Fort Irwin, Calif. -- After two days of sweating it out in the desert, 100 Soldiers from Maintenance Troop, Regimental Support Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment slows 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division during the 15-08.5 Decisive Action Training Rotation, Jul. 18-21, here.
As Task Force Destroyer, Maintenance troop's mission was beset with ambiguity. Soldiers at the local level were simply told to delay the rotational training unit; however, the guidance from Regimental Commander, Col. Kevin Jacobi, was for TFD to beat as many opponents as they could and at all costs.
The soldiers of TFD left the cantonment area Saturday on a convoy that settled into the training area in a mock town called, Razish. They arrived under the cover of darkness to conceal their movements from the RTU. The plan was to keep a low profile in Razish for two days then entrench on a hill north of Razish to wait for the RTU.
TFD was equipped with M2 .50 caliber and M249 machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, M4 and M16 rifles and grenades. Had TFD moved to the hill at 1800 and taken their positions as planned then they would have been well equipped to mount a defense against the incoming Stryker unit at 0300 Tuesday morning. But the RTU moved first and by 1000 Monday morning TFD was given 20 minutes to move out and take over the hill that was now dotted with 3rd SBCT Strykers. Area defense turned into an assault mission.
TFD was not prepared for this type of mission but they were equipped enough to improvise. TFD made a hastily executed flanking maneuver from their tactical vehicles and destroyed 12 Strykers and 85 personnel, not including the personnel already out of play due to being targeted and hit inside their vehicles. There were acts of heroism, like Spc. Chazarey Davis sprinting across the desert to hurl a training grenade directly under an RTU Stryker.
The soldiers of TFD underwent a unique set of training opportunities with the RPG's, tactical operations and executed a mission that redeemed any of the implied suffering from going to the 'box' to conduct training. And yes, by the end TFD was eliminated, but not before showing the RTU that even the 11th ACR's Maintenance Troop delivers on being a multilayered hybrid threat, capable of preparing Brigade Combat Teams across the Army for world-wide deployments.