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    Commando Pre-Deployment Training in Full Swing

    Catamount rollover and medical training

    Photo By Maj. Angel Tomko | Soldiers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team,...... read more read more

    In July 2018, the U.S. Army announced the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division would deploy to Afghanistan.
    At the time of the release, the unit had recently returned from a decisive action training rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, Louisiana.
    Amidst shipping their equipment cross-country from Fort Polk to Fort Drum, New York, analyzing their upcoming mission to Afghanistan and preparing to ship that same to Afghanistan, little time remained to squeeze in mission focused training.
    However, the 2BCT, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment “Catamounts” made it a priority to provide its Soldiers realistic training prior to their upcoming departure.
    “Medical and rollover training” was the given generic title, but it was anything but generic.
    Catamounts arrived at the Fort Drum vehicle rollover trainer in full combat uniforms, and filed into the facility-provided vehicles. The doors closed, the combat locked snapped in place and the vehicle began to roll.
    “By incorporating the roll over training as part of a scenario that mirrored what could happen in Afghanistan, I felt like it brought a level of intensity to what could have been just a very routine training event,” said Spc. Nathaniel Cobbley, 2-87 IN sniper. “This level of intensity increased my confidence to turn this new skill into a muscle memory action.”

    Following a couple practice rollover iterations, the lights went out. A strobe light began to flash with a highly intense pattern and loud sounds of gunfire, shouting and vehicle noises played in the background.
    “I have done the rollover trainer before but nothing like this,” said Staff Sgt. Brittany Banister, a 2-87 IN Soldier. “When they turned the lights off, turned on the strobe lights and played gun fire super loud I was not ready. It stressed me out a little bit but I was still able to get out. It was realistic, fun and I feel better about what I am capable of doing.”
    Soldiers had to exit the rolled vehicle, provide security for team members, and then rapidly exit the facility to a practice assisting a combat wounded patient. Soldiers provided first-responder aid to the simulated wounded patient under combat conditions. At one point while Soldiers were providing care, the unit simulated an inbound mortar round and they had to protect the patient from the impending munition.
    “The medical lane was the right training because it focused on a practical application while making it as realistic as possible,” said Spc. Timothy Rhyne, a 2-87 IN sniper. “The smoke and darkness were added benefits that really tested me on whether or not I knew what I was taught. It was as stressful as we could make it.”
    Once the patient had been treated for its immediate wounds, four-man teams of Soldiers transported the patient on foot to a patient pick up site, approximately 800 meters away. During the move, Soldiers encountered obstacles along the way simulating real-world hurdles they might come across during a combat situation.
    The obstacles included a six-foot wall they had to hoist the patient over while maintaining a secure posture to protect the patient and their team, barbed wire which they had crawl under and a tunnel they had to push their patient through.
    Captain Nathan Bennett, the Headquarter and Headquarters Company commander who coordinated the event emphasized a personal importance of training for this particular scenario.
    “Apart from ensuring we could do these tasks while stressed, I took a lesson learned from when I was a platoon leader in the 101st Airborne Division,” Bennett added. “I showed up to the platoon after they had just finished a fairly kinetic deployment in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011. One of the lessons my non-commissioned officers shared with me was the fact that, while deployed, they spent a lot of time walking through orchards and continually scaled eight foot high mud walls during their patrols; something that was extremely physically demanding and that they hadn’t prepared for.”
    Soldiers will depart for the upcoming deployment to Afghanistan in the early winter, and 2BCT will replace 2nd Brigade 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Carson, Colorado.



    Date Taken: 10.03.2018
    Date Posted: 10.03.2018 17:40
    Story ID: 295340
    Location: FORT DRUM, NY, US 

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