Tanks on the move

M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks from the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, prepare to move into defensive positions during a two-week situational training exercise at Fort Hood on Wednesday. The training will test armor crews, infantry soldiers and reconnaissance elements, ability to defend a tank position, attack an objective and movement to contact, in preparation for a rotation to the National Training Center Fort Irwin, California, and future deployments.

FORT HOOD — Every company of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, are training for the next two weeks in preparation for a rotation to the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California, and future deployments.

The company-level situational training exercise will test armor crews, infantry soldiers and reconnaissance elements to defend a tank position, attack an objective and movement to contact, according to the Army’s company training requirements.

“What we are training is every company-sized element, approximately 100 people in a company. Going through their validation exercises to prepare ourselves for the National Training Center,” said Col. Kevin Capra, commander of 3rd Brigade, nicknamed “Greywolf.”

Capra said not only are the brigade’s tankers and infantry soldiers training, but also artillery, engineers, supply personnel, medical and food supply specialists, totaling about 4,000 soldiers. He said the training will help to evaluate a wide array of skills the units must possess to be successful.

The brigade considering a lot from the training, from inspections and rehearsals to “how we sustain these operations with fuel and ammunition ... counter-mobility and survivability and how do we integrate our enablers we have like military intelligence, our unmanned aerial systems, and then integrate that with our field artillery fire as well,” Capra said. “It’s a lot of complex moving pieces.”

Lafayette, Louisiana native Maj. Mike Hebert, an observer controller trainer for the exercise and an operations officer with the brigade’s 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, said the training will also prepare the companies for the next phase of training which will involve evaluation of the brigade by the 1st Cavalry Division.

“We are doing this to get ready for “Pegasus Forge”, which is actually a division run event where we will be evaluated by the 1st Cavalry Division, so this is our training phase to get ready for that,” Hebert said. “This is the crawl phase, that will be the walk and then when we get to NTC that will be the run phase of the training.”

Hebert said company training of this nature was very important.

“Every company in the brigade (is observed) to make sure they’re meeting their training standards and identifying issues and trying to correct them,” Hebert said.

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