Army reserve companies train at Fort Riley facilities
By Hannah Kleopfer Fort Riley Public AffairsApril 21, 2016
Convoys of 15 Heavy Equipment Transportation Vehicles drove into the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility April 16 as aggressors shot at them from the buildings.
This was part of the training for the reserve companies of the 821st Transportation Battalion based out of Topeka, Kansas, and the aggressors were actually officers from the unit dressed in protective gear and middle-eastern style clothing and headwear.
"We're trying to see how they will react to ambush fire and improvised explosive devices," Pfc. Bridget Bordewick said.
The three companies took turns driving the convoys of HETs into the CACTF where they had to get into formation and capture the aggressors attacking the unit. The Soldiers used live ammunition, but Bordewick, who was part of the medical team, said the bullets are similar to those of a paintball gun as the aggressors and Soldiers would be shooting at each other. Everyone wore vest and head protection.
Staff Sgt. Corey Shepard was one of the people dressed as an aggressor. He explained to the unit what they would be doing during the training.
"These guys are ready to come out and shoot at us," he said.
Shepard then met with each company to help them with their after-action reports.
The training was an opportunity to prepare for the battalion upcoming training at The National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California
"We never really train to this extent," Bordewick said. "We're just seeing how things go and trying to get things to run smoother. This is all preparation for when we go to California this summer. We'll be doing training similar to this for three weeks there."
Each company was able to see what they did through video footage and critiqued on what they should be doing for the next time during their AAR.
The Soldiers from the unit also spent the weekend qualifying on M9s and hand grenades. Each company comes to Fort Riley once a year to qualify and train.