'Apaches' train to stay afloat
June 12, 2013
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky -- Soldiers with 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division made a splash by conducting Army Combat Water Survival Training at Gardner Pool.
The purpose of the training is for Soldiers to learn various methods of water survival techniques.
"The main purpose of it is to give Soldiers confidence in the water," said Capt. Donovan Manley, the rear detachment commander of the 4th BSTB.
The training can also benefit Soldiers who may not possess proficient swimming skills.
"The biggest thing that's going to enhance their skill set is when we identify the folks who are non-swimmers, which is part of the whole process," Manley said. "The follow-on to the training that we [conducted] is, number one: show them that even though you're a weak swimmer or non-swimmer, you can still keep yourself afloat using what you've got on. And the second piece is we've identified them and we want to get them into some swim classes and swim lessons."
The "Apaches" viewed the training as positive learning experience because of the uncertainty of future conflicts in any given terrain.
"You never know what war you're going to be fighting in the future," said Pvt. Eric Jones, a human resource specialist with 4th BSTB 4th BCT, 101st Abn. Div. "So if you happened to be in a situation where you are around a lot of water, it's good to know how to adapt to the situation."
The training also included some unique methods of creating floating devices using equipment and uniforms.
"It's interesting to know that you can float from your Army Combat Uniform, I never knew you could do that," said Pfc. Kahsandra Williams, a human intelligence collector with 4th BSTB, 4th BCT, 101st Abn. Div. "Definitely something you can use if we find ourselves in the middle of the sea."
Although the primary mission of 4th BSTB rear detachment is supporting their comrades who are deployed on their next rendezvous with destiny, the "Apaches" in the rear still continue to train to ensure that they are physically and mentally prepared for duty.
"One of the benefits of rear detachment is that we can be a little more individual focused on our training, because we're not preparing for large collective training exercises," Manley said. "Really if someone is in the Army and they can't swim, we can at least get them to where they can survive, which is kind of the whole point."