Fort Irwin Soldiers take part in Foal Eagle
April 16, 2007
RODRIGUEZ LIVE FIRE COMPLEX, Korea - Soldiers from the 2nd Squadron, 11th Cavalry Regiment from Fort Irwin, Calif., conducted a month-long training exercise here in March and early April as part of Operation Foal Eagle.
"For a lot of us, this is our first experience in another country," said Pvt. Brad Stanford, an M2 Bradley tank driver with Troop F, 2nd Sqn, 11th Cav. Regt.
"It was neat to go across the ocean and visit another continent to see how other people live, and see their culture," said 2nd Lt. Zachary West, a mechanized infantry platoon leader for Troop F, 2nd Sqn., 11th Cav. Regt.
In addition to a new cultural experience, the Soldiers came to Korea with a two-part mission.
"The first portion of our operation in Korea was to draw weapons and equipment," West said. "The goal of this operation was to inventory equipment and ship it to where it was needed in Korea."
The Soldiers spent time conducting preventative maintenance on their vehicles and conducting live-fire exercises to make sure they are fit to fight, Stanford said.
Completing this portion of their mission went smoothly in part because of the assistance they received from the 2nd Infantry Division and 8th Army.
The 2nd Infantry Division and the civilians from Camp Carroll were there with support for whatever we needed," said Sgt. 1st Class Eric Bunuan, Troop F, 2nd Sqn., 11th Cav. Regt., 2nd platoon sergeant. "They had a support team on standby in the motorpool 24 hours a day."
The Soldiers were also pleased at how prepared things were when they arrived.
"Everything was set up for us here," West said. "They had the accommodations and everything organized. It was pretty easy on us."
The second part of their mission in Korea was to train in a new environment.
The Soldiers trained with their thermal equipment while in Korea, said Pfc. Nathan Willett, an M2 Bradley tank gunner for Troop F, 2nd Sqn., 11th Cav. Regt. Thermals are a form of heat vision and cause body heat to glow at night.
The cool temperatures and vegetation in Korea offer Soldiers the ability to see how thermal equipment works in an environment where it is not 110 degrees Fahrenheit all the time, like it is in California, Bunuan said.
"The training also went well because the equipment the Soldiers used is in excellent shape and they had the support needed to ensure their operations ran smoothly," Bunuan said.
Overall, being here was a good experience, said Pfc. Peng Lee, an M2 Bradley tank driver for Troop F, 2nd Sqn., 11th Cav. Regt.