FORT CARSON, Colo.- Soldiers charged down the ramp of a CH-47 Chinook and leapt into a prone position to form a secure perimeter during cold and hot load training March 18.
Soldiers of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, honed their entrance, positioning, equipment work and exit of UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters after several hours of practice.
Cold load training allows Soldiers to enter and exit the helicopter when it's not in operation, while hot load training is conducted during a live-run.
"We're doing hot and cold load training in preparation for air assault operations," said 1st Sgt. Nathan R. Hepfer, first sergeant, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Division, 1st SBCT, 4th Infantry Division. "As infantrymen, we're required to be flexible at all times, so whatever the mission dictates we have to be capable of performing."
Hepfer said that the air assaults provide transportation to where ground vehicles are unable to reach.
"Just because we have Strykers doesn't mean we'll always be able to use them," said Hepfer. "They're an asset that we like to have available but, too often, missions require us to insert via by air or foot and we need to be familiar with those movements."
After the cold and hot load training is complete, the Soldiers are scheduled to perform an air assault mission and tactical road march in the Fort Carson training area.
Hepfer said this will be the first military helicopter flight for many of his Soldiers.
"They're all pretty excited," said Hepfer, a native of Anderson, Indiana. "They're looking forward to getting off the ground and into the air."