Operation Vigilant Warrior By SSgt Szczepaniak
Iraq starts to marshal its troops. I believe the first week of October, Iraq moves four armored divisions South towards Kuwait. The American response: The IRC from 1st BDE 24th Mech( later to be changed in 1996 to 3rd ID), Ft Stewart GA is alerted and is given its movement orders. Two TACP’s are to go with them ( I think it was Ssgt Tom Savage and Sra Jim Harnish ). Within the hour the entire 15th ASOS and the 24th Mech is recalled. 1st BDE is the DRF and is told it will deploy to Kuwait. MSgt Bruce Voight is the 1st BDE TACP NCOIC. He is told that a small BDE HQ element will deploy with the DRB within the next 24 hours. Meanwhile the IRC and its TACP’s are on on their way to Hunter AAF to catch an inbound plane that is due to land in about 3 hours and ferry them off to Kuwait immediately. The rest of the 1st BDE is mobilizing, to include its TACP’s ( A1C Chris Gries , A1C Chris Novits , Sgt Brett Gorder , Ssgt Barry Lewis , Maj Terry Stepp I think there may have been one more ). The whole division is told to prepare for deployment within the next 96 hours. About two days later the DTAC is told it will be going as a command element and the rest of the division is put on standby. The DTAC flies out about 5 days later with its TACP’s (MSgt Nate Dingus , Sgt Greg Szczepaniak and MAj Terry Hogan). ACTIONS IN COUNTRY: IRC hits country and is rolling North towards the Iraqi border within 3 hours, 1st BDE follows within 48 hours, DTAC (in the rear with the gear) stuck on Camp Doha. About two weeks later Radio MX from Ft Stewart (Tsgt Inge and SSgt Leavit) arrive along with Radio MX guy from Ft Bragg (RAT BOY) and SSgt “MO” Morgan of supply fame show up. Big Bill “DA PREZ” Clinton him self shows up to say hi, TACP’s don’t go, too many grunts. Diplomats work things out. By the end of November 94′ troops are told to prepare for re-deployment to states. TACP’s spend about 5 days washing and cleaning gear and getting rejected by customs. Finally at about 1900 we are cleared and start to convoy MRC-144’s to customs holding area, Mo in lead vehicle gets a cell phone call and convoy stops. Col Modica (18th ASOG CC) just called and says hold everything he will be arriving within a day or two, Vehicles are put in storage. Col Modica arrives and tells us that we are staying and that we are to set up an ASOS. We are to leave the six vehicles and all the gear and start to scrounge for everything needed to start a unit to include a building. ROMADS can do many thing good but they can steal err I mean scrounge like no others. Within a few days we have the makings of a squadron (half a warehouse, TV, VCR, coffee maker and two soft chairs). The unit is to be called the 4412th (Provisional) ASOS. It has gone thru a few name changes and has relocated to various buildings on Camp Doha since then.