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    Raider Soldiers support light infantry rotations at Fort Polk

    Raider Soldiers head to Fort Polk to support light infantry rotation

    Photo By Maj. Peter Bogart | Tankers from the "Wrecking Crew" from C Company, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment...... read more read more



    Story by Maj. Peter Bogart 

    1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division

    The “Desert Rogues” of 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, are trading in the mountains of Korea for the swamps of Louisiana where two of their companies are supporting light infantry rotations at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, Louisiana.
    Soldiers from Charlie Company completed gunnery with partner units from 2ABCT and departed for Fort Polk in early March to support the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division during their rotation. Alpha Company will follow behind in support of 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division.
    Capt. Ben Novak took command of Company A, 1-64 Armor in January after serving as the battalion's assistant operations officer during the rotation in Korea.
    “Our operational focus is preparing for the dismounted fight as opposed to the heavy tank engagements we trained for in Korea,” said Novak. “Specifically training for survivability against enemy air and artillery assets that will be targeting us as the only armored element in the brigade.”
    It is quite a change from the mission in Korea. While the battalion was headquartered south of Seoul at Camp Humphreys, most training and all gunnery was conducted at Rodriguez Live Fire Complex near the Demilitarized Zone.
    The companies from 1-64 Armor will also include additional enablers from the 3rd Brigade Support Battalion and the 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery Regiment. Together they will make up the mechanized element for the light infantry brigade combat teams.
    “Adding an armored/mechanized company increases the brigade’s lethality, speed, and ability to employ a striking force capable of destroying an enemy counterattack,” said Maj. Levi Thompson, operations officer, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.
    “The ability to employ mechanized and light forces together at the Joint Readiness Training Center increases our ability to effectively fight as a combined arms team, building lessons learned, exploiting capabilities, and increasing a shared understanding before executing in actual combat.”
    Part of the JRTC rotation is a live-fire portion which requires crews to be qualified before they arrive at Fort Polk. The 1ABCT tank and Bradley crews were able to qualify during 2ABCT’s gunnery. “Spartan Brigade” Soldiers completed their qualification tables in preparation for an April rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California. They were also able to facilitate the individual and collective gunnery tables for 1ABCT Soldiers.
    “The biggest challenge was working the details between the two brigades to slot our crews into their gun line in a short amount of time,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Gamble, 1ABCT Bradley Master Gunner. “The senior leaders, planners, and master gunners from the Spartan Brigade made it easy to integrate our 14 tank crews and 17 Bradley crews into their training plan.”
    Raider Brigade Soldiers will support additional rotations at both Fort Polk and the National Training Center throughout the year augmenting rotational units, providing opposing forces, and mentoring rotational units in observer, coach, trainer roles.



    Date Taken: 03.08.2019
    Date Posted: 03.21.2019 11:46
    Story ID: 315170
    Location: FORT POLK, LA, US 

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