'Maintaineers' roll through OEF deployment training
January 25, 2013
FORT POLK, La. - Some would say one of the most challenging things a military unit does before a deployment is refining their tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) and troop leading procedures (TLPs).
Soldiers from Company A, 801st Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, made final improvements to their combat convoy TTPs and TLPs during a situational training exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, La., Jan. 15 to 22.
"For the last couple of days, the big focus has been on bringing together everything we trained on over the past year," said Capt. Samuel Ramirez, Commander of Company A, 801st BSB. "The enemy is always evolving, and it's our responsibility to ensure we remain one step ahead of them and refine our TTPs so that we're ready to assume our overseas mission when that time comes."
Prior to embarking on a future deployment to Afghanistan with their unit in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the "Maintaineers" of Company A, 801st BSB trained in simulated Afghanistan urban environments during their JRTC rotation.
"We look at JRTC like this is our playoff match and we're showing everybody we are the division champions and this is what we are capable of," said Ramirez, a native of El Paso, Texas. "The Super Bowl is going to be our upcoming deployment, and we're going into it expecting to win because we haven't lost yet."
Throughout the combat convoy lanes, the soldiers tested themselves mentally and physically as they cautiously maneuvered through realistic, narrow trails with their tactical vehicles attempting to avoid any possible improvised explosive devices.
Upon receiving contact from enemy forces, the Maintaineer troops utilized their combat skills and implemented their designated procedures to counterattack the enemy and protect role-players throughout the area who were acting as local national citizens.
"We train to react to different types of situations using our TTPs," said Staff Sgt. Edmund Klingsporn, a platoon sergeant assigned to Company A. "Pulling security, identifying and defeating possible IEDs, recovering vehicles...we train to do it all."
Klingsporn, who has been with the Maintaineer unit for the pass three years, believes teaching his soldiers the basic fundamentals and refining those combat procedures are the keys to success for his unit's upcoming deployment.
"We use the knowledge we gain through training events like this one to try to teach them what they can expect once they get downrange," said Klingsporn, a native of Wichita, Kansas. "Our TTPs and TLPs are really important, because you want to have the knowledge and muscle memory so you know how to react if that situation should arise."
Currently gearing up for his fourth overseas tour, his second to Afghanistan, Klingsporn believes all his troopers are ready to take on their mission, know matter what it may be.
"I feel like we had a lot of new and experienced soldiers that have grown throughout the last few weeks, and we're definitely going to be ready to go when it's time to deploy," said Klingsporn.
The 4th BCT, 101st Airborne Div., is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan later this year.