Alaska MPs drill on convoy security
March 10, 2011
- Soldiers of 164th Military Police Company prepare for Afghanistan deployment.
- Live fire exercise improves troop leading procedures and battle drills.
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON -- The trucks drove silently along the snow packed trail.
The Soldiers in the trucks scanned the area attentively while the gunner fixed his weapon along the wood line. At the command: "enemy contact! 9 O\'Clock! 100 Meters!" the sounds of machine guns ripped through the air, echoing along Bulldog Trail on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson March 1.
Soldiers of the 164th Military Police Company prepared for a deployment to Afghanistan this spring with a convoy live fire exercise from Feb. 22 to March 4. The training aimed to improve high-payoff deployment skills by testing troop leading procedures, battle drills, and convoy operations.
"The purpose of these battle drills is to ensure that if any Soldier does come into contact, that Soldier will remember the training and be able to quickly and effectively engage the enemy and eliminate the threat," said Sgt. Anthony Cabassa, a team leader for 1st Platoon (Renegades).
Sgt. Lucas Musseau, another team leader for 1st Platoon (Renegades), stressed the importance of the training.
"My job is to make sure my Soldiers are ready for deployment," he said.
Musseau said the training helped bring his team together, build camaraderie, and learn to work together as a unit.
"Repetition is big," he said. "You have to be used to it so when it actually happens - getting hit by an IED - you are already defensively prepared for."
"We are going to be dismounted when we go overseas," said Spc. Timothy Moon, a driver and gunner who has been in the unit almost two years. "This is pretty much bringing everybody together. (We're) learning each other just a little bit more - learning how we move, how we communicate, shoot, move and trusting each other."
"You have to be aware of everything," Moon said. "You can't zone in [on] one thing. You can't be looking at the target, where you're heading and not be paying attention to what's around you. You have to pay attention to everything."