Thursday, June 25, 2009

2nd Brigade Combat Team Soldiers conduct combined arms live-fire

I have had several people email asking what my Soldier has been up to lately. My answer is often "your guess is as good as mine" but today I can say:

Soldiers in 2nd Brigade Combat Team fire on the objective with an M-249 squad automatic weapon and an M-4 carbine assault rifle during combined arms live-fire exercises at Fort Drum. During May, 2nd BCT Soldiers conducted combined arms live-fire exercises and nonlethal situational training exercises in preparation for their rotation to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., scheduled for July. Photo by Jennie Burrett

By Sgt. Jennie Burrett 2nd Brigade Combat Team PAO NCOIC

The sounds of mortars, artillery, M240-B machine gun, squad automatic weapon M-249 light machine gun and M-4 carbine assault rifle fire could be heard on Fort Drum during 2nd Brigade Combat Team’s combined arms live-fire exercise last month. During May, 2nd BCT conducted combined arms live-fire exercises and nonlethal situational training exercises in preparation for its rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., scheduled for the month of July. “The logic of doing the combined arms live-fires is to train company commanders in the art of battle command, which is how they visualize, describe and direct what they are doing with their Soldiers in the units,” said Col. David Miller, 2nd BCT commander. “During the company combined arms live-fire exercises, this was done under conditions with live rounds, so Soldiers in units get comfortable with their weapon systems and do that safely and tactically.” Forty-seven Arabic-speaking role-players were brought in to give Soldiers the experience of working with a language and cultural barrier. Interpreters were embedded with each unit, just as they would be in Iraq or Afghanistan. In addition, a village was set up with role-players for the nonlethal situational lane to give the Soldiers interaction experience with local in a village. During that exercise, the company commander sat down with Iraqi village elders to discuss needs like security, water and electricity.“We ask a lot of Soldiers these days, not only the high end of the fight, but also how to engage with the population and conduct a host of things from humanitarian assistance to helping with governance, economic progress (and) infrastructure, and helping host nation governments and armies win over their population, which is largely what we are doing in both Afghanistan and Iraq,” Miller said. “So what we did was put all the company commanders through about a 72-hour exercise that allowed them to do all of that and tie both what they are doing on the lethal part with what they are doing in the nonlethal situation training exercises,” he added. The purpose of the live-fire exercise was to test troops in every aspect of being a Soldier, both mentally and physically. It also gave a chance for Soldiers to see what they need to improve. "I gained a lot of confidence in my senior leaders today. I already had confidence in my team leaders, but now that goes further," said Pfc. David L. Dexter, an infantryman with C Company, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment. "But I needed to learn how and when to do things on my own, and I learned that today. We did two blank fires and I depended on them, but the live-fire was on me."A majority of the 2nd BCT’s 3,600 Soldiers gained confidence and experience in their jobs throughout May during this training exercise.“This training is the brigade commander’s way of looking at his troops and companies within the brigade and judge the level of training that we have done this far,” said 1st Lt. Tim Smoke, A Troop, 1st Squadron, 89th Calvary Regiment executive officer. “What is great about this training is all enablers and the combat multipliers that have been given to us to make this exercise work. The experience of working and bringing everything together is what the Soldiers are getting out of this exercise.”

Special thanks to Ft. Drum Blizzard Online


ABNPOPPA said...

Good for them. Practice makes perfect and we want them perfect if and when needed.

As a matter of fact. 2nd Brigade 219th AFAR of the 82nd has been in the field since Tuesday. They dropped in for some similar training. According to a text I received today. All is going well (what ever that means).

Bless your warrior and his warrior mom!


AirmanMom said...

Thank you for the update.

A special thank you to your soldier and a warm thank you to the mom who loves him so!