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    Air Cav lends abilities to Pegasus Forge IV

    Air Cav lends abilties to Pegasus Forge IV

    Photo By Sgt. Shiloh Capers | Fort Hood, Texas — A Palehorse's AH-64E Apache flies overhead during Pegasus Forge...... read more read more

    FORT HOOD, Texas — The 1st Cavalry Division’s Blackjack Brigade wasn’t the only unit training on the ranges of Fort Hood during Pegasus Forge IV. The 1st Air Cavalry Brigade’s 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment was in the thick of the training too.

    The opportunity to conducted field operations from Jan. 28 to Feb. 8 in support of the training exercise prepared the 7-17th for their future missions.

    “We’re excited about going to NTC in April,” said Maj. Jeffrey Gaines, executive officer, 7-17th Cav. Reg. “We’ll be working with 2nd Brigade again, so we’re building some habitual relationships with them now.”

    The battalion is providing two types of support that fall in line with 7-17’s mission.

    “We are charged with conducting security and recon missions ahead of ground forces,” said Gaines. “We also can provide attack operations in order to enable the ground forces’ victory.”

    The battalion provides the two types of support with AH-64E Apache and Shadows, unmanned aerial vehicles. The battalion will launch Shadows to provide recon ahead of the ground forces and then provide attack support with the Apaches.

    “There’s two components we’re really focusing on. We’re trying to make sure 2nd Brigade has the best support we can provide for them and to integrate aviation into their scheme of maneuver,” Gaines said. “The second piece is squadron internal, making sure we know how to function together, train together and execute all of our different assigned and support missions.”

    Pegasus Forge IV was the battalion’s first field exercise since the unit’s redeployment from Syria and Iraq last year. 

    “It was time to dust off all the equipment and skills,” Gaines said. “Any time the battalion can get to the field and exercise these systems is always beneficial.”

    Pegasus Forge IV is also a learning opportunity for new Soldiers.

    “For new privates, such as myself, 7-17th is training Soldiers how to conduct themselves in tactical environments,” said Pvt. Wayne Topp, unit supply specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 7-17th Cav. Reg. “They’re recreating conditions that we can expect during a deployment.”

    The battalion tested areas including flight activities, responding to an attack, field maintenance and CBRN.

    With approximately 350 Soldiers in the exercise, 7-17th was determined to ensure they were prepared for upcoming missions and having their young leaders know how to execute missions.

    “This exercise has made us aware of our situation(s) and has prompted us to be ready for anything that can happen on a deployment,” Topp said. “It’s helped us prepare mentally and physically for any situation we might find ourselves in.”

    Midway through the exercise, 7-17th executed a “TOC jump”. In other words, 7-17th tactically relocated their tactical operations center to another area with speed and efficiency.

    “Pegasus Forge IV has increased our readiness by giving us more iterations of practice,” Gaines said. “These are things we can’t practice every day, and we’ve got everyone in a captive environment where we can really try to exercise these different systems together.”

    Overall, the battalion’s goal is training to be ready to execute at NTC and provide support for Blackjack.

    “Our support has given 2nd Brigade a better perspective of what we do, what we’re capable of and how we can help them accomplish their mission,” Topp said.







    Date Taken: 02.06.2019
    Date Posted: 02.06.2019 11:59
    Story ID: 309683
    Location: FORT HOOD, TX, US 

    Web Views: 117
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