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    Joint Forces: Air Force and Navy complete Combat Skills Training

    Joint Forces: Air Force and Navy complete Combat Skills Training

    Photo By Adam Holguin | Airman Bryan Saunders, left, listens to Sgt. Scott Edwards, right, vehicle search...... read more read more



    Story by Adam Holguin 

    Mobilization and Deployment, DPTMS Fort Bliss

    FORT BLISS, Texas - The Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization, and Security and 5th Armored Brigade play an integral role in preparing Army units of every kind for a deployment into theater.

    Providing logistical support and assistance, the abilities and knowledge of trainers, excellent facilities and ranges at McGregor Range, and a constant flow of Soldiers coming through the past decade in preparation for deployments has made Fort Bliss a premier training ground for deploying Soldiers. The proven capabilities has extended to include Air Force and Navy service members in combat skills training as part of joint service training that will be ongoing for the foreseeable future.

    Air Force and Navy service members who previously completed pre-mobilization training at various installations across the country have now consolidated combat training operations to Fort Bliss. The first iteration was completed this April and May when 220 Airmen, part of Detachment 4, 602nd Training Group, and 11 Sailors arrived at Fort Bliss April 11 to complete combat skills training in advance of their deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of operations.

    Lt. Col. Kareem Brooks, commander, 602nd Training Group, described the nature of the training that the Airmen and Sailors received.

    “We run combat skills training…learning how to move in convoys, move in person, combat life saver skills, counter improvised explosive device tactics, communications, (and) land navigation. What you would consider basic soldiering skills, but because we are joint service, we have to learn how to do it the Army way,” Brooks said.

    The U.S. Central Command area of operations is mostly headed by the Army, but the need for additional assistance from other branches began in 2003 with the Operation Iraqi Freedom, a need that continues to this day.

    Lt. Cmdr. Randal Jones, Navy liaison officer, Navy Expedition Combat Readiness Center, is pleased the Sailors are receiving the training.

    “We get out there. We love to shoot. We love to put on the armor. We love to run, and it gives us a great appreciation for the Army, for what Soldiers do,” Jones said.

    The Air Force detachment is made up of Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers, often referred to as RED HORSE, the Air Force equivalent to an Army engineering unit, and the Navy element is comprised of Sailors who specialize in the operation and maintenance of unmanned aerial vehicles.

    Capt. Eric Kellogg, director of operations, 577th REDHORSE Squadron, U.S. Air Force, who completed training for the fourth time in advance of a deployment, knows the value of the training.

    “We do a lot of stuff with the joint partners down range. We work a lot with the Army, Marine Corps, and Navy. The big thing for us and our guys over there is to learn their lingo, learn how they do business, it helps us on our end to get here and learn how the Army operates.”

    Like many completing the training, Staff Sgt. Cameron Adrian Steele, U.S. Air Force, hopes to not have to use combat skills on this deployment,

    “I (would) rather have the knowledge and not use it than need the knowledge and not have it,” Steele said.

    Master Sgt. Michael Allen Franka, combative and armed self-defense teams officer in charge, Task Force Stallion, 3rd Battalion, 362nd Armored Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, summarized the importance of the joint forces training.

    “We are all fighting the same battle – we are all supporting the United States (and) supporting the wars abroad. We have to work together in order to be effective as a country,” Franka said.



    Date Taken: 05.21.2015
    Date Posted: 05.26.2015 11:57
    Story ID: 164534
    Location: FORT BLISS, TX, US 

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