News: Raiders help train unit for upcoming deployment
Story by Sgt. Shantelle Campbell
FORT POLK, La. – Troops of the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, travelled to the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, La., last month to help train a unit from the 1st Cavalry Division for its upcoming deployment to Iraq.
During the three-week rotation, the Raiders squadron along with other soldiers from throughout the Dragon brigade acted as observers, controllers and foreign security role players in various training scenarios to prepare soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div., out of Fort Hood, Texas, for situations the unit could potentially face while deployed in support of Operation New Dawn.
“Everything was driven by our young leaders – in the squadron and from across the brigade,” said Lt. Col. Matthew J. Cody, commander of the Raiders squadron.
“We brought a lot of experience to the table,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew McDowell, the top non-commissioned officer of the Raiders squadron. “It was those young troopers and those young soldiers from across the brigade who came together as a force and gave JRTC and second brigade (1st Cav. Div.) a product they wanted and more.”
While training and observing Soldiers of the 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div., Cody and McDowell both agree that the squadron not only learned from the unit but also learned a lot about itself as well.
“No two deployments are ever alike,” said Cody, “whether it be in (the States), a training center or downrange for combat. Every deployment brings its own challenges and this (experience) has forced us to deal with certain challenges and figure it out. And, from that we have lessons learned.”
As the squadron returns to Fort Riley, Cody and McDowell hope that their soldiers took something from their experience at JRTC.
One thing I hope they take from this is to “not take training for granted,” said McDowell.