Iron Brigade tests its mettle in Warrior Focus II
Soldiers refine their tactical skills as part of exercise Warrior Focus II.

CAMP CASEY, South Korea -- Field exercises are the bread and butter of American Soldiers preparing to serve in operations anywhere in the world at a moment's notice.

That's why Soldiers of the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, tested their combat capabilities during Warrior Focus II, conducted from April 27 to May 2, at the Korean Training Center.

The exercise provided the Soldiers an opportunity to use their training, perform their mission in a simulated war-like environment and gauge their level of combat proficiency.

The purpose of the mission is "to measure how specific battalions would perform under a combat situation," said Maj. Judson Strom, 1st HBCT plans officer. "The main focus of this one was to see how 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment Soldiers did their reconnaissance and the 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion worked on as rear security."

During the exercise, each battalion in the brigade had a specific mission; 4-7 Cav. scouts conducted reconnaissance missions designed to locate the enemy, remained invisible and established a safe path for the rest of the Soldiers to follow.

"Recon missions are conducted by moving through an area (while) looking for enemy units, equipment and terrain routes that they would mark so that the rest of the brigade could follow through," Strom said.

Communication is always a key element of training. In actual combat effective communications can make the difference between life and death. The Warrior Focus training environment suited 4-7 Cav. Soldiers well since they normally operate over remote areas.

"The trick for them is to communicate back and forth," Strom said. "Exercises like this are good for them because the squadrons work with a lot of space so it was good practice for them as they have to stretch communications over a wider distance."

While the 4-7 Cav. scouts were in the field, 1st BSTB Soldiers guarded the base against enemy attack and supported their comrades in the field.

"They were practicing dealing with special operations threats such as civilians on the battlefield and on the lookout for enemies in the rear," Strom said.

While the exercise demonstrated the abilities of the battalions, the real emphasis was on preparing Soldiers for real-world operations.

"In the end, this type of training helps everyone as it not only shows off the capabilities of the battalions and the leadership of the brigade overseeing them, but it trains the Soldiers to think under pressure and react in ways that will hopefully save their lives and the lives of their comrades," Strom said.

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