News: Garryowen takes on Saber Lanes
Story by Staff Sgt. Kyle Richardson
CAMP HOVEY, South Korea – As the 2nd Infantry Division is the only forward deployed division in the Army, it is essential for the soldiers to have a strong grasp of their soldiering skills for survival.
The leadership in the 4th Squadron, 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team set out to ensure their soldiers maintained a constant level of readiness and were prepared to meet the need if they were called to “Fight Tonight.”
Garryowen troops participated in the Semi-Annual Warrior Tasks Testing known as Saber Lanes on Camp Hovey, South Korea, July 16 to 18.
The training event tested the soldiers’ fundamental knowledge of individual warrior tasks and their ability to react quickly in various training scenarios.
“This is a time where we get back to the basics,” said Spc. Devin Onofrietti, Angola, Ind., a Bradley Fighting Vehicle gunner for Troop A, 4th Squadron, 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment. “This is stuff we all should know and will possibly help save a life one day. For the soldiers who haven’t participated, we will have to stress the importance of this training and build upon our weak areas.”
Throughout the day, soldiers foot-marched across Camp Hovey taking on the obstacles while being evaluated at stations like: how to orientate a map, land navigation, create a hasty fighting position, escalation of force, civilians on the battlefield, casualty evacuations, sending a situational report and a nine-line medical evacuation report, along with other training and evaluation stations.
“While we’re in the Army, we’re going to train—it’s important,” said Staff Sgt. Axel Feliciano, Ponce, Puerto Rico native and senior mechanic with Troop D, 4th Squadron, 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment. “However, you have to adapt it to your situation. We’re not in Iraq or Afghanistan. You have to know how to operate in the environment and situations around you.”
The testing helped the soldiers to assess their ability to execute the fundamental tasks and boost confidence in the process. However, not everyone was successful at all of the events. Those soldiers learned from those mistakes and pushed through to the rest of the testing.
“Knowing your basic soldiering skills is invaluable. I know for me, it’s been a few years. It has definitely been a struggle, but the Saber Lanes have helped to renew my confidence,” said Onofrietti. “I think the land nav has been the toughest for me so far. The hills will definitely make you sweat. I started off a little shaky but after doing this for a while and getting back into things, I’m getting my confidence back.”
The Garryowen soldiers advanced through the Saber Lanes, the tasks proved not only to refresh the talents of veteran soldiers, but the training also helped newer soldiers understand the importance of training and remaining competent in their warrior tasks.
“It’s important for us to continue to train on these tasks because if a war did come, our training takes over, you don’t have to think about it, and the action just comes out naturally,” said Pvt. Carlos Sierra, a Vega Baja, Puerto Rico native and scout for Troop C, 4th Squadron, 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment. “It’s important for us to keep up on our soldiering skills because this is what we will be using in case of war.”
As the testing came to an end, the soldiers gained valuable experiences in soldiering skills. They will continue to build on those skills as they transition into their collective gunnery training exercise later this year.