News: Soldiers train for future success
By Spc. Manda Walters
RAPID CITY, S.D. – The South Dakota Army National Guard’s 842nd Engineer Company practiced control of a restricted area April 2, at an Entry Control Point near Spearfish Lagoon, in preparation for their September deployment to Afghanistan.
The purpose of an ECP is to monitor access to and from a restricted area by logging vehicles as they come through the point, inspecting vehicles and personnel for possible improvised explosive devices, and using challenge passwords.
The 842nd soldiers’ proficiency in these tasks was validated by Capt. Leslie R. Bacorn, operations officer for the 842nd’s Pre-mobilization Training Assist Element, during realistic scenarios presented throughout the training day.
Bacorn said the validation training will continue each drill weekend until the unit leaves for its mobilization station at Fort Bliss, Texas, later this year.
“They are getting the same training they would get at the mobilization station, except they are getting it at home,” she said.
Once they arrive in Afghanistan, the 842nd soldiers will have a high volume of locals moving in and out of their assigned compound, making ECP training especially important, said Bacorn.
This expedient and efficient movement of locals through the ECP, while at the same time maintaining security, is critical to the unit’s future success.
“We expect these soldiers to learn the techniques of what they need to know before we are deployed,” said Sgt. 1st Class Larry L. Eisenbraun, an 842nd En. Company platoon sergeant. “What we learn here will benefit us, and will allow us to be able to do our jobs over there.”