News: Ironhorse prepares for Combined Resolve II
Story by Capt. John Farmer
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – Tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, mobile artillery vehicles and cargo trucks line the motor pool on a cold, cloudy day. Basic issue items such as shovels, wrenches, air hoses and technical manuals are laid out in an orderly manner ready for inspection.
Soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division are signing for equipment from the European Activity Set as they prepare to participate in Combined Resolve II, a multinational training exercise, here.
The vehicles and associated equipment are part of the European Activity Set, a combined-arms battalion-sized set of equipment prepositioned on the Grafenwoehr Training Area to outfit and support U.S. Army forces rotating to Europe for training and contingency missions in support of the U.S. European Command.
Sgt. Diedra Marien, the 1st BCT logistics noncommissioned officer in charge, said that the brigade will be drawing more than 5,000 pieces of equipment as they prepare for their training.
“It [EAS] includes weapon systems, Bradleys, tanks, wheeled vehicles, signal equipment, support equipment, kitchens, tool kits, and maintenance equipment,” said Marien, a native of Alexandria, La.
Many of the vehicles and their associated equipment are either brand new or have been completely overhauled.
“Charlie Company is preparing to draw their 14 tanks. We laid out all the [Basic Issue Items] for them, so they’re currently here and they will inventory and sign for all their BII. Once that’s done, they’ll [conduct maintenance on] their tanks, go on a road test, they’ll return, do their after operations maintenance and they’ll check everything off, make sure everything is good to go,” said Tony Rotti, a logistics management specialist with the 405th Army Field Support Brigade. “Once we get the thumbs-up from them, that they’re ready to go, the company commander will sign the master hand receipt saying he’s received all the equipment, that he’s good to go and the guys are ready to go out and do their thing.”
Considering the fact that Ironhorse Soldiers are the first ones to draw this equipment, Rotti said the draw is going quite well. He added that the AFSB only received these tanks less than 30 days ago, which has necessitated a faster than usual pace in order to get everything ready for the first draw.
“I only see a positive attitude from the Soldiers. They’re like kids in a candy shop because this equipment is all brand new. They’re the first ones to use it, which is a once in a lifetime thing for some of these Soldiers where they get on a piece of equipment that’s basically never been operated before. They’re fortunate to have this and we’re happy to give it to them to be able to go and train,” said Rotti.
Many of the Soldiers were very excited to see the shiny new equipment, their eyes alight with excitement and anticipation.
“So far, so good. Everything looks real nice. All the equipment looks like it’s in good order, all brand new. The tanks look like they’re in good shape. No real mechanical issues that we’ve seen so far. It’s going to be nice having nice, new equipment,” said Staff Sgt. Keith During, a tank commander with 3rd Platoon, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment.
During, a native of Augusta, Maine, expressed confidence in his soldiers’ training, which will enable them to reap maximum benefit from this experience.
“We’ve been training up for this for the last year and a half, two gunneries, [brigade situation training exercises], and a [National Training Center] rotation. Our guys are ready to come in here and get to training,” said During.