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    Operation Hickory Sting, Teamwork builds the family unit among the ranks of WV Guard Soldiers preparing for deployment.

    "Old Hickory" 30th ABCT at NTC Rotation 19-09

    Photo By Spc. Brianna Banuelos | West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) Soldiers of the 1-150th Cavalry Regiment stand...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Brianna Banuelos 

    North Carolina National Guard

    FORT IRWIN, Calif. - West Virginia National Guard 1-150th Cavalry Regiment Soldiers participate in the 19-09 rotation at the National Training Center from June 27 - July 26, 2019, Fort Irwin, California as part of the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team’s Operation Hickory Sting.

    “This is the third time I’ve been here,” says Sgt. 1st Class James Blevins, the 1-150th CAV REG medical platoon sergeant. “I’ve deployed with the North Carolina Guard three times as a part of the West Virginia Guard. What I’ve learned here is that it’s a big machine and everybody has got to do their part.”

    As the eyes and ears of the Brigade, the 1-150th CAV REG is responsible for scouting out the battlefield and reporting back to the brigade commander what they see from their Bradley Fighting Vehicles and other military vehicles.

    There are three positions/jobs on the Bradley: driver, track commander, and gunner. The driver is responsible for the maintenance of the vehicle and keeping everyone safe. Track commanders navigate and command the track, as well as identify targets. Gunners shoot the targets identified by the track commander.

    “The training is brutal. Navigating through terrain this is rough, especially with a new crew,” explains Sgt. Jacob Oliver, a track commander for one of the 1-150th CAV REG Bradley Fighting Vehicle crews.

    Oliver goes on to say that while for the first few days they may have hated each other, they have come together as a family to “… make things happen, and make it work … a family works together.”

    When asked what skills they have used or learned while at NTC, Soldiers of the 1-150th CAV REG answer “teamwork.”

    “It’s hard to keep motivation up in an environment like this,” said Spc. Patrick Sciortino, a radio technician operator in the 1-150th. “But we’re circling around each other making sure everything gets done.”

    Being out at NTC reminds you that it’s okay to lean on your battle buddies. It’s okay to ask for help because you have to communicate to get through the stressors. Stressors like over 100 degrees heat every day and being away from family and friends.

    While being away from family is a stressor, it’s also a motivator as Cpt. Charles Mack, the 1-150th CAV REG the regiments Headquarters Commander states.

    “A lot of people don’t understand how important it is to have that support system back home,” said Mack. “It gives a Soldier a sense of purpose when they know they have family and friends at home that support them.”

    Whether it’s back home or out in the field training, it’s all about those family-like bonds that bring Soldiers together and it’s teamwork and coming together as a family here at NTC is what motivates Soldiers as they prepare for deployment with their fellow 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team Soldiers this fall.



    Date Taken: 07.11.2019
    Date Posted: 07.11.2019 21:56
    Story ID: 331040
    Location: FORT IRWIN, CA, US 

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