MAKUA VALLEY, Hawaii (Nov. 20, 2009) - In deep gulches and high cliff walls, Soldiers from the 225th Brigade Support Battalion (BSB) took part in a field training exercise (FTX) at Makua Valley training area, Nov. 16-19.

The 225th BSB returned from a 15-month deployment last spring and experienced a 60% turnover in personnel. The 4,190 acre valley is an ideal location to build upon the basic Soldier skills in company-level vehicle operations and medical evacuation procedures.

"What it does [training here] is attempt to take Soldiers down to the base level, show them what the vehicle looks like, how the vehicle operates, and how we employ the vehicles in a team to secure a convoy while we're moving," said Maj. Jonathon Bergeron, battalion operations officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 225th BSB.

During the convoy training, Soldiers responded to mock roadside bombs, near and far ambushes, and downed convoy vehicles to help prepare them for the rigors many of them will face during combat logistics patrols and working in personal security teams.

"I told the new Soldiers about my experiences in Iraq and then backed it up with some basic movement formations and some training on the identification of improvised explosive devices," said Spc. Patrick Moore, HHC, 225th BSB. "After 11 months on the same personal security team for Command Sergeant Major Morgan, every move was synchronized and we knew what everyone's next move would be. We are taking baby steps out here at Makua Valley to try and build a solid team."

Bergeron said the training exercise gives many of the new Soldiers time to learn the unit's standard operating procedures.

"The beneficial part for us is not only are the Soldiers here new to the Army and Hawaii, but they are new to this unit as well, so they can learn how we operate as a unit," he said. "So what we want to do is incorporate some of those things they haven't seen in basic with the vehicles. The most beneficial part for them is actually getting in the vehicles and learning some of the security techniques."

The 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team is scheduled to deploy again next summer, so this short FTX gives the battalion a jump start before a major training event at the National Training Center (NTC) early next year.

"What we are trying to attempt to do is get some of these standard operating procedures and some of that training out of the way early so when the Soldiers arrive at NTC, they are not caught behind and they are integrating some of those new systems into our normal daily operation," Bergeron said.

The 225th BSB takes a short break at the end of November, then transitions right into a Warfighter exercise at Schofield Barracks in early December.

Page last updated Thu December 3rd, 2009 at 21:40