FORT HOOD, Texas - Learning how to locate, target, and engage an enemy from a vehicle are important skills Soldiers use during a deployment.

For troops assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, humvee training at the Blackwell Multi-Use Range, March 23, is a valuable field exercise that prepares these warriors to work in Iraq.

Staff Sgt. Robert Kilpatrick, the senior enlisted Soldier assigned to the battalion's scout platoon, uses his experiences from past deployments to mentor new troops during their training exercises.

"I try to make sure all my knowledge gets passed on to these Solders so they can eventually pass it on to their Soldiers," said Kilpatrick, of Copperas Cove, Texas.

The Thunder Horse troops started their training by going through a dry run of the exercise. Using no ammunition during this practice session, troops were able to engage targets while establishing communication amongst humvee crewmen to better prepare them for the live fire event.

"I focus on making sure that they know their weapon systems and how to operate them," said Kilpatrick. The combat veteran with over 20 years of military experience is confident his Soldiers will be able to apply these techniques on their future deployment.

Spc. Jonathan Labrake, a senior dismount leader from Bronx, New York learned more than just how to move and communicate from Kilpatrick.

"I learned how to utilize (fire control discipline) when engaging the enemy," said Labrake, "It's important to not use all your ammo in one spot.

During the live fire exercise, the Thunder Horse troops engaged moving and stationary targets that ranged from 600-900 meters. The Soldiers also practiced defensive and offensive engagements that involved taking down enemy troops and vehicles.

"This training is where our leadership can get an idea of what we are capable of and what we've learned," said Labrake.

From receiving information from their crewmen to continuously being on the lookout to distinguish friendly targets from enemy targets, the Thunder Horse troops stand ready for their future deployment to Iraq this fall.

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