Simulators help "Blacksmiths" conduct convoy training
July 6, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers of F Forward Support Company, 215th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division conducted simulated support convoy training, July 1, at Fort Hood's Battle Command Training Center.
The training readied the company's fuel and transportation platoon for convoys that they will conduct when the brigade deploys next year.
"This is to prepare our Soldiers for resupply missions, because that's what we do as a forward support company," said Sgt. Curt Bass, a driver from Anadarko, Okla.
Large projector screens surrounded three vehicle look-alikes; complete with steering wheels and gunner's turrets. Soldiers at computers operated four fuel tankers that also appeared digitally within the convoy.
The vehicles followed a pre-determined route through the streets of Baghdad and reacted to various scenarios within the simulation. Locals throwing rocks, vehicles cutting in and out of the convoy and bombs exploding caused the Soldiers to put in place practices used in real-life combat situations.
Afterward, the Soldiers gathered to watch a recording of the simulation. The platoon reviewed their techniques; making adjustments where they were needed.
Leaders within the platoon said the training was useful in many ways.
"This training takes us back to the mindset we need to be in to complete our mission," said Bass. "From a leader's standpoint, it allows us to go back and re-evaluate the exercise."
Soldiers new to the unit said the training was good experience for preparing them for deployment.
"I liked the training, it was a good experience," said Pvt. Mike Brown, a petroleum supply specialist from Montrose, Colo. "The closest thing I've ever done to something like this is play video games."
Training like this allows Soldiers to gain combat experience to prepare them for future deployments.
"It's a controlled environment where they can safely experience real-world scenarios," said Staff Sgt. Brandy Brown, the platoon sergeant.