News: Quartermaster Company trains soldiers during annual exercise
Story by Sgt. Peter Ross
FORT BRAGG - Army Reserve soldiers have to constantly balance the demands of civilian life with the arduous training needs of the military. That delicate balance takes clear guidance, endless preparation, quality training and strong leadership to ensure both Soldiers and their units stand ready for any possible deployment.
In order to meet those preparation goals, the soldiers of the 849th Quartermaster Company recently joined forces with their higher headquarters the 362nd Quartermaster Battalion to conduct a four-day field training exercise here Feb. 28 – March 3.
The exercise is conducted annually to ensure that all the soldiers of the battalion receive required training to keep them battle ready.
Over the course of four chilly and windy days, and spread across sandy pine forested training areas, soldiers of the 849th Quartermaster Company, hosted a series of classes and weapons ranges to refresh and reinforce common core warrior tasks for their sister units in the battalion.
One of the first tasks the soldiers faced was the basic fundamentals of marksmanship. The 849th ran two M16A2 rifle ranges. The first one was a “zero range” where soldiers sighted in their weapons. The other range was the actual qualification course where the soldiers really tested their sharpshooting skills by shooting 40 rounds into small paper targets.
In addition to providing marksmanship training, the 849th soldiers exposed their fellow comrades to a variety of basic infantry skills as well.
“We conducted core training such as land navigation, evaluating a casualty, how to place M18 Claymore mines, as well as immediate action drills such as reacting to direct fire, and improvised explosive devices,” said Staff Sgt. Leah Lodge, a native of Tarboro, N.C., and a truck driver with the 849th Quartermaster Company. “This gives soldiers a brief bit of refresher training on warrior tasks, and when they get ready to deploy they train more in-depth on those.”
Soldiers also received training on basic land navigation skills. A course was spread out over a two square-mile area requiring soldiers to locate various points on the course using only a compass, protractor and a map of Fort Bragg.
“My goal was to have soldiers leave here with the knowledge that land navigation is not hard and it is still useful in today’s Army,” said Sgt. James Taylor of Wilson, N.C., an automated logistical specialist assigned to the 849th Quartermaster Company. “I think the training went well and soldiers left with valuable skills.”
“The training was excellent, and I love that we learned so much,” said Spc. Heather Richardson of Newport, N.C., a cargo specialist with the 650th Transportation Company, from Wilmington, N.C. “Most of these classes are refreshers for things I learned years ago. You tend to forget about the little things and when you do these courses the knowledge comes back.”
“I loved the react to contact drill. It was an adrenaline rush,” said Spc. Donna Sussums, native of Fayetteville N.C., and a truck driver with the 650th Transportation Company. “This is knowledge I can take back home with me.”
“The purpose of the exercise was to give soldiers some basic warrior skills training while allowing them to get out of the reserve center setting and come out here and learn in a fun environment,” said 1stLt. Brittney Diaz, native of Fayetteville, N.C., and a quartermaster officer with the 849th. “I think it gives them confidence as leaders to take back to their civilian lives.”