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    Back to Basics: Army Reserve Combat Engineers practice skills essential for combat readiness

    479th Engineer Battalion Soldiers construct simulated firing positions during training exercise Ready Force Breach.

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Andrew Carroll | U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Seifridsberger, left, and Pvt. Humberto Perez with...... read more read more

    NY, UNITED STATES

    03.20.2018

    Story by Sgt. Andrew Carroll 

    220th Public Affairs Detachment

    With the dirt too frozen to dig, the engineers plunged their shovels into foot-deep snow to build the walls of their fighting position. The hard work quickly became a welcome source of heat in the otherwise chilling outdoors.

    “If I’m moving around I’m usually warm and that’s the key,” said Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Seifridsberger as he piled one shovel-full after another of crisp snow onto a long, tall mound in front of him.

    Seifriedsberger, along with six other Soldiers from the 479th spent the day in the unforgiving elements building the foundations of their fighting position, and the skills required to be members of the most lethal fighting force in the world.

    The engineer battalion is taking part in training exercise Ready Force Breach in order to validate their proficiency and readiness to conduct contingency operations in whatever conditions necessary, no matter the climate.

    “There’s always a possibility that the next war is going to be in the cold,” said Seifriedsberger.

    Despite the bone-chilling temperatures and knee-deep drifts, Seifriedsberger says this type of training is important because it goes beyond the normal, mandatory training that Soldiers are so often asked to conduct.

    “It’s challenging, but it’s good to show that we can do it,” said Seifriedsberger. “It feels good to train to fight the enemy rather than just going out there and shooting at targets.”

    With the fighting position completed, Pvt. Humberto Perez set to work showing his fellow Soldiers, junior enlisted and NCOs alike, how to properly emplace an M2A1 machine gun inside their snowy safe haven of cover and concealment.

    Perez, a former infantryman who is new to the combat engineer field and the 479th Engineer Battalion, just returned from a break in service this January. He says he is grateful for the opportunity to share his infantry experience with his new unit during Ready Force Breach.

    “It makes me feel like I’m actually part of something,” said Perez, having just instructed a Sergeant on the proper functions check of the M2A1 machine gun.

    With an extensive training schedule that will see the engineers living in the cold for 29 days straight, thoughts of home can weigh heavy on their minds. Perez says that while he does miss his eight year-old son, his child’s admiration keeps him going.

    “At times it’s rough,” he said. “Especially at night when you lay there and your mind wanders, but my son takes pride in who I am. He’s happy, and he’s proud to say who his father is.”

    Since being at his new unit, Perez says he has met many different people with many different civilian and military backgrounds. He feels that this diversity of experience is what makes his engineer battalion such a capable force.

    When Ready Force Breach ends and the snow finally retreats, the Soldiers of the 479th Engineer Battalion will return to the warmth of home, ready to diligently execute any mission the Army Reserve throws their way.

    “We always have to be ready for any type of battle, Perez said. “We are ready.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.20.2018
    Date Posted: 03.24.2018 15:53
    Story ID: 270481
    Location: NY, US

    Web Views: 160
    Downloads: 1
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    Back to Basics: Army Reserve Combat Engineers practice skills essential for combat readiness