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Paratroopers Trade Shop Tools for Security Duty
Defend America News ^ | Sgt. Timothy Dinneen

Posted on 03/05/2007 4:59:47 PM PST by SandRat

Paratroopers Trade Shop Tools for Security Duty
Mechanics, cooks, medics keep watch for VIPs, dignitaries.
By Sgt. Timothy Dinneen
Regional Command-East Public Affairs
CHARIKAR, Afghanistan, March 5, 2007 -- Paratroopers that once spent their days making sure Humvees were ready for battle as mechanics at Fort Bragg, N.C., have exchanged their shop tools for M-4s and are now the driving force outside the wire as part of Task Force Gladius’ personal security detachment.

"I trained with them and know what they can do, and they can do their jobs,"
Army Cpl. Timothy Cozelos

Mechanics, cooks, medics and other 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers accustomed to support roles are performing personal security detachment duties for VIPs as they develop relationships and plan future missions in the areas surrounding Bagram Airfield.

“Our main mission is to secure the colonel when he travels outside Bagram,” said Army Sgt. Kevin Chaplin, a mechanic serving with Task Force Gladius. “We mainly look for IEDs and any hostile activity.”

Chaplin said that although the area surrounding the airfield is pretty safe it’s a long way from fixing generators at Fort Bragg.

“It’s a lot different from what I was doing back home, but it’s a lot more exciting, and it gives me the opportunity to interact with the people and learn a new culture,” said the native of Oakland, Calif. “I feel prepared on missions because we received really good training from (special operations forces) before our deployment.”

The platoon is predominantly made up of mechanics; however, there is also a cook and a medic. There are only three combat-arm paratroopers on the team.

“I trained with them and know what they can do, and they can do their jobs,” said Army Cpl. Timothy Cozelos, the lone infantryman with Task Force Gladius personal security detachment. “We are all paratroopers.”

The training received prior to their deployment dealt with weapons, security and convoy operations. They have spent the past seven months together training and carrying out missions, building a close bond.

Army Sgt. Richard Green pulls security March 1 during a visit by Army Lt. Col. James Leary, battalion commander, Task Force Gladius, to the governor of Kapisa Province. Many paratroopers assigned to personal security detachments have backgrounds in support military occupational specialties. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Timothy Dinneen
“I don’t miss the motor pool,” said Spc. Jalmar Luna, another mechanic with the task force. “I actually feel safer outside BAF because we are locked and loaded, ready to shoot and I feel very secure with my team.”

“The most challenging part of the job is navigating the roads and dealing with the traffic, but every time we go out we learn a little more,” said Luna, who is from Miami.

Army Sgt. Johnathan Cox, a light wheel mechanic with the detachment, said the reason so many mechanics were chosen for the job is because they can repair vehicles should they break down outside the wire.

“The transition back to garrison shouldn’t be too difficult for the mechanics because during our downtime we’re working on our vehicles just like back home,” Cox explained.

Task Force Gladius personal security detachment has performed more than 20 security missions since its arrival to Regional Command-East, according to Cox.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: cooks; frwn; mechanics; medics; paratroopers; security; tools

1 posted on 03/05/2007 4:59:49 PM PST by SandRat
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To: 91B; HiJinx; Spiff; MJY1288; xzins; Calpernia; clintonh8r; TEXOKIE; windchime; Grampa Dave; ...

WAR News at Home and Abroad You'll Hear Nowhere Else!

All the News the MSM refuses to use!

Or if they do report it, without the anti-War Agenda Spin!

2 posted on 03/05/2007 5:00:27 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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