Teamwork keeps 2CAB Soldiers and crews battle-ready
November 20, 2012
In a northern valley Soldiers scurry around working diligently to keep combat operations running smoothly during the battalion's training mission. This mission is just one of many that ensure Soldiers the opportunity to develop and maintain proficiency on their essential tasks and drills.
The 4th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, conducted its quarterly aerial gunnery qualification Oct. 11 at Rodriguez Range.
The exercise allowed AH-64D Longbow Apache helicopter pilots to qualify on their aircraft's weapons systems.
But, this is not the only opportunity the gunnery provides. In order for a pilot to shoot and qualify, much preparation must be done behind the scenes. Soldiers with different specialties also honed their crafts as well in the process.
Getting ready for air operations requires an integrated team of experts. Soldiers ensure the aircraft are mechanically sound, weapon systems are functional and loaded with ammunition, fuel is tested and the helicopter's tanks are topped off. These tasks sound easy, but it requires hard work and a dedicated team.
"To train like we fight, it's necessary for our Soldiers to rely on one another. Team work definitely plays the major role out here. Precision and coordination are relied upon for accuracy and safety in everything we do during gunnery," said Command Sgt. Maj. Lloyd Ankrum, the 4th Bn., 2nd Avn. Regt., senior enlisted advisor.
Spc. David Smith, a native of Portland, Maine, and member of Company E, 4th Bn., 2nd Avn. Regt., is part of a team of that executed important tasks during the training mission. Smith provided fuel to the aircraft but also performed another very important task relevant to safety.
"We conduct an aqua-glo test, which is a test for water in the fuel. This is very important in aviation because our aircraft can incur damage if water is found in the fuel. The quality of fuel needs to be guaranteed in order to keep our pilots and crews safe," said Smith.
Another team member knew how to take advantage of the time spent at gunnery.
In charge of the Soldiers loading ammunition, Sgt. Kevin McAtee, a member of Company D, 4th Bn., 2nd Avn. Regt., took the opportunity to train his team.
"I've got guys who need to be trained up on doing their job, which is loading the ordnance, so it's a lot of good training," said McAtee.
Each Soldier provided support essential to ensuring operations ran smoothly. The pilots qualified on their weapon system and Soldiers sharpened the skills necessary to win battles as they trained to fight tonight.