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Friday, February 20, 2004 4:34 PM

Mayor Conklin,

I thought that I would update you on what we have been doing since we mobilized.

On Jan 5 Charlie Company executed one of the most complicated convoys in its history.  We drove over 20 vehicles to include dump trucks, Humvees, and tractor trailers from West Point up I-95 to NJ. We had a few maintenence challenges, but all of the vehicles arrived on schedule and as a unit.  That day, however, was tragic for our Headquarters Company from Richmond, as one of their cargo vehicles was involved in a accident were a civilian was killed.

We started to in process at FT Dix and begin training so that we could "validate" as a unit.  This required all of our soldiers to demonstrate marksmanship with various weapons, first aide knowledge, be exposed to briefings, learn theater specific training such as convoy operations.  We got to do a live fire convoy exercise where we would shoot our weapons out of our vehicles as we were driving (I hope this is not a skill my soldiers use in their civilian lives).  We have also practiced operating in an urban environment and traffic checkpoints.  All of this training was good, but it was not the real thing.

As the time has drawn closer to the day we depart, we are learning more about what we will be doing.  We should be in Northern Iraq by the end of this month.  We will be the engineers for a Task Force Stryker Battalion. Our company could be doing missions from improving roads, repairing infrastructure (Civil-Military Operations) to convoy security.  I am confident that we will be able to do our mission well and safely.  The caliber of soldiers that we have in this company is incredible.  These men are intelligent, motivated and willing to do what it takes to make mission. I am fortunate to be able to lead such fine Americans.

My Battalion has developed a web site.  It is still in its fetal stages, but there are some pictures of the soldiers training and can give you an idea about what we are doing.  See www.276engineers.com

I will try to keep you folks informed of what we are doing as our mission progress.

CPT David Kaulfers

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