Enthusiastic crowds recently welcomed home the members of the 45th
Infantry Brigade with state leaders, brigade officers, family and
friends greeting the soldiers after they returned from a nine-month
deployment to Afghanistan and Kuwait.
The soldiers from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team arrived at
Will Rogers Air National Guard Base hangar in Oklahoma City during
all of March 2012 following what Lt. Col. Max Moss said was an
all-night bus ride from Camp Shelby in Mississippi, where they
arrived for demobilization.
Thousands upon thousands attended their soldier’s homecoming, which
was marked by emotional standing ovations for the families of fallen
45th soldiers who were killed while being deployed. 14 members of
the brigade were killed during the deployment, and military
portraits of each stood in the hangar in their honor.
“You’re home from a tough deployment, you’ve done a remarkable job,”
Maj. Gen. Myles Deering, adjutant general of the state guard, told
each group of returning soldiers shortly after they marched through
the hanger gates.
“I know you want to celebrate and have fun, but please be careful,”
Deering told his troops. “Take your time home slowly and carefully.
Reintegration is a process, it is not an event.”
Other speakers during the Welcoming Home Ceremonies included Gov.
Mary Fallin, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma and U.S. Rep. James
Lankford, whose congressional district includes the base.
About 2,200 soldiers from the 45th were sent to Afghanistan in June
2011, and another 800 were deployed at the same time to Kuwait.
Welcome Home, soldiers, and congratulations on a job well done!
Infantry Brigade Combat
Team hasn't changed, and is expected to be no less dangerous with
the death of Osama
Still, the death of bin Laden was a good day for the
soldiers, said their commander, Col. Joel
military installations remained on heightened alert after the
terrorist leader's death, about 3,400 troops from the Oklahoma
National Guard unit
are in Afghanistan currently.
Ward said the news of bin Laden's death was
well-received by the troops, who are training at Camp
Miss. He said the soldiers have particularly enjoyed the images of
Americans in the streets celebrating and waving flags in Washington and New
“I think it is more of a morale booster
for the American people than it is the soldiers,” Ward said. “But any time
the soldiers see the American people supporting their cause, I think
it's a good day.”
Ward said Taliban and al-Qaida fighters
are in Afghanistan trying to accomplish their goal.
“They know that while this is certainly a
significant event and a win for the U.S., the conditions on the
ground are going to change very little,” Ward said. “The tactical
relationships remain the same. They are our enemy, and we are their
Bin Laden's death is mostly symbolic, Ward said,
for U.S. soldiers and their enemies, who have lost the main symbol
of their fight against the United
Ward said there is symbolism between the deaths of
bin Laden and Nazi leader Adolf
Hitler's death was announced by Germany on
May 1, 1945, the day after he shot himself in his Berlin bunker.
Bin Laden's death was announced 66 years later to the day by President
Barack Obama after
a U.S. raid on a compound in Pakistan left
the terrorist leader dead.
“It is certainly a positive event in the global
war on terror,” Ward said. “I really wasn't surprised to hear the
news. I've expected it to come every day for the past 10 years. I
know the focus that has been placed on getting him.”
Read more: http://newsok.com/afghanistan-mission-unchanged-for-oklahomas-45th-infantry-brigade-combat-team/article/3564158#ixzz1SYJVGbyq
Leader's Open Letter From Iraq
in the Tulsa World on Sunday, July 27, 2008)
note: Lt. Col. Doug Stall of Tulsa is the commanding officer for the
1st Battalion, 279 Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat
Team, currently deployed in Iraq. Creek Six is his call sign.
is Creek Six,
have heard that the news back home has little positive to say about
current conditions in Iraq. This is unfortunate since so many
soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are sacrificing so much.
Therefore, I am compelled to share a little of what I know to provide
you a more complete and accurate picture of the conditions in this
Theater of Operations. In short, the "surge" is working. The
murderous insurgents and criminal elements in Iraq have been knocked
on their butts.
In Iraq, we are fighting an insurgency by using a Counterinsurgency
Operation (COIN). These are complex subsets of warfare, and are as old
as war and governments themselves. Historically, insurgent tactics
have remained largely the same, though the media is a more powerful
weapon for them (and us) than ever before.
win by sowing seeds of discontent to discredit the government, and by
maintaining turbulence in the society to cause the population to feel
insecure. COIN operations, on the other hand, seek to foster effective
governance by a legitimate government. COIN focuses on the populace,
and strives to eliminate turbulence and feelings of insecurity. This
is done by establishing a relatively safe environment, meeting basic
economic needs, providing essential services and sustaining the
society's basic qualities of life.
Contrasted with the simplicity of an insurgency, which is to create
disorder, a COIN operation is highly complex and difficult. We win by
telling the truth and supporting the government, while the insurgent
gains the initiative by making unrealistic and/or false claims in an
effort to highlight the government's weaknesses.
A simple, but high-profile attack by insurgents provides an
extraordinary advantage to their goal far outweighing the tactical
significance of the event. COIN historically takes an average of
nearly 10 years to succeed and requires vast resources to maintain
security in a volatile region.
Complicating matters is that Al Qaeda has introduced a new and very
dangerous kind of insurgency that seeks worldwide
revolutionary change through violent religiosity.
While I am no expert and cannot speak for this administration or the
U.S. Army, it is naïve to believe that we are the root cause of Al
Qaeda's efforts or that our counterinsurgency against Al Qaeda can
Gen. George Patton wrote: "...The
mighty seas which are alleged to defend us can also be circumvented by
a resolute and ingenious opponent. In war, the only sure defense is
offense, and the efficiency of offense depends on the warlike souls of
those conducting it." We must, therefore, be resolute.
Measures of an effective COIN operation include popular support and
confidence in the government, economic vitality, availability of
services, and security of the individual. By nearly every measurement,
we are out in front of the insurgents and we are succeeding. Here is a
snapshot of our recent success.
Al Qaeda's freedom of maneuver has been reduced to a fraction of what
it was in December 2006. Attacks against infrastructure and friendly
military forces are down more than 80 percent from over one year ago.
High-profile attacks with explosives are at their lowest levels in two
Civilian deaths are significantly down and are back to levels not seen
since January 2006. Ethno-sectarian violence is down. Deaths of U.S.
military personnel are the lowest they have been in eighteen months.
IED attacks, once average more than sixty per day, now average about
ten per day. Indirect fire attacks (mortars and rockets) are the
lowest they have been since January 2004.
Caches found this year are more than double the number found in 2006,
and the year is only half over. This factor is particularly
significant because it reveals the increased level of trust the people
have for their government, since Iraqi citizens are the ones who turn
in caches to coalition forces.
I have seen crowded markets in downtown Baghdad. Iraq just announced a
large investment in its oil production capabilities. The availability
of utilities is increasing in urban areas. And the list goes on.
This does not, however, mean that our counterinsurgency operations are
over; but we are making significant progress. Unfortunately, this
message is not getting out, and people still debate the wisdom of the
reasons for this war. However, to borrow from Sir Winston Churchill:
"If the present tries to sit in judgment of the past, it will
lose the future."
There is no question in my mind that America is the greatest country
on earth. We must strive to keep it so.
I hope this letter finds you well. We (the 45 Infantry Brigade Combat
Team) should be home by October. Keep us in your prayers. Creek Six,
Doug Stall, 1-279 IN, LTC, Commanding