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Home | Tag Archives: Maj. Gen. Patrick Matlock

Tag Archives: Maj. Gen. Patrick Matlock

Meet the Leaders: Maj. Gen. Patrick Matlock “Fort Bliss is Awesome from Top to Bottom.”

When Maj. Gen. Patrick Matlock found out he and his family would be returning to Fort Bliss, it was “like a dream come true.”

That’s how Matlock described how he felt when he learned about his latest assignment — as the new commander of the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss.

The 53-year-old from Willows, California, had previously served at Fort Bliss as the 1st Armored Division’s chief of staff from July 2012 to February 2014.

He returned this summer and took command of both the division and installation on July 12.

“It was such a great surprise to learn we were coming back here,” Matlock said.

“We were so pleased. It was definitely the first choice of what we wanted to do.”

Matlock, his wife and their children enjoyed their previous time here and grew to really love both Fort Bliss and El Paso.

“We feel very comfortable here in El Paso and at Fort Bliss,” Matlock said. “It is such a great town and such a great community. Fort Bliss is awesome from top to bottom.”

Most recently, Matlock served as the director of training for the Army staff at the Pentagon.

When he was at Fort Bliss previously, he was instrumental in helping to get the 1st Armored Division established after it moved from Germany under the Base Realignment and Closure process.

He served under commanding generals Maj. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard and then under Lt. Gen. Sean B. MacFarland, who was promoted to a three-star general after leaving Fort Bliss. Both Pittard and MacFarland are now retired.

Matlock expects his latest assignment at Fort Bliss to be just as busy if not busier.

The division’s 3rd Brigade recently deployed to South Korea. Its 1st Brigade finished up a rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, and will convert from a Stryker infantry brigade to an armored brigade during the next 18 to 24 months.

The 2nd Brigade returned from a nine-month deployment to Kuwait this summer, and the Combat Aviation Brigade is gearing up to deploy to Afghanistan next year.

The division headquarters deployed to Iraq under Matlock’s predecessor,  Maj. Gen. Robert “Pat” White, and returned in March. The headquarters is ramping up its training again and recently went through a Warfighter exercise at Fort Bliss. It is the division headquarters’ version of a National Training Center rotation.

The Sustainment Brigade will continue to train and will have a mission announced in the next few months.

“There is no unit in the division that doesn’t have an announced mission or an anticipated mission,” Matlock said.

Fort Bliss is also providing troops, equipment and support for the controversial border operation ordered by President Donald Trump.

President Trump ordered up to 5,000 troops to provide support to the Border Patrol and other civilian authorities along the border in response to a caravan of migrants traveling through Mexico to the United States.

Matlock said his number one priority is to build readiness and make sure the division and all its units are ready for any mission that may lie ahead.

“We are singularly focused on making sure our personnel is ready, we have the right equipment in the right place to perform our missions, that our equipment is well maintained, operational, all the maintenance is complete and soldiers are trained  — everything from individual weapon qualifications through our collective training, whether company, battalion or division level,” Matlock said.

“That is it,” he added. “There isn’t any other priority we have.”

Of course, Matlock wants to make sure that military families are taken care, that the installation is run smoothly and that Fort Bliss remains a good neighbor to El Paso.

“El Paso can expect the division and all the units to be busy and stay busy,” Matlock said. “They will see units coming and going for the foreseeable future. It means a lot to us that we leave our families here in this community and they are well cared for, that they are in safe patriotic community that supports the military.”

“We always want to thank them for that and we will work as hard as we can to make sure that relationship stays strong,” Matlock continued.

*
By David Burge/Special for the Herald-Post

Burge is a producer at ABC-7 in El Paso. He has more than three decades of experience working in newspapers in California, New Mexico and Texas

Keep an eye out for more “Meet the Leader” profiles in future editions of the Herald-Post. To read previous profiles, click here.

Fort Bliss’ 1st Armored Division Participates in Warfighter Exercise

The 1st Armored Division participated in the Warfighter 19-2 exercise, across several training sites here in the sprawling military installation in preparation for future contingency operations.

Warfighter was the culminating event of a series of training exercises held by America’s Tank Division over the past six months. The exercise assessed 1AD’s ability to manage, direct and synchronize across multiple brigades aimed to train and improve operational readiness, warfighting functions, and effectiveness across the Division staff, and units assigned.

“Every Soldier, every process was tested, and we learned a great deal. All of these things are extremely important to the success of our Division and it’s especially great to train with our joint teammates in this environment,” said Maj. Gen. Patrick Matlock, commanding general of the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss.

“When you come to Warfighter you got to take advantage of every minute. We are extremely proud of the men and women of this Division for their excellence and professionalism. The MCTP [Mission Command Training Program] provided us a tough scenario and challenged every section throughout the exercise.”

The Mission Command Training Program team from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, sent several observer-coach/trainers (OC/T’s) to Fort Bliss to oversee the exercise and give expert feedback and guidance to each staff section. Each OC/T is a subject matter expert in their respective field and provides professional insight for the sections’ development.

The 1st Armored Division was evaluated on multiple collective training tasks ranging from maneuvers to communications, staff processes, and establishing and re-establishing its command post between multiple training sites.

Soldiers were also tested on their individual skills sets such as CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) procedures, properly wearing their Mission Oriented Protective Posture gear, setting up firing positions, and collaboration abilities to move the division’s main command post.

“I spent 20 of my 44 years on active duty with this great Division,” said Ret. U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael S. Tucker, who served as the senior mentor during the Warfighter 19-2 exercise. “You have warmed my heart, and I could not be more proud of “Old IronSides.”

The most daunting task during Warfighter was the movement of the division’s main command post, which involves transporting large pieces of equipment, and sensitive items such as computers and communications equipment. In additional the movement of dozens of military vehicles and hundreds of personnel can come with many logistical challenges.

“This task is extremely complex because we have operations elements [teams of Soldiers] conducting recon, surveying engineering aspects to secure a location, and the ability to get to terrain.” said Lt. Col. A. Geoff Miller, commander of the Headquarters Battalion, 1st Armored Division.

Miller, a native of Roswell, N.M., added that his Soldiers were vital to ensuring that critical equipment was moved in a timely manner to conduct military operations effectively.

The exercise also served as a learning experience for the unit’s youngest Soldiers.

“The best thing I learned was to keep your composure and trust in your team,” said Pfc. JerMichael Bunch, from Kingston, Penn., who serves as a fire control specialist with the division’s fires section. “You’re always moving, and fire missions accumulate. I didn’t realize how important I was until Warfighter. I like what I do, and I love my section. They prepared me to see the bigger picture.”

The Warfighter exercise was not exclusive to the 1st Armored Division and included several units across the U.S. Army. The 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Stewart, Georgia, the 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and the III Corps staff from Fort Hood, Texas also participated in this large-scale exercise.

For the Iron Soldiers, this exercise is a key milestone in the division’s ongoing journey of training and operational readiness.

“I’ve seen vast improvements along the way,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Gary Yurgans, senior enlisted advisor of Headquarters Battalion, 1st Armored Division. “We are proud of our preparations and efforts put in by our Soldiers, to work as a team and come together.”

The Warfighter 19-2 exercise ran from November 4-15.

Author: Spc. Karen Lawshae  – 1st Armored Division

Meet the Leaders: Alaska to EP, Brig. Gen. Scott Naumann Now Calls Bliss Home

From the Canadian border to the Mexican border.  From the frozen climate of Alaska to the high desert of El Paso and Fort Bliss.

That is the career pathway of Brig. Gen. Scott Naumann in a nutshell.

Naumann, a 44-year-old native of Anchorage, Alaska, is the new deputy commanding general for support for the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss.

“I love this place,” Naumann said.

He arrived in early August, after a three-year stint at Fort Drum, N.Y. There, he served as the commander of the 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division and then as chief of staff for the division.

He is excited to be at Fort Bliss with all its opportunities to train and grow as a soldier.

He did a brief training exercise at the Dona Ana Range Complex in 2002 when he was part of the 2nd Ranger Battalion at Fort Lewis, Wash.

But besides that, this is all new for Naumann and his family.

“Most of my background is light infantry, Ranger, airborne,” Naumann said. “I am here in this armored division and never thought I’d have the opportunity to serve in. I am just tickled I am learning so much every day.”

“If you are not learning every day, regardless of where you are at in your career, then there is probably something wrong,” Naumann said.

He is particularly excited to be serving with Maj. Gen. Patrick Matlock, the new commanding general for the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss. Matlock took command in July.

“I am really enjoying this and really consider myself fortunate to have this opportunity,” Naumann said.

His family is also enjoying being at Fort Bliss. He is married to Sherri. His two youngest children – Erik, who turned 18 on October 24, and Emma-Grace, 14 – are students at Chapin High School. Erik is a senior and Emma-Grace a freshman.

Oldest son, 19-year-old Kurt, is a sophomore at the Virginia Military Institute.

“I am so proud of my kids, but also military kids,” Naumann said. “A lot of people don’t appreciate the demands. We volunteer to do this. Our families don’t. As much as we have volunteered, our kids are sacrificing just as much, as do our spouses.”

“I’m really proud how they have been able to rapidly fit right in,” Naumann said of his kids. “I think back. I went to the same school, with the same kids, for 18 years. I was kind of introverted and shy. I look at my kids and see how they can go to a new place, fit in and make friends.”

As the deputy commanding general for support, Naumann said his job is to help lead the personnel and materiel readiness for the division and make sure it is ready for whatever mission lies ahead.

“I want to leave this place better than I found it,” Naumann said. “One of the things I want to be able to do … people come and go. I will only be here so long. I want to codify a system that will outlive people.”

Naumann is amazed at how busy Fort Bliss truly is.

The division’s 3rd Brigade recently deployed to South Korea. Its 2nd Brigade returned this summer from a deployment to Kuwait, and 1st Brigade recently wrapped up a rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.

The division headquarters returned from a deployment to Iraq this spring and will soon be going through a Warfighter exercise here at Fort Bliss – its version of an NTC rotation.

“The ability to train here is unparalleled,” Naumann said. “Someone told me from pistol to missile. You can do anything here. And when you add White Sands … it is fantastic. There is a lot of opportunity here.”

***

Author: David Burge/Special to the El Paso Herald-Post

David Burge is a news producer at ABC-7 in El Paso. He has more than three decades of experience working at newspapers in California, New Mexico and Texas. Covering the military is a particular passion.

Watch for more “Meet the Leaders” profiles in upcoming issues of the El Paso Herald-Post.

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