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    Charlie Company Killdevils complete JRTC rotation

    Charlie Company Killdevils complete JRTC rotation

    Photo By Capt. Briana McFarland | Soldiers from Charlie Company, 1-131st Assault Helicopter Battalion deployed to the...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Briana McFarland 

    449th Combat Aviation Brigade

    MORRISVILLE, N.C. – Soldiers from Charlie Company, 1-131st Assault Helicopter Battalion (Killdevils) deployed to the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) in Fort Polk, Louisiana for annual training, May 28 – June 24.

    The purpose of this training was to conduct large-scale operations against near-peer threats, with multi-domain capabilities, which enabled the unit to increase readiness.

    According to Charlie Company Commander, Capt. Phil Howell III, JRTC allowed Soldiers to see what full-scale combat operations involve.

    “JRTC gave us the ability to see how operations are processed, developed and executed from the division-level down,“ Howell said. “It affords our Soldiers and units the ability to see how every military occupational specialty (MOS) and organization brings critical assets to the fight."

    The Killdevils were assigned to the 1-151st AHB, Task Force Marauder, out of South Carolina. Charlie Company Soldiers spent several inactive duty training (IADT) weekends conducting air mission briefs, weapons qualifications, air assaults/air movements and unit movement operations to prepare for JRTC. Once they arrived, Soldiers were briefed on the exercise and established company operations.

    The unit was presented with a combat scenario, and their mission was to destroy enemy forces and re-establish their borders. Aircrew members were responsible for flying in simulated combat theaters where they trained against air defense systems, radars and weapons that target aircraft. In addition, Charlie Company, 1-131st AHB supported air assaults, distinguish visitor movements, resupply operations, sling loads and casualty evacuations (CASEVAC). The OPTEMPO was fast and challenged Soldiers mentally and physically while they trained in austere environment with lack of sleep.

    “This environment exposes you to tactics and attacks we haven’t worried about in recent operations,” Howell said. “The use of tear gas, GPS jamming, large-scale counter attacks and continuous indirect fire allows us to redefine or develop our reactions based on these events.”

    More than 6,000 Soldiers across the United States participated in the JRTC exercise, temporarily living in austere environments while battling sleep deprivation and equipment limitations.

    “I learned you must build a strong team and be able to rely on every Soldier from the top down,” said Howell. “As the commander, I realized although I make the final decisions, I have an excellent team full of experience that makes my decisions that much easier.”

    Charlie Company, 1-131st AHB is a part of the 449th Combat Aviation Brigade, North Carolina National Guard, and located in Salisbury, North Carolina.



    Date Taken: 07.14.2021
    Date Posted: 07.14.2021 19:17
    Story ID: 400921
    Location: MORRISVILLE, NC, US 
    Hometown: MORRISVILLE, NC, US
    Hometown: RALEIGH, NC, US
    Hometown: SALISBURY, NC, US

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