Camp Atterbury, Ind. – Pre-mission Training was the objective when the Headquarters and Support Company (HSC) and B Company of 8th Military Information Support Battalion (Airborne) (8th MISB (A)) planned and executed offsite training for the Soldiers of A Company, 8th MISB (A). In total, 45 soldiers from nine different Regional MISO Teams participated in a two week Pre-Mission Training Exercise at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, March 26th through the 31st.
The pre-mission training events included weapons qualification in M4 and M9 weapons, reflexive fire, mounted and dismounted lateral thinking exercises, IED simulator and IED practical lane, a 12 mile road march, and three team building courses.
The cadre personnel from HSC and B Company were not only evaluating the Soldiers' motivation to use their own physical endurance to overcome the obstacles, but primarily, their leadership was what was being evaluated. If a team member did not participate the entire team was considered a “No-Go” at that station. However, that was not an issue for the soldiers at A Company. All the soldiers participated and if a team member was having issues with an obstacle the team assisted them which was the one of the main goals of the training, "build team cohesion."
The entire cadre worked carefully to ensure the safety of the soon to deploy A Company personnel. They did not want anyone to sustain any injuries that could possibly make them non-deployable. Therefore, the range OICs quickly identified obstacles that could possible result in serious injuries and removed them from the course.
"The Island Hopper was removed because I saw too many potential accidents. After running through all the dewy grass the soldiers boots are too slippery," said CPT Elisha Husband.
In a variation to the traditional mounted and dismounted land navigation courses, teams executed lateral thinking courses which required them to not only navigate courses but also solve problems or puzzles while navigating. Both lateral thinking courses required teams to find at minimum four out of five points in four hours and solve lateral thinking puzzles or problems.
Soldiers matched the clacker symbol on the placard to the one in their lateral thinking book (for dismounted) or the location number to the number in their lateral thinking book (for mounted) at each designated 8-digit grid in order to solve the problem or puzzle. Each point had an assigned point value of 30 and each puzzle or problem at that point/location had an assigned point value of 30, for a total and maximum of 300 points. Many of the teams achieved the score of 300 points finding all their points and solving all their problems. Most of the teams answered all the questions in the books.
Even with the heavy amount of training during week one's range week 1SG McInnis ensured the soldiers of HSC were continuously motivating and providing guidance for the Soldiers of A Company.
While undertaking the concentrated training, all the soldiers of 8th MISB (A) were not only learning valuable skills, they also were having fun.
“This was the most training I’ve ever facilitated in a week’s timeframe. Our soldiers worked diligently to provide the necessary support for A Company to conduct training on every range,” 1SG Daniel McInnis.
Story by Cpt. Elisha Husband