From the 70th Colonel of the Regiment
Colonel Timothy J. Ferguson
3rd Quarter, 2023
ALLONS!! Hello from the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, CA and from the Troopers of the Best Damn Regiment in the U.S. Army! The Regiment has been fighting hard over the last several months with multiple rotations of Brigade Combat Teams to the Mojave Desert.
The Troopers once again showed the rotational units who the biggest, baddest unit in the desert is and continued to act as the measuring stick that the Army assesses readiness of formations. We concluded an unusual but very challenging fight against the 75th Ranger Regiment and recently executed combat operations against the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. In addition to the fight against 1/1 CD, the Army included an experiment that looks at a future force structure decision toward Division-level reconnaissance formations. This experiment in conjunction with the rotation saw the Blackhorse operate two separate fights in the maneuver area and challenged us to our limit in terms of generating combat power and coordinating the two efforts. But once again, the Troopers of your Regiment performed exceptionally well, taking it to them in multiple engagements over an 11-day fight.
The Blackhorse Regiment continues to integrate new threats into our portfolio to challenge rotation units with the hardest fight they will ever have short of war itself. As we concluded the rotation with 1/1CD, we postured the Regiment for a well-deserved summer block leave that will allow us to recharge our batteries for our summer rotations. We will face two back-to-back Stryker Brigade Combat Team rotations, first the “Brave Rifles” of 3rd Cavalry Regiment are coming for a “Lucky 16” battle, followed by 1st SBCT, 4th Infantry Division. Then the Regiment will conduct its fall testing in the Expert Infantryman, Expert Soldier, and Expert Field Medical Badges.
Additionally, the late summer will see a dramatic modernization of the Regiment’s combat power as we field 16 M1A2SEPv3 main battle tanks that will make our tankers more capable. This is the most modern version of the Abrams tank in the Army inventory and our tankers are very excited to conduct their new equipment training and then integrate it into the fights against the rotational units.
The Blackhorse Regiment continues to uphold its reputation as a lethal and professional Opposing Force (OPFOR). Our Spouse Spur Ride, Squadron Spur Rides, and the Regimental Ball were all exceptionally successful and really helped continue to build the team and instill the pride in our organization that all of you treasure so very much. We are also undergoing significant transitions of leaders and Troopers as the summer permanent change of station (PCS) season is in full swing. In a few weeks, we will have changed out nearly every Troop/Company commander, multiple First Sergeants, several key Regimental Staff positions and are seeing Troopers depart with new Troopers arriving every day.
Recently, we held a change of responsibility ceremony for CSM John Lacnico, who is now the CSM of 1st Squadron, 11th ACR and an assumption of responsibility for CSM Christopher Shaiko, who assumes duty as the 26th Regimental Command Sergeant Major. CSM Shaiko is no stranger to the Blackhorse, having served as the Operations Sergeant Major in 1/11 ACR and comes to us from a successful tour as the Brigade CSM of 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. We welcome him, his wife, Christy, and their three children to the Regiment. The 25th RCSM, CSM Burg, has returned to his position as the CSM of 2/11 ACR and now our CSM team is set and ready to move us forward. I want to thank him for his eight months of positive leadership and guidance as he carried us until CSM Shaiko could arrive and assume his duty.
Finally, I look forward to participating in the 38th Annual ACVVC Reunion in September and speaking to all those that can attend as to the success of the Blackhorse, where we have been, and most importantly, where we are going. I wish you all nothing but the best and assure you that the Troopers of today continue to build on the excellence of the past 123 years and preserve and protect our legacy into the future as THE FINEST IN THE LAND!
COL Timothy J. Ferguson, 70th RCO