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Thunder Crucible tests soldiers’ capabilities Staff Sgt. Carlos Davis

Capt. Juan Noda, from Miami, Fla., the battery commander for Battery C, and 1st Sgt. Mark Smith, originally from Newport, Ark., the senior noncommissioned officer for Battery C, 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment, 210th Fires Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, raise their hands in victory after they took first place in the first Thunder Crucible team competition Nov. 7 on Camp Casey, South Korea. The two-day Thunder Crucible event was designed to test the mettle, teamwork and the mastery of individual skills and knowledge including the Army physical fitness test, chemical defense, tactical communications, combat casualty care, weapons mastery skills, a foot march, a written test on Korean culture, warrior standards and command supply discipline. The event was an opportunity to highlight the demanding training required of 210th Fires Brigade soldiers as they maintain their readiness to "fight tonight" to defend the Korean peninsula. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Carlos R. Davis, 210th Fires Brigade Public Affairs/Released)

CAMP CASEY, South Korea – It is early morning and the cold chill of the night air lingers as soldiers of 210th Fires Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, head to Soldiers Field near Carey Fitness Center to register for the first Thunder Crucible event Nov. 6, 2013, Camp Casey, South Korea.

Approximately 55 two-man teams executed 11 events that ranged from the Army physical fitness test, Korean culture, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear readiness, warrior standard test, north Korea threat test, and a series of other warrior tasks to challenge the leaders from batteries and companies across the brigade.

According to Maj. Brendan Toolan, the brigade’s operations officer and a native of Philadelphia, Pa., the competition is designed to test and evaluate the physical and mental abilities of the leaders throughout the brigade.

“We hope this event will strengthen the bond within the leadership groups,” said Toolan. “This is the first time 210th Fires Brigade will be conducting this type of training as a leadership development program.”

According to Toolan, the highlight of this event is to see the junior officers and senior noncommissioned officers teaming up together and taking the event seriously and doing their best throughout the competition.

“I am here to support our team and make sure we get the best possible score we can,” said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Hytower, from Shellman, Ga., a maintenance supervisor assigned to 579th Forward Support Company, 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment.

The crucible allows leaders to train into a field environment and freshen up on their warrior skills.

“To come up here and train on some infantry-type tasks and to be able to sharpen our soldiering skills is great because they are easily lost if we do not stay current on them,” said Capt. Hugh Lewis, from College Station, Texas, the assistant operations officer assigned to the United Nations Command Security Battalion-Joint Security Area.

Second Lt. Adam Fisk, an Atlanta, Ga., native, hadn’t trained on some of the tasks since his time in officer candidate school.

“The different tasks we are going to be achieving for the next couple of days will cover almost every aspect of skills Soldiers perform in case we go to war,” added Fisk, the executive officer assigned to 579th Signal Company, 70th Brigade Support Battalion.

Being stationed in Korea, leaders normally focus on the big picture and can lose sight of the small things that make soldiers well-rounded.

“This competition allows me to gauge on what things I need to work on as a leader,” said Fisk.

The Thunder Crucible is a competition designed to test the mettle, teamwork and soldiering skill of Thunder platoon, battery or company officers and their noncommissioned officer counterparts. Soldiers competed as teams through friendly competition to showcase their mastery of the warrior skills necessary to be ready to "fight tonight" to defend the Republic of Korea.

Side bar:

The first place winners were Capt. Juan Noda, from Miami, Fla., the battery commander for Battery C, and 1st Sgt. Mark Smith, who is originally from Newport, Arkansas, the senior noncommissioned officer for Battery C, 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment, 210th Fires Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

The second place team members were Capt. Robert Auletta, from Massapequa, N.Y., the commander of A Battery, and Sgt. 1st Class Jordan Lee, a native of Saratoga, Calif., a multiple launch rocket system crew member assigned to A Battery, 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment.

Third place team members were Capt. Shaohong Lu, from Atlanta, Ga., the fire direction officer, and Sgt. Justin Humphreys, from Las Vegas, a multiple launch rocket system operations or fire direction specialist, both are assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment.

Fourth place team members were Capt. Carlos Ortiz, from Jersey City, New Jersey, the company commander for B Battery, and 1st. Sgt. Joseph Taylor, from Waterford, Conn., B Battery senior noncommissioned officer, both are assigned to 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, 210th Fires Brigade.


To download these high-quality photos and others for use in your publication, click on the link to go to this set at the 210th Fires Brigade Flickr page:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/210fib/sets/72157637583296865/


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Public Domain Mark
This work, Thunder Crucible tests soldiers’ capabilities, by SSG Carlos Davis, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:11.06.2013

Date Posted:11.19.2013 03:08

Location:CAMP CASEY, 26, KR

Hometown:ATLANTA, GA, US

Hometown:COLLEGE STATION, TX, US

Hometown:JERSEY CITY, NJ, US

Hometown:LAS VEGAS, NV, US

Hometown:MASSAPEQUA, NY, US

Hometown:MIAMI, FL, US

Hometown:NEWPORT, AR, US

Hometown:SARATOGA, CA, US

Hometown:SHELLMAN, GA, US

Hometown:WATERFORD, CT, US

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