October 10, 2013
Story by: 2nd Lt. Benjamin Simonson, 84th Engineer Battalion, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - The 34th Sapper Company, 84th Engineer Battalion, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, conducted a squad training exercise throughout Sept. 16-20 on East Range, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
The purpose of the exercise was to evaluate the company's squads on engineer and individual tasks that are vital for mission success. These task are one of many requirements that an engineer must complete in order to be prepared if called upon.
Each squad completed four stations that challenged their knowledge and skills in these engineer tasks. The tasks consisted of various engineer defensive tasks and basic warrior skills that the platoons trained on over the past two months, which included: wire emplacement, hasty road crater, the modular pack mine system, and route reconnaissance.
In addition, the soldiers were tested on their basic warrior skills consisting of weapons knowledge, first aid, land navigation, and communications.
The training started with an eight-mile foot march out to East Range. Once there, the soldiers immediately began training. Over the next three days, the squads completed one station after another that tested the will and knowledge of the soldiers.
The exercise did not stop at night - each platoon conducted patrol base operations in order to help the soldiers transition into next month's training. As always, the weather decided to add to the challenges of the exercise by raining most of the days.
However, the company finished the training exercise with a little fun by running the confidence obstacle course, which forced some soldiers to face their fear of heights and ended training on a high note.
The soldiers felt that the training was very valuable because it challenged them physically and mentally.
"The training taught me a lot about our tasks and also pushed me physically, said Pfc. Joseph Decormier. "It showed me how far I can truly go."
When asked what he will remember the most he said, "I will probably remember the ruck march out to the site. It was far more painful than what I thought it was going to be. I also will remember the rain which added another challenge to the training."
Overall the STX was a success for the 34th Sapper Company. However, the training does not end there. The company will quickly transition into its next training event as the company seeks to prepare its soldiers to go to Sapper School.