FORT CARSON, Colo.-Prone Soldiers concealed in low brush unleashed a hailstorm of ammunition at an approaching enemy force from their vantage point in the Fort Carson training area, April 24.
Grim determination was replaced by relief as the targets dropped and the Soldiers realized that their mission was finally complete.
"We've pretty much had to walk from daybreak until the next morning and these guys have executed and done extremely well with their mission and met the commander's intent," said 1st Lt. Charles Brady, infantry platoon leader, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. "Our Soldiers are motivated and ready to do their jobs."
Soldiers from across the brigade's formation validated their combat readiness in mission essential tasks during company combined arms training from April 8 to May 1.
A combined arms live-fire exercise is designed to prepare and develop company level leadership and Soldiers in planning and executing air assault operations, integrating indirect fire and utilizing mounted and dismounted tactical movements.
Before moving on to the company combined arms exercise Soldiers executed situation training exercises designed to replicate the challenges of a worldwide deployment under live-fire conditions.
"We did movement to contact, area security and air assault lanes," said Staff Sgt. Adam Taylor, infantry squad leader, Company B, 2nd Bn., 23rd Inf. Reg., 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. "Three different types of training combined with little amounts of sleep to get these Soldiers ready for any type of austere environment."
Pfc. Jacob Spriezer, infantryman, Company A, 2nd Bn., 23rd Inf. Reg., 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div., said that his company practiced with rehearsals before moving on to the live-fire.
"We do concurrent training," said Spriezer, native of Rapid City, South Dakota. "We'll practice maneuvering Strykers with the engineers or the dismounts will practice their bounding."
During the company combined arms exercise, Soldiers coordinated mounted and dismounted movements with Strykers to breach an obstacle, battled through two objectives and consolidated to defend against an enemy counter attack.
The Soldiers also fought through exhaustion and grime built up over more than 12 days of continuous training in the field.
"It's about camaraderie," said Taylor, a native of Sumner, Washington. "We're building our relationships together since going from squad to platoon and now company level training. The Soldiers are even able to invest their own personal outlook and its being taken into account by our higher leadership."
By the conclusion of the day and night live-fire exercises all of the brigade's maneuver elements will be prepared for future brigade level training events and unified land operations.
"A lot of excellent training out here and I can definitely tell that my Soldiers have grown a lot over the past week and a half," said Brady, a native of Erie, Pennsylvania. "It's a great experience for all of us to learn our capabilities as we train."