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    Texas National Guardsmen training at pre-mobilization platform

    Task Force Raptor mechanics turn wrenches

    Photo By Malcolm McClendon | (Left to Right) Spc. David Gray and Sgt. Samuel Espinoza from Task Force Raptor (3-124...... read more read more

    CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. – With their wrenches in hand, guns at the ready and classroom full of attentive students, the soldiers from Task Force Raptor braved the cold and pushed on with training at Camp Atterbury, Ind. The Texas National Guardsmen are at the mobilization platform preparing for their deployment to the Horn of Africa early this year.

    The men and women of the Task Force have been training on everything from vehicle maintenance to rescue operations.

    Mechanics from Headquarters and Headquarters Troop learned how to maintain and repair vehicle HVAC systems, much needed in the East African heat. They also worked on their general and preventative maintenance skills. For Spc. David Gray this was a great way to knock some of the rust off.

    “We’ve been working on exhausts, replacing batteries and doing all kinds of preventative maintenance. Some of this stuff I’ve done only once or a long time ago, so it’s a good refresher. Everyone on my team has been very helpful and instructive.”

    Gray and his fellow mechanics are responsible for the entire Task Force’s fleet of vehicles.

    “Knowing that our work keeps soldiers safe with reliable transportation makes me feel proud. I feel it’s a big responsibility, but I’m confident that we’ll keep all the vehicles running and mission ready,” said Gray.

    In a different part of the camp, instructors from Charlie Troop’s Uganda Platoon put these vehicles to good use at the Mounted Convoy Ops portion of Pre Mobilization Training. Here they taught Soldiers skills in navigating through hostile environments while driving in their Humvees.

    For instructor Staff Sgt. Ricardo Cantu, the exercise was instructive both ways.

    “When we’re up there teaching, it gives us practice and makes us feel more comfortable with getting up in front of people; and most importantly gives me a refresher on the subject I’m teaching.”

    The Texas National Guard instructors from Charlie Troop will be teaching host nations’ militaries in the Horn of Africa region military skills. Skills that they themselves have learned to rely on and eager to impart.

    “I feel great going over there and knowing that if I teach them well, they will go home to their families, just like I will. These are basic skills, but can save soldiers’ lives; and it gives me great pride that we can go share our knowledge and experience with them,” Cantu added.

    Down the road at another range, the Site Security Team, also part of Charlie Troop, conducted rescue operations training. In this training scenario the team was inserted by helicopter and made their way to secure and retrieve sensitive items from a downed aircraft. Sgt. Joshua Everett believes this training is key to prepare them for the role they will play in Africa.

    “These tactics are the ones we will use should be have to recover any type of U.S. aircraft or personnel over there. This is the first deployment for many of the guys on our team, exercises like these prepare them for our mission.”

    Whether they’re turning a wrench, carrying a weapon or teaching, the men and women of Task Force Raptor (3-124 CAV) continue training and preparing for their deployment.



    Date Taken: 01.22.2012
    Date Posted: 01.23.2012 12:10
    Story ID: 82716
    Location: EDINBURG, IN, US

    Web Views: 393
    Downloads: 1