Welcome to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division "Warrior" News Feed

Here you will find posts of our latest news articles and media.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Warriors train at NTC

National Training Center, Fort Irwin, CA – Soldiers from 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team “Warriors”, 25th Infantry Division arrived in California for pre-deployment training in early February. The unit has been gearing up for this training for approximately five months, as there is much planning and coordination needed to prepare a unit of nearly 4,000 soldiers for six weeks of training at a location more than 2,500 miles away.

The unit began preparing for its rotation at the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin in November 2009. A “Warfighter” simulation training exercise was conducted at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii at the beginning of December in which brigade leaders and staff established communications and conducted key leader engagements with simulated Iraqi officials applying advise-and-assist techniques that will pertain to the role the unit will play in the upcoming deployment to Iraq.

As the time for training drew near, the brigade began to prepare its soldiers and equipment for movement to NTC. Soldiers were issued Rapid Field Initiative (RFI) equipment such as the Extreme Cold Weather System, Improved Outer Tactical Vests (IOTVs) and fire-retardant Army Combat Uniforms (ACUs). Countless bags were packed and loaded into overseas containers, which were then blocked and braced before being sealed to ensure minimal shifting during the trip to California.

“A lot of it had to do with comfort, to a certain extent, as well as protection,” said Capt. James Kim, the Assistant Plans Officer for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, in reference to the change from the Individual Body Armor (IBA) to IOTVs. “It has the rapid-release system so if a soldier needs to be treated, all medics have to do is pull the rapid-release cord, move the soldier and all the armor falls off.”

Considering the fact that the constant movement of troops and equipment during the rotation would be crucial to the overall success of the brigade’s mission at NTC, vehicles were inspected and any maintenance issues were corrected before being deemed ready for movement.

“It’s part of shipping procedures to have all the vehicles and equipment inspected prior to loading in order to comply with safety regulations,” said Kim. “Plus, the weight, the size and the dimensions all have to fit within the regulations of the boat the equipment is being loaded onto.”

The vehicles and overseas containers were transported to Pier K10 in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in a massive movement that required soldiers from all units within the brigade and spanned more than eight hours.

“It started around 7:30 at night and ended at about 4:00 in the morning, and all soldiers in the brigade drove the vehicles and equipment down to Pier K10 at Pearl Harbor,” Kim said.

The first soldiers arrived at the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Santa Fe at NTC on February 8. Soldiers from the brigade headquarters, as well as key staff from each battalion, arrived ahead of the main body in order to receive and conduct accountability checks of equipment and establish the bare essentials required to support the brigade for the duration of the field training exercise.

“The first soldiers to arrive at NTC were mainly supply and logistics soldiers preparing to receive the equipment coming off the ports in San Diego,” said Capt. Denis M. Wagner, the Assistant Operations Planner for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. “They were establishing life support; getting tents set up, the showers, the latrines, all the logistics necessary to support the brigade.”

Once the brigade had arrived in full at NTC, the battalions began conducting California Operations, various training exercises that allowed each unit to practice essential skills that will be crucial to the success of the brigade’s upcoming deployment to Iraq.

“For the battalions it was an opportunity to conduct Stryker gunnery, lanes training, flat ranges and interaction with key leaders,” Kim said. “The brigade support battalion did a lot of convoy training, including some convoy live-fire exercises utilizing their guntrucks.”

“The units conducted their pre-rotational training such as marksman training with small arms systems, Stryker gunnery with weapons mounted on the Strykers, and situational training exercises allowing them to do platoon and company maneuvers,” Wagner said.

Strategic Operations, Inc. (STRAT OPS), a special effects company in Los Angeles, assisted the brigade with simulation training exercises by providing realistic scenarios in simulated Iraqi environments with simulated IED explosions and injuries using professional make-up artists to give soldiers an enhanced training experience.

“We hired a special effects crew, STRAT OPS, to simulate what it feels like to interact with Iraqis, especially with the language barrier,” Kim said. “It was a good experience, especially for soldiers who have never been deployed.”

Every unit within the brigade had a chance to utilize every asset within their skill set. Food service specialists in particular were hard at work almost 20 hours each day.

“Our food service specialists were serving two meals a day for close to 4,000 people,” Kim said.

The various training exercises that the brigade conducted allowed each unit to assess mission execution methods and make necessary adjustments to ensure success during the next phase of training at NTC, as well as the brigade’s readiness for the upcoming deployment to Iraq.

”It allowed us the time away from Garrison activities to establish the processes and systems to conduct training in a more realistic environment,” Wagner said. “The field training exercise (FTX) set the initial pieces in place to eventually roll into the Advise and Assist Brigade (AAB) construct that will be in place when we deploy.”

No comments:

Post a Comment