Strike Will Not Be a One-handed Puncher
[FONT=Verdana]FORT CAMPBELL, KY – "There is still a tendency in each separate unit to be a one-handed puncher. By that I mean the riflemen wants to shoot, the tanker to charge, the artilleryman to fire. That is not the way to win battles," General George S. Patton said. "If the band played a piece first with the piccolo, then with the brass horn, then with the clarinet and then with the trumpet, there would be a hell of lot of noise, but no music. To get harmony in music, each instrument must support the others. To get harmony in battle, each weapon must support the other. Team play wins. You musicians of Mars must not wait for the band leader to signal you; you must each of your own volition see to it that you come into this concert at the proper place and at the proper time."
What Patton is promoting is approaching warfare with more than just one type of unit the Army has in its arsenal, but by using all facets available to defeat the enemy, also known as combined arms. A segregated arm is attacking the enemy with one type of Soldier, with one type of weapon, causing delays and deterrence in completing the mission. By combining a balanced mixture of the different kinds of units the Army encompasses, creates one superior unit with the capabilities of taking out their enemy, along with their will to continue fighting.
The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), is preparing itself to attack the enemy with more than just a single jab, they want to enter combat with an assortment of fire power.
With its infantrymen leading the attack head-on, its artillerymen inflicting major physical damage from afar, its mortarman striking with a quick, but fierce fire and its aviation pouring rockets from the skies above, the Strike Brigade trained to defeat the enemy with the use of combined arms during the Brigade's combined arms Walk and Shoot exercise, Oct.1-8.
"When we can maximize our fire power, and use all of our available resources at one-time, we make it easier to achieve our objectives, said Command Sgt. Maj. Alonzo Smith, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd BCT. "It is a very impressive display of planning and coordination."
Coordinating the use of each separate attack is by no means a walk in the park nor easy to execute. The proper training and practice is needed to pull-off such tactics.
"Using all the different assets the Army offers, direct fire, indirect fire and combat aviation, is very complex and needs to be learned in training, not in combat," said Lt. Col. Johnny Davis, commander, 1st Bn., 502nd Inf. Regt. "What we're doing is bringing a better cohesion between the different units so during the time of combat, we know how each other works and what we need to do to get the job done. We are the best Army in the world and by doing this training we're making it even better."
The Strike Brigade provided this training for all of its company's leaders first, to begin the process of familiarizing them with communicating, coordinating and maneuvering with these specific teams.
"Training the leaders now will instill the confidence needed for when they are out here training their Soldiers," said Col. Arthur Kandarian, the brigade commander. "It's very evident that the leaders of our companies are well skilled with the ground attack and are now becoming better trained in supporting each other in all methods of attack. This is exactly what we need to do to prepare for our future fights."
A commander should never see this for the first time in combat, but instead here while training so the rough edges can be polished smoothly. Some of the Strike Brigade's leaders were validating their ability of combined arms and ground tactical planning for the first time.
"A lot of young officers are experiencing their first coordination piece and they're learning how to talk to pilots and how to talk to the gunner teams and communicating in a way that is going to provide fire as fast and as accurate as possible," said Capt. David Yu, commander, Company B, 2nd Bn., 502nd Inf. Regt.
With the ground forces moving forward on a fortified and defensively prepared enemy, the three regiments learned the ways of communicating and maneuvering with one another so that indirect fire and larger weapon systems can provide immediate suppression, thus granting a phenomenal amount of freedom for the ground teams to move in and finish the mission.
One of the tactics learned from this necessary training was direct communication with the supporting units.
"We have all these different formats when calling for fire, but once a pilot is in the air, or an artillery gun is set, those formalities can cause static and fray and then they don't know where exactly you are, where exactly the target is, so direct communication with the pilots and gun teams gives immediate and correct information on the battlefield status," said 1st Sgt. George Fitske, first sergeant, Co. B, 2nd Bn. 502nd Inf. Regt. "Direct communication, especially between the pilot and the observers on the ground, reduces confusion making the enemy even more vulnerable."
Eliminating confusion and perplexity will also eliminate the chances of friendly fire. This realistic training has discharges coming down on enemy targets from three different sources almost simultaneously and very near to each other.
"This is as realistic as we can get on Fort Campbell," said Lt. Col. David Flynn, commander of 1st Bn., 320th Field Artillery Regiment. "We are employing artillery and close air-support at the minimum safe distances allowed and that is something you don't get a chance to do often. We are pushing the envelope right now in terms of learning what our systems can do."
Utilizing the aviation with the infantry and artillery units adds more perspective to what the entire battlefield is showing. That extra "eye in the sky" brings a lot to the fight.
"By synchronizing all of the assets, with bringing infantry fire, field artillery rounds and air attack, we are diversifying our fire power and we're now fighting with a three-d view instead of just a one-dimension ground view," said Yu.
Flynn said, having the aviation gives them great reconnaissance as well as providing precision fire and suppression with their weapons systems.
"They are another maneuver element which brings great eyes and straight visibility to the objective with supporting us as a ground asset," said Capt. Nicholas Stout, commander, Co. A, 1st Bn., 502nd Inf. Regt.
The artillery guns provided massive indirect fire to the enemy forces and are a necessity to the success of future missions.
"We're a force multiplier," said Capt. Elijah Ward, commander, Battery B, 1st Bn. 320th FA. Regt. "It could be screen support fire, suppressing an enemy or eliminating targets, whatever the call is, we can answer it."
Strike leaders walked away from this long, but needed training with a better understanding of utilizing combined arms and what capabilities it offers their unit.
"What everyone needs to take away from this is the appreciation for what each component does for the other," said Flynn. "The artilleryman needs to understand what the infantryman is doing; the infantryman needs to understand what fires to bring to the fight and how to coordinate all of that with our aviation brothers so we can all work together to bring maximum fire power to the enemy when we deploy."[/FONT]
Last edited by vor033; 11-29-2009 at 07:20 PM.
[FONT=Verdana]Live Fire: 2nd Brigade Combat Team Paratroopers Get a Taste of Real Combat During Platoon Live Fire Exercise[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Pvt. Brandon Thomas felt a nudge against his shoulder and he was off, sprinting through swirling clouds of smoke, his ears ringing from the artillery rounds impacting nearby and the clattering roar of machine gun fire behind him. Coming to a slamming halt against a concrete wall, he paused for a quick second as his squad formed into a tight stack, sweat dripping into his eyes, and then, on the command of his squad leader, Thomas pushed into the enemy building. Time seemed to slow, muscle memory took over, and Thomas's M4 carbine was suddenly up, moving, scanning every corner of the room. An enemy silhouette appeared. Bang! Bang! He put two rounds into it.
"Room clear!" he called.
This was training, but for Thomas, who has yet to deploy, it was an eye-opening preview of what real combat is like.
Replicating as closely as possible the experience of combat was the goal during the combined-arms, live fire training conducted recently by platoons from 2nd Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.
"I do believe this training helps a lot as far as trusting your buddy, knowing he's going to do everything he is supposed to do," said Thomas, an infantryman with Company B, 2nd Bn., 325th A.I.R from Pleasantville, Iowa.
"It's probably the best training we do," Thomas said.
To add to the realism of the exercise, the paratroopers involved in the training first had to work their way through a variety of different missions over the course of several days before conducting the live fire assault.
During the training, the paratroopers were based at a camp made to resemble an actual Forward Operating Base in Iraq or Afghanistan, complete with trailers to sleep in and a mess hall to eat in. From there, they were dispatched to "villages" in the surrounding area where they had to interact with local citizens to gather information on enemy activities. The intelligence they received depended on how well they were able to engage with the local leaders.
Maj. Eric Flesch, the battalion operations officer, said the Paratroopers were never given a blueprint of how to proceed from one mission to the next.
"The platoon leaders had to figure it out on the fly," Flesch said. "They never knew the next step."
The uncertainty had the effect of heightening the paratroopers' awareness of their surroundings, which is a crucial aspect of combat, especially in a counter-insurgency situation, said Lt. Col Christopher Laneve, the battalion commander.
"They are learning about their environment," Laneve said.
The scenario was a leap forward in complexity from more conventional live fire exercises, in which Soldiers usually arrive at a range, run through several iterations of a particular drill, and then head home.
Staff Sgt. Chris Russell, a squad leader with Company B, said the change was beneficial.
"With this field problem, there's been a lot of build-up, a lot of intelligence that's been gathered, and you have to kind of put all the pieces together," Russell said. "It gives these guys a taste of what's likely when we deploy."
Eventually, the paratroopers conducting the training gathered enough intelligence to enable them to identify the location of a high value target. Their next mission was to conduct an assault on the target's heavily fortified, guarded compound. This was the live fire.
After several run-throughs using blank ammunition, it was time to go live. The paratroopers moved quietly through the woods, stopping just before the compound as the sounds of the pre-assault artillery barrage echoed through the trees. Then, in a flurry of shouted orders, smoke, and blazing machine gun hiccups from the support-by-fire position, they stormed the building. Breaching the gate quickly, the paratroopers kicked in the front door and cleared each room with methodical precision, eliminating any resistance with controlled pairs. In minutes, the objective was clear and the mission was complete.
According to Laneve, there is no training equal in value to a realistic live fire exercise to gauge how prepared a Soldier is for combat.
"A platoon live fire at night is the pinnacle of the training for an infantry platoon," he said.
For Russell, the squad leader, every minute he spends training for combat with his troopers is valuable, because the real thing might be right around the corner.
"Everybody's aware that we can get the call at any time, so every bit of training we do is going to make us better prepared," he said.
Strike Brigade Conducts Realistic Training
[FONT=Verdana]FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Combat is the last place to do something for the first time. Being prepared for battle will save time, avoid unwanted stress and most importantly, save lives. Combat readiness is a condition, units obtain after many demanding, back-breaking months of becoming organized and designing efficient teams, squads and platoons. These unit-sized factions need to be ready for any type of conflict thrown their way. The most effective way to achieve combat readiness is through realistic training.
Soldiers with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), are on a quest to build stronger elements through realistic combat training.
"What we have done is set up either Afghanistan or Iraq, right here in the back 40 of Fort Campbell," said 1st Sgt. George Fitzke Jr. the company first sergeant.
Fitzke believes by making all training as realistic as possible creates effective, tactical Soldiers.
"You can have all of the tools you want, but unless a Soldier knows which tools to use for which tasks while under fire, all the tools mean nothing," said Fitzke. "Realistic training is getting Soldiers to apply the right tools or tactics to the right situations while reacting to contact."
A way 3rd Platoon trains for reality is with combat training gear called Digital Infrared Timing Simulator, better known as DITS. This newest form of non-lethal, force-on-force training equipment uses lasers and blank cartridges to simulate actual battle.
Soldiers wear small laser receivers over the body from the legs up to the helmet and detects when a Soldier has been hit by an opposing laser. An actual computer enhanced voice will say exactly what and where the wound is. The laser is designed to accurately imitate the effective range of the weapon on which it is used.
"DITS is accurate; it is light in weight, does not cause discomfort like its predecessor did, and it helps make the training more real," said Staff Sgt. Ronald King, the platoon sergeant.
The squads need to see what a situation would be like if a member of their team or even they themselves become wounded while engaged and this is something DITS can provide, said King.
During a route clearing mission, they came into contact with the enemy and a leader fell. The system reported the casualty to be dead.
"Realistic training will have team leaders go down so we train and prepare our guys for that situation," said 1st Lt. Adam Devereux, 3rd Platoon's platoon leader. "Everyone in this platoon will know their job as well as one level higher, for that exact situation."
By putting casualties with specific wounds in play during combat training, Soldiers then have to properly assess injuries and care for them as needed and not just go through the motions of padding down a body and throwing on a tourniquet. Different types of injuries demand different methods of care. One of the casualties during the training needed to be medically evacuated.
While taking fire from the enemy, tactical field care was preformed on one of the casualties and the assessment called for a medical evacuation.
They sent in a 9-line MEDEVAC request and an actual ambulatory evacuation arrived at the location.
"In order to keep the realism, we train with our medics too," said Fitzke.
The medics receive the request while at the base, use their navigation skills to locate the pick-up site and successfully transport and care for casualties.
"Say we're out on a route clearing mission and something goes wrong. We're training for that also; we need to be prepared for the real situations that can occur," said Fitzke.
This company is focused on combat readiness and prepared for action when ever called upon, especially at the squad level.
"Platoons and its squads are going to see the most action so training in its realist form while still at home will help develop action-ready platoon and team leaders," said Capt. David Yu, the company commander of Company B.
In reality, the company commander and first sergeant can not always be on the ground with their squads at all times; they aren't always going to be there to correct everything.
"Fixing mistakes while in training is better than fixing mistakes while in combat, and that is why we train like this." said Yu.
Long road marches and dismounted patrols are very much a deployment-like situation whether in Iraq or Afghanistan. Third Platoon prepares for such hardships through constant foot marches, with some well over 15-miles.
During deployment, patrolling in vehicles is not always an option. An actual air assault operation could be miles away from the combat zone.
"We have to be ready to walk-out to the mission, complete the task and make it back, and with that comes realistic training, like long road marches in full gear," Yu said. "It will be rigorous out there, so they'll be ready for it."
"If they go over there and have to patrol 12-miles and never done it before, then they don't know if they can," said Fitzke. "We do this in training so they are physically as well as mentally ready for the mission. Once you believe you can do something, you're going to do it and that's what builds faith in a team."
Building confidence within a team may be the greatest result when training as realistic as possible. With real training comes real sweat.
"The more a team sweats together, the better the cohesion becomes and the harder and life-like the training is, the thicker the bond," said Spc. Stephen Donovan, a team leader with the platoon.
"All day training and then to come back walking for miles will get us ready for deployment," said Donovan, a previously deployed infantryman.
Teams and squads are labelled the "tip-of-the-spear" and considered the most important part of an infantry regiment. They are the ones making the first and quickest decisions on the battlefield. Realistic training of teams and squads is a sure way to sharpen the "tip-of-the-spear" and ensure their safe return upon completion of the mission.
"We are an infantry regiment with the 101st Airborne Division, we have to be ready to handle rigorous tasks," said Yu.
Please explain the lights. LEDs?
Failed Mouse Hunter
Thought I would post this here, this is the 41st NY "Jaegers", a regiment of german immigrants during the American civil war.
A little about their uniform:
They started out with uniforms in Prussian Jaeger colors, with green jackets, green hats, grey trousers and all trimmed in red. They were also issued gaiters and instead of the infantry cartridge box worn with a strap over the should, they adopted 2 cavalry cartridge boxes worn on the belt. By the the time of this photograph they have adopted the blue(Probably due to the expense of "Unique" uniforms vs G.I.), but with dark blue pants which were usually only worn by officers.
A surprisingly large number of immigrants fought for the north:
[CENTER]German c. 200,000
Irish c. 150,000
British c. 150,000
Canadians c. 50,000
others c. 75,000 (mostly European) [/CENTER]
purify the soul
What's the guy 2nd from the left got on his back?
Originally Posted by vor033
AAB Paratroopers Maintain Combat Skills While Deployed
[*******black][FONT=Verdana]Infantrymen with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division (Advise and Assist Brigade), During a training exercise designed to keep their combat skills sharp while deployed while at the Iraqi Army Combat Outpost Iba, Al Anbar province, Iraq, Nov. 24, 2009. [/FONT][/COLOR]
[*******black][FONT=Verdana]The advise-and-assist paratroopers are partnering with soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division for training and operations.[/FONT][/COLOR]
That's a Skidco. Used as a litter, but to drag instead of carry.
Originally Posted by CPLHUNTER