News: Teamwork Builds Success for Charlie Company
Story by Sgt. Mark Kauffman
MCGREGOR RANGE COMPLEX, N.M. – The soldiers of 2nd Squad, 2nd Platoon, Company C, Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, all worked collectively as a team to set up the Spider munitions field in record time during the Network Integration Evaluation 13.1 on Nov. 6, 2012.
NIE 13.1 is a soldier-led series of evaluations that help develop, evaluate, test and integrate new proposed equipment and tactical procedures to improve the Army’s efficiency and effectiveness while reducing the soldier’s time and resources required for successful completion of mission.
It took the soldiers of 2nd Squad more than three hours the first time they went out to set up the munitions field. Through daily repetitions, practice and teamwork, they cut down more than half the time and accomplished the set-up in record-breaking time of one hour, 21 minutes.
“We have gotten faster every time since we have started this mission,” said Spc. Matthew Black, 2nd squad engineer. “Practice makes perfect.”
Setting up a tactical and effective Spider munitions field includes convoying to the site, placing the Spider systems in tactical positioning, attaching six trip wires for every Spider, concealing them from enemy’s view and programming them to the Remote Control Unit Transmitter and the Remote Control Unit.
Five hours is permitted to complete this tedious task while a military observer, monitors their safety, effectiveness, overall knowledge and over-sees the completion of the set-up of the munitions field.
“This mission requires them to get up early in the morning to set up the munitions field, rest for a couple of hours, go back and recover the material, rest for a couple more hours and do it all again later that night but I have never heard them complain,” said Capt. Gary Brooks, commander for Company C.
Thirty minutes prior to the start of the mission, engineers from 2nd Squad listen attentively to the day’s mission from their squad leader, Sgt. Joshua Mitchell, as he gives his troops a safety brief, directions to the site, and outlines the duties to successfully complete the mission.
As soon as their boots hit the sand, the soldiers went to work. Nobody stood around waiting for Mitchell to tell them what to do because they already knew their assignment. When they completed their assigned task, they further assisted fellow soldiers with completing their task.
“We are fortunate to have a good squad leader, he briefs us about every detail of our mission,” said Spc. Randall Knoke, one of the engineers in 2nd Squad. “Everyone knows what they have to do so we don’t waste a lot of time.”
Brooks went that morning to observe their performance. While he was out there, Brooks worked hand-in-hand with his soldiers in setting up the munitions field. He learned more about how to plot the munitions to get the results he anticipated and that the work his soldiers do is not an easy task.
“It really motivates me to see my commander out here doing what soldiers do,” said Knoke. “Capt. Brooks is the type of commander that really cares about his Soldiers and wants to get to know them.”
The soldiers of the 2nd squad are extremely proud of being the record holders for this event because it took hard work, persistence and most of all teamwork. According to Mitchell, every soldier was out there doing his part helping the team be successful.
“They are a great squad, they stay motivated as a team to accomplish the mission,” said Brooks.