45th Seperate Infantry Brigade
Iraqi Freedom


Introduction to the WWIIRA and 45th Infantry Division, World War II Reenactors

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These are the World War II events that you will find the WWIIRA in attendance.

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Spc Andrew Crout, infantryman, Company B,
1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment, Oklahoma Army National Guard, watches his
sector of fire as he scans the horizon while pulling site security at a remote Patriot missile battery tactical site in Southwest Asia.

SOUTHWEST ASIA - As Patriot air defense batteries keep a vigilant eye over the skies of the Middle East, poised and ready to engage Iraqi missiles, the question may be asked; who will protect
the Patriots?
The critical mission of protecting the air defense units in the gulf region during this conflict has fallen to the men of the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment, Oklahoma Army National Guard, who make up 'Security Force Tomahawk.'
Soldiers of the 179th wear the yellow Native American bird with red background 45th Infantry Brigade patch. The history of this unit can be traced back to 1890 with the formation of the Militia of the territory of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma National Guard has served in the Spanish-American War, Mexican Border Conflict, World War I, World War II, Korean Conflict and Desert Storm.
The men of the 179th have a long history of being up front and close to the fight, however, this time their fight is protecting our air defenders from a terrorist and Iraqi threat.

"Although this mission is different, it seems to be more important," said Spc. Christopher Harris, infantryman, Company B, 1st Bn., 179th Inf., OKARNG. "Protecting Patriot is ever so vital to everything around the Middle East including U.S. servicemembers."
Listening to the men of the 179th explain why they are here is like listening to the words of some patriotic script from a Hollywood movie.
"We were sent for one job: to guard Patriot and we will do it the best we can," said Spc. Eli Davis, infantryman, Company B, 1st Bn., 179th, Inf.

Spc. Brian Nickel, infantryman, B Co., 1st Bn., 179th Infantry Regt., OkArNG, performs a communications check over
radio while pulling on-site security at a remote Patriot missile battery tactical site in SWA.
"Despite the conditions, our guys will do whatever it takes to get the job done," said Harris. "Most of us are just farm boys with a few city boys mixed in," said Spc. Raymond Henry,
infantryman, Company B, 1st Bn., 179th Inf.
"The guys at our armory are buddies that grew up with each other, these guys are friends you grew up with," said Spc. Stephen Rogers, infantryman, Company B, 1st Bn., 179th Inf. "You might say we are hometown boys, it's 'kinda' that way I guess.
Everybody knows what everybody is thinking, because you all grew up together and you are more in-tune to each others' thoughts."
Not only do the soldiers of the 179th consider themselves family, in some cases the relation is literal. "In this unit we have a set of twins and a father with two sons serving among us," explained Harris.
"We have a very close relationship, even back home in the states we are like one big family. For example if I needed money or something I could borrow it from someone at the armory," said Sgt. Jeffrey Smith, infantryman, Co. B, 1st Bn., 179th Inf.
Family and friends may be an important factor in the cohesion of the 179th, but the training is equally significant to these guardsmen. "Before deploying, weekend drills were a big
issue. Our training was pretty packed and nonstop,"
said Davis. "We are always training. Even here, we have been training in infantry tactics, close combat optics and the new M4 carbine," said Spc. Andrew Crout, infantryman, Co. B. The M4 Carbine is a more compact version of the M16A2 weapons system.
A sense of family and emphasis on training may be of worth to the men of the 179th, but the motivation they carry in their hearts is the driving factor that makes these soldiers good at whatever they do.


Pictured here are two sons (Sgt. Travis Secrest, right), (Spc. John Secrest, left) and a father (Sgt. John Secrest, center) currently serving with Company B, 1st attalion, 179th Infantry Regiment, Oklahoma Army National Guard.
"The emails and letters we receive are filled with support, 'we are behind you, get the job done'," said Staff Sgt. Darryl Easley, operations noncommissioned officer, 1st Battalion, 179th Inf. "It is interesting what the school kids have to say when they write to us: 'Don't get dead', shoot first," said Harris. "It is the email and letters that keep us motivated."
All in all, the soldiers of 'Security Force Tomahawk,' know they play a prestigious role in this conflict. "We are proud to assist the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command in providing security for the Patriot forces, we are happy to be part of this
effort," said Maj. Mike Thompson, infantry officer, 1st Battalion, 179th Inf. "By pulling the security for the Patriots, we allow
air defenders to be concerned about their job and allowing them to do that job," said Harris.

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