CAMP STANLEY, Korea — Soldiers from the 23rd Chemical Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division and 3rd “Warhorse” Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, conducted a training exercise to clear sites containing weapons of mass destruction Jan. 27 at Rodriguez Live Fire Range and Camp Stanley.
The exercise assures troops are prepared and ready to take on complex and multidimensional missions, embracing readiness and the “Fight Tonight” mission.
“We are doing sequential clearing of suspected (weapons of mass distruction) sites,” said Maj. Matthew Lee, Warhorse executive officer.
The initial assault began at Rodriguez Live Fire Range, where troops dressed in full nuclear, biological, chemical protection suits moved in and secured a number of buildings.
Soldiers gathered valuable information, sensitive items and collaborated with a team of chemical experts to remove any potential threats from the area.
“It’s keeping us on our toes and ready to go at anytime,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jerod Chiods, of Warhorse’s Alpha Company.
Still relatively new to the landscape, with most soldiers having arrived on the Peninsula in October, Warhorse is learning to adapt to difficult terrain.
“It’s just the weather, atmosphere, and a lot of elevation,” Chiods said. “In Fort Hood, we have elevation and downslopes but it’s more flat terrain. Everywhere you go here it’s either uphill or downhill. There’s no flat terrain and my soldiers are getting used to that.”
Soldiers began preparing for this exercise in 2014 while completing a similar mission at Fort Hood. In order to complete this mission in South Korea, troops have learned to make necessary adjustments.
“The one thing that I can take back is that our soldiers are extremely resilient,” said Lt. Col. Elliott Rogers, Warhorse commander. “They are able to transition from 110 degree weather, where we did the same exercise back at Fort Hood in July 2014, to today where they did it in 20 degree weather. The soldiers are able to adapt from the desert terrain to the woodland, mountainous terrain here. They didn’t miss a beat.”
To execute this mission troops worked from the ground up.
“We did situational training lanes, where the soldiers were able to start at the team level,” Rogers said. “They were able to do the battle drills at the team level to get confident and competent in their drills and then be able to progress to the squad level. And then today we brought it together at the company level.”
Leaders said troops attacked their mission with proficiency.
“They’ve stepped up to the challenge,” Chiods said. “Every time myself and my company commander throw something new at them, they adapt and overcome. I couldn’t ask for anything more from my soldiers.”
Moving forward into this quarter, Chiods hopes his troops can put all of their preparation into practice and execute the training ahead.
“The soldiers here, after 90 days on the Peninsula, are doing a great job of taking advantage of every training opportunity,” Rogers said. “We really appreciate all the support that 2nd Infantry Division has shown us.”