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Smile, It’s ARTEP Season

In Berlin, the months between early to mid fall were the month known as ARTEP season. If you don’t know or remember ARTEP stands for Army Training and Evaluation Program. This was the annual test of unit skills in a simulated combat situation. It was like our “final exam” for the year.

The way it broke down was one of the three Infantry Battalions was being evaluated, another Infantry Battalion was the OPFOR (Opposing Force) and the other Battalion provided the Evaluators. The battalions rotated until all units were evaluated.

Looking back on those ARTEPs now, they were (to use an old tired line) “the best of times, they were the worst of times.” Each one of us has our own good or bad memories about those ARTEPs.

Typically, the ARTEP started on real early Monday morning, usually it was an Alert at Oh-Dark Thirty,  then shenanigans ensued. Thirty minutes to get ready to rock and roll. Soon it was a muster formation outside the company area. Followed by a nice leisurely stroll to the world famous Grunewald.

Once there it was time to set up some very hasty fighting positions. It was interesting to create a hasty fighting position without digging into the forest floor.

source: http://www.armystudyguide.com

Then after a hot breakfast or a pinch of MRE instant coffee between your cheeks and gums we would load the buses for a quick trip to Doughboy City to begin filling sandbags to create some of the most unique defensive fighting positions I have ever seen.

Given enough sand (dirt), men, and manpower some of those defensive fighting positions had two rooms and a mother-in-law cottage. OK, there was not really a “mother-in-law cottage” but you get the idea. Seriously, the sand bag filling was just the start of the 24 to 48 hours of defensive operations followed by an assault by the OPFOR.

Of course, there was the inevitable counterattack. All the while, rumors ran rampant around Doughboy City that the Mess Hall had trucked in Hot Coffee and Soup and could only be found at the Rathaus. Yet, by the time any of us could make it to the Rathaus all that was found were empty mermite cans (with inserts) and not a single Styrofoam cup could be found in the area.

Then once all the OFFENSIVE and DEFENSIVE operations were done, it was time to tear down the sandbag fortresses and stand down. Depending on what was going on there was nothing like hanging out by the “Fire Barrel” killing a little time before it was time to road-march back to McNair Barracks.

courtesy of David Guerra (A/6/502)

Something most people outside of Berlin Brigade did not know is all the members of the Brigade were constantly being evaluated by our enemy, the SOVIET FORCES that watched our every move. These SOVIET FORCES were not just a few high ranking officers that you would hear about coming to look over the US Forces as part the of Soviet Military Liaison Mission in West Germany. Not in the least, we were being evaluated by our contemporaries on the other side of the wall (or fence in the case of Doughboy City).

courtesy David Guerra (A/6/502)

The soldiers were Enlisted, NCOs, and Officers that were sizing us up every day we were in West Berlin. Whether at McNair Barracks with the Soviet Mission vehicles parked outside the main gate or watching us as we ran along the Teltower Canal or conducted our Military Operations in Urban Terrain training in Doughboy City they were evaluating us every single day.

Of course, every ARTEP was different and certainly not as simple as I described it. However, as time has a way of sanitizing the past  we tend to remember the good stuff. With enough memory recalls, the bad inevitably starts to return to the front of the line.

Good or Bad, those are the times that I still cherish the most. I was those times that we got to do something most other soldiers never got to do during their ARTEPs.

What are your Berlin Brigade ARTEP memories?

Thanks,
David Guerra
A Co., 6th Battalion, 502nd Infantry
Berlin Brigade – ’85 to ’87

April 2017 – Registry Update (supplemental)

Registry Update Notice

Through this blog post I want to share with you the following unit registries have been updated with information collected through April 28, 2017.

Service Company (Special Troops) • 42 Engineer Co. • B 4/18 • A 3/6 • HHC 3/6 • 287 MP

As always, the password to enter the registry can be found on the Berlin Brigade dot com home page and the TOP & BOTTOM Registry main menu page (click here to go to the registry page to find the PASSWORD).

Next Update is scheduled for mid May 2017.

Thank you,
David

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April 2017 – Registry Update

Registry Update Notice

Through this blog post I want to share with you the following unit registries have been updated with information collected through April 11, 2017.

6941  Guard Battalion • CSC 4/6 • A 4/502 • C 4/502 • HHC 2/6 • A 3/6 • C 3/6 • HHC 3/6 • Sig Spt Co • 279 Hosp • 592 Signal • FSB • 287 MP

As always, the password to enter the registry can be found on the Berlin Brigade dot com home page and the Registry main menu page.

Next Update is scheduled for mid May 2017.

Thank you,
David

REGISTRY PASSWORD CHANGE

……BERLIN BRIGADE dot com. WORLD HEADQUARTERS. 29 MARCH 2017 1530HRS.

Attention All Personnel.

The Registry Password has been reset.

This is periodic reset of the password to access the registry  is done to help minimize unsolicited spam in your email’s inbox.

As ALWAYS, you can find the updated password on the Berlin Brigade dot com home page and at the top and bottom of the REGISTRY page.

Thank you,
David

 

Registry Update #2 for February 2017

Registry Update Notice

Hey everyone,
Just a quick update to let you know the following unit registries have been updated with information collected through January 31, 2017.

B 4/6 • CSC 4/6 • HHC 4/6 • 40 Armor • 298 Army Band • A 6/502 • A 5/502 • CSC 4/502 • 94 FA • 592 SSC • 279 Station Hospital • 42nd Engineer Co.

As always the password to enter the registry can be found on the Berlin Brigade dot com home page and the registry main menu page.

Thanks,
David

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Registry Update

Registry Update Notice

Through this blog post I want to share with you the following unit registries have been updated with information collected through January 31, 2017.

USASAFS • 287 MP •  MISC UNITS • HHC & Unknown 2/6 • HHC 3/6 • A 3/6 • C 3/6 • Berlin MEDDAC • HHC BBDE

More unit registries are being updated at this time. I will post a change notice when the next batch is online.  As always the password to enter the registry can be found on the Berlin Brigade dot com home page and the registry main menu page.

Thanks,
David

It’s 2017 & How Are You?

Greetings all,

It has been a while since I last posted on this blog page. A lot has happened and I do hope you had a WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS and continue having a HAPPY NEW YEAR! (Yep, it has been that long)

I have talked about the December 19th terror attack in Berlin on the other BerlinBrigade.com social media channels but I do want to take a moment to remember the victims. You will always be in our thoughts.

Recently, I listened to the December 24, 2016 podcast episode of THIS WEEK IN GERMANY and in it the host talk about the one thing that surprised him about the aftermath of the attack. The one thing was the resiliency of the citizens of Berlin and how they were not to be stopped by this single event. All I could say when I heard that is “tell me something I didn’t know.”

Anyone that spent any time in Berlin from 1945 to 1994, knows first hand the citizens of that GREAT CITY are a UNIQUE people. They have had to deal with the Second World War, the aftermath of the war, the numerous blockades of Berlin by the Soviets, the Berlin Airlift, the construction of the Berlin Wall, and the list goes on and on. Yet, through all that the citizens of Berlin come out of it unscathed, a little worse for the wear but unscathed nonetheless.

Now we are into the second month of 2017 and life is back to BERLIN NORMAL and with the start of the BERLINALE just days away it will be another interesting time. Of course, Berlin will do the 67th International Berlin Filmfestival / 67 Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin with that unique Berlin grace, style, and wonder!

OH, TO BE IN BERLIN ONE MORE TIME….

Thanks for your time,
David

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

Another Thanksgiving is upon us and we are another year old.  But are we another year wiser? This past year has given us plenty to be thankful for.

We have gone through an election season.  We’ve all aged one more year.  We’ve seen a lot a good and a lot of bad happened to the world, to our nation, and to ourselves.  Yet, here we are, at the precipice of another holiday season.

This week we celebrate Thanksgiving. As always there is so much to be grateful because of all the good and bad that we experienced since this time last year.

I want to take this time to say thank you.  It is an honor to be part of something that continues to be bigger than each of us.  This website has been such a labor of love as it has brought me in contact with so many people that I know I am blessed.

I am blessed as the honor of fostering, cultivating and guarding the history of the Berlin Brigade has been bestowed upon me.

Serving with the United States Army Berlin Brigade has given me such a wonderful opportunity of a lifetime not just to be in that city but to be the caretaker of our time there.  It is such a wonderful feeling when people ask about our time in Berlin, about our time 110 miles behind the iron curtain.  I especially love answering questions that deal with the citizens of Berlin because interacting with them and living among them help put everything we did in the city much into perspective.

When talking about my fellow soldiers though we come from all places in the United States we had one thing in common, we were American soldiers in Berlin doing a job that might not have been thankful but in the end only saw that wall fall we knew it was appreciated.

And for reasons like that I do appreciate everything that I learned an experienced during my time in Berlin and especially after.  In meeting, talking and getting to know my fellow veterans of the Berlin Brigade and for that I am grateful and thankful.

I wish you, your family and friends a very Happy Thanksgiving and a Wonderful and Joyous Holiday Season.

Thank you,
David

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