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3rd BCT troops prep for rotation at NTC

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Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 12:00 pm | Updated: 9:16 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Spc. Sharla Lewis

1st Cavalry Division public affairs

Troopers from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division have completed a week-long situational training exercise to prepare for their upcoming rotation to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.

Operation Greywolf Situational Training Exercise focused on retraining selected platoon collective tasks, equipment readiness and personnel readiness, enabling continued preparation for the brigade's Mission Readiness Exercise at NTC in October and subsequent deployment.

"This was a great training event for us to further build upon the foundations of individual, collective, and leader training we've stressed throughout the year." said Maj. Trent Upton, the brigade's operations officer.

Each battalion played an important role in the train-up and conducted operations all over Fort Hood and its training areas.

Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment conducted cordon, search and secure training exercises at Fort Hood's military operations on urban terrain facilities in order to ready its soldiers.

The battalion called on Alpha and Bravo companies to overtake the village where a local was running a suspected explosives factory.

Soldiers moved on air and ground transport to the military operations on urban terrain facility, and then moved through the buildings, clearing each room and securing each alley until they found their target.

Finally, a squad of soldiers identified and captured an "insurgent" harboring a cache of high-velocity explosives.

Such training is valuable to soldiers deploying to the National Training Center to prepare them for the urban terrain that they will find there and later in Iraq.

"With a MOUT site, the buildings really help us get an idea of what the terrain will be like in Iraq," said Sgt. Shane Beebe. "This will make us even that more prepared when we deploy."

Troopers from 6th Squadron, 9th Cav. Regt. utilized Fort Hood's newest urban training site, Boaz Company MOUT Facility, which provided a more realistic combat experience for the troops.

Complete with video cameras to conduct after action reviews, speakers to blast Arabic music and mob shouting, the facility equipped the soldiers of Saber Squadron for combat.

Soldiers said the training provided a 360-degree experience for them before their deployment to NTC.

"No matter where you go you are going to run into situations where you have to understand the three dimensional fight," said 1st Lt. Daniel Schmidt, a platoon leader with Bravo Troop.

The 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, maintained their combat readiness by conducting live fire exercises with their M109A6 Paladins, conducting key leader engagements and learning how to react to casualties on the battlefield.

Artillerymen and role players standing in for Iraqi Security Forces moved to a mock village to conduct a raid where they reacted to small arms fire, practiced detaining, tactical questioning, and sensitive site exploitation.

Locals were "wounded", requiring the platoon to conduct combat casualty care and an improvised explosive device detonated, disabling a vehicle.

"It was a good opportunity to get comfortable in the jobs we'll be performing both at NTC and when we deploy," said Capt. John McGinn, with Headquarters and Headquarters Battery. "It's also a great chance to get to know each other."

Readying soldiers for their upcoming deployment to the National Training Center, the Greywolf Brigade will continue with recovery and load out operations in the upcoming weeks.

"We've met, and in some cases surpassed our objectives, due to our Soldiers' hard work and tenacity throughout this training density. I have no doubt that we will continue to expand and refine our proficiency into our NTC rotation and beyond," Upton said.

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