Sep 25 2009 (new format)

One of the more interesting ideas proposed, discussed and later approved at the General Membership Meeting in Fulda was to increase our focus on programs that support the Troopers actively serving the Regiment. We would like this to be “The Year of the Regiment”.

The following initiatives have already been started:

  • We will increase the website news coverage coming from the Regiment.
  • We have already helped the Regiment in the form of a donation to procure awards for their upcoming marathon. Many will remember that the 48th Colonel, Gen. Bob Sunell started the Fulda Marathon back in the late 70’s and it became one of the premier marathons in Europe. The Regiment intends to carry on this tradition and we will help in every way possible.
  • The Association will provide Blackhorse Gear awards to the Trooper of the Quarter and NCO of the Quarter.
  • More on these and other initiatives in the coming months.

We continue to upgrade our website. It is our hope to have a better way to connect old friends. A “Find A Friend” will be added soon. We have found that hundreds of our members want to reconnect with their friends and the Association will try hard to make this happen.

MISSION: Looking for a former member of 511th to be the POC for members of the detachment to publish unit info on the website. Contact me at jsc11krh@bellsouth.netopens in a new windowplease. Former members of Packhorse (4/11), we need the same for your squadron. Check Ironhorse, Eaglehorse, Workhorse, Thunderhorse and 58th/919th Red Devils links on the website. And, all editors please update your links as appropriate.

JUST IN: “Selected Works of General Donn A. Starry, United States Army Retired (41st Colonel of the Blackhorse) have been prepared for publication into a two-volume book set. The 41st Colonel will be at Fort Leavenworth on 25 September to present this book set to the Combined Arms Research Library.

REMINDER: Begin planning now to be with your Blackhorse Family at the reunion in Houston, Texas from 9 – 13 June 2010. Check the reunion flyer and registration form on the website.

MORE BLACKHORSE GEAR: Check out all the new gear at our store. Great looking new golf bag now available on the website or directly at www.blackhorsestore.org.opens in a new window

Allons and Blackhorse Forever!

John Sherman Crow
49th Colonel
President

AFTER 41 YEARS
TROOPERS GATHER TO HONOR FALLEN PLATOON SERGEANT
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Blackhorse Trooper PSG Glenn E. Nicholson (H Company, 2/11ACR), a former faculty member of Kansas University’s Army ROTC department prior to his Viet Nam deployment, was honored September 10th on campus, forty-one years after he was killed in battle. Duri
ng the ceremony, held in front of a formal cadet battalion formation, an engraved portrait of Nicholson was unveiled and will be permanently hung in the university’s Military Science Building. As a tank platoon sergeant Nicholson was responsible for 19 troopers and five M-48A3 tanks. During his nine month Nam tour Nicholson earned two Bronze Stars for Valor and two Purple Hearts.

“Mom raised all eight of us by herself. She would have been proud at what happened here today. She always bragged about dad being on the faculty and I felt it fitting his portrait should be kept here” his daughter Judith Dietz said after the ceremony. Nicholson’s wife died November 30, 2008.

Two former Blackhorse officers who served with Nicholson flew in and participated in the ceremony. From California came former 1LT Kent Hillhouse (MG, USAR retired) who led Nicholson in battle that fateful day. Former CPT Louis Reymann traveled from Maryland. He was Nicholson’s Acting Company Commander. The host for the event, LTC John Basso, Professor of Military Science at Kansas University, was the Executive Officer of Nicholson’s unit, twenty-four years later.

Three Blackhorse officers – each having served in the same company at one time or another – gathered in mid-America to pay tribute to a fallen trooper who was killed 41 years ago. That’s Blackhorse kinship at its best – running deep, running long and running true.

Allons!

Major
Major General Kent Hillhouse (USAR retired) addresses Jayhawk Battalion cadets during memorial ceremony to PSG Glenn Nicholson.

Greetings from Baghdad
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Dear Colleague,

Once again, greetings from Baghdad and the Headquarters of the Multi-National Force in Iraq. Since my last report to you Iraq has once again traversed another key milestone. On June 30th all US combat forces redeployed outside of Iraq’s cities, villages, and localities in accordance with the US-Iraq Security Agreement. Just like the transition to full Iraqi sovereignty that occurred on January 1st and the successful provincial elections of January 30th, June 30th marks yet another important step for both the US and Iraq in achieving a stable, secure, and self-reliant Iraq that will be a strategic partner for America in the years to come.

Clearly, there remain challenges as we move forward, but we are moving forward. There have been some high profile attacks on civilians and Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in recent weeks as insurgents, terrorists, and criminals test the ISF and the government and seek to incite sectarian violence in order to undermine the new political order in Iraq. Thus far, the ISF have stepped up by arresting terrorists, providing presence in the neighborhoods, and limiting the effects of such attacks. Most importantly, the Iraqi people are confident that these attacks are not sectarian in nature, but a demonstration of the terrorists’ wantonness to attack innocents.

As Iraq moves toward its national parliamentary elections in January 2010, most Iraqis have long since parted ways with the bankrupt ideologies of radical insurgents and now seek to use the political process to achieve their goals – national unity and national reconciliation. Our mission has likewise undergone transitions, but we remain focused on assisting our Iraqi counterparts anyway we can to see that their national objectives are met. The campaign season will be heating up here soon and next six months will have a profound effect on the future of this great nation.

Border Enforcement Initiatives – One of the areas where US forces and the US Embassy are assisting the Iraqis is border enforcement. Last time I mentioned some of the initiatives ongoing to build capacity for Iraq to secure its borders. One very significant initiative is the construction of “Border Enforcement Roads.” Most of Iraq’s borders are in some of the most inhospitable areas of the Middle East, especially along the border with Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The US Army Corps of Engineers is constructing border roads under the Foreign Military Sales program. These border roads are designed to support border outposts and enable Iraqi Security Forces to move more quickly, safely, and reliably to intercept individuals attempting to gain unauthorized entry into Iraq. This has huge security and economic implications for the country. With Iraqi funding and priority going to the Syrian and Iranian borders first, the Corps expects this $181M dollar project to begin this fall.

Education and Literacy – There are up to 5 million functionally illiterate Iraqis with less than a fourth grade education. Last month, the command hosted the first-ever combined agency and non-governmental organization (NGO) literacy conference in Iraq. The theme, “NGOs Raising the Banner of Literacy,” focused on literacy education for both male and female Iraqis. Among the 76 attendees were representatives from the Baghdad Provincial Council, Ministry of Civil Society, Education Committee from the parliament, Ministry of Education, the US Embassy, and over 40 NGOs. The National Literacy Campaign aims to dramatically reduce the high illiteracy rate by providing basic literacy training to 1 million Iraqis per year for the next five years. Clearly, this will help build a workforce needed by Iraq’s growing economy and contribute to a safe and secure environment. A major commitment by the attendees is to pursue amendments in the parliament for the National Literacy Law to garner necessary Government of Iraq funding for the campaign.

Electricity – One of the areas of civil capacity that gets a lot of attention both here in Iraq and at home in the US is electricity. The command’s Energy Services Division along with the US Embassy’s economic section has worked closely with the Ministry of Electricity to increase electric power generation across the country. Since the start of the war in 2003 Iraq has increased electric power generation by 35% above pre-war levels. That’s good news. But brownouts and limited hours of electricity in Iraqi homes persists for two significant reasons. First, overall demand is up 66% over pre-war levels as Iraqi have increased access to more and more consumer commodities like refrigerators, air conditioners, TVs, computers, and more. And secondly, the electricity distribution infrastructure remains antiquated at best. Not surprisingly, this has led to a two-fold strategy for the Ministry of Electricity. Contracts are being let to large corporate partners like General Electric to increase overall production in the coming years. At the same time, the government and private sector partners are working to increase retail distribution to the average Iraqi household and business. This will take time, but there is a clear recognition of what must be done and there is institutional and bureaucratic movement in the right direction.

Thank you once again for the comments I receive on this reports. More importantly, thank you for your supporting the young men and women who serve our nation so admirably everyday here in Iraq. You would be very proud of them, as I am. You can always reach me at guy.swan@us.army.mil or guy.swn@iraq.centcom.mil.

All the best.

Guy

GUY C. SWAN III
Major General, US Army
Chief of Staff
Multi-National Force – Iraq
Al Faw Palace, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342
DSN: 318-435-2459
Mobile: 770-443-5081
SVOIP: 242-0136
guy.swan@us.army.mil
guy.swan@iraq.centcom.mil
guy.swan@s-iraq.centcom.smil.mil
www.mnf-iraq.com

New format for e-mail
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This is the first Blackhorse Newsletter with the new format. Your feedback on this change is welcome. Feel free to contact Greg Hallmark at blackhorsenewsletter@designpathmedia.comopens in a new window with any comments, suggestions, or concerns.