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69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade

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  • FORT HOOD, Texas – The 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade is scheduled to hold a Sexual Harassment/ Assault Response & Prevention stand down, April 6, here. Various agencies from Fort Hood and the 69th ADA Command Team will brief over 500 Soldiers on the Army's SHARP Program to promote safety, prevention techniques and safe reporting.

    If you have any questions please contact Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf, Public Affairs NCOIC for the 69th ADA at Brandon.m.banzhaf.mil@mail.mil, Office: 254-287-3807 or at Cell: 254-423-4666.

    Media interested in covering the event must register here no later than 1700 on Wednesday, April 5.  Gate time will be 0820 at the Fort Hood Visitor Center.

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  • FORT HOOD, Texas – The 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade is scheduled to hold a Sexual Harassment/ Assault Response & Prevention stand down, April 6, here. Various agencies from Fort Hood and the 69th ADA Command Team will brief over 500 Soldiers on the Army's SHARP Program to promote safety, prevention techniques and safe reporting.

    If you have any questions please contact Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf, Public Affairs NCOIC for the 69th ADA at Brandon.m.banzhaf.mil@mail.mil, Office: 254-287-3807 or at Cell: 254-423-4666.

    Media interested in covering the event must register here no later than 1700 on Wednesday, April 5.  Gate time will be 0820 at the Fort Hood Visitor Center.


  • FORT HOOD, Texas – The Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade is scheduled to hold a redeployment ceremony Feb. 10 in the West Fort Hood Physical Fitness Center at West Fort Hood.  After the returning Soldiers march in to the gymnasium, the unit will hold a brief uncasing ceremony. After a short speech from the brigade commander, the Soldiers will be released to reunite with their Families and friends.

    For updates and specific times, please contact Spc. Joshua Mendez, media escort for the 69th ADA at Joshua.a.mendezcarmona.mil@mail.mil  Office : 254-287-4579 or Cell: 407-757-3156

    Media interested in covering the event must register here no later than 1700 on Thursday, Feb. 9.  Gate time will vary depending on changes in flight plans, but will always be at the Fort Hood Visitor Center.

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    A Soldier with the Battery B, 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 69th Air Defense Artillery “Top Notch” Brigade signals another Soldier when to stop rotating the MIM-104 Patriot launching station during the Patriot Open House, Dec. 2 in U.S. Army Central’s area of responsibility. The drill showed the guests how calculated and meticulous the Soldiers have to be when moving, emplacing and readying the launchers. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade Public Affairs)

    Air defense unit hosts second Patriot Open House

    By Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf
    69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade Public Affairs                       

     

    SOUTHWEST ASIA— The 69th Air Defense Artillery “Top Notch” Brigade hosted its second Patriot Open House as part of a continued effort to raise awareness of air defense operations, Dec. 2 in the U.S. Army Central’s area of responsibility.

                The day provided an opportunity for the 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment to showcase the MIM-104 Patriot weapon system, air defense operations and simultaneously building the relationships with other nations.

                “The open house is an event we put together for [Air Force Central Command] and our coalition partners to visit our PAT Site, familiarize them with the equipment, allow them to get to know our Soldiers and most importantly, to understand our mission,” said Capt. Kariangelie Rodriguez, a Yabucoa, Puerto Rico native, and theater security cooperation-coordinator for the 69th ADA Bde. “It also gives our Soldiers a chance to show our Air Force counterparts and coalition partners that we are prepared to execute our mission, if the nation calls.”

                The tour started with Soldiers briefing the guests about the air defense site and an introduction to how the unit operates. They used a sand table, a scaled model of the area, as a visual aide.

               The group then watched an informational video on the Patriot’s history and had an opportunity to see a static display of the different types of missiles the unit can use to guard the skies.

               “We provided three different times throughout the day for our guests to attend the tour,” said Rodriguez. “We had around 65 personnel attending the open house from the 379 Air Expeditionary Wing, Combined Air Operations Center, and our coalition partners from Australia, Belgium, UK, Germany and Poland.”

              It was the first time the Soldiers had an opportunity to showcase their knowledge and capabilities to an audience of coalition forces.

              “My favorite part of today was the ability to see what you guys do here,” said Squadron Leader Matthew Kelly, the Australian liaison officer for the Royal Australian Air Force. “We don’t always get a chance to come out to these places.  It really builds that awareness and gives you a really good understanding of the purpose of why we are all here.”   

              The open house gave Kelly a chance to learn about the Army’s air defense systems and provided the unit to meet members of its coalition partners.

               “I enjoyed meeting all of the different armies from the different countries and getting to talk to everybody about what I do,” Spc. Mathias Dolson, a Killeen, Texas native and Patriot system operator with Battery B, 1-43 ADA. “It really made me feel like my job is pretty important to not just the United States but also worldwide.”

              Dolson narrated to the spectators as two other Soldiers performed their march order and emplacement drill to show how calculated the steps are to power up the launchers after movement.

              “The part they performed was the end of the emplacement drill where you raise the launcher, rotate it and make sure the mechanics are working,” said Dolson. “Then they put the key in and make the launcher go into remote.  Then the engagement control station would take control and the Soldiers can leave the site.”

              Upon completion of the days’ events, the visitors got to talk to the Soldiers, read more about the different missiles and take photos with the launcher.

             “I think the open house was a success due to all the hard work and pride every single person put for the coordination and execution,” said Rodriguez. “I think the PAT Site’s hospitality and professionalism was fantastic and allowed everyone to have a great time.”

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    German Soldiers receive an operational brief for the Patriot site during the Patriot Open House, Dec. 2 in the U.S. Army Central’s area of responsibility. Militaries from various countries attended the open house to get a better understanding of the Army’s air defense mission and see the equipment first hand. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade Public Affairs)

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    Attendees of the Patriot Open House take a tour throughout Battery B, 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment’s Patriot site Dec. 2 in the U.S. Army Central’s area of responsibility. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade Public Affairs)

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    Capt. David Scheys, a Detroit, Michigan native and commander of Battery B, 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, familiarizes Airmen from the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing and members from coalition partners to the Patriot site during the Patriot Open House, Dec. 2 in U.S. Army Central’s area of responsibility. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade Public Affairs)

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    A Soldier with the British Armed Forces asks a question about air defense operations during the Patriot Open House, Dec. 2 in the U.S. Army Central’s area of responsibility. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade Public Affairs)

     

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    Attendees of the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade’s Patriot Open House read about the different types of missiles the MIM-104 Patriot can fire, Dec. 2 in the U.S. Army Central’s area of responsibility. The open house was a way for the unit to highlight the Army air defense unit and how they support the air base’s mission. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade Public Affairs)

     

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    Brig. Gen. Darren James, commander of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, talks to Pfc. Michael Mango, Patriot launcher crew member with the 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, at the Patriot Open House, Dec. 2 in the U.S. Army Central’s area of responsibility. Mango performed the march order and emplacement drill for the open house attendees.  (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade Public Affairs)

     

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    Brig. Gen. Darren James, commander of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, talks to Lt. Col. Brian Jacobs (right), deputy commander of the 69th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, and Maj. Nikolai Moore, operations officer for the 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, during the Patriot Open House, Dec. 2 in the U.S. Army Central’s area of responsibility. Although most Soldiers and Airmen can see the MIM-104 Patriot launchers from afar, few have the opportunity get to see them up close. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade Public Affairs)

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    Spc. Lance Pugh, a Portland, Oregon native and the early warning radio operator maintainer with the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, fills out the four lenses personality worksheet Sept. 11 at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Pugh’s results showed that he shared qualities with multiple categories green, orange and blue.  (Photo by Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf, /Released)

    Al Udeid Air Base— The 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade held two personality classes and Ask, Care and Escort training with the intent of raising awareness of suicide and promoting suicide prevention at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.

    The classes provide Soldiers with tools to define what type of personality they have and how to interact with those of with a different personality – possibly with someone going through tough times.

    “The purpose of the classes was to touch on subjects that have a direct impact on the mental health of the deployed Soldiers,” said Staff Sgt. Renae Alvarado, a Sacramento, California native and the brigade medical operations noncommissioned officer. “By building up the support system and self-esteem of the individuals you are giving them the tools they need to stay in the fight.”            

    With the brigade creating a suicide awareness and prevention campaign, Alvarado arranged for Airmen from the 379th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron to provide the Soldiers with some behavioral health classes.

    The first class focused on embracing the individual personality and self-confidence.

    “The class self-esteem class was meant to help Soldiers identify their negative thinking habits so they can change those habits out with more positive ways of thinking and improving their overall self-esteem,” Alvarado said.

    The class’s content involved replacing negative thoughts, being able to laugh at yourself and involving yourself with things you enjoy.

    “While deployed, we start to get into routines which would develop into habits,” said Staff Sgt. Nickolas Widtfeldt, an El Paso, Texas native and mental health technician with the 379th EMDOS. “I hope the Soldiers understand that they have the potential to do whatever they set their mind to.”

    The unit then transitioned to a class called the “Four Lenses.” It started with a handout which the Soldiers filled out on how they would react to certain situations and their perspective on events. They then compiled their answers.

    “Soldiers should have learned what type of personality they are,” said Tech Sgt. Anthony Chavez from Albuquerque, New Mexico and mental health technician with the 379th EMDOS. “I think these classes do really well in interaction, which is a key piece in suicide awareness and suicide prevention.”

    There were four possible color categories; green, blue, gold and orange. Green meant someone was a problem solver and is abstract. Blue meant they were friendly and they take time to relate to others. Gold was for those who were task focused, purposeful and predictable. The Orange category consisted of Soldiers who were courageous, flexible and natural leaders.

    Once the Soldiers learned what color category their personality’s fell into and read what traits and characteristics go along with that color, they were eager to find out what category their teammates fell into.

    “I found, that finding out what color someone identified with helped me to understand some of the people I worked with a little more,” said Alvarado. “Understanding the different colors and what their basic needs and fears are makes it easier to adjust the way I communicate with them.”

    With the airmen finishing their classes, the 69th ADA Bde’s chaplain, Maj. Thomas Gorrell, elaborated on the Army’s Ask, Care, Escort training to the Soldiers. He explained that if a Soldier sees their battle buddy struggling or going through tough times, ask them if they have had suicidal thoughts.

    He expounds that to really care for that Soldier, you need to actively listen to what they have to say. Then, escort them to professional help.

    He said, “If we genuinely listen and really get involved, we can save a life.”

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    Soldiers with the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade listens to a mental health specialist as papers are passed out, Sept. 11 at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The brigade hosted unique classes that were intended for Soldiers to learn what type of personality they are and how to communicate with those of different personalities.  (Photo by Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf, /Released)

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    Anthony Chavez, an Albuquerque, native and mental health technician with 379th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron, explains how knowing your temperament can help you talk to those whom have a different personality and going through tough times, Sept. 11 at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. (Photo by Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf, /Released)

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    Capt. Jason Knight, Abilene, Texas native and the air defense fire control officer with 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade fills out the four lenses temperament worksheet Sept. 16 at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Knight found out that his personality fell into the green category meaning he is a problem solver, abstract and is analytical. (Photo by Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf, /Released)

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    Staff Sgt. Nickolas Widtfeldt, an El Paso, Texas native and mental health technician with the 379th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron, gives a class on self-esteem to Soldiers of the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Sept. 11 at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Widtfeldt’s class was about personality and building self-confidence. (Photo by Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf, /Released)