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    US Army soldiers train for deployment at SD National Guard schoolhouse

    US Army soldiers train for deployment at SD National Guard schoolhouse

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Dustin Jordan | Staff Sgt. Rafael Cordova, A member of the U.S. Army’s Bravo Battery 4th Battalion...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Dustin Jordan 

    South Dakota National Guard Public Affairs   

    Soldiers with the U.S. Army’s 4th Battalion, 4th Security Forces Assistance Brigade received field artillery training from South Dakota Army National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 196th Regiment (Regional Training Institute) in Sioux Falls, Aug. 16-31.
    Eight soldiers from the Fort Carson, Colorado-based Bravo Battery, 4-4th SFAB attended a Combined Duties Training Course to receive instruction on the U.S. Army’s Multiple Launch Rocket System and High Mobility Artillery Rocket System to prepare for their upcoming deployment to Europe.
    The 4-4th SFAB is a specialized field artillery team which conducts training, advising, assisting, enabling, and accompanying operations with allied and partner nations.
    “We came upon a mission recently to work in EUCOM (European Command) and one of their main focuses is the Multiple Launch Rocket Systems,” said 1st Sgt. Bradley Beavers, Bravo Battery first sergeant. “We realized we had a capability gap in our unit, as our unit is a majority cannoneers, and have limited experience with the MLRS.”
    The 4th SFAB was directed to the 196th RTI to complete training to bridge the capabilities gap that they had identified.
    “We made a call and we were pointed in the direction of the 196th. They were hand selected by the National Guard as the premier training unit for MLRS,” said Beavers. “We called them and they were ready to accommodate our unit and create a program of instruction for us…which turned into a great training event.”
    The course covered all aspects of the MLRS and HIMARS systems, from the basic, entry-level duties to the more advanced duties.
    “We’ve been able to run through skill-level one tasks (the duty of the gunner and the driver), skill-level two and three tasks (the duties of the section chief) and skill-level four tasks (the duties of the platoon sergeant),” said Maj. Joshua Howard, Bravo Battery, 4-4th SFAB commander. “None of us have done any of this before, and I would assess that we are trained more than enough now to go and preform this mission.”
    Learning the duties at all levels of a HIMAR unit was very important to Bravo Battery leadership. They made the commitment to get the best training possible before deploying.
    “Without this training we would be unable to advise the Romanians. We would have no experience and have no knowledge on the HIMARs,” said Howard. “You can’t advise somebody on something that you don’t have any knowledge or experience on.”
    The training was invaluable to members of Bravo Battery. They were able to cover multiple topics, even some that were not on the schedule.
    “The instructors here at the RTI were really good at gauging where we were at in the training,” said Beavers. “They gave us some great opportunities to go as far as we wanted to go during the training, because of that we were able to learn more throughout the training than we expected.”
    The course allowed the team to expand their knowledge and understand the difference between the different types of artillery units.
    “The training has been going very well, I have learned a lot more than I expected,” said Staff Sgt. Anthony Letts, Bravo Battery team leader. “I realize the difference in the way we fight with cannons and rockets, and I’m going to try to mix it all up to complete the mission.”
    The training that the 196th provided for Bravo Battery went above and beyond what anybody expected when creating and organizing the training.
    “This event has exceeded expectations 10 times over,” said Beavers. “I was an instructor at the Fort Sill NCO Academy for three years, and I will tell you this is one of the best group of instructors that I have ever seen. Their knowledge has been amazing, the training event that they put on for us has been amazing and speaking for my unit we appreciate everything these guys have done for us.”



    Date Taken: 09.03.2021
    Date Posted: 09.14.2021 17:50
    Story ID: 405259
    Location: SIOUX FALLS, SD, US 

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