FORT IRWIN, Calif. - Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team conducted a combined arms live fire training exercise April 16 at Yakima Training Center, Wash. The training prepares the company for exercises later this year at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.
The exercise included infantry, artillery, engineers and aviation assets. As the company moved through the course, they assaulted objectives with infantry troops, called for fire from artillery assets and AH-64 Apache helicopters and breached simulated minefields with engineer Soldiers.
"The training's going really well so far," said Staff Sgt. Allen Lynch, an infantry squad leader with A Company. "This exercise is an evaluation of our company commander's ability to manipulate his assets on the ground. We're a small part of the pie but we're out working hard to make our company commander and our company as a whole look good."
Before conducting a company live fire exercise, each of the platoons conducted their own training at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. and at the Yakima Training Center.
"The most challenging part of the exercise has been working as a whole company with all three platoons," said Lynch. "Normally we just work as an individual platoon out there. We don't usually have the other platoons around us and we are leaning how to operate together in the same battle space at the same time."
For some of the Soldiers this exercise was their first experience conducting a combined arms exercise on this scale. Although the unit conducts regular training, some of the Soldiers are new to the Army.
"This is my first combined arms live fire exercise, this is my first time doing company level movements," said 2nd Lt. Kayley Lopez, a fire support officer with 1-37 Field Artillery Bn., assigned to A Company 2-3 Inf. Regiment. "In February we did platoon level training exercises but this is bigger and there are more moving pieces. It's been a good learning experience for me."
Before conducting the combined arms live fire exercise that certified them to go to NTC, the company conducted rehearsal exercises so that Soldiers would have a chance to improve their individual skills.
"The most rewarding part of this training has been seeing the light bulb come on in the younger Soldiers," said Lynch. "I know they all know their individual jobs but when they actually get to do it and it all clicks together, that's rewarding to me."
The efforts of the Soldiers came through during the exercise in their proficiency and knowledge of their tasks.
"The company's moving at an extremely high rate of speed," said Staff Sgt. Austin Waggoner, a squad leader with 1-37 FA Bn. attached to A Company. "I'm impressed with the level of professionalism and knowledge of the Soldiers out here."