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1st Theater Sustainment Command

News Stories

Two 'Brickyard' Soldiers enrolled in Army Anti-Terrorism Honor Roll

By Staff Sgt. Neil McCabe | 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command | July 29, 2021


Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Ryan M. Belcher and Army Reserve Capt. Skyler Danks, deployed here with the Indianapolis-based 310th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), were recognized as enrollees in the Army's 2021 Anti-Terrorism Honor Roll.

The Army established the Army Antiterrorism Awards Program to recognize excellence and significant achievements in the anti-terrorism field and those who work hard behind the scenes to protect Army civilian and military personnel.

Both men were recommended by the 310th ESC's commanding general, Brig. Gen. Justin M. Swanson.

"Belcher excelled as the Command's Antiterrorism Officer during Training Year 2020," Swanson wrote.

"Belcher's superior technical knowledge and interpersonal skills directly contributed to the Command's improved readiness which included 100 percent completion of subordinate echelon's Antiterrorism Program Reviews, a 24 percent improvement in certified ATOs across the Command, and a 25 percent increase in completed terrorism vulnerability assessments from the previous training year," the general wrote.

"Belcher exceeded expectations as the Command’s VTER budget manager," he wrote. "His discipline and attention to detail ensured the command’s VTER expenditures aligned with the 310th ESC Antiterrorism Training calendar." VTER is shorthand for anti-terrorism programs.

Swanson wrote that Danks excelled as one of the 310th ESC's anti-terrorism officers.

"Danks was an integral part of the overwhelming success of 310th ESC Antiterrorism Program from December 2019 to September 2020," the general wrote.

Among the captain's contributions, the general cited his leadership through evening teleconferences with subordinate echelon anti-terrorism officers directing the anti-terrorism risk management process.

In July of 2020, Danks led a staff working group through the risk management process and prepared the command's anti-terrorism deliberate risk assessment worksheet, creating the ESC standard, the general wrote.

The captain also conducted subordinate echelon assessments as a member of the command's Organization Inspection Program team and led the command's monthly Protection Huddle in the absence of the Chief of Protection, he wrote.

Belcher said he found out from an email about his award. "I'm honored, but it was a surprise."

The sergeant first class said he joined the Army in 2006 with a friend because they were both looking for something to do after high school. "I always liked the idea of serving my country, and Sept. 11, 2001, always stuck in my mind."

The resident of Martinsville, Indiana, said he was also mindful that both his grandfathers served during the Korean War, one in the Army and one in the Navy.

The sergeant first class said he is now a detective with the Martinsville Police Department but does not have much police work experience during his time as a military police officer. "I had detainee ops experience through the MP side of the house and now logistics."

Belcher said he was grateful for the opportunity to work with the command's anti-terrorism team because of what he learned about the process and the chance to work with the unit's senior leaders.

"A lot of the stuff was in place already, but with anti-terrorism, it's ever-evolving," he said.

He said contributions from the Operations section, the G-3, the Support Operations Office, or SPO, and the intelligence cell, or G-2. "A lot of different key players came in for the anti-terrorism plan; it is not just force protection--it's the big picture."

"Before you mobilize, you have to do a Pre-deployment Vulnerability Assessment," he said. "I did that for our annual training at Fort Knox, and I did it for the mobilization."

The captain said a significant part of the vulnerability assessment is whenever troops are moving.

"It was getting us to Fort Knox and then getting us to Fort Hood and then, the mitigation at Fort Hood," he said. The 310th ESC Soldiers spent two weeks at 1st TSC headquarters, Fort Knox, Kentucky, to integrate with their counterparts at the main command post.

An additional complication to the planning and the assessment was the protests in nearby Louisville, Kentucky, regarding Louisville police officers fatally shooting a civilian during a raid on an apartment in the city.

"Due to the civil unrest, there's a lot of different things going on there," Danks said. "For the AT, we're going through Louisville to get to Fort Knox, and then with the Breonna Taylor case ongoing," he said.

"Some of that news came out while we were traveling," he said. "We had a small convoy of buses, Humvees, and some equipment. The threat was constantly evolving as we were determining our route and the different courses of action."

The captain said he worked with Fort Knox officials and relied on the Homeland Security Network.

Belcher said he appreciates the discipline of the process.

"It really makes you break down and look at the basics of things," he said.

"The system is built, where you can have somebody that has an outlook of 'The sky is falling,' and you can have people, who are calm, cool and collected, and the system that we use actually brings that all together," he said. "Everyone's opinion comes into play, and it balances it out."