News: Yakima prepares Raiders for upcoming ops
Story by Spc. Kimberly Lessmeister
YAKIMA TRAINING CENTER, Wash. – Bungee cords, strings, and rucksacks hold together ponchos on dozens of makeshift tents that crowd the field across from the brigade tactical operations center in the “Erbadil province of Duristan.”
Soldiers of 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division “Raiders” will operate in the notional province and endure the rainfall and gusty winds of the flat terrain here during Operation Raider Fusion, training throughout October to become adept at full spectrum operations.
Through live-fire ranges and situational training exercise lanes, platoons will certify in their mission-essential tasks and combined-arms maneuvers.
“At the same time, we’re training and certifying leaders and their ability to get back to combined arms maneuver operations at the company and troop level,” said the brigade commander, Col. Mike Getchell. “We’re also certifying the field artillery batteries and their ability to deliver precise and accurate indirect fire in support of our maneuver.”
The final objective is a brigade-level mission command exercise, which tests the brigade staff’s ability to command and control dispersed units across a large area of operations, he said.
Altogether, the training is leading the brigade toward the reintegration of full spectrum operations.
“The focus on the higher aspect of conflict is really so we can have some balance,” said Getchell. “This formation is very capable, as demonstrated by its two very successful rotations in Iraq, to operate at the lower spectrum of conflict toward irregular warfare and a counterinsurgency environment.”
However, after their month here is over, the training continues.
The next event for the Raider Brigade is a second rotation here in the winter where they will build upon the momentum they’ve gained and take it with them to their upcoming rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., next summer.
Maintaining the skills already learned while also focusing on operations against a more capable enemy builds operational adaptability, said Getchell, so that whether the unit’s next mission is conducting counterinsurgency or conventional operations of higher intensity, the brigade will be ready when the nation calls.