By Spc. Robert Cook, 2nd Brigade Combat Team JournalistMarch 17, 2016
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (March 17, 2016) -- Support battalions play a vital role in a unit's combat effectiveness, and Soldiers need to train on their technical and tactical proficiencies to enhance their abilities to protect themselves and their logistical supply convoys that deliver provisions to the front lines.
Soldiers assigned to A Company "Iron Horse," 210th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, did just that during a seven-day field training exercise on Fort Drum that ended March 6.
The training allowed service members to execute a scenario-driven convoy live-fire exercise on a closed course that tested their ability to react to small-arms fire, request medical evacuation, react to improvised explosive devices and conduct vehicle recovery operations, while they provided overwatch security.
"Our main goal of this mission was to treat this as a real-life situation, not as a range," said Sgt. 1st Class Shronda Rogers, platoon sergeant. "We (also) incorporated the mechanics and medics during the exercises, so they can learn how to use their equipment under fire."
It was this event that helped one service member feel more comfortable about the possibility of deploying.
"The training we conducted has helped me feel more confident in deploying," said Spc. Christopher Facey, water treatment specialist. "I feel that I am better trained with my weapon system, and I know that my platoon and leadership will know how to react to these situations."
With mission-based scenarios, these events help to create adaptive units.
"The overall intent of this training is to create mobile platoons across the battalion," said Lt. Col. Jason Affolder, 210th BSB commander. "As a support battalion, we have to be able to move supplies and troops on the battlefield."
As battlefields change, commanders must change how they train their Soldiers. They must ensure that all aspects of their company are being used and are ready for the fight.
One company commander could not stress enough the importance that all Soldiers need to be trained at the highest level on how to protect themselves.
"We may not have the luxury of having a heavy weapons company secure our convoys on our route," said Capt. Kyle Peatfield, company commander. "It is critical that our Soldiers understand how we fight.
"The next war is not going to be built up. We will have to fight to secure our area, and our Soldiers are going to be expected to provide their own security."