GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, mobile artillery vehicles and cargo trucks lined the motor pool on a cold, cloudy day. Basic issue items such as shovels, wrenches, air hoses and technical manuals were laid out and ready for inspection.
To prepare for Combined Resolve II at the Joint Multinational Training Center, soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division signed for equipment from the European Activity Set, a combined-arms battalion-sized set of equipment prepositioned on the Grafenwoehr Training Area to outfit and support U.S. Army forces rotating to Europe for training and contingency missions in support of the U.S. European Command.
More than 700 soldiers from the “Ironhorse” Brigade’s headquarters and 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, will train for the next month with a dozen other nations.
Sgt. Diedra Marien, the brigade logistics noncommissioned officer-in-charge, said the brigade will be drawing more than 5,000 pieces of equipment as they prepare for training.
“It includes weapon systems, Bradleys, tanks, wheeled vehicles, signal equipment, support equipment, kitchens, tool kits, and maintenance equipment,” Marien said.
Many of the vehicles and other equipment are either brand new or have been completely overhauled.
Ironhorse soldiers are the first to draw this equipment, said Tony Rotti, a logistics management specialist with the 405th Army Field Support Brigade. He said they received the tanks less than 30 days ago.
“I only see a positive attitude from the soldiers,” Rotti said. “They’re like kids in a candy shop because this equipment is all brand new. They’re the first ones to use it.”
Many of the soldiers were excited to see the new equipment.
“So far, so good. Everything looks real nice,” said Staff Sgt. Keith During, a tank commander with the brigade’s 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment. “All the equipment looks like it’s in good order. ... It’s going to be nice having nice, new equipment.”
During expressed confidence in his soldiers’ training, which will enable them to reap maximum benefit from this experience.
“We’ve been training up for this for the last year and a half, two gunneries, (brigade situation training exercises), and a (National Training Center) rotation. Our guys are ready to come in here and get to training,” During said.