CAMP WAR EAGLE, Iraq – Soldiers from the 1st "Ironhorse" Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division started off their new rotation in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-10 with the improved truck of choice to patrol Iraq — Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles.
The personal security detachment for the Ironhorse Brigade command group received the enhanced trucks, trained tirelessly to learn its intricacies and then hit the road March 11.
During their extended training, the crew of the new trucks learned how to handle the significantly larger vehicle, perform proper maintenance and adapt to the differences between the MRAP and the Humvee.
"With anything new, it takes a little getting used to; especially [for] the new guys who haven't deployed before," stated Akron, Ohio native and veteran, Pvt. Shayne Wegscheid, a PSD driver.
The PSD leadership placed the Soldiers in their respective positions and trained them on the vehicles to instill a certain level of confidence in their handling of the new trucks for their first mission.
"The only way to build the trust in the equipment and for the Soldiers to be comfortable is to train vigorously, make note and adapt to changes needed," said Tyler, Texas native, Staff Sgt. Luke Thomas, a squad leader with the PSD.
After approximately a week of training on the MRAPs, a combination of two of the PSD sections pushed out of Camp Taji, Iraq to Camp War Eagle.
"It went very well. The convoy brief with our counterparts was very thorough, the drivers adapted to the situation, the gunners did their job by picking up their respective sectors," Thomas proudly said.
The PSD, now having taken their trucks on the streets of their operating environment, continue to train in order to perfect and sustain the standards.
"You can always improve anything you do. We plan to uphold standards and cross train all the Soldiers so they are able to switch between crew positions if needed," added Thomas.
This work, Ironhorse hits the road with Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles, by SSG Shejal Pulivarti, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.