IPOWER DASH Series Driver making his return to the track from IRAQ along with Soldiers, of TASK FORCE 2-504 PIR, of the 82nd Airborne Division BAGHDAD, IRAQ(April 5, 2004) - IPOWER DASH series driver Kevin Williams; will be making his return to...
IPOWER DASH Series Driver making his return to the track from IRAQ along with Soldiers, of TASK FORCE 2-504 PIR, of the 82nd Airborne Division
BAGHDAD, IRAQ(April 5, 2004) - IPOWER DASH series driver Kevin Williams; will be making his return to the track, in the upcoming event at the Hickory Motor Speedway April 10th. He will once again be running for team owner, Gary Moore and GEM Motorsports in the #00 Pontiac. Williams last race was in Atlanta, last October where he finished 15th.
Williams, a native of Bridgewater, MA, is currently working in Southern Baghdad, Iraq as an army contractor with Kellogg, Brown and Root. He is a Security Coordinator working along side the U.S. Army to provide Force Protection for the soldiers and civilians working on Camp Falcon. When asked why he chose to work in Iraq during a major conflict, his reply was, "That's easy, as a former soldier myself, I truly felt I could do some good and hopefully save some lives."
Kevin served for18 years in the army, before he had to medically retire, November 7, 2002, due to an injury sustained in a parachuting accident. Of those 18 years, he was proudly assigned for over 8 years, in one of the US Army's elite units; the 82nd Airborne Division, in Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, out of Fort Bragg, NC.
While there he served as an M249 SAW Gunner and an M60 machine gunner. He said, "After being a member of the 82nd for all those years and then being able to work with the soldiers of today here in Iraq, it was easy to name my car, The All American" (which is the 82nd Airborne Division nickname). "I wanted to dedicate my next two races to the soldiers of the 82nd and all who serve in the US forces, not just in Iraq but around the world." He now works on a daily basis along side Task Force 2-504 PIR in Iraq. He says, "It's funny and pretty cool to actually see some of the guys I used to work with just a few years ago and see how they've advanced in rank and become great leaders."
Another former member of the 82nd Airborne Division working alongside the soldiers in Iraq with Kevin is Anthony Grisanti of Buffalo, NY. Anthony served as a Captain from July 1995 to November 98. For 22 months he was the Division Maintenance Officer, followed Company Commander of B.Co. 307 FSB. He is currently a Quality Assurance/Quality Control Officer.
The 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment is also known as the White Devils. The word "white" is one of the colors of the Brigade's three battalions, the other two colors are Red and Blue Devils. The name "Devils" was taken from a German letter which described them as "those Black Devils in Baggy Pants."
White Devils Support Operation Iraqi Freedom
Story written by Larry Potts and 1LT Pete Johnson.
As the Christmas leave period rapidly approached, the White Devils were busy conducting platoon-level evaluations at Fort Bragg with not even a second thought towards another deployment in a combat zone. On 19 December 2003; however, the paratroopers of 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, were told that they were going to deploy to Baghdad in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The deployment process hastily began, and due to a lot of hard work and a bit of luck, the White Devils were able to set foot on Iraqi soil on 11 January 2004.
The battalion conducted a Relief-In-Place (RIP) with 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment. Within 24 hours of assuming control over our Area of Responsibility (AOR) the White Devils were again conducting combat operations, just five months after the redeployment from Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Instead of conducting air assault missions into specified landing zones, the White Devils found themselves conducting motorized infantry missions into the heart of Baghdad. The paratroopers of this battalion were quickly put to the test, and responded in true White Devil fashion, overcoming all obstacles that stood in their way of achieving success.
Simultaneously, upon the White Devils' arrival into country, they were informed that they would be responsible for training a portion of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps (ICDC). Every company was assigned an ICDC platoon to teach, train, and integrated into our battalion combat team with a goal of having the ICDC ready to operate independent of all US influence. This undertaking was a monumental task, but as with everything, the White Devils have been successful, and all of the ICDC platoons are patrolling in zone under the guidance and supervision of the White Devils.
Due to the intensity that the White Devils have conducted combat operations, the Task Force has been able to capture numerous High Value Targets, former leaders of the Ba'ath Party, and caches consisting of rockets, weapons, and bomb/Improvised Explosive Device (IED) making material. The White Devils, through their professional conduct of all combat and stability and support operations, have made a drastic impact on the infrastructure of Iraq, most of which will not be evident until long after Task Force White Devil has redeployed back to Fort Bragg.
As of 22 March 2004, Task Force White Devil has lost four paratroopers in the war against terrorism: SFC Clint D. Ferrin, SGT Daniel L. Londono, PFC Joel K. Brattain, and PFC Bryan N. Spry. The officers, noncommissioned officers, and paratroopers of this battalion would like to express our heartfelt condolences to the families of these great men.
Let all know that these men did not die in vain. The White Devils will remain mission-focused and continue to bring the fight to the terrorists, and we will not relent until we have safely touched down at Pope Air Force Base once again.
The 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment was activated on 1 May 1942 as part of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia. Thereafter, the battalion deployed to Europe and fought with distinction at Sicily, Anzio, Salerno, and Nijmegan. The unit also helped drive back the German winter offensive at the Battle of the Bulge. The unit earned its motto "Strike Hold!" during these campaigns by never losing an inch of ground once it was held, and the White Devils have continued to enforce and uphold this time honored credo through the present day global war against terrorism.
Kevin would like to thank MAJ Pete Minalga, MAJ Emmett Burke, CSM Michael Huffman, 1LT Pete Johnson, 1LT Sean Moore and all of the soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment.