News: Engineers grapple for best squad
Story by Sgt. Matthew Waymire
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait – Combat engineers from Company C, 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, competed in a 24-hour squad level engineer qualification tables contest at Udairi Range Complex, near Camp Buehring, Kuwait, Jan. 14.
The event started with a timed 12-mile road march followed by five training lanes that included route reconnaissance, clear and mark an obstacle, establish an eleven-row wire obstacle, build a triple-strand wire obstacle and finished with a demolitions testing lane.
The unit’s command wanted to test all the squads in the company to see which one had the best teamwork and leadership abilities.
“Everyone’s getting training value, but the squad leaders are the ones being evaluated,” said1st Lt. Timothy Dwyer, executive officer, Company C, 2nd STB, 2nd ABCT, 4th Inf. Div.
Squads tactically navigated to each point while reacting to enemy contact, and provided first aid and conducted medical evacuation procedures when necessary.
“It’s the extenuating circumstances that they’re mostly being evaluated on,” said Dwyer. “It’s being under stress, having to react to contact, and then carry out the mission all in a three hour timeframe, and then move to the next lane that’s really the challenge.”
The engineers went out to the lanes already knowing how to complete them; determining how to accomplish them together would determine victory.
“This will help us learn about teamwork because in order to complete these tasks, we had to finish as a team,” said Pfc. Cortez Jackson, combat engineer, Company C, 2nd STB, 2nd ABCT, 4th Inf. Div. “You’re only as strong as your weakest link. Once you get him through, then it brings up the morale and gets everybody through.”
Some of the rigors of the training included a lack of sleep, traveling long distances in full battle uniform, and operating with constant harassment from simulated enemies.
The winning team was the 2nd squad of the 4th platoon.
They received a ceremonial plaque for the squad as a whole that will pass down to the next winning squad, but all the individual squad members received Army Achievement Medals for their contributions.