Currahees prepare for Eagle Flight III
September 4, 2012
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky-Soldiers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, started a transition point in their training as elements of 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, "White Currahee", began rehearsals for the brigade's upcoming Eagle Flight III, a company level walk-and-shoot, on August 28, 2012 at Son Drop Zone, Fort Campbell, Ky.
Eagle Flight III consists of seven training evolutions with a walk-and-shoot rehearsal at the Son Drop Zone being the first event.
"Eagle Flight III is the culmination of months of tough and realistic training at the individual, squad and platoon level," said Col. Val C. Keaveny, Jr., the commander of 4th Bde., 101st Abn. Div.
"The Currahees have proven that they are physically and mentally tough at the individual, squad and platoon level, now they will be tested at the company, battery, and troop level through a series of training events that will push them to their limits over a six day period," said Keaveny.
The walk-and-shoot rehearsals at the Son DZ are designed to prepare a company, battery, or troop command team in executing a company level mission which focuses on incorporating various types of indirect fire weapon platforms.
"The walk-and-shoot rehearsals provides a commander with another quality repetition of training prior to the actual event," said Capt. Jon V. Oglesby, commander of Company F, 2nd Bn., 506th Inf. Regt. and a native of McCalla, Al.
"It also gives the platoon forward observers the ability to see how their call for fire missions are related to the ground maneuver plan. It forces them to see the bigger picture of the operation and forces them to maneuver in between each of their call for fire mission," said Oglesby.
The rehearsals are essential since they allow a commander the opportunity to practice in the planning, execution and incorporation of his organic mortars, fixed wing or rotary wing assets in a relatively low-stress and controlled environment.
"It was a good opportunity to work closely with the maneuver platoons and see how a mortar section fits in the grand scheme," said Staff Sgt. Nick C. Mowery, the mortar section sergeant, Company F, 2nd Bn., 506th Inf. Regt., and a native of Clarksville, Tenn.
The walk-and-shoot rehearsal also allowed the new, indirect fire infantryman, to the experience the bigger picture. It gives the Soldiers a heads up to pay attention and work closely with the forward observer, said Mowery.
Another training objective of the walk-and-shoot rehearsal is to give the company command post team and the unit executive officer an opportunity to conduct command post operations in support of a ground element.
Some of the key focus training elements for the company command posts include the ability to monitor and battle track the maneuver platoons, gather, analyze, and disseminate information, through the integration of company intelligence support teams.
Upon completion of the walk-and-shoot rehearsals at the Son DZ each company, battery, or troop will proceed to the Kinnard Mission Training Complex to conduct Virtual Battlespace II training. Company, battery, or troop leadership, in coordination with their fire support planners, will gain an understanding of how to synchronize fires and maneuver in time and space, and fire supporters will develop and refine their fires planning processes.
"Virtual Battlespace II provides a unit with efficiency in terms of orienting their training objectives," said Brian A. Lucke, the Live, Virtual, Constructive (Gaming) coordinator for the Kinnard Mission Training Complex.
It gives a commander the ability to have the most thorough mission rehearsals, with a quick reset time and a zero logistics environment, said Lucke.
Virtual Battlespace II, developed by Bohemia Interactive Simulations, offers a configurable game-based virtual environment that can either simulate real-world systems in its own right, or be employed on simulators of varying fidelity to provide realistic visuals, states the developers official website.
After conducting rehearsals at Son DZ and VBSII training, units plan on transitioning to the field and execute the walk-and-shoot with live ammunition in both day and night training scenarios.