Wings of the Eagle4-101st AVN REGT



Volume 1, Issue 1                                                                  15 NOV 2005



Inside This Issue

Commander Comments

Rear D/FRG Update

Company Newsletters














Wings Families,


     Hello from Kuwait.  By the time you read this, your Soldiers will have moved north to Balad, Iraq.  It’s been a very busy two weeks since our departure from Fort Campbell.  Our arrival and transition to Camp Beurhing, Kuwait was relatively painless and included a bonus stop in the Emerald Island of Ireland...Shannon, Ireland to be exact. 

     Your Soldiers have maximized their time in Kuwait preparing to move north.  That preparation included several live fire training events that included test firing our personal weapons, crew served weapons (machine guns) and door guns on our UH-60 aircraft as well as many briefings intended to orient us to Kuwait and Iraq.  Your Soldiers have performed flawlessly and remained flexible as events and requirements changed with very short notice.  I heard the FRGs had to be flexible with the Halloween party too!  You all took what could have been a disaster and made it a huge success!  Like I’ve said before, I’m so proud of the amazing group of heroes we have…both deployed and at home.

     Which brings me to our send off…WOW!  I want to give a special thank you to the Wings’ company FRGs and all of the spouses for the great departure ceremonies.  The out pouring of love and support was definitely something to behold…it meant a lot to the Soldiers and me personally.  Lets keep this warm vibe going with good communication, which is essential during deployments.  I have been very pleased with our communication so far…spouses communicating with their Soldiers and FRG points of contact and keeping the Rear Detachment informed about any concerns or issues. 

     Thanks again for all the support…we couldn’t do what we do without you.  Fasten your seatbelts, the pace is about to really pick up steam.  Please remember that this is a long deployment and I don’t want any of you to burn out early…this is definitely a marathon and not a sprint.  Please take time to take care of yourselves and your families.  This deployment will end and my wish is that when we redeploy we have healthy and happy families and Soldiers.

Wings of the Eagle!

Wings 06

LTC Tony Fish



 Dear Hawk Assault Family,

            Hello from Camp Beurhing and Udairi Army Airfield in lovely Kuwait!  The sun is out, the sand is HOT and the fun meter is in the red!  Since saying goodbye a long time ago in mid-October we’ve kept ourselves busy preparing for the move North into Iraq.  The flight was broken up by a short stint in Shannon, Ireland where 1SG Stephens bought a cute teddy bear with a Shamrock on it – he has a thing for Care Bears, I guess.  Upon arrival at Kuwait International Airport we boarded buses for the trip to Camp Beurhing.  We waited for a couple of hours for our escort vehicles, climbed on the bus and promptly fell asleep.  That is, until the bus drivers began racing each other after turning off the paved highway toward Camp Beurhing.  Anybody seen the movie Mad Max?  I don’t know about the others but our bus driver came in second to last… wouldn’t have lasted long in that movie.  We cheered none-the-less as the busses careened through the desert.  After a few mandatory classes on the Rules of Engagement and Use of Force (ROE/RUF), IEDs (hopefully we won’t see any of those), and a warm welcome from the Combined Forces Land Component Commander, LTG What’shisname, we got our bags and got settled into our nice air-conditioned, yes you read that correctly, tents.  How much it costs to cool these tents, I don’t want to know and I don’t care – we’re just thankful


the living conditions are so much better than many experienced the last time around.  The Dining Facility is open four times a day, the chow is respectable and most importantly we have free Baskin and Robins ice cream every lunch and dinner.  Don’t worry, we won’t come home fat… the 1SG and I have some good PT planned for Balad.  J

So what have we been up to since getting settled?  The Battalion TOC was setup immediately and the Battalion Staff has been busy working shifts where all the big decisions are made.  We put together a pretty decent training plan to make the best use of the time while still affording your husbands and wives, sons and daughters, moms and dads some time to rest and relax and of course call home or write.  The entire commo section did a great job teaching radio procedures and the use of communications security devices.  The medics have kept busy sticking people with flu shots, treating eye injuries due to blowing sand (none from HHC) and supporting medic requirements for aerial gunnery and other live fire ranges.  The S1 and Chaplain covered prevention of sexual harassment and assault and the supply section got in depth on the ROE/RUF. 

Lastly, to reinforce understanding of the ROE/RUF we spent several days training on multiple shoot/don’t shoot scenarios at the Engagement Skills Trainer (EST).  Our Soldiers saw numerous scenarios on a movie like screen with live actors and had to make split second decisions whether to fire or not when threatened.  The sound and feel of the weapons was very real and all agreed they’d buy the home version when it comes out on Play Station!  SGT Plotz and SGT Robertson performed exceptionally well training the company on room clearing techniques which culminated with a day at the Missions on Urban Terrain (MOUT) Site.  About thirty of our Soldiers were able to participate, firing paint like pellets called UTM or Simunition rounds in a realistic urban environment complete with pop out mannequin insurgents, civilian non-combatants, sound and smoke, reinforcing weapons discipline and confidence.  Finally, several in the company participated in a Live Fire Entry Control Point range, learning to escalate the use of force to stop a simulated uncooperative driver and his vehicle, followed by an insurgent attack. 

Congratulations to SSG Brenda Clairborne, who reenlisted in front of one of the battalion’s Blackhawks shortly after arrival.  How big was the bonus?  She says it’s a state secret but that she’ll buy us all dinner when we get to Balad!

Let me just say it is truly an honor and a privilege for the 1SG, XO and me to lead this company.  The Soldiers, Officers and NCOs are hard workers, the mission is real and the tasks to accomplish are worthwhile and important.  A huge thanks to the Rear Detachment for all your work pushing us out the door and to the Family Readiness Group for the warm sendoff.  Most importantly, we thank God for you, our families and friends back home, for all of your support and encouragement as we persevere throughout the next 11 months or so.  It’s already been two weeks and it seems like we just left.  With any luck the next 50 will go just as fast and we’ll be home in your arms again, safe and sound.  Keep us in your prayers and we’ll do the same for you.

God Bless,

John Wilson, Hawk 6

P.S. If you haven’t already, you can start sending mail and packages to your loved one at:


HHC/4-101 AVN, 159th AVN BDE,

101st ABN DIV (AASLT)      

APO AE 09391




Rear DYour Battalion Rear Detachment is up and running strong.  Over the course of about a week we assisted in deploying the majority of the Wings Battalion into the fight.

     We thought once the battalion was deployed we would have a break from the high intensity workload, but we were wrong.  We continue to be busy with weekly Brigade meetings, consolidated motor stables in one of the battalion’s motorpools, and on Wednesdays we meet as a Brigade at the barracks in order to conduct a good inspection and cleanup.  We additionally have Soldiers that continue to pull post police duties, CQ in the barracks, and funeral detail taskings as they come down.  1SG Bridges and SFC Williamson have squared the battalion area away, and I do not think I have ever seen the floor look shinier than it does now.

    As always, the number one mission of the Rear Detachment is strong interaction with the FRG and taking care of families.  We have supported numerous families as they continue to work through deployment challenges.  The FRG’s have used the battalion classroom for meetings, and we just hosted a successful Halloween Party at the FRC and Christmas Tree Trimming Ceremony at battalion.

   My office number is (270)798-6601.  The Brigade Operations Center is available 24/7 to assist with issues @ (270) 798-5692. 

“One Team One Fight”

CPT Mike Clark, Rear 06

1SG Timothy Bridges, Rear 07       

FRGby Judy Fish

Today is officially one month down…11 to go!  Below is a picture of some of your FRG Leaders toasting the end of the first week of deployment!

     We have some amazing FRG volunteers in 4th Battalion.  I am very proud to work with all of them.  Your POCs do a tremendous job.  If you do not know who your POC (Point of Contact) is, please ask.  We are always looking for more volunteers.  If you want to help in any capacity, please tell your Company FRG Leader.

      Thank you to everyone who supported our Halloween Party and then just a week later turned out for our Christmas Tree Trimming craziness!  You all make the Wings Battalion so much fun.  I feel blessed to know you!




Dear FSC “Workhorse” families,

Thanks for all the support you have given us over the turbulent month of October.  Even through this difficult month “Workhorse” Soldiers and families continue to set the standard for the battalion.  It is hard to believe all this company has accomplished in less than a year’s time.  After activating the company on 9 December 2004, we dove head first into battalion and brigade level FTXs in preparation for back-to-back Joint Readiness Training Center Rotations in April 05.  After completing a very successful JRTC rotation and validating the company for deployment, we headed full steam into deployment preparation and ultimately deployment to Iraq.  And through it all one thing has remained constant, the stellar Soldiers and families in this company.  I am very grateful to all the “Workhorse” families out there, especially my FRG leaders Melissa Hudson and Jenny Cooke.  Without your support over the last couple of months I am certain that our deployment would not have been so smooth.

  As we all know, the company deployed on the 15th of October, departing FT Campbell around 9:00 P.M.  After a short lay over in Shannon, Ireland we arrived in Kuwait around 8:00 P.M. on the 16th.  From there we were all bussed straight to Camp Beurhing Kuwait, where we have remained for the last two weeks.  The company has been very busy, conducting some very worthwhile training, including: Entry Control Point procedures, room clearing procedures, virtual combat training, and several familiarization ranges.  The majority of this training is mandatory prior to be allowed to go north into Iraq.  We hope to never utilize it but we must be prepared if called to do so.

  Living conditions here on Camp Buerhing are pretty good considering that we are in the middle of a desert.  We have air conditioned tents, hot showers, access to phones and internet, a PX, Burger King, Pizza Inn, Subway, Taco Bell and several other amenities.  So life is not so bad. However, we are all looking forward to getting up to Ballad and getting settled into the areas where we will be living and working for the next year and begin counting down the days to redeployment.

  We have also had a lot of good news over the last month, including several promotions and re-enlistments.  Congratulations to SFC Guisinger, SGT Mason, and PFC Helberg who were all promoted during the month.  Also, SFC English, SPC Morales, SPC Girardeau are all a little richer and committed to the Army a little longer after reenlisting this month. Happy birthday to SPC Patterson who turned 29 on October 28th of this month, and finally congratulations to SPC Koelliker and SPC Clemons whose wives both gave birth to healthy babies this month.

  Lastly, I want to say thanks again to all the families for their great support during this stressful time.  The company is only as good as its Soldiers and families, and in less than a year I believe it has become an exceptional unit.  I am very proud of each and every “Workhorse” Soldier.  They have all displayed the motivation and resolve needed to get this important job done.  And with the support of our families, we will continue to maintain this resolve through the coming months.  Thanks for all you do to support your Soldiers and this company.  Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.       

“Strong Families make Strong Soldiers!”

Jason E. Ison






Greetings from Camp Buerhing, Kuwait and Udairi Army Airfield.

    It has been a busy couple of weeks since we all left Ft.Campbell.  It took a long flight through Shannon, Ireland into Kuwait City and a wild bus ride through the desert to arrive here. Alpha Company is living in one large tent with air conditioning.  Camp Buerhing has Burger King, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Green Beans Coffee, a PX, and a gym.  The chow hall food is pretty good and they serve Baskin Robbins for dessert. 

The weather is starting to get “cold” here as the highs are only in the low to mid 90’s now.  I think everyone has seen enough of Kuwait now and is ready to move North and get started with our mission.  Morale is high in the Comancheros!  We hope that all is well back home and we miss you all very much. 

Since arriving, we have gotten acclimated and adjusted the 8 hour time difference.  We had the opportunity to test fire our weapons including an aerial gunnery range.  Every pilot and crewchief also received environmental flight training to practice brownout landings in desert conditions.

Comments from the Commander:


Deeds, not words!!!  The Kingsmen have arrived in Kuwait safely and are adapting to the surroundings.  I speak for everyone when I say thank you for such a thoughtful and supportive farewell.  It was certainly unforgettable to see the friends and family members that we care so much about wearing the Kingsmen emblem and hoisting signs up high.  I know that it was difficult for your families, and it was for us too, but with your continued support, we will make it through together. 

Unfortunately, some of your spouses and I departed sooner than originally expected.  I apologize for not getting the chance to speak with each of you and explain why this had to happen the way that it did. Many of the soldiers were involved immediately, once the boat arrived, downloading equipment, test flying the aircraft, and shuttling the aircraft from the port to the airfield where we will prepare for our movement north into Iraq.  Initially, we felt that this was unnecessary because the boat that our equipment was on should not have arrived until later in the month.  It arrived nearly a week earlier than expected.  Transport of the aircraft from the port to the airfield could not have been conducted without our early departure because the battalion would not have arrived yet.  I realize that this added strain to an already stressful situation, but as always, I appreciated the selfless and loyal commitment that your soldiers and families showed.  I challenge all of you to to rise above tough times like these and smile in the face of adversity.  Never let his deployment get the best of you. 

Now that everyone is here, there is still much left to do.  Our preparation will include intense maintenance, completion of modifications, environmental aircrew training, ranges, and aerial gunnery.   Its my job to ensure that your soldiers have the training and equipment to succeed over the next year and the next two weeks will help set the tone for a challenging road ahead. 

I am proud to serve alongside your loved ones.  There is no better team in the Army and no other group of men and women that I would want to share this experience with.  When I speak with each soldier, it’s glaringly apparent what makes each of them so great: their families.  Their commitment to the ones they care most about and the love and support that they get in return from each of you make them proud and capable people.  You have taken great care of them.  Its time to take care of yourselves now and I will do everything within my power to take care of your soldier here.

          CPT Mike “Jethro” Stull



Hello from Kuwait!  We have been doing great here and some great training has been conducted.  After arrival we had one day to reset to the new time schedule.  Charlie Company lives in a big tall tent where we all stay in one big room on cots – but it has air conditioning and wooden floors (both of which are very nice to have!)  The next day we started off slowly with some mandatory briefings.  The crew chiefs and Maintenance Test Pilots were (of course) busy from the beginning getting our aircraft ready to fly.  The following day we fired all of our small arms weapons at a range which was led by 1LT John Mayo.  Then for the next six days, we qualified our pilots and crew chiefs on environmental flying, where we completed several single and multi-ship landings into the sand and dirt.  Since then, we have been conducting all the maintenance necessary to fly our aircraft north and assume our mission there.  As we finish up here in Kuwait we are trying to rest our aircraft and Soldiers. 

  I am constantly impressed with the attitudes and motivation that each of our officers and Soldiers show.  They have been working hard keeping our aircraft flyable and preparing them for the next step.  Our pilots have been diligently preparing the brief and products for the route that we will fly.  We will move forward in a couple of days.  All of us here are anxious to get north, get settled, and start our mission. 

  1LT John Mayo and CW2 Randy Schmitt moved forward as part of the advanced party and have both been flying in Iraq already.  They both thought it was going to be more ground focused, so have enjoyed the fact that they already have more combat flight time than the rest of us (at least this rotation!)  Once at Balad, we will conduct transition flights with the unit that we are replacing while settling into rooms and the upcoming routines.  The transition will be busy and tough due to the transient living arrangements.  Once the transition is complete however, and our Soldiers are living in their permanent rooms, it will be much better.  Again though, even with all of this transition, everyone in Charlie Company has a positive attitude and is ready to assume our mission.

  I am positive the hardest part of all of this has been what you have been going through at home.  We are so grateful to have the support of the FRG and families and friends back home.  Thank you for all that you do for us, and for keeping things alive and running there!  My hope is that you have a happy Halloween – take some pictures for us to add to the website.  Speaking of that…SSG Valencia has been working on our Blackwidow website.  He is going to add some content including pictures of the company very soon. 


Thank you for all you do for us.  We look forward to hearing more about what you all are doing and to enjoy any pictures that you want to add to the company website as well.  Until next letter…Happy Halloween! 

CPT Melissa A. Jones, CDR

SFC Scott Brown, 1SG

  “Mate & Kill!” 







To all of the friends, family and soldiers of the Desperado Family Readiness Group, greetings!  Time is moving right along as we prepare ourselves at Camp Buerhing, Kuwait for our next move to Balad, Iraq.  It seems everyone is anxious to get up there and settled into our trailers.  It’s certainly not fun digging your clothes out of the bottom of a duffel bag every time you head towards the shower.  

  Once we all arrived at Camp Buerhing, we relaxed for a couple days to adjust to the new time and recover from the long flight.  After resting up, we attended a few required classes such as IED training and fratricide prevention.  1LT Koch attended IED level 3 training where soldiers were taught the latest information on IED types, emplacement, and use and are instructed on how to probe for mines.  It must have all sunk in because he got the highest grade in the class. 

  Then, to waste no time, we headed to the range for one last opportunity to fire our weapons.  For our newest Desperado, SGT Rosa Delestowicz, it was the perfect time to zero her new weapon.  It was a pretty hot day, but the range ran quickly and smoothly and everyone got to fire.  Once all the aircraft arrived from the port, the maintenance platoon had to service all 90 landing gears as well as a number of tires and accumulators.  PFC Garcia assisted with this chore and is shown below servicing a tail wheel tire.  The next day, environmental training for the battalion’s aircrews began and the Desperados worked diligently to keep the aircraft flying by assisting with aircraft services and maintenance repairs. 

The aircraft took a beating as a result of the sandy environment and numerous dust landings – especially components like engines, blades and windshields. Below, the engine shop (SPC Limkeman, SPC Mcburney, SGT Benitez, and SPC Chapman) spends the afternoon troubleshooting an engine.  In the midst of fixing helicopters, the company paused for a few moments for the reenlistment of SPC Limkeman, who signed up for another six years. So if you see his wife, Melissa Limkeman, pat her on the back for their continued service. Thanks for what you do!

  Today we are wrapping up a few remaining maintenance repairs in preparation for the trip up north. Most of us will travel on C-130s while a maintenance team of eight will fly up on the battalion’s Blackhawks.  That about sums up the first two weeks here in theater.  The Desperados miss our family and friends back home, but are of good cheer.

 ‘Til next month,          

“Fix ‘em or Die!”                        CPT Rachelle Hathaway

1SG David Paul