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    Cavalry scouts test skills at YTC

    Cavalry scouts test skills at YTC

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Kimberly Hackbarth | Soldiers of B Troop, 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, clear a building during a...... read more read more

    YAKIMA TRAINING CENTER, Wash. – What makes a cavalry scout exceptional?

    He has engineer, artillery, infantry and cavalry skills all in his arsenal.

    Soldiers of B Troop, 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, put those skills to the test during a platoon live-fire certification Oct. 25 at the Multipurpose Training Range here.

    After a month of platoon situational training exercises, crew-level scout gunnery ranges and leader certification during brigade and battalion-level fire coordination exercises, platoon live-fires were the squadron’s final event to close out Exercise Raider Fusion.

    The exercise was the first time that 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division “Raiders” have participated in training here as a whole unit.

    “[During the FCX] we got our leaders back integrated conducting live-fire operations in a combined-arms fashion,” said Lt. Col. Charles Lombardo, the 2nd Sqdn., 1st Cav. Regt. commander.

    After the brigade FCX, where the squadron commander became certified in his core competencies as a “platoon leader”, it was time to certify leaders down to the lowest level, with the real platoon leaders of the unit applying the lessons learned, from tactical maneuver to crew level gunnery, fire support, direct fire, and bringing it all together into a platoon live-fire.

    The certifications started with zone and route reconnaissance.

    Once they cleared the route, the cavalry soldiers transitioned from terrain recon to movement to contact.

    From a hilltop, small teams of soldiers identified and engaged an enemy force.

    Then, using white smoke to conceal movement, they cleared a concertina wire obstacle with a grappling hook to allow the rest of the platoon to pass through.

    A hint of urban operations was mixed in as the platoons kicked in doors and cleared a building.

    Pfc. Chris Elrod, a cavalry scout assigned to B Troop, was with the second platoon to go through the certification that day.

    He explained that clearing buildings is not a new skill for him and that members of his unit have trained these tasks before.

    “We know what to do,” said Elrod. “[When] you already know what you’re going to do, you’re more comfortable doing it.”

    Lombardo said that after focusing so strongly on counterinsurgency for the past 10 years, everything Soldiers learned from training has helped them transition back to full spectrum operations faster than his generation when they first learned conventional tactics.

    “We [as leaders] have to help articulate how those [skills] apply to multiple settings,” he explained.

    While Lombardo gave his advice to the newer generation of leaders, it was their sharing among the platoons that added further training value to the certification.

    “You can see the platoons are training each other and … they’re sharing information and so they are getting better by the iteration,” he explained.

    While the day’s training increased the squadron’s readiness for full spectrum operations, it was also a chance for the unit to get back to its roots and perfect the basics of a cavalry scout.

    “If you don’t have the basics down,” said Elrod, “you don’t have ground to stand on.”



    Date Taken: 10.25.2011
    Date Posted: 10.31.2011 19:33
    Story ID: 79350
    Location: YAKIMA, WA, US 

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