News: Back to basics
Story by Sgt. Daniel Schroeder
DILLINGHAM, Hawaii – Soldiers from 3rd General Aviation Support Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, recently executed a field training exercise to train on basic soldier tasks recently.
Approximately 600 soldiers were trained on tasks such as chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear scenarios, setup and operations of the Single Channel Ground to Air Radio System, and how to establish a secure perimeter.
“The intent of the training is to start out at the basic level to prepare them for operating in a light and austere environment for a 96-hour period, unlike Operation Enduring Freedom,” said Maj. Boyce Buckner, operations officer for 3-25 AVN, 25th CAB. “When we look at our formation, we see gaps in generations. Some of the soldiers remember how to do it but haven’t done it in years, and the soldiers out of Advanced Individual Training have done it once. We are helping build a foundation for the soldiers in field training and field craft.”
The soldiers conducted a convoy operation out to the training site thus beginning the FTX.
“How better to knock the dust off and cobwebs loose then have our leaders and subject matter experts train our soldiers in convoy ops,” Buckner said, also a native of Homestead, Fla. “This is also a preparatory phase on how to train our soldiers for convoy live fire training later.”
Staff Sgt. Lee Hockersmith, a flight medic with C Company, 3-25 AVN, 25th CAB, mirrored Buckner’s views of the training.
“It was good to get back to basic soldier tasks. Some of this stuff I haven’t done in years.”
The FTX consisted of two phases of training. The first phase consisted of three company level situational training exercises. The lane training is designed to involve the companies in the planning, preparation and execution of the training while strengthening the bond in the battalion.
“I was surprised with as much as I remembered on topics as well as how much I forgot on certain tasks,” said Hockersmith, originally from Chico, Calif. “The basic soldier tasks are important because everyone is a rifleman first. Everyone has their own job, some of the tasks will keep you alive.”
The second phase introduced a battalion level scenario that emphasized the need to communicate between companies to successfully accomplish the mission.
“We did not make this training so complex that it was overwhelming but challenging and engaging enough that soldiers came out of it with a sense of reward and understanding,” said Buckner.
The training also allowed soldiers to become closer by building a foundation between the experienced soldiers and the new soldiers.
“There were times during the training you could tell the newer soldiers were getting overwhelmed, but they looked towards the more experienced soldiers for guidance and direction,” Hockersmith said. “They were eager to learn, willing to listen, take direction and execute orders. The training showed our newer soldiers that they have leadership who knows what to do, how to handle a platoon, company and situation and helped bond us all as a company.”
“We tried to set up team Hammerhead better than before and I believe we have done that,” said Buckner.