Contracting battalion conducts exercise, studies World War II history
November 30, 2010
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - The weather was chilly, the leaves were turning as the Soldiers from the 903rd Contingency Contracting Battalion invaded Adolph Hitler's bunker in true Army fashion during a recent fall collective training exercise.
The 903rd completed a field training exercise in Berchtesgaden, Germany, Oct. 24-29. Teams from across Europe gathered together to analyze and discuss tactical procedures used in support of expeditionary and contingency environments.
"This isn't your typical field training exercise," said Lt. Col. David Hosna, 903rd commander. "Our goal was to review current working 903rd tactical standard operating procedures, provide cohesive team building, celebrate some Army traditions as well as cultivate professional development by visiting some historic World War II sites."
Part of the training included a visit to Hitler's bunker. Soldiers got to relive part of the past with a visit to the Obersalzberg Documentation Center in Berchtesgaden, which documents the Nazi rule. Teams were also tasked with profiling infamous historic figures and personalities from Hitler's Nazi party.
"Our team profiled Hermann Goering, a leading member of the Nazi party," said, Sgt. 1st Class Barrett Taylor, 903rd training and requirements noncommissioned officer. "It was a great exercise, and we got to experience the historic significance of the area."
More than historic role playing, Soldiers completed comprehensive Soldier fitness activities and looked at and discussed after-action reviews for missions executed within the last fiscal year.
"While the expeditionary contracting training was definitely important, it was the sense of camaraderie with having all of our teams from Vicenza in Italy, Grafenwoehr (Germany), and Kaiserslautern that really made this training exceptional," said Master Sgt. Michael Bonds, 903rd senior enlisted adviser.
The 903rd provides contingency contracting to support missions in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. The battalion has the highest operational deployment tempo of all the contracting battalions.
"We had the opportunity to bring all of our teams together and discuss individual practices that are successful, as well as share a unified knowledge base," said Hosna. "This is the third collective training that the 903rd has had, and I think it has been the best one yet."
A fourth collective training exercise is planned for the spring, which will be a culmination of all previous training and a review of standard operating procedures that have been established and finalized.