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    48th IBCT Exceeds Expectations

    Good Job

    Photo By Sgt. Mozelle Blakley | Observer Controller Trainer (OC/T) from 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division provides...... read more read more

    FORT STEWART, GA, UNITED STATES

    06.25.2017

    Story by Sgt. Mozelle Blakley 

    48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

    The 48th IBCT, which is comprised of 8 battalions and 47 companies, deployed from 29 home stations across the state and landed in remote locations throughout the Fort Stewart field training environment. The field training environment is designed to simulate a real-world combat scenario.

    “It’s been many years since our Soldiers have trained for a field problem this long, under these types of conditions,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew Marks, command sergeant major of the 48th IBCT.

    “It was about getting them comfortable with being uncomfortable,” he said.

    Throughout the course of the training exercise, the Citizen-Soldiers have worked alongside their active-duty counterparts of the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) stationed here. This is due to a recently established partnership through the Associated Unit Pilot Program (AUPP). The AUPP is designed to allow National Guard and Army Reserve units to leverage resources and capabilities of the active component of the United States Army. By working and training together, each component is able to leverage the different skill sets and levels of proficiency to build the Total Army effort. However, this cohesive combat relationship is nothing new to the 48th IBCT and 3ID. They possess an extensive history, from the Second Battle of the Marne, where the 3rd ID acquired its motto, “Rock of the Marne.” Most recently, during their 2005 tours for Operation Iraqi Freedom, the 48th IBCT and 3rd ID worked hand in hand, and now many of those Soldiers are wearing the patch of the legendary 3rd ID.
    Through the AUPP, the 48th IBCT has gained Task Force 1-28 Infantry out of Fort Benning, Georgia, as well as aligned themselves under the command of 3ID. XCTC serves as their first major joint training effort under the AUPP. The relationships being built with these partner units will allow for greater training exposure and more opportunities above the usual two days a month and two weeks of annual training for the guardsmen.

    “The Army selected the 3rd ID along with the 48th IBCT to serve as the pilot units for this program, designed to increase readiness across the Total Army,” said Brig. Gen. John Richardson, IV, the 3rd ID deputy commanding general of operations.
    “The resources on Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield allows commanders and staff within the 48th IBCT to plan and integrate effects across warfighting functions,” Richardson said. “It maximizes training time, and builds readiness across the 48th IBCT, as well as 3rd ID.”

    The 48th IBCT also gained 10 days of additional training time, through the AUPP, which has allowed the unit to better utilize and experience more capabilities that the XCTC training package has to offer.

    Throughout XCTC, the Guardsmen of the 48th IBCT immersed themselves into high speed training with their AUPP partner servicemembers. Some of the high impact training included attack missions, movement to contact mission, fire support exercises, convoy live fire lanes and logistical support operations.
    “Because of the AUPP and division level support, along with aviation support, the artillery oversight and logistic support from echelons above the brigade, this experience has been absolutely priceless,” Marks said.

    Infantrymen from Task Force 1-28, the three battalions of the 121st Infantry Regiment, and scouts from the 1st Battalion of the 108th Cavalry Squadron maneuvered through rough terrain to hone their tactics, techniques and procedures while leading, mounted and dismounted, live fire and react-to-contact missions. They also conducted situational training exercises and incorporated fire support operations from the 1st Battalion, 118th Field Artillery.
    The level of training that was conducted between each unit during XCTC 17-04 is preparing the Soldiers and the units for a Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) rotation next summer.

    “With the help of 3rd ID and the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, we’ve tried to replicate what [Soldiers] will see in a decisive action training environment at JRTC,” said Col. Matthew Smith, brigade commander of the 48th IBCT.

    While the infantrymen maneuvered and seized the objective, combat enablers such as field artillery and engineers provided fire support and route clearance for the infantrymen and scouts. Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 118th Field Artillery Regiment provided fire support using both the M119 and M777 self-propelled Howitzers. The howitzer class of towed system weaponry is a long-range, high explosive, semi-fixed ammunition that is designed to support the Infantry with direct or indirect fires.

    “I think XCTC is a great opportunity for these Soldiers to come over and train with an active-duty unit to share that partnership and knowledge between the two elements,” said Sgt. 1st Class Josue Rodriguez, a mortarman and observer controller trainer (OC/T) with 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment.

    “This training has definitely given them an opportunity to continue to progress and sharpen their skills as an Infantry Soldiers,” said Rodriguez.

    “I hope when these Soldiers head into JRTC, they take the tools and lessons learned and apply it to the knowledge that they already have to be the best that they can be,” Rodriguez said.

    In addition to combat arms, logisticians play a major role in the success of any operations scenario. Without them, Soldiers would not have the necessary food, tools and supplies to be mission effective. Throughout XCTC servicemembers from the 148th Brigade Support Battalion, and it’s Forward Support Companies, trained in medical evacuations, convoy operations and live fire exercises while maintaining logistics support to ensure that the troops in the field had what they needed to sustain combat operations.

    “This training has been great,” said 1st Lt. Shanae Thomas, a platoon leader with 3-121IN’s forward support company.

    “We knew that we had to get into the combat mindset and run through our battle drills, so I had to put my trust in my Soldiers to ensure that we worked well together,” said Thomas, a resident of Marietta, Georgia. “After each training event, we wanted to take the criticisms of the OC/T’s into the next mission to help us to adjust and improvise.”

    Last fall, the Staff of the 48th IBCT Brigade Headquarters was certified through a Warfighter Exercise at Camp Atterbury, IN. This XCTC validated the brigade at the operational level leading them into JRTC and the final step before a potential, future mobilization.

    The unit also attributes the success of XCTC to the 1st Battalion, 131st Aviation Regiment of the Alabama National Guard, the 159th Weather Flight of the Florida National Guard, the 165th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) of the Georgia Air National Guard and many more assets that came together for this historic rotation.

    “We brought together a lot of entities that we’ve never worked with before…, and it’s all been very professional in both directions, and very educational for everybody,” Smith said.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 06.25.2017
    Date Posted: 06.25.2017 20:44
    Story ID: 239117
    Location: FORT STEWART, GA, US 

    Web Views: 2,858
    Downloads: 1

    PUBLIC DOMAIN