• Soldiers work on a construction project during training conducted by 2nd Battalion, 361st Combat Support Regiment, "Task Force Coyote," 5th Armored Brigade, Divison West at Camp McGregor, Texas, earlier this year. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Willie E. Graham III, 2nd Battalion, 361st Combat Support Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West)

    5th AR trains warfighters for worldwide deployments

    Soldiers work on a construction project during training conducted by 2nd Battalion, 361st Combat Support Regiment, "Task Force Coyote," 5th Armored Brigade, Divison West at Camp McGregor, Texas, earlier this year. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Willie E...

  • Soldiers construct a guard tower during training conducted by 2nd Battalion, 361st Combat Support Regiment, "Task Force Coyote," 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, at Camp McGregor, Texas, earlier this year. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Willie E. Graham III, 2nd Battalion, 361st Combat Support Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West)

    5th AR trains warfighters for worldwide deployments

    Soldiers construct a guard tower during training conducted by 2nd Battalion, 361st Combat Support Regiment, "Task Force Coyote," 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, at Camp McGregor, Texas, earlier this year. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Willie E. Graham...

  • Observer controller/trainers of Alpha Team Engineers facilitate an after-action review after a Military Operations in Urban Terrain training event conducted by 2nd Battalion, 361st Combat Support Regiment, "Task Force Coyote," 5th Armored Brigade, Division West near Sioux Falls, S.D., earlier this year. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Willie E. Graham III, 2nd Battalion, 361st Combat Support Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West)

    5th AR trains warfighters for worldwide deployments

    Observer controller/trainers of Alpha Team Engineers facilitate an after-action review after a Military Operations in Urban Terrain training event conducted by 2nd Battalion, 361st Combat Support Regiment, "Task Force Coyote," 5th Armored Brigade...

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Since 2001, the Alpha Team engineers of 2nd Battalion, 361st Combat Support Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, while mobilized to Fort Bliss, Texas, have trained thousands of Joint Warfighters for deployments to various military operations.

"Reserve force trainers bring a diverse and broad skill set to mobilization training centers which enhances the total perspective of training soldiers," said Master Sgt. Todd Stone, Alpha Team noncommissioned officer-in-charge. "Combine this with a strong civilian work ethic from the Midwest, and you create a training atmosphere that is second to none."

During their most recent mobilization, the team of more than 100 Army Reserve Soldiers conducted individual training lanes such as Level I combatives training, foreign languages, unarmed self-defense, Chemical/Biological/Radiological/Nuclear training, communications, dismounted and mounted land navigation, Troop Leading Procedures, engineering missions, Military Operations in Urban Terrain training, base defense and culminating training events.

The Alpha Team also performed lane site improvements such as constructing pull-up and dip bars for the McGregor physical fitness field, installing new traffic barriers at the entry control point gate and pouring a concrete helicopter-landing pad at Contingency Operating Location Westbrook.

The role of observer controller/trainers is a critical component of the 5th Armored Brigade and the Division West training program. Army Reserve Soldiers have many skills to bring onto the battlefield, with a range of expertise from lawyers, nurses, contractors, teachers and bankers.

The Alpha Team OCTs are not only liaisons to the theater of operations, they are also skilled in combat tactics and maintain the Army Soldier's Creed as standard-bearers. Teaching and mentoring are the most important functions of their duties.

"(Observer controller/trainers) are entrusted with ensuring that each training venue provides a positive learning experience for the training audience," Stone said. "Although difficult to track, lives saved on the battlefield are a direct reflection on Alpha Team's training contributions to those units we've trained."

Page last updated Tue November 20th, 2012 at 00:00