Long Knife troops sharpen skills during FTX
April 20, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas-Soldiers assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division conducted critical training during their brigade field training exercise, here, April 7- 18 prior to their upcoming overseas deployment later this year.
Troops had the chance to work together as a unit, as they prepared to transition over to their advise and assist mission with the Iraqi Security Forces this fall.
"This field training exercise is a major milestone in terms of preparation for our mission in northern Iraq," said Col. Brian Winski, the brigade commander. "We've conducted, over the last six months, a number of individual training densities, gunnery densities and this is our first opportunity to do collective training focused at the platoon level for the tasks that they're going to execute in northern Iraq."
Throughout the exercise, which also included key leader engagements, mission planning and battle drill rehearsals, leadership integrated realistic scenarios to prepare troops for working in Iraq.
"The cornerstone of this FTX has been the situational training exercise lanes, which are resourced with role players that replicated Iraqi Security Forces, they replicated Iraqi civilians and then we converted a number of the urban ops facilities here on Fort Hood to replicate Iraqi towns," said Winski, from Milwaukee, Wis.
Performing multiple iterations of various situations and missions that they're going to face in Iraq, Soldiers refined their standard operating procedures and their reaction techniques. Troops conducted joint planning and mission execution with their "Iraqi Army and police" partners, engaged "civilian Iraqi leaders" to gain their assistance in apprehending criminals targeting the Iraqi people and defended themselves against enemy attacks. Units also took part in mass casualty training (MASCAL), which gave the troops in the brigade the opportunity to refine their basic combat lifesaving skills.
The training helped new Soldiers get acquainted with the unit and learn how the unit operates. For all Soldiers, the training allowed them to leave with the highest level of proficiency at the platoon level.
"The unique thing to the FTX, at the platoon level, the training is enhanced significantly because the entire brigade is in the field so we're able to support the training exercises that they're doing with all the brigade enablers, including our Shadow UAV's, including the Army aviation support; including doing all their sustainment functions from the field allowing them to focus on the training itself," said Winski.