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    Soldiers Helping Soldiers Fill Their Warrior Toolbox

    Soldiers Helping Soldiers Fill Their Warrior Toolbox

    Photo By Sgt. Tanya Van Buskirk | 654th Regional Support Group Soldiers simulate a scenario with an opposing force...... read more read more

    CAMP RILEA, OR, UNITED STATES

    06.26.2021

    Story by Sgt. Tanya Van Buskirk 

    364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command

    From the gladiators of the Roman Empire to modern military organizations, the enemy within delivers a challenging and credible opposing force that gives all participants tools to develop a stronger understanding of warrior ethos. A warrior is one who is engaged aggressively or energetically in an activity, cause or conflict and ethos is the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a person or institution. The warrior ethos is a guiding principle by which to live by, and it guides more than just the professional life of Soldiers.

    The use of an Opposing Force (OPFOR) to hone combat skills is not a new concept for the U.S. military and the 654th Regional Support Group from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., met their enemy within during a simulated convoy ambush to kick off annual training at Camp Rilea, Ore. The partnership continued throughout the first few days of the field exercise as Soldiers of the OPFOR ran scenarios designed for the level of training needed for this type of unit.

    “OPFOR is a training tool for command to use to improve training and to sustain strengths because Soldiers help Soldiers by commanders talking to commanders,” said Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Brown, OPFOR NCOIC. “Providing training scenarios to try to improve knowledge and tactics, gets a Soldier to think outside of the box and to rely on themselves and not so much on their leadership,” added Brown.

    Sgt. 1st Class Brown has served as an infantry Soldier for over 20 years and has spent most of those years participating in OPFOR missions.

    “Soldiers of the 654th are improving through this training as a light bulb goes off in their heads when they start to realize that if they are a gunner, they have a huge responsibility to protect the convoy and if they do not act properly and do not prepare their weapon, when things go wrong, they are directly responsible for that,” said Brown. “The growth as a Soldier needs to be taken seriously because warrior ethos should always be a priority,” he concluded.

    Basic training is every Soldiers first experience with OPFOR as the drill sergeants create exercise scenarios to test them in phases with progression in the level of response expected. “When we were doing our field training exercises at basic, the drill sergeant made sure we were in a comfort zone and it would come as a surprise when they were ready to ambush,” said Pvt. Jabari McHenry, supply logistician. “But because of our training, we were prepared to take contact and pull security to secure the area,” McHenry added.

    “A lot of what OPFOR does is exaggerated. You do things that you would not do tactically for training effect as you are trying to get Soldiers to understand what is not understandable,” said Brown. “Soldiers develop a toolbox to solve problems and the OPFOR has been part of that from the beginning,” added Brown.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 06.26.2021
    Date Posted: 06.27.2021 11:31
    Story ID: 399834
    Location: CAMP RILEA, OR, US 

    Web Views: 81
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN