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Regiment trains in California for Afghan success

Email   Print   Share By Spc. Erik Warren, 3rd Cav. Regt. Public Affairs
March 27, 2014 | News
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Sgt. Michael McWilliams and Staff Sgt. Derrick Russell, Air Defense Air Management cell, 3rd Cav. Regt., assemble the tent system they will be working out of for the next two weeks March 14 at Forward Operating Base Denver at the NTC in Fort Irwin, Calif.
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Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jason Angeles and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rico Wells Regimental Headquarters Headquarters Troop, 3rd Cav. Regt., attach the rear of their vehicle to the impromptu building that will be their office for the next two weeks March 14 during an NTC rotation at Fort Irwin, Calif.
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Spc. Michael Lekhmus, Troop F, 2nd Squadron “Sabre,” 3rd Cav. Regt., talks with Anthony Zekria, an NTC role player and linguist supporting the regiment during the training rotation.
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Troopers of 2nd Squadron “Sabre,” 3rd Cavalry Regiment walk down a road as part of a patrol in Jahar De Labe, a training city inside the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., March 17 as the 3rd Cav. Regt. trains for its upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. (Photos by Spc. Erik Warren, 3rd Cav. Regt. Public Affairs)
FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The 3rd Cavalry Regiment is scheduled to deploy this summer to train, advise and assist the leadership of the Afghan National Security Forces.

To enable success in Afghanistan, “Brave Rifles” troopers honed their skills March 19 in the rocky, rugged terrain of eastern California at Fort Irwin’s National Training Center.

NTC is the U.S. military’s largest training center, offering brigade-sized elements the ability to maneuver en masse across terrain distinctly similar to the sharp peaks and expansive plains that mark much of Afghanistan.

More than 2,000 troopers from the regiment are currently at Fort Irwin for pre-deployment training, along with multiple enablers like U.S. Army Reserve civil affairs Soldiers, Army engineers and Marine air traffic controllers.

Airmen from Fort Hood’s 11th Air Support Operations Squadron, who will deploy with the Brave Rifles this summer, also made the trip to Fort Irwin to cement the working relationships that will be required in Afghanistan. Troopers and enablers must learn to

function seamlessly for success in California and while deployed.

“We are here to validate our training readiness in preparation for Afghanistan and any other deployments,” said Col. Cameron Cantlon, commander of the regiment.

The regiment’s time at NTC will be split into three phases. Phase One, now complete, included executing some individual training while gathering all equipment and personnel in the rotational unit bivouac area adjacent to Fort Irwin’s main post.

The regiment’s troopers will face their validation test during the 14-day Phase Two. The first week in NTC’s training area, also known as “the box,” where the regiment will be out in the field, will be dedicated to training lanes with Afghanistan-specific missions. Squadron elements will conduct key engagements with their Afghan role-player counterparts amid focused live-fire ranges and demanding training vignettes.

Force on force describes the second week, as the cohesive mass of regimental headquarters, all squadrons and attached units fight through a seven-day continuous battle.

At the end of this challenge, Irwin’s observer-controllers will call the training complete and the Brave Rifles will move from the battlefield and back to the more comfortable staging area for Phase Three.

Phase Three will encompass several after-action reviews and turn-in of equipment before the Soldiers, Airmen and Marines make their respective ways back home.

But for the Brave Rifles and their attached units, the focus is now on the mission of the day.

Cantlon said that focus is paying off.

“At this point, I am extremely pleased with the disciplined initiative taken by our leaders and Soldiers at all levels,” Cantlon said. “We are conducting safe and effective training every day.”
 
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