FORT CARSON, Colo.- Soldiers completed a mission named "Judgement Day" without firing a single round and then consolidated to discuss with leadership what went right and wrong in the Fort Carson training area, March 25.
The dry practice run of the mission prepared the Soldiers of 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, for platoon live-fire conditions planned for that night.
"Basically a live-fire validates platoons so they're certified for combat," said Capt. Kris Urquhart, assistant operations officer, 4th Bn., 9th Inf. Reg., 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. "But it's also for the Soldiers to build confidence in their weapon systems and their squads."
"Judgement Day" required the platoons to navigate almost a mile in a depression filled with deep brush to a simulated enemy. Once the Soldiers reached the target, they established a support-by-fire position and assaulted the objective.
Pfc. Matthew Chesney, infantryman, Company A, 4th Bn., 9th Inf. Reg., 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div., practiced as a M249 light machine gunner with his squad before the mission even began.
"It's important for the mission to get a run through of what's actually going to happen when we get out there," said Chesney, a native of Knoxville, Tennessee. "We get familiar with how we're going to bound to the objective and assault through."
During the practice run of the mission observers maneuvered with the Soldiers to ensure that the platoon trained right the first time.
"When we come out here we execute the mission and get good eyes on so we know exactly what we're dealing with," said 2nd Lt. Christopher Long, platoon leader, Company C, 4th Bn., 9th Inf. Reg., 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. "So on a real mission we know what to do because we've been training right the whole time."
After completing the day and night live-fires the platoons will be certified for future company-level training events and unified land operations.
"The Soldiers should walk away from here feeling like they can accomplish any mission anytime anywhere under any conditions," said Urquhart, a native of Palatka, Florida.