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Home | Tag Archives: South Carolina

Tag Archives: South Carolina

Moldovan, National Guard Soldiers Team Up for Training at Fort Bliss

95 Moldovan Soldiers are taking part in the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team’s eXportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC) exercise, at Fort Bliss this month.

The XCTC exercise, developed and coordinated by First Army and National Guard Bureau (NGB) is one of the 30th’s largest in recent history, with almost 4,000 Soldiers from North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Minnesota, and Moldova.

For the Moldovan Soldiers it is an extremely significant exercise, considering that out the thousands of Soldiers in the Moldovan Army, 95 were selected to travel to America and participate in the XCTC exercise.

North Carolina National Guard and Moldovan Armed Forces have been training together through NGB’s State Partnership Program, which pairs National Guard States with the armed forces America’s global partners and allies.

“The Moldovan Armed Forces and the North Carolina National Guard have been State Partners for 22 years,” said Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, the Adjutant General of the N.C. National Guard. “Through two decades of engagements our forces know each other and trust each other. The long term relationship and trust is what the State Partnership Program fosters and after all these years we continue to learn from our interactions to become more effective and stronger militaries.”

The Moldovan Soldiers selected to attend the XCTC trained for six months prior to their deployment to Texas. The Soldiers were trained in their respective military areas of expertise so they could be embedded within all 30th sections critical to the exercise such as; logistics, operations, maintenance, medics, engineers, scouts, and mechanized fighting vehicles.

“Our hope is that all Moldovan Soldiers involved in this exercise bring the best practices learned here back home to further help us develop our training process,” said Lt. Col. Vitalie Micov, an operations officer in the Moldovan Army. “When they return home the Soldiers will participate in the Moldovan annual exercise with all Defense Forces, and the learned procedures and experience here are going to be implemented in our national level exercise.”

Halfway through the XCTC, National Guard Soldiers and Moldovan Soldiers had positive take aways from the exercise.

Within the medical field, Moldovan and U.S. Soldiers realized that even with different medical tools varying slightly medicine is one and the same.

“We are learning how medicine can be practiced if we hand more of the tools used here from a supply perspective,” said Staff Sgt. Viktor Spinei, a medic embedded with the 230th Brigade Support Battalion (BSB). “Medicine is the same, applying it with different supplies and tools is what’s different.”

During the beginning of the exercise a mass casualty event occurred and emphasized how working together U.S. and Moldovan medics saved lives.

“It’s good to have Soldiers from different countries and knowledge bases be part of this intense training,” said Staff Sgt. Gary Chavis, Evacuation Platoon Sergeant of Charlie Co., 230th BSB. “We get to see the capabilities that they have and how well they provide care doing that same job but with half of the equipment.”

In other aspects, like Field Artillery, the expertise of the Moldovan Soldiers in manual targeting instead of using targeting computers of the M109 Paladin reminds U.S. Soldiers that while digital equipment is great, knowing how work in manual mode is imperative if the digital systems were to go down.

“Here we are all digital but at the end of the day if the digital system goes down we still can operate degraded,” said Staff Sgt. Jesse Grose, Platoon Sergeant for Bravo Battery, 1-113th Field Artillery Regiment. “Having the opportunity to see the Moldovans do their job as fast and efficiently as we do when they don’t have the same equipment is great for me and the platoon.”

Moldovan and National Guard Soldiers have worked together a long time but never have they been together in such an austere and challenging environment like at Fort Bliss.

“We have trained for the last two years with North Carolina in Camp Butner,” said Sgt. Major Cojocaru Andrei, Sergeant Major of the Moldovan Army. “This particular training is very helpful for our Soldiers because of the environment, the climate, and terrain that is completely different from our country. Our Soldiers must learn to adapt and overcome this challenge so our mission succeeds.”

Although the Moldovan Soldiers are embedded within many units of the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team, they are all part of one team with one goal in mind, to accomplish mission.

“We feel we were welcomed and integrated into the 30th team right away and are members of a “Old Hickory” at this point,” said 1st Lt. Roman Girtco, a Moldovan Soldier embedded within the 230th BSB. “When it comes to a mass casualty we know exactly what our role is. We have been embraced and incorporated into the battalion team.”

Brig. Gen. Igor Cutie, Commander of the National Moldovan Army, and the Moldovan General Staff had the opportunity to visit Ft. Bliss and observe XCTC training and the integration of the Moldovan Soldiers.

Lt. Col. Vitalie Micov, an operations officer in the Moldovan Army speaking on behalf of Cutie stated, “I would like to express our gratitude for your hospitality because we have spoken with all our Soldiers in the field and General Cutie is very impressed about their morale and excitement to be involved in such a large exercise.”

The XCTC runs August 6 – 28, 2018.

Author:  Sgt. Odaliska Almonte – North Carolina National Guard

UTEP’s Puerto Rico Tip-Off Relocated to South Carolina

Due to the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria to the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip-Off, originally slated to be played at the Coliseo Municipal Tomas Dones in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, will be relocated to the campus of Coastal Carolina University, in Conway, South Carolina.

Games will be played Thursday, November 16, through Sunday, November 19, at the HTC Student Recreation and Convocation Center.

“The aftermath of the hurricane has caused an immense hardship to the island, and our thoughts are with the people of Puerto Rico during this difficult time,” said Pete Derzis, ESPN senior vice president of college sports programming and events. “We are hopeful to be able to return next year to Puerto Rico, where our teams have enjoyed the warm hospitality and rich culture of Puerto Rico for nearly a decade.”

The teams participating in this year’s tournament remain the same with Appalachian State, Boise State, Illinois State, Iowa State, South Carolina, Tulsa, UTEP and Western Michigan.

Derzis added: “The representatives of Myrtle Beach and Coastal Carolina University have graciously opened their doors to accommodate the 11th annual Puerto Rico Tip-Off, and we are fortunate to be able to relocate this event to another wonderful destination.”

“The City of Myrtle Beach is pleased to host the Puerto Rico Tip-Off,” said John Rhodes, mayor of Myrtle Beach. “Being a resort on the Atlantic Coast, we understand what happens to a city that has been hit by a major hurricane, and it is our privilege to be asked to help our neighbors in Puerto Rico during this difficult time. We appreciate the opportunity to have eight outstanding national universities, including the University of South Carolina, enjoy the hospitality of our beautiful city. We’d also ask that everyone support the efforts in Puerto Rico as they cope with the devastating damage of Hurricane Maria.”

“On behalf of our entire University, we are pleased to assist in providing a location for this season’s Puerto Rico Tip-Off under these difficult circumstances,” said Matt Hogue, director of athletics at Coastal Carolina. “Most importantly, we continue to send our prayers and support to the island of Puerto Rico and look forward to our friends in the Caribbean rebuilding and resuming the hosting of their tournament. We welcome the participating teams and student athletes here in November and look forward to providing them a quality experience.”

Additional information, including travel packages, can be found on the Puerto Rico Tip-Off website.

Puerto Rico Tip-Off Schedule (subject to change)

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Thu, Nov 16 11:30 a.m. Illinois State vs. South Carolina ESPN2
2 p.m. Boise State vs. UTEP ESPNU
5:30 p.m. Iowa State vs. Appalachian State ESPNU
8 p.m. Tulsa vs. Western Michigan ESPNEWS
Fri, Nov 17 10:30 a.m. Consolation #1 ESPNU
1 p.m. Semifinal #1 ESPN2
5 p.m. Consolation #2 ESPNU
7 p.m. Semifinal #2 ESPNU
Sun, Nov 19 11:30 a.m. 7th Place Game ESPN3
2 p.m. 5th Place Game ESPNU
5 p.m. 3rd Place Game ESPNU
7:30 p.m. Championship Game ESPN2

Non-bracketed games: Bridgewater at Appalachian State (Nov. 12), Western Michigan at South Carolina (Nov. 13)

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