FORT CARSON, Colo. - Soldiers of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, honored the brigade's service in the Hürtgen Forest during World War II with the physical challenge "Operation Smoked Turkey," Nov. 25.
The Battle of Hürtgen Forest was fought from Sept. 19, 1944 to Dec. 16, 1944 and is the longest battle Americans have ever fought in the history of the United States military. Hürtgen Forest is about a 50 square mile densely wooded area and provided a possible corridor for the Allies to gain a foothold in Germany.
Companies, troops, and batteries of 1st SBCT raced through four obstacles while maintaining control of a rolling Light Medium Tactical Vehicle tire weighing more than 100 pounds.
"We were in sync, we knew what to do at each station and we had veterans from the last event so that made it easier," said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Edie, maintenance control sergeant, Forward Support Company E, 299th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. "I'm very competitive and my Soldiers are competitive so anytime we do an event like this we have an awesome time."
Soldiers formed a huge mass as they maneuvered over the top of a Conex container with their tire in two separate stations, ran through an "ambush" area around concertina wire in large trenches, and 15 Soldiers from each company, troop and battery climbed over a tall "Berlin Wall" obstacle before racing to the finish line.
"We pushed each other and made sure that everyone got through it with no man left behind," said Pvt. Alhugie Njie, infantryman, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. "Watching my brothers get over the Conex container was motivating and our teamwork gave me a great feeling."
Spc. Tiffany Scales, unit supply specialist, Forward Support Company I, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div., said that she's looking forward to more challenging events in the future.
"I love this type of stuff. You get to see how everyone interacts with each other as a company," said Scales, a native of Portsmouth, Virginia. "We took this very seriously but we also had fun at the same time and kept each other motivated."