Mom,” he said. “The same jokes I hear the Marines mess around with, our Soldiers mess around with and I didn’t really see a big difference.”

Source: Sentinel (Vol 2, No 8): May 06, 2005


Photographs

Categories: FOB Jalal Abad, FOB Mehtar Lam, FOB Salerno, Khowst Province, Laghman Province, Logar Province, Nangarhar Province, News, Paktia Province, Photographs | Tags:

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