FORT CARSON, Colo.- Soldiers highlighted against a backdrop of snowcapped Colorado mountains charged toward an enemy's position with a flanking maneuver during the late afternoon in the Fort Carson training area, Feb. 18.Soldiers of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, validated their combat readiness during the first day of the battalion's platoon live-fire exercise.The realistic three week field training will prepare the platoons for future company-level training events and unified land operations.
"This is what validates you as an organization; when you can safely and successfully maneuver under live-fire conditions," said Lt. Col. Joseph Ewers, commander, 2nd Bn., 23rd Inf. Reg., 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div.This was the first time the Soldiers have not only been tested as an infantry platoon but also their first time coordinating dismounted maneuvers with the Stryker."It's definitely challenging to synchronize ground troops with the Stryker platform," said 1st Sgt. David Briseno, Company C, 2nd Bn., 23rd Inf. Reg., 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. "At the end of the day it's a learned art and we're headed in the right direction."Platoons dismounted from Strykers to begin the training mission and after a short patrol they received simulated fire from an "enemy". While some of the platoon lined the crest of a hill to lay down suppression fire, the remaining Soldiers ran down around the side of the hill to flank the "enemy's" position.After the area was cleared the platoon destroyed more "enemies" with their .50 caliber machine guns mounted on Strykers, supporting indirect fire from a 60mm mortar team and 120mm mortar in a Stryker.The mission concluded after a javelin missile team destroyed a simulated armored vehicle and the platoon loaded into their Strykers and moved back to the battalion's assembly area."Ultimately it's a learning experience for everyone involved; not only for the platoons but also the battalion," said 2nd Lt. Andrew Prairie, infantry platoon leader, Company C, 2nd Bn., 23rd Inf. Reg., 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. "But everyone is working together as a team to accomplish the mission."By the end of the training, each of the nine platoons will conduct a blank and live-fire iteration for both day and night missions.