<b> FORT STEWART, Ga. </b> -- The crack of 25-millimeter cannon fire sliced the silence of the sunny spring afternoon as the four Bradley fighting vehicles rolled up to the first objective. Bounding forward in pairs, they sent several more rounds down range, covering infantry Soldiers running from the rear of two Bradleys toward cover in the nearby wood line.

Participating in a Bradley Table 12, a platoon-sized live fire exercise, Company A, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team surged up the field toward a small wooden house and an open field serving as the platoon's objective.

As one squad laid suppressive fire the other would run, take cover, and then send fire down range so the first squad could move forward and take more ground. Bounding forward in concert, the Bradleys and dismounted Soldiers moved forward to a small wooden house, cleared it, then moved forward to secure the final objective.

Just as the exercise seemed to be nearing completion, a squad leader was 'shot' by the enemy and had to be evacuated from the battlefield. After having his wounds plugged and being stabilized, the squad leader was loaded on a sled and rushed to a waiting hummvee.

Following the exercise, the Soldiers filed into a long rectangular tent for the after-action review. Huddled around a model of the battlefield, company commander, Capt. Nicholas Loudon, began reviewing what had happened in the exercise. As the Soldiers listened intently, a clap of thunder rattled through the tent, the wind began gusting viciously and the rain started coming down - horizontally.

Within seconds, the support stakes holding the tent were pulled from the ground and the top of the tent began falling. In the blink of an eye, Soldiers rushed to the side of the tent, holding it up, while others rushed out to hammer the stakes back into the ground.

Just as quickly as it had begun, the storm eventually passed. Mumbling something about raining and training, the waterlogged Soldiers took their seats as the review concluded.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16