Sergeant Major Curt Patrouille of Waupun spoke to the Waupun Lions Club at a recent meeting. SGM Patrouille has served two deployments as a member of the Wisconsin National Guard during recent years. He was stationed in Afghanistan in 2002-2003; and in Iraq in 2009.
Sergeant Patrouille spoke about differences between his first and his second tours of duty, most notably the change in how units are deployed. Currently, the U.S. Army utilizes a full Brigade structure in its deployments, rather than sending smaller and more specialized units. The current focus is on a full-spectrum operation, wherein units of the Brigade are expected to be able to accomplish all aspects of an operation, as opposed to deploying smaller units being knowledgeable about a particular specialty.
Another example of notable changes was the difference between accommodations in 2002 versus 2009. Troops were housed in tents in 2002, whereas they were housed in more substantial "Containerized Housing Units," which were more modular in design. Additionally, in 2002 troops were transported by troop transport planes, which were essentially stripped-down cargo planes. The military currently has contracts with civilian airlines to transport deployed troops in modern passenger jet aircraft.
SGM Patrouille indicated that the 2009 deployment to Iraq represented the largest operational deployment of Wisconsin National Guard forces since World War II. Over 3,200 troops were deployed at that time.
Members of the Waupun Lions commended SGM Patrouille on his service to our country, noting appreciation to other members of our Armed Forces. SGM Patrouille was quick to point out that he received exceptional support from his employer, Neuman Pools of Beaver Dam, during his deployments. The support of his employer made life for his family more manageable during his absence. He also emphasized that the families of deployed military personnel also sacrifice much for their country, as their lives are greatly affected by their loved one's absence.
The Waupun Lions meet on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month a 6 p.m., at the Rock River Country Club in Waupun. New members are always welcome.