Tunisia Employees Ride – U.S. Army Africa Soldiers apply WWII North Africa campaign lessons to existing mission – Might 2010

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Tunisia Staff Ride – U.S. Army Africa Soldiers apply WWII North Africa campaign lessons to existing mission – May possibly 2010

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U.S. Army Africa Soldiers apply lessons of WWII to current mission

By Rick Scavetta, U.S. Army Africa

KAIROUAN, Tunisia – Col. Stephen Mariano looked down into a foxhole carved atop a rocky hill prime close to El Guettar, where in March 1943, troops from U.S. Army II Corps battled German panzers.

Nearby, retired Army Col. Len Fullenkamp conjured tales of U.S. Army Rangers beneath Lt. Col. William Darby marching via darkness along a nearby ridge to surprise sleeping enemy infantrymen with fixed bayonets. Soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division hacked fighting positions from strong rock as enemy tanks rumbled into the valley. U.S. Army artillery units skimmed shells across the desert at approaching German armor.

Mariano began to wonder, “Had my grandfather dug one particular of these foxholes? Was his artillery position somewhere nearby? Did he fire on Germans coming by way of this gap?”

Mariano, 45, of Redlands, Calif., was amongst several U.S. Army Africa officers who took part in a four-day “staff ride,” – onsite discussions of Tunisia’s Planet War II battlefields geared toward obtaining insights into U.S. Army Africa’s present challenge – building cooperative relationships with African land forces to increase safety, stability and peace in the area.

In late 1942, U.S. forces landed in North Africa with British troops. Their very first fights have been with Vichy French units, who later joined the Allied result in. Together, they pushed east into Tunisia, where they clashed with German and Italian troops amongst craggy, cactus-covered hills and washed out wadis.

As a U.S. Army Africa’s strategic planner, a look back at the alliance between American, British and French forces offered Mariano a glimpse at an international coalitions’ growing pains and how friction among partners can doom a mission. On a much more private level, the employees ride permitted him to recapture his family’s past.

Henry Mariano, Sr., was a sergeant with the 2nd Battalion, 62nd Armored Field Artillery Regiment who survived combat in North Africa, Italy and France ahead of getting wounded in the course of the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium.

“This employees ride is a historic occasion, on a historic occasion, separated by 67 years,” Mariano mentioned. “To be right here, exactly where my grandfather was, is quite potent to me.”

The tour started Could 27 outdoors Sidi Bou Zid, where U.S. forces suffered a horrible defeat in mid-February 1943. They stopped for the evening in Gafsa, a city in Central Tunisia that changed hands amongst Allied and Axis forces numerous occasions during the campaign.

The second day, they focused on the Allied defeat at Kasserine Pass, followed by the U.S. Army’s first solid gains against veteran German troops in the counterattack at El Guettar. The next day, U.S. Army Africa Soldiers ventured east to concentrate on British Gen. Bernard Montgomery’s try to punch via Axis defenses at the coastal town of Enfidaville, roughly 40 miles southeast of Tunis.

Perched on a craggy knoll near Takrouna, Col. David Buckingham, U.S. Army Africa’s senior operations officer, bent the spine of Atkinson’s book, deep in thought about how for two days in mid-April 1942, New Zealanders came to death grips with Italian defenders in the limestone foothills outside Enfidaville.

Afterward, they paid respects to French and British Commonwealth troops buried nearby.

“Tying this employees ride together with Memorial Day, taking time to greater understanding leadership and feel the sacrifice of our soldiers, has been each poignant and educational,” Buckingham mentioned.

At each cease, officers thumbed through worn copies of Rick Atkinson’s “An Army At Dawn,” at their hip as Fullenkamp spoke of the bravery, heroics, ingenuity, lunacy and debacles of the North African campaign. Soon after discussions, they poked by means of thorn bushes and cacti along the rocky terrain, searching for battlefield remnants.

At El Guettar, Maj. Gen. William B. Garrett III, commander of U.S. Army Africa, found a tin C-ration can and passed it to his senior logistics officer, Col. Mike Balser. Others identified shards of shells and bullet casings. Lt. Col. David Konop, the command’s public affairs officer, located a hyperlink from a 30-caliber machine gun belt.

It was difficult to not be overwhelmed in the presence of such history, to stroll this consecrated ground, Fullenkamp mentioned.

Like the 34th Infantry Division, they climbed the hills close to Fondouk Pass. They stood in the cold rain under Longstop Hill, just as the U.S. Army’s 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment had when they relieved the 2nd Battalion of the British Coldstream Guards, about Christmas 1942.

The U.S. Army Africa tour wrapped up in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, the prize the Allies had fought seven months to pry away from German control. The Soldeirs took element in a May possibly 31 Memorial Day ceremony at the North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial close to Carthage, Tunisia.

All agreed that their knowledge in Tunisia was unlike walking the U.S. battlefield of Gettysburg, tracing the footsteps of Pickett’s males from Spangler’s Woods to the Emmitsburg Road. Nor was it like stepping from the shores of Normandy onto Omaha beach’s Dog Green sector on D-Day staff rides.

This tour was focused on lessons the U.S. Army learned more than the course of a seven-month campaign across North Africa.

“No one’s ever carried out anything like this, in this context, ahead of. We’re making use of the book ‘An Army At Dawn’ and we are an Army Service Element Command at dawn,” Mariano stated. “That’s the connection. It is brilliant. “

Early on, Garrett challenged his employees to ask tough questions along the way and encouraged them to talk about tactical operations, but also look for insights into general strategic goals. In North Africa, U.S. Army leaders discovered revolutionary approaches to grow and succeed against often-insurmountable odds, he said.

“Talking about the past, in the present, that is what this is about,” Garrett mentioned. “This staff ride is just a mechanism, a tool for assisting us feel about the challenges leaders faced in Africa for the duration of Globe War II and applying insights to our present focus.”

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U.S. Army photo by Rick Scavetta
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Gary Carroll and rescue dog Diesel in Chautara, Nepal

Image by DFID – UK Department for International Improvement
Gary Carroll and his dog Diesel from the UK’s International Search and Rescue team go to function in Chautara, Sindhupalchok District – north east of Kathmandu, Nepal.

They are the 1st search and rescue team to reach the earthquake-hit district, searching for survivors and offering health-related support on the scene.

The team works with specially trained dogs that are taught to track down human scent. When the dogs uncover somebody alive below the rubble, their bark or body language lets their trainers know.

Every dog handler sticks with their own dogs – with whom they’ve constructed up a specific trust. The dogs have to be quick-witted and really like to chase toys, as that is how they are educated to do the job in times of emergency.

Gary says:

&quotOn the ground we’ve seen total destruction in some of the outlying locations of Nepal – most buildings are impacted in some way. I saw a lot of buildings that have collapsed, and people are certainly scared to be in the buildings. A lot of individuals are below tents or covers – they’re making the ideal use of something they can locate. We’ve also observed buildings partially collapsed and landslides.

Diesel and I were tasked to search two buildings – a single of which was reported to have a 13 year old boy inside. Diesel worked nicely – he covered the whole area and did what he was educated to do. I was really chuffed for him.

I feel Diesel has coped quite properly – he’s stayed quite calm and relaxed. He was fine on the plane but a tiny stressed in the automobile as we travelled out to a rural region as it was a confined space and quote hot. But we kept the window open and gave him lots of water.

But normally being in Nepal doesn’t seem to have fazed him – he’s just the exact same as at house. He got his fur clipped a couple of weeks ago during an physical exercise in France so he is prepared to cope with the heat. It is fantastic entertaining operating with a dog. It is very rewarding – you feel like you can see some true great. The dogs can aid identify casualties which is an extra tool for the group.

This is Diesel’s 1st search and rescue deployment. It’s excellent receiving him trained up to a point exactly where he can deploy.

We’ve got a really close bond. We’ve been by means of this with each other – I’m looking out for him and I believe he’s hunting out for me. Operating out right here brings us closer collectively. He’s good business and he’s often there.&quot

The specialist team is drawn from 15 different fire and rescue solutions from across the UK.

Background

On 25 April, a magnitude 7.eight earthquake struck the country, killing far more than 5000 men and women, and injuring thousands much more.

The UK is responding to Nepal’s request for international help, sending search and rescue teams, emergency medics and logistical support.

Discover out more at: www.gov.uk/nepal-earthquake-2015

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Image: Jessica Lea/DFID

Cost-free-to-use photo

This image is posted below a Creative Commons – Attribution Licence, in accordance with the Open Government Licence. You are free to embed, download or otherwise re-use it, as long as you credit the source as ‘Jessica Lea/DFID’.

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