Thunder Horse Soldiers hone skills during live-fire
Spc. Angel Turner, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div., Public AffairsSoldiers assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division honed their platoon-level tactics during a live-fire exercise at Crittenberger Multi-purpose Range July 17.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
The LFX culminated the unit’s last eight months of training and helped prepare Soldiers for their Joint Readiness Training Center rotation in August.
“As an introduction to their (JRTC) rotation that’s coming up, it’s a good certification event to initially qualify these Soldiers at the battalion level,” Staff Sgt. Jesse Schuster, the battalion’s Bradley master gunner, said.
Soldiers began their training exercise mounted on humvees, navigating through the objectives. Upon sighting the pop-up targets, which simulated enemy forces, troopers opened fire to secure the area.
Working as a team with constant communication between each other, Soldiers dismounted the vehicles and continued toward their next objective – a building that housed a suspected high-value target.
“I sat down with the battalion commander and developed a mission that could be executed at the platoon level,” said Schuster, who helped organize the training event. “We tried to create a scenario that a platoon would execute in real life.”
Moving tactically through the terrain and using smoke grenades to mask their movements, infantry Soldiers proceeded to clear the building and capture the suspected high value target.
“Thunder Horse” Soldiers continuously train and retrain to ensure they remain combat ready and prepared to deploy if and when needed.
“We have a bigger and better mission that we are getting ready to go execute overseas. Our own safety and the lives of our buddies to the left and right of us depends on what we’re doing now,” Schuster said.
Veteran Soldiers worked with newer Soldiers to help them become proficient in individual and collective tasks.
“For the new Soldiers, this training gives them a little more realism to what it’s like. It gives them some knowledge of how things operate down range,” said 1st Lt. Chad Alford, the battalion’s engineer officer.
Operating as a lead observer controller, Alford evaluates platoons as a whole on their assigned tasks.
“The only way you’re going to get good at this is repetition. There are a lot of moving pieces: a local support by fire, a mounted support by fire and an assault element, which has it all kind of intertwined into one,” Alford added.
Soldiers conducted day and night operations on basic-level tasks. The visibility may have changed, but the mission did not: shoot, move and communicate.
“We have gotten a lot better. We have worked out many of the kinks and have come together as a team,” Sgt. Jared Sieveres, an infantry team leader assigned to B Co., 2-12 Cav. Regt., said.
Soldiers will continue to build as a team and hone their combat skills during the unit’s JRTC rotation.