HOHENFELS, Germany - There is a saying that experience is the best teacher, and that certainly holds true for combat. At the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command (JMTC), there are 20 Army Reserve Noncommissioned Officers (NCOs) training 60 students every week on basic skills that keep soldiers alive in some of the worst scenarios. During a five-day Theater Specific Individual Readiness Training (TSIRT) course, hosted by the JMTC's Combined Arms Training Center (CATC), soldiers are preparing to go downrange.

"Our intent, as instructors, is to prepare each Soldier for a variety of combat situations, said Sgt. 1st Class Luis Rivera, TSIRT instructor. "It makes me really proud to see them come in, and leave here with something..."

The training is designed to provide that "something" that can possibly save a life, or help the soldiers better understand the battle-environment- urban warfare.

As an instructor, Rivera brings personal experience to the training. He is an Operation Iraqi Freedom and Desert Storm veteran, who worked directly with representatives of the Iraqi Interior of Defense and the Iraqi Police.

"I got a lot of feedback and a lot of intel from them," he said.

Rivera's experience, along with the combined experiences of the other instructors, is used to provide realistic training for the students on common situations they may encounter downrange.

The course includes crew-served and small arms weapons qualifications, reaction drills to indirect fire and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and urban warfare training. The course culminates in a Situational Training Exercise (STX) that covers all the tasks learned in the course.

"I think it is a great way to give a base knowledge for everyone to be on the same page," said 2nd Lt. Kyle Frazer, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry.
Frazer, a recent graduate of Army Ranger School, found the training rewarding.

"It's worthwhile if you can learn something from (the training) and walk away with a new tool in your kit," he said. "I think overall, it has been a good experience."

He added that Rivera and the rest of the JMTC team are very knowledgeable and the team explained the importance of certain tasks.

"They were great in facilitating our questions and our needs...training us to operate downrange," he explained.

By using the experiences of their mentors, the trainees were able to get a true representation of situations they might encounter.

"Once you get out there, you understand how quick everything happens; it makes you think twice about everything," said Pvt. Michael Corey, a helicopter mechanic with the 3rd Bn., 159th Avn. Regt., one of two Attack Reconnaissance Battalions from Illesheim, Germany. "I got the feeling of being 'out there' and doing the type of stuff [you do] in urban warfare".

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