Standards are Non-Negotiable
May 17, 2011
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Operation New Dawn is a different kind of fight. It is not the door-to-door, street-by-street fight that was typical of Operation Iraqi Freedom, but that does not mean that the lessons learned from the previous years of sacrifice in Iraq cannot translate into success for Operation New Dawn. For the Soldiers of the Personal Security Detachment, 6th 'Saber' Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division - Center, the lessons learned from years of operations in Iraq are evident as they prepare for every mission.
Before each mission, like any other unit getting ready to go 'out the wire', the PSD Soldiers conduct their pre-combat checks and pre-combat inspections to ensure their mission essential equipment is present and serviceable.
The PCC and PCI process can be a quick, mundane task under some leaders. However, under the guidance of Sgt. 1st Class Shane Hanover, the PSD Platoon Sergeant, nothing is more important than diligent preparation.
A veteran of 5 deployments, Sgt. 1st Class Hanover has seen and experienced the results of good and bad PCCs and PCIs.
"You never know what you don't need until you do" said Sgt. 1st Class Hanover, a Cavalry Scout, and native of Davenport, Iowa.
Taking what he has learned from his experiences in prior deployments, Sgt. 1st Class Hanover leads a very thorough and detailed inspection to ensure that his Soldiers are fully prepared for each mission.
"When it comes time to execute the mission, there is no room for excuses after our preparation. Everyone is ready to go and 100% accountable for what they do," said Pfc. Jarvis Bahe, a Gallup, N.M. native now an infantryman with the PSD.
The specific mission preparation will usually begin the night before as the Soldiers prepare their vehicles to go out the next day. The following morning, they finish their vehicle inspections and then begin individual equipment checks and inspections.
During this phase, the Soldiers will be lined up in front of their vehicles with all their necessary gear as Sgt. 1st Class Hanover reads off one of the many laminated inspection and procedures checklists that he has prepared for all of the Soldiers. Going item by item, each Soldier's piece of equipment is checked and thoroughly inspected by the platoon's leadership.
"The thorough preparation we go through before each mission instills confidence in everyone by knowing that they are combat-ready," said Spc. Joel Heston, an infantryman, and native of Lancaster, Ohio.
After the initial inspections are done, the platoon will begin their mission brief and go over a myriad of battle drills to finish their preparation before they execute their mission.
Even though Operation New Dawn is a different fight, the soldiers of PSD Platoon, 6th Sqdn., 9th Cav. Regt. are fully prepared because they know the enemy still exists and the standards for success are non-negotiable.