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    Southeast meets Southwest



    Story by Staff Sgt. Aidana Baez 

    53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team

    For the next six weeks, Task Force Hurricane will conduct post-mobilization training on McGregor Range. The training is similar to what the Soldiers experienced during their three week annual training period at Camp Blanding, Fla., which includes convoy operations, counter IED training, weapons qualification, cultural awareness and team and squad live fire exercises.

    “Training events are focused on collective level training up to platoon level,” said Lt. Col. Julio Acosta, commander, 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment. “They are training on things like maneuver live fire, while also conducting their own company or troop driven opportunity training.”

    Over 700 Task Force Hurricane Soldiers are being trained on McGregor Range. The companies are rotating through each training event in order to meet the validation requirements.

    “We learned how to enter a village or town and how to properly enter buildings and rooms,” said Pvt. Brian Willis, a resident of Davie, Fl., assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment. “The OC/Ts really did a good job training us and showing us the right way to do things.”

    For units mobilizing out of Fort Bliss, 5th Armor Brigade coordinates the execution of the post-mobilization training. The observer controller trainer assists the units by planning, executing and evaluating realistic training exercises, which allows the unit’s leadership to focus on the mission.

    “Everything we do here is to set the units up for success,” said Staff Sgt. Andrew Maler, an observer controller trainer assigned to 3rd Battalion, 402nd Field Artillery Brigade. “The units get to come here and learn the latest combat tactics and techniques in a safe environment.”

    “So far, the training I appreciated the most was the IED class,” said Pvt. Michelle Duke, a combat medic assigned to Troop A, 1-153 Cavalry Regiment. “It was really an eye opener to see how creative people can get creating mines and IEDs.”

    After each Soldier has undergone the full spectrum of training offered on McGregor Range, the task force will participate in the mission readiness exercise.

    “The MRX is the culminating event,” said Acosta. “With the use of various scenarios, the task force is evaluated on its ability to react, plan and execute.”

    The MRX serves as a guide for the task force commander allowing him to see how the task force responds as a whole. As a National Guard battalion, each company is geographically separated. Outside of the annual training period, the battalion isn’t able to operate as a unified element on a day-to-day basis. The task force is able to solidify the relationships they previously established while at Camp Blanding.

    “Because we are geographically separated, the training we did at Camp Blanding allowed us to build a cohesive working relationship and establish ways to perform as a unified battalion,” said Acosta. “Being here and training codifies what we have already started.”



    Date Taken: 04.27.2016
    Date Posted: 04.27.2016 18:53
    Story ID: 196677
    Location: CLOUDCROFT, TX, US
    Hometown: DAVIE, FL, US
    Hometown: MIRAMAR, FL, US

    Web Views: 238
    Downloads: 1