News: Task Force Viking trains quick reaction force
Story by Maj. William Humes
1-125th Infantry Battalion
KUNDUZ PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Although they are not used regularly, the quick reaction force assigned to Forward Operating Base Kunduz must be trained and ready to go at a moment’s notice. In order to accomplish this, they conduct exercises to maintain their ability to support airmobile operations. The members of the Kunduz QRF, made up of soldiers from 1st Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 125th Infantry Regiment, 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, participated in one such exercise May 18.
The drill began with an alert and information brief. In this training scenario, the QRF platoon was directed to link up with members of another unit for the purpose of exchanging information. This was the first air movement by a TF Viking QRF, so the training requirements were kept to a minimum.
The QRF platoon was ‘kitted up’ and staged at the airfield shortly after the alert was given. The lack of helicopter missions prior to this exercise had no impact on their ability to quickly respond.
Once at the airfield, Sgt. 1st Class Bradley Dygert, the platoon sergeant, coordinated with the aircraft crew chief while, 2nd Lt. Roger Craig, the platoon leader, used the final few minutes before loading to continue bringing the platoon up to speed. “We had a very short amount of time between alert and loading,” said Craig, “and I knew it would be way too loud inside to do any briefing so I tried to use every minute I had to talk through the mission.”
Shortly after, the crew chief signaled the platoon to board and Dygert positioned himself near the ramp to count his soldiers onto the aircraft. For this training mission, the platoon was airlifted just outside the FOB, but still in an area considered secure. The aircraft landed, the platoon offloaded, administered a headcount and the Chinook departed, all within a few minutes.
The platoon conducted a dismounted movement and link up with the other unit soldiers without incident. Once in contact, both elements exchanged information about preparing for future operations such as radio frequencies, signaling methods and capabilities of both units. Upon completion of the exchange, the helicopter was radioed and the platoon departed with the same efficiency and professionalism they demonstrated on insertion.
The exercise was the first opportunity to ride a helicopter on a mission for some of the soldiers of 1st platoon.
Date Posted:06.17.2012 05:52
Location:KUNDUZ PROVINCE, AF
Hometown:FLINT, MI, US
Hometown:WYOMING, MI, US
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