News: 842nd conducts military training for scheduled deployment
Story by Spc. Andrew Turner
By Spc. Andrew Turner
RAPID CITY, S.D. - Soldiers of the South Dakota Army National Guard’s 842nd Engineering Company conducted training in the Black Hills, April 2, in preparation for an upcoming deployment.
The unit from Spearfish, Sturgis and Belle Fourche, who is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in September, participated in a series of training exercises to familiarize its Soldiers with real-world scenarios while they are mobilized.
Spc. Matthew Vig, a heavy equipment operator in the 842nd, said the unit started the day at Ft. Meade practicing room clearing procedures and searching vehicles for dummy weapons and explosives.
“It’s refreshing us on our everyday soldiering skills,” said Vig. “We are making sure we are as prepared as we can be before we go.”
The soldiers then relocated to Big Hill Recreation Site near Spearfish to continue their training exercises. Upon arrival, the members of the 842nd performed hand-to-hand combat training followed by land navigation exercises.
Unit leadership has been pleased with the progress the Soldiers have made during their preparation for Afghanistan.
“They’ve been doing exceptionally well,” said Sgt. 1st Class Doyle Udager, a platoon sergeant for the engineering company. “All of this training is to gain survivability in a warzone. They’ve all been taking it to heart and they take it seriously.”
During the 12-month tour overseas, Udager said the unit will be conducting engineering missions which could potentially include building and repairing roads and constructing barricades for military bases.
The group of engineers will continue to gain valuable training time as they are scheduled to conduct their two-week annual training in Guernsey, Wyo., this summer.