'Coldsteel' rains from above
September 6, 2012
ROGRIGUEZ LIVE FIRE COMPLEX, Korea - The UH-60 Blackhawk begins to bank around the mountain side on its approach to the landing zone. Grass, dirt and debris fill the air as the bird hovers slightly above the deck before touching down. The green and tan of ACUs emerge from the fuselage in all directions. As the adrenaline filled Soldiers leap to the ground they immediately aim their weapons and prepare to protect their assets should the enemy be near. These are the Soldiers of the 'Coldsteel' company and they are ready for a fight.
Soldiers of C Co. 'Coldsteel', 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, conducted an air assault and urban assault mission on the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility here on Aug. 31.
Capt. Carmen Bucci, company commander for C Co., 1-27 Inf. Regt, 2nd SBCT supervised the assault.
"The platoon air assaulted into the objective via four separate aircrafts and established the objective rally point as well as conducting their leader's reconnaissance," Bucci said.
Regardless of what someone is doing the fundamentals are crucial to success, Bucci said.
The Soldiers then quickly moved over a hilltop to establish an elevated firing position for their automatic weapons teams. The terrain here in Korea is similar to that of the mountainous areas in Afghanistan which provides ideal training conditions for future deployments to Afghanistan and contingency missions inside the Pacific region.
"Afghanistan isn't exactly flat and level terrain," said Staff Sgt. Matthew Reel, a squad leader in C Co., 1-27 Inf. Regt., 2nd SBCT. "Being able to go straight up a mountain and come back down the other side is a great training experience."
Once the platoon had established its support by fire positions they continued on to establish isolation, said Bucci. Establishing isolation on its objective confirms that a unit has effectively set the conditions to achieve their task.
"To get this experience here is an excellent opportunity for the Soldiers," said Reel. "This is the type of mission we may be conducting down range."
The platoon then continued on to the objective of capturing or neutralizing a high value target.
"The platoon sent in the breach element with the attached engineer support," Bucci said. "Luckily there was an open breach and they were able to enter the objective without losing time to a breach."
The Soldiers continued to sequentially clear the buildings on the target compound and neutralize all threats, Bucci continued. They were then able to locate the high value target.
As the team cleared buildings on the compound they were met with an unknown threat.
"In one of the buildings they encountered a possible IED," Bucci said. "They immediately pushed off of that building and setup a security element."
During the assault the team took a notional casualty, Bucci said. The Soldiers were able to call in a nine-line medevac, package the wounded Soldier, and prepare to move him.
"This is tough-realistic training," said Reel. "You know when you've been hit and it makes the Soldiers realize the impact their decisions have on the mission."
With the casualty in tow and the mission complete, the platoon began their exit plan.
"The assault force then pulled off of the objective to their pre-planned exfiltration helicopter landing zone," Bucci said. "They moved through the town to reach their HLZ and adopted a pick-up zone posture. They were then able to call the birds in to extract and exfiltrate the objective."
This training exercise was designed to prepare Soldiers for real-world missions they may encounter when they deploy. Tough, realistic training is essential for preparing Soldiers to perform contingency missions in the Pacific region.
"It's fantastic," Bucci said. "It is an absolutely awesome opportunity that we've had to come here and focus solely on training without any distraction."
The best part of training in Korea is also its downfall, Bucci said. The difficult part about training in Korea is the fact that you're away from your loved ones. They are here to focus on the mission at hand, to train and prepare for combat.
The training is working as Soldiers are becoming more proficient in their roles and becoming a more effective and lethal fighting force for the Pacific region.
"I become more capable in my role every day," Reel said. "I'm constantly finding new and better ways to do things. Each mission we conduct here makes us a more lethal fighting force."