By Capt. Drew A. RobinsonApril 19, 2016
SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt - Soldiers from Bull Troop, 1st Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment "Task Force War Eagle" recently completed a week long training event, Operation Bull Run, April 12, 2016.
The exercise progressed from platform gunnery to platoon night live fire in only eight days. The purpose of Operation Bull Run was to certify the Response Platoon on mounted and dismounted personnel recovery operations.
TF War Eagle is deployed to the Sinai in support of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), an international peacekeeping force overseeing the terms of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. The MFO consists of forces from 12 countries that provide different functions and forces to the peacekeeping organization. It is responsible for observing military activity in the 61,000 square kilometers of the Sinai and its surrounding waters. TF War Eagle are the 61st U.S. Army Operational Battalion or Squadron to serve in the MFO. As USBATT 61, TF War Eagle is responsible for nine remote sites, the administration of the MFO South Camp, a mobile observation team, various force protection missions and providing special response teams.
"We have a unique mission here in the Sinai. That mission comes along with unique training opportunities," said 1st Sgt. Omar Mosley, the Bull Troop senior enlisted advisor. "We started with basic skills and progressed to collective tasks. We went from certifying on Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) and platform gunnery to executing day and night live fires at the squad and platoon level in about a week."
Operation Bull Run prepared Soldiers to respond to a worst case scenario involving an isolated observer team. The Platoon executed a full simulation of the personnel recovery planning process using Troop Leading Procedures before executing the live fire event.
"It was an incredibly challenging event to come out here and live in the elements with this heat. You can tell our guys are fit," said 1st Lt. Ryan Dahm, a platoon leader in Bull Troop.
"Our primary mission is to observe, report, and verify violations of the treaty of peace between the Arab Republic of Egypt and Israel. But, we have to be vigilant to protect ourselves and our fellow contingents," said Dahm. "That is what the response team mission is about, being ready".
The squad and platoon live fires stressed tactical decision making, direct-fire employment and casualty treatment and evacuation. During the squad live fire, squads had to locate, secure and move a simulated casualty for 400 meters in an evacuation litter over rugged terrain.
"We wanted to make sure the Soldiers didn't just know the performance measures. They can actually apply the knowledge to the situation when they are hot and tired and there are bullets flying," said Mosley.
The platoon live fire exercise integrated UH-60 Blackhawks and the platoon's mounted section in All Terrain Vehicles (MATV). The Platoon leader had to control two moving elements separated by a major terrain feature while executing action on contact.
"The scenario was designed to be realistic. If someone were to get isolated, this would be a plausible employment of the response team," said Maj. Chris Gilluly the TF War Eagle Operations Officer. "This exercise helped USBATT and the MFO identify ways to build our interoperability and rationalize as a multinational force."