Operation Brightstar

Story by Sgt. Joel F. Gibson
13th COSCOM Public Affairs Office

Amid the deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a detachment from the 263rd Maintenance Company, 2nd Chemical Battalion, 13th Corps Support Command deployed Friday from the COSCOM gym in support of Operation Brightstar.

Operation Brightstar is a combined exercise conducted bi-annually since 1981 in which more than 70,000 troops from more than 10 countries normally participate.

Soldiers of the 263rd have a positive outlook toward the deployment to Egypt.

"I'm looking forward to it," said Spc. Jerry W. Bollinger, a heavy construction equipment mechanic with the 263rd,"It should be good training, and will provide all of us with a new place we can all say we've been to."

Pfc. Ramon Aspeitia, a San Antonio native, and track vehicle mechanic in the 263rd, said," I did research on the language, customs and maps, and I think it will be a good opportunity to learn a lot."

"This exercise is going to help our teamwork," said Aspeitia," It will give all of us a chance to work together. To me, teamwork is one of the main essentials of combat effectiveness."

Aspeitia will be performing two important functions during the deployment.

First and foremost, said Aspeitia, is the accomplishment of his maintenance missions with the 263rd. However, he also has the opportunity to act as a stringer for his company in support of the COSCOM public affairs office.

Stringers are part-time reporters or photojournalists who write, take photographs or provide story information about events in their organizations.

Stringers have an advantage over regular journalists due to the existing relationships they have with members of their organizations and their knowledge of their organizations.

Aspeitia has been with the 263rd for 10 months, and has made a very positive influence on his supervisors.

"He's smart, intelligent, he writes well," said Sgt. 1st Class Antonio T. Nix, NCOIC of the deploying detachment of the 263rd.

"He was the first Soldier I thought of for writing our story," said Nix.

"He's a good Soldier, very squared away," said Sgt. Larry L. Chavez, a wheeled vehicle mechanic with the 263rd.

The 263rd follows the 151st Movement Control Team, 49th Movement Control Battalion, 13th COSCOM, which departed for Operation Brightstar August 17th.

Prior to deploying, Aspeitia received stringer training from the 13th COSCOM Public Affairs Office.

COSCOM Soldiers interested in working as a stringer for their unit should contact the PAO at 288-7342.


Pfc Ramon Aspeitia and Pfc Gustavo A Dardon
Pfc. Ramon Aspeitia, a track vehicle mechanice with the 263rd Maintenance Company, 2nd Chemical Battalion, 13th Corps Support Command interviews fellow 263rd Soldier Pfc. Gustavo A. Dardon, an automated logistics specialist, prior to their deployment at the COSCOM gym Friday in support of Operation Bright Star. A detachment from the 263rd will be augmenting the 733rd Maintenance Company, a reserve unit based at Fort Bliss, during the operation. Photo by 1st. Lt. Derek Enslow