News: Old Guard trains at NTC
Story by Staff Sgt. Luisito Brooks
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - Soldiers assigned to Delta Company, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) returned from a monthlong deployment at the National Training Center [NTC] on Fort Irwin, Calif., Feb. 5-6, as part of a joint mission with 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT), 2nd Infantry Division from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
The units aren’t deploying anytime in the near future. However, they are using this exercise to perfect operational procedures and communication between aviation and soldiers on the ground.
“We’ve learned the absolute importance of establishing standard operating procedures, conducting rehearsals and conducting pre-combat checks and inspections,” said Capt. Travis N. Reinold, commander, D Company. “We trained on what we’ve done over the last 10 years in Iraq and Afghanistan by conducting ‘force on force’ engagements against a conventional enemy.”
The unit spent the first few days at NTC getting equipped with the multiple integrated laser engagement system [MILES].
MILES is a training system that provides a realistic battlefield environment for soldiers and vehicles involved in the training exercise.
D Company then conducted daily operations with the Stryker Brigade, while also overcoming a few new challenges along the way.
“We learned a lot from our infantry counterparts,” said Reinold. “This NTC rotation was unique for the Army because it marked the first time ever a Stryker Brigade executed a ‘Decisive Action’ rotation.”
These rotations were developed by U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command to create a common training scenario for use throughout the Army. They are expected to expose troops to today’s threats, coupled with a realistic, challenging environment that mimics 21st century adversaries.
“These challenges seemed daunting, but the competence, professionalism and motivation of all the soldiers and noncommissioned officers made it possible to succeed,” said Reinold. “I couldn’t be more proud or happy about how far this company has progressed since November.”
Staff Sgt. James Simmons agreed.
“The truth is that everyone has discovered something that they didn’t know before,” said Simmons, a D Company squad leader. “I got to see my soldiers do some really great things on a terrain that was an exact replica of Afghanistan, except the mountains are a whole lot higher in Afghanistan.”
“A big take away from this was that we reminded our soldiers that our main job is to be a proficient infantry unit and work as a team,” he continued.
With the two units having worked together during the rotation, Reinold said he feels they are both well-equipped for any mission.
“We learned how to be an effective team and to achieve the maximum desired effects for our training,” said Reinold. “These soldiers are truly capable of accomplishing anything.”