U.S. Army Photo by Spc.
Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA)
John S. Edwards visited the troops, on
January 13th, that are preparing to leave for Operation Iraqi
Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Utahs Civilian Aide to the
Secretary of the Army (CASA) visited the troops, on January 13th,
that are preparing to leave for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring
Freedom. He visited the troops in Ft. Carson, Colorado with Maj. Gen. Brian
Tarbet and his staff.
CASA is John S. Edwards. Edwards was appointed May 2003. As a Civilian Aide
Edwards is an adviser and an advocate for Army issues. Civilian Aides explain
Army programs, positions, and problems to local, state and national leaders
through correspondence and meetings. They serve at the discretion of the
Secretary of the Army and are afforded the protocol of a three-star flag
was short because of fog delays leaving Salt Lake, and they had to leave early
because of fog concerns returning to Salt Lake. The two units that Edwards
visited with are the 115th Engineer Group and the 1/211th
Aviation Battalion. The agenda included briefings on the training the units
were receiving, a meeting with the base commander, and meeting with the troops.
was reassured by the positive attitudes of the soldiers as they were preparing
to leave. One soldier told Edwards that his personal goal was to see every
country in the world. Im just starting with one of the tough ones.
Edwards duties as CASA is to report information to Secretary of the Army.
Edwards will report about a problem with the lack of body armor which means
troops dont have an opportunity to train with it before arriving in Iraq.
The newer body armor has ceramic inserts that make it bulky and difficult
to move in, said Edwards. Also, certain troops, such as Military
Intelligence troops, dont have the proper body armor for the conditions in
which they are operating. A story by Vernon Loeb and Theola Labbé about
the body armor and its availability problems is at
U.S. Army Photo by Spc.
Civilian Aid, John S. Edwards pauses for a
with troops that are preparing to deploy.
was pleased to see that the training was geared towards exact environments.
The Engineers were training for the specific areas in which they will be
operating, said Edwards.
was also pleased to see that the focus in Fort Carson was not only on the
soldiers as they leave, but also on returning soldiers. They were interested
in people who are returning. There was interest in both their medical and
mental well being. They try to make sure that help is there, said Edwards. He
also noted that the Utah National Guard seems to be at the vanguard of dealing
with these concerns.
glad that I could make the trip. It was time extremely well spent, said