By Spc. Gregory T. Summers, 1st Signal Brigade Public Affairs OfficeMarch 13, 2014
MADISON SITE, South Korea -- Soldiers from the Maintenance Support Team, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 41st Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade, conducted a simulated-combat training mission during the 2014 Key Resolve exercise at the Madison Site near Seoul, South Korea on March 4.
The mission: MST Soldiers of HHD, 41st Signal Battalion, as warrior communicators will seize, secure, defend and restore remote digital communications at the Madison Top Site.
Air lifted in a Blackhawk Helicopter atop the Kwangyo Mountain near Suwon, the group of Soldiers were dropped off and moved into their defensive positions to prepare to take back the microwave signal relay station from "enemy forces." Dressed in full battle attire and equipped with M-4 rifles and blank rounds, everything about the exercise was as realistic as possible for the Soldiers.
CPT Frederick Do, HHD Commander, said that this particular type of training is important for combat readiness. "Even though we are not a combat unit, we are still Soldiers and we are responsible for being able to defend our equipment if we were last resort," said Do.
But for the Soldiers participating in the training mission, remembering and using their warrior tasks and skills to successfully complete the mission was only one challenge. The other, conduct the mission with the eyes of command teams from the 41st Signal Battalion and 1st Signal Brigade with the Sergeant Major of 1st Signal Brigade's higher headquarters from 311th Signal Command (Theater) watching.
Pulling security as the Blackhawk flew away, the Soldiers' tactical assault to recover the site began. Moving tactically towards the tower, the Soldiers removed opposing forces and took one hostage.
Once the perimeter of the site was secured, a few of the Soldiers moved inside of the communications station to assess any possible damage from the opposing forces and restore communications. After the site was recovered and restored, the Soldiers made their way back to the landing zone to simulate being airlifted out of the area.
For the after-action-review, Col. Paul H. Fredenburgh III, 1st Signal Brigade Commander, said that he could tell the MST Soldiers had rehearsed for the mission. "From what I saw, you all were doing well. Everyone was looking out for each other and there was no hesitation. You knew what you were doing," said Fredenburgh.
Command Sgt. Maj. Travis L. Cherry, Command Sergeant Major, 311th Signal Command (Theater) said, "My part for the AAR is this; clear your weapons." The Soldiers pulled their bolts back to the rear and showed their rifles to an impressed and proud command sergeant major.
"I am very proud of all of you," said Fredenburgh. "There were a lot of good things I saw today and this exercise shows how important sergeant's time training is, because you all put it to use out here today."