• Police recruits flee after an explosion detonates near the recruiting station, where Soldiers are providing security March 17.  The scenario-driven training exercise encouraged Soldiers to combine what they learned so far in the cycle and apply it to a real-world urban environment.

    FTX 3 'not the movies'

    Police recruits flee after an explosion detonates near the recruiting station, where Soldiers are providing security March 17. The scenario-driven training exercise encouraged Soldiers to combine what they learned so far in the cycle and apply it to a...

  • PVT Zachary Macey, a basic trainee from Lancaster, Pa., observes the situation after a bomb detonates March 17 on McKenna MOUT.  A soccer player crouches for cover behind Lancaster, who waits for further information before proceeding.  After gunfire is heard from other buildings near the village, the Soldiers engaged the enemy, incorporating skills learned earlier in the cycle, such as marksmanship, room clearing, first aid, team communication and tactical movement.  It is the culminating field training exercise for these Soldiers, said CPT Michael Johnston, B Company, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, commander.

    FTX 3 'not the movies'

    PVT Zachary Macey, a basic trainee from Lancaster, Pa., observes the situation after a bomb detonates March 17 on McKenna MOUT. A soccer player crouches for cover behind Lancaster, who waits for further information before proceeding. After gunfire is...

  • PVT Glen Mayberry runs forward while PVT Robert Freeman provides cover fire and PVT John Nichols takes cover behind a nearby tree.

    FTX 3 'not the movies'

    PVT Glen Mayberry runs forward while PVT Robert Freeman provides cover fire and PVT John Nichols takes cover behind a nearby tree.

Locals were playing soccer; others were calling from building windows or shouting things like "Captain America" and "G.I. Joe" from the dirt street. If SPC Andrew Herendeen learned anything during his third field training exercise, it was "the chaos of urban operations," he said. "There's a lot to pay attention to. It's hard to know what's important, what we should be focusing on, and what is just extra," said Herendeen, one of 238 Soldiers in B Company, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, who conducted scenario-driven training March 17 on Malone MOUT. FTX 3 is a culminating event, combining all individual and collective tasks the basic trainees learned during the cycle and preparing them for missions in theater, said CPT Michael Johnston, B Company commander. "When you're actually out on a patrol, reacting to any situation requires the complete package of what we train our Soldiers out here," he said. "We're training them how to think, not what to think." Two squads of basic trainees ran through the exercise at a time. Their mission was to provide security for a police recruiting station. When a bomb detonated at the station, followed by gunfire, the Soldiers had to respond to the situation. "It's one thing when you're in an open field practicing, but it's another when you're in a role-play environment," said SPC Dan Ireland, a squad leader. "Marksmanship, simple four-man team operations, first aid, squad movements, we put that all together here with a unique set of challenges. Prior to this, you would know what's going to happen. Here, it was reality, multiple things happening at the same time." The experience was overwhelming, Ireland said, but he learned the importance of clear communication and good leadership. "It's not the movies," he said. "The movies, it's all action, it's all, 'Go save the day.' Here, there's a whole set way of doing things. I wanted to run right into the thick of it, but the truth of it is, being a leader, that's not necessarily the right thing to do." After completing the exercise, Ireland said he feels better prepared for next time, whether that's in training or in combat. B Company will graduate Thursday.

Page last updated Fri March 27th, 2009 at 15:35