News: 299th BEB intelligence develops Soldiering skills
Story by Spc. William Howard
FORT CARSON, Colo. - Taking a break from providing crucial military intelligence, squads from Company D, 299th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, fought through exhaustion against a opposing force during a mile-long patrol, May 28.
The Soldiers are using the four-day situational training exercises to maintain their proficiency with basic warrior tasks and battle drills.
“It’s basically training them on how to react to a near and far ambush, conduct a medical evaluation, search an enemy prisoner of war, perform self-aid and treat a casualty,” said 1st Lt. Theresa Wiebold, platoon leader, Company D, 299th BEB, 1st SBCT, 4th Infantry Division. “It’s going to test the lethality of the company and individual Soldier skills.”
Even though the company’s mission is to provide intelligence analysis, reconnaissance and surveillance, they are still required to hone their soldiering skills.
“We’re a military intelligence company but everyone is a Soldier and we have to remain proficient in our warrior tasks and battle drills,” said Wiebold. “We’ve definitely learned some things and there was a lot of valuable comments in the after action review.”
Sgt. Gordon Plotts, squad leader, Company D, 299th BEB, 1st SBCT, 4th Infantry Division, successfully led his squad through the various challenges of the training exercise. They reacted to ambushes from multiple directions and carried a simulated casualty for more than 200 meters to a medical evacuation point.
“The lane was pretty intense, fun and it really lets you know your strengths and weaknesses,” said Plotts. “It shows the importance of physical training.”
The opposing force was made up of members from the company who’re experienced with conducting infantry maneuvers and they utilized their knowledge of battlefield tactics to create difficult obstacles.
“We’re using cover and concealment and the terrain to our advantage,” said Sgt. Kenneth Rickleson, human intelligence collector, Company D, 299th BEB, 1st SBCT, 4th Infantry Division. “We’re trying to find spots to surprise them and create a more challenging experience.”
Members of the opposing force have the opportunity to test and evaluate responses to their tactics because they share the perspective of both the Soldier and the enemy.
“It’s really good to be able to see both sides of the story and how Soldiers react to different situations,” said 1st Lt. Michael Fernandez, platoon leader, Company D, 299th BEB, 1st SBCT, 4th Infantry Division, who led the opposing force during the training.
By the end of the situational training exercises each squad not only exhibited their proficiencies with basic warrior tasks but also enjoyed a break from the office with time in the field.
“I think the Soldiers enjoyed the training and it did a great job of instilling confidence in their leadership and building unit cohesion,” said Fernandez. “It’s a great opportunity to spend time with the Soldiers and get to know them.”