By Sgt. Aubree Rundle, 82nd CAB PAOMarch 3, 2009
FORT BRAGG,N.C. - Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade set up a tactical operations center on the airfield to conduct a training exercise in preparation for the brigade's upcoming deployment to Afghanistan in the spring. Aviation operations specialists, military intelligence personnel, fire support officers and paratroopers, radio telephone operators and battle command leadership successfully conducted 24-hour operations from Feb. 2 through 19. "The exercise, for me, brought each operational section of the 82nd CAB headquarters together," said Pfc. Brent Howk, radio telephone operator for the exercise. "The exercise showed how the missions are conducted and how the roles of each section are communicated." Hosted by the 82nd Airborne Division, the 82nd CAB also known as Task Force Pegasus, conducted simulated, full spectrum aviation operations in support of the division's mission readiness exercise. "Our operational tempo is high right now," said Master Sgt. Russell Lowery, the aviation operations sergeant major. "The troopers have done outstanding as a whole." During the MRX, the 82nd CAB was faced with a number of scenarios from downed aircraft, MEDEVAC missions launched and aircraft maintenance. Along with these aviation missions, the exercise also incorporated the posture of aviation task forces in support of maneuver units on the ground. "This was a great opportunity to exercise our battle tracking systems," said Lowery. "We are postured to deploy and our troopers are motivated to get downrange." Along with the paratroopers from HHC, 82nd CAB, at the TOC site were observer trainers from the Battle Command Training Program based out of Kansas City, Mo. The OTs observed the different sections of the TOC and provided key notes and challenges for the team while conducting the training exercise. "This exercise was very useful in educating 82nd CAB troopers who had either never deployed or had only been to Iraq," said Capt. Paul Daigle, battle captain for the TOC. "This MRX gave the troopers the opportunity to become accustomed to the way aviation missions are conducted in Afghanistan."