Return to Guardlife Homepage
150th goes Rough and Tumble
By Spc. Pablo Vizcaino, 444MPAD; photo by Spc. Mark O'Rear, 444MPAD

Pfc. Jessica Gall (left) helps Spc. Rina Patel (right) seal her MOPP suit while Pfc. Charles Countryman (center) observes during "React to NBC attack" training. All Soldiers are from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-150th Aviation Battalion.

Two Soldiers are struggling on the ground. The Soldier on top drives his knee into the lower back of the Soldier face down in the dirt. Then the Soldier on top uses a “zip strap” to bind the other Soldier’s arms. The Soldier on top gains control. It’s over.

This rough-and-tumble “Detainee Ops” training at Fort Dix in November is among the ways the Soldiers of the 150th Aviation Battalion are preparing for their deployment in early 2009.

It’s all part of the warrior task training required of units during pre-mobilization. Other mandatory training includes instruction on checkpoint operations. The training is conducted by the Pre-Mobilization Training Assistance Element with the aim of giving deploying units the

basic knowledge its Soldiers need before deployment.

“Everything we are doing, whether it be stressful or not, is necessary,” said Pvt. Chandeloris Morine of B Company, 150th Aviation Battalion.

She added that the non-combat culture lessons, such as learning which hand gestures are offensive and the proper way to interact with local women, are also essential. “Things that we find normal in our culture, they don’t find normal in theirs,” Morine said.

The Battalion will continue to train at Fort Dix through the end of the year, conduct a three-week annual training period at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. and Dix before their activation. The Battalion then moves on to Fort Sill, Okla., before deploying to Iraq.

The Soldiers say they know every bit of training they receive now may pay big dividends later.

“This is the stuff that is going to save your life,” said Sgt. Douglas Tackach. “Everyone knows that they have to pay attention.”


By Spc. Pablo G. Vizcaino, photo by Spc. Bob Neill, JFHQ-NJ/PA

Seventeen officer candidates were commissioned as second lieutenants at the New Jersey National Guard Training Center, Sea Girt on Aug. 10.

The candidates belonged to Officer Candidate School Class Number Fifty One, assigned to the 254th Combat Arms Regiment.

During the commencement address, Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth, the Adjutant General, took the opportunity to personally thank the families present at the ceremony, saying “that’s what I believe is special about the National Guard. It is a family affair and I believe that’s what makes it work.”

To the graduating officer candidates, Maj. Gen. Rieth stated “I challenge you today, with this commissioning, to understand that you do not automatically walk

away as leaders but only as commissioned officers. I challenge you to become effective leaders.“

A powerful challenge that resonated with all the newly commissioned officers, in particular with 2nd Lt. Aaron D.Tomasini, who reflected on Reith’s words, “I definitely agree. Leaders don’t just come out of the woodwork. You have to prove yourself to be a leader. “

Distinguished Graduate 2nd Lt. Aaron D. Tomasini, who received multiple awards, including The Adjutant Generalís Award and the Erickson Trophy, poses for a photo with his family.

Table of Contents
Volume 34 Number 3 Staff / Information
(c) 2008 NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs