War on Terrorism

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Submarine Group 10 Individual Augmentees' Sound Off

From Commander, Submarine Group 10 Public Affairs

KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- Three sailors from Commander, Submarine Group 10 serving on individual augmentee (IA) assignments sounded off on their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan Sept. 13.

Lt. Cmdr. Todd Sullivan, Command Master Chief (SS) Vinnie Vinson and Yeoman 2nd Class (SS) John Gladman are in various stages of their deployments, but each volunteered for IA duties, taking them far away from the world of submarines at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga.

Sullivan is completing training at Fort Jackson, S.C., in preparation for one-year boots-on-the-ground orders with the Chief, Personnel Policy for the Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan at Camp Eggers located in Kabul, Afghanistan.

"I was an IA in Al Asad, Iraq, in 2008," said Sullivan, "That 6-month tour was an awesome experience and led me to volunteer again for this tour."

Sullivan said that he looks forward to the challenge of helping to develop the Afghan National Police into a self-sustaining force.

"This is an important step for their complete renewal as a nation, to be part of that as a Navy IA is a great opportunity to contribute to this vital mission that our military has undertaken," said Sullivan.

While Sullivan is just beginning the process, Vinson has been deployed to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq since June 2010 and is on 9-month orders. Vinson, who is Submarine Group 10's command master chief and serves as the Al Asad command master chief, describes operations at Al Asad as the base redeploys more than 27,000 troops during the deduction of forces in Iraq "sending them safely home to their loved ones."

"The job never ends; there are no weekends in Iraq," Vinson said. "It's a great feeling knowing you are doing your part in protecting our country while re-building someone else's country. I have learned as an American to be more thankful for the little things we take for granted in America. I have always mentioned the word freedom, but my experience as an IA has shown me the real definition of the word and I am very thankful."

Gladman departed the Submarine Group 10 administrative department to augment the Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command – Afghanistan in Kabul. He is serving one-year orders and reported in country in November 2009. He describes working in a joint environment as a steep and challenging learning curve.

"It has been one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever done, and I have had the opportunity to learn about the Army, Air Force and Marines," said Gladman. "The role of the Navy individual augmentee is to bring professionalism and strength to the forefront and to support the ongoing contingency operations."

All three have served aboard submarines and are just three of the 23 submariners within the Submarine Group 10 clamacy that are currently serving on IAs.

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