buffalo stakes
Sergeant Luke Lampierto assigned to A Co., BSTB, 3rd HBCT, 3rd Infantry Division, runs to cover during a react-to-contact drill during the BSTB's Buffalo Stakes competition at Fort Benning, Ga., March 24. Over a five-day period, 12, eight-man squads competed in five separate skills lanes designed to test their basic soldiering knowledge and teamwork.

FORT BENNING, Ga. - The Soldiers of the Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Divison, tested their basic Soldiering skills in the battalion's Buffalo Stakes competition at Fort Benning, Ga.

The five-day event, which began March 21, had 12 eight-man teams, composed of Soldiers from each of the battalion's companies, competing on five different lanes designed to test Soldiers in a variety of combat scenarios.

Buffalo Stakes is the battalion's largest training event since their return from Iraq in October.

On one of the lanes, Soldiers were required to execute a combat patrol, react to an indirect fire attack, treat a casualty, transport the injured Soldier to a safe location across rough terrain, call in a nine-line medical evacuation and throw a smoke grenade to signal the medical helicopter of their location.

"I think it is good training," said Cpl. Tyler Rankin, a competitor assigned to A Company, BSTB. "We have been training pretty hard on our Soldier tasks and drills in the two months leading up to the competition so everyone knew the standards. We were all graded on the same stuff."

Another example of a competitor is Sgt. Luke Lampierto, assigned to A Co., BSTB. He ran for cover in the woods during a react-to-contact drill during the competition.

The event's planners worked hard to make the lanes as challenging as possible, said 2nd Lt. Neal Stainbrook, an engineer assigned to the BSTB's operations cell.

"Our companies came out here and created some very realistic lanes," he said. "We just aren't training to a task number in a manual. These lanes gave Soldiers a glimpse of what they could see on the battlefield."

Staff Sergeant Brian Garvey, a Soldier assigned to Headquarters Troop, BSTB, said the competition tested many of the skills he has not used in years.

"It's tough," he said. "This is the first time I have done NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) training since basic training. At first, there were quite a few bumps in the road due to unfamiliarity, but it was great training."

Those "bumps in the road" are what the battalion's leaders are looking for, said Stainbrook.
"Each company commander and first sergeant will get a good view on what they have been training on and what skills they need to focus on more," he said. "This event gives leaders a good snapshot on where their Soldiers are in their training."

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