19th Engineers conduct Platoon Certification Exercise
June 14, 2011
FORT KNOX, Ky. (June 14, 2011) " Fort Knox’s 19th Engineer Battalion conducted a Platoon Certification Exercise from June 1-10 focusing on platoon level leadership.
The exercise’s primary purpose was to rehearse troop leading procedures in different environments to include Fort Knox’s Zussman Urban Combat Training Center and Wilcox Range.
Lt. Col. David Ray, the 19th Engineer Battalion’s commander, said that he sought to train his unit for upcoming missions and taskings with this exercise.
“We wanted to ensure that our personnel could receive a mission, plan for and prepare Soldiers to execute as directed,” said Lt. Col. Ray. “My second objective for the exercise was to train the battalion on how to prepare for and conduct a battalion level field training exercise.”
Lt. Col. Ray said that this training was important because the 19th has recently been deployed and gone through its reset phase. He mentioned that even though his Soldiers had conducted exercises before its most recent deployment, they were set-up and conducted by external organizations.
“There were many leaders from noncommissioned officers to battalion staff that have never had to identify training objectives, plan, coordinate and synchronize the resources needed, and train their Soldiers without external support,” said Lt. Col. Ray.
During the training exercise, the companies and detachments of the 19th participated in live-fire, combat simulation and engineer specific missions.
The combat related training at Wilcox Range included moving as a combat patrol, reacting to an improvised explosive device, evaluating and treating casualties and setting up a landing zone to evacuate casualties.
At Zussman Urban Combat Training Center, the 19th trained to secure an area where there would be a key leader engagement. During this portion of the exercise, the engineers were in charge of setting up a traffic control point in order to secure the area.
This training center is designed to realistically simulate combat situations as it simulates rocket-propelled grenades, vehicle-borne and place IEDs. Zussman Urban Combat Training Center also incorporates civilian role-players posing as a local populace in a combat zone.
“The amount of growth that took place at the Soldier and leader level was phenomenal,” said Cpt. Luke Haravitch, the 19th’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company commander. “This training included some awesome combat training.”
Overall, the 19th’s leadership said they were pleased with the training and look forward to future training exercises. Lt. Col. Ray said that he sought for the battalion to accomplish certain goals before the training commenced, and felt as though they had exceeded his expectations.
“We’ve been successful in both of our objectives from making our platoon level leadership better and ensuring our battalion level staff is better capable of planning and conducting high level training here at Fort Knox,” said Lt. Col. Ray.
Photos and story by Sgt. Michael Behlin, 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) public affairs.
For queries, contact 3d Sustainment Command Public Affairs at: (502) 624-8601.
For high-resolution photos and stories by the 3d Sustainment Command, please contact the Digital Video and Imagery Distribution System by calling (678) 421-6612 or access them online at http://www.dvidshub.net/units/3sce.