POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA, Hawaii – Soldiers and pilots from 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, qualified at the Pohakuloa Training Area on the Island of Hawaii during September.
The CAV conducted the training to increase its soldiers' skills and confidence in the squadron while establishing a relationship with units from Schofield Barracks to efficiently operate as the Pacific Contingency Response Force Task Force.
“The training has been going great,” said Maj. Matthew Scher, operations officer for 2-6 CAV, 25th CAB, 25th ID, originally from Washington, N.J. “All soldiers assuming CRF in October and all of 2-6 CAV were trained during this rotation. It is imperative we maximize our efficiency now to provide the max capabilities with the smallest force to protect the Pacific.”
The training ranged from small arms ranges to aerial gunneries with a forward arming and refueling point, downed aircraft recovery team, and convoy live-fire operations.
“OH-58D pilots provided convoy security, route reconnaissance, and close combat attack support during the convoy live-fire training and completed their aerial gunnery at the same time,” Scher said.
The 2-6 CAV integrated units from Schofield Barracks in the training to familiarize with how the other units operate in the Pacific Contingency Response Force Task Force.
“By training with other units now, we were able to build a working relationship with the ground soldiers calling for support,” said Scher. “This put us in a good position to effectively operate as a whole CRF Task Force.”
The Kiowa Warriors also worked with fire support teams from 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, Infantry Division, and soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Infantry Division, to mark targets and coordinate for air support.
Capt. Bryan Painter, fire support officer for Company B, 2-35 IN, 3rd BCT, coordinated with CAB elements during target identification for the OH-58Ds.
“We served as an observer role in the 2-6 CAV gunnery by identifying and walking them onto targets,” Painter said, also a native of Abington, Penn. “This gave my younger soldiers the opportunity to develop and hone their proficiency with controlling CCA. I have seen an exponential increase in knowledge and experience in controlling close combat attack with my soldiers.”
Pvt. Tyler Blanchard, Co. B, 2-35 IN’s newest soldier, stated, working directly with the aircraft was a great experience and opportunity that benefited the training.
The 2-6 CAV was also validated as mission command for the overall task force after the training.