By 2nd Lt. Jasmine Greinke, Btry. A, 2nd Bn., 43rd ADA Regt., 11th ADA Bde:
(El Paso, Texas, Jan. 25, 2018)
MIDDLE EAST – The Soldiers of “Team Ares” Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, executed a seamless relief in place and transfer of authority with Battery A, 5th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 11th ADA, Dec. 17, 2017, through Jan. 8.
The RIP/TOA is a multifaceted process that requires every Soldier to play a pivotal role in making the passing of the theater-specific mission a success. As part of the RIP process, Btry. A, 2nd Bn., 43rd ADA Regt., conducted their end-of-tour awards ceremony Jan. 6 at their Patriot site. Leaders held the ceremony to recognize the hard work and accomplishments of each Soldier who successfully defended the critical assets in the units area of responsibility.
At the end of the ceremony, Lt. Col. James Kavanaugh, commander of 2nd Bn., 43rd ADA Regt., congratulated the Soldiers on their achievements throughout the deployment and RIP/TOA process. He encouraged the Soldiers to finish the deployment strong and to uphold the level of teamwork and training that has made the unit so prosperous thus far.
One major aspect of the RIP/TOA process is the “right-seat, left-seat” training and observation both units go through to help adjust the relieving unit to the battlespace.
The redeploying unit begins by having the relieving unit sit in the “right-seat” to observe how daily tasks are accomplished to maintain combat readiness and a resilient force. Once Soldiers have trained them and they are ready to take over, the relieving unit will take control with the redeploying unit in the “left-seat.”
First Sgt. Christopher Barber, first sergeant, Btry. A, 2nd Bn., 43rd ADA Regt., acknowledged the battery’s Soldiers for their discipline, initiative and preparedness that set the conditions for a smooth transition between the two outstanding units.
“Soldiers of the Ares battery worked diligently over the course of last two months building continuity books and training plans to certify A/5-52 AMD crews to assume the … mission,” Barber said.
Btry. A, 5th Bn., 52nd ADA Regt., 11th ADA, will take over the mission after the transfer of authority ceremony. Once the transfer of authority ceremony is complete, the relieving unit will have sole responsibility of the mission and $500 million worth of property transferred during the RIP process.
“To get them proficiently trained, we used theater-specific tactics, techniques and procedures to help acclimate their air missile defense crews to the day-to-day mission here,” said 1st Lt. Michael Davis, the executive officer of Btry. A, 5th Bn., 52nd ADA Regt.
The two batteries worked together to follow a rigorous crew certification verification training plan to make sure each crew was competent in the theater specific standard. The training paid off heavily as Btry. A, 5th Bn., 52nd ADA Regt., went beyond 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command guidelines for assuming the mission by certifying all three AMD crews prior to the TOA ceremony.
“Our Soldiers are excited to take over this mission and hit the ground running,” said 1st Sgt. Thomas Tucker, first sergeant of Btry. A, 5th Bn., 52nd ADA Regt.
The advance crew for Btry. A, 5th Bn., 52nd ADA Regt., arrived on Dec. 14, 2017, and has not looked back since. They trained hard for crew certification verifications and assumed “left-seat” operations on Jan. 5.
They continue to learn daily Patriot site operations and pull 24-hour shifts along with a Btry. A, 2nd Bn., 43rd ADA Regt., crew.