Operation Neukdae (Wolf) revisits fundamentals
November 18, 2013
By 2nd Lt. Maxwell McDonnell
95th Engineer Company, 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command
KAHUKU TRAINING AREA, Hawaii - The 95th Engineer Company (Clearance), 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, conducted Operation Neukdae or wolf, Nov. 4-7, at the Kahuku Training Area, Hawaii.
The purpose of the training event was to introduce young soldiers to wire obstacles. Furthermore, this event aimed to remind the more experienced soldiers of what it means to be a Sapper, outside the parameters of route clearance.
For some of the soldiers, it was the first time they had constructed these obstacles, and for many NCOs, it was a return to the fundamentals of counter-mobility they had not seen since basic training.
"The training was a good re-introduction to engineering skills that have been neglected due to the current Afghanistan operational environment," said Sgt. Shanon Lohrli, who served as a squad leader for the exercise.
During the event, soldiers of the "Wolfpack" practiced constructing tactical wire obstacles as part of urban defense. Platoons then occupied their defense throughout the night as enemy roleplayers attempted to penetrate their position.
The urban operations site, known as the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility, added a sense of realism to the training by incorporating the added stress of everything from smoke inside of buildings to the artificial smell of decaying flesh.
The event served to build a foundation at the squad and platoon level that will be essential as the unit prepares for their culminating two week training event with the 84th Engineer Battalion in January.
While on his last deployment with the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Lohrli did very little obstacle construction, as his unit's mission set focused mainly on route clearance.
"The skills my squad covered during the exercise will help to make my soldiers more well-rounded combat engineers," said Lohrli
In addition, the soldiers of the 95th Eng. Company trained on urban movement tactics and learned different techniques for room clearing. As the soldiers cleared through the village, every action was captured by the cameras within each building. Platoons were then able to review their performance and help identify what needed to be improved for the future.
"Even though our team still has areas to work on, we picked it up really quick." Pvt. Jovonte Myers, Combat Engineer, 1st Platoon.
As a result of this training, the 95th Eng. Company is building more well-rounded combat engineers and has significantly improved operational readiness to support contingency operations across the Pacific Theater.