Old Guard Trains at ATC
December 17, 2013
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The oldest active-duty infantry unit in the Army, traditionally know as "The Old Guard," conducted Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle training at U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center Nov. 14.
The Old Guard not only serves as the official U.S. Army Honor Guard and escort to the president but also vigorously trains year-round for security and infantry missions. All 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, Old Guard, Soldiers are just as familiar with time-honored infantry tactics as they are with ceremonial duties.
In preparation for extensive instruction at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Ca., Soldiers assigned to the Old Guard trained on several MRAP platforms including MaxxPro DASH, RG33 and All Terrain Vehicle, the lightest and most agile of the MRAP family.
Performing preventive maintenance checks and services of the vehicles and learning to operate and effectively maneuver the MRAP was integral in the learning process for the Old Guard. "Equipment operations overview and preventative maintenance training provides knowledge and understanding of system operation," said ATC test officer, Kimber Hill. "Providing hand-on experiences prepares the operators to use and maintain the equipment in the manor that it is intended."
ATC's knowledgeable MRAP test team consists of a diverse group of test officers, data collectors, mechanics, drivers, and one combat vehicle tester. The team's MRAP familiarity is invaluable and many members have been with the program since the vehicle's inception. While the Old Guard members did have an MRAP test team member to guide them through the maintenance and vehicle operation process, the goal was to have each Soldier execute various PMCS tasks identified in the technical manual.
"Properly and efficiently operating a vehicle makes a huge difference [to the mission]. No one wants to be in a combat zone in the middle of a mission with a broke down vehicle," explained Sgt 1st Class Jessie Lopez, ATC's noncommissioned officer in charge. "That is how initiative gets lost."