By Staff Sgt. Jennifer Bunn ( 2d Cavalry Regiment Public Affairs)November 30, 2016
Troopers assigned to Lightning Troop, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, U.S. Army recently completed a training exercise with Soldiers in the Givati Brigade, Israeli Defense Force that took place in Ma'ala, Israel Nov. 3 -- 13, 2016.
Exercise Lightning Shock provided the Regiment and the IDF with the ability to plan, prepare and execute combined training and build upon the readiness of the two armies.
Part of the exercise for Lightning Troop was getting to Israel by conducting an Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise. The commander had 96 hours to have his Troops and their equipment ready to deploy. Time started at notification from U.S. Army Europe down through the regiment, then to the Troop.
"Basically, we were tested on our ability to alert, marshal and deploy (within 96 hours)," said Capt. Seth Pearson, the Troop Commander for L Troop. "I think any time you get to exercise something like this where you get to test your ability to (quickly) deploy anywhere in the world, that is a huge opportunity for us to take advantage of."
Once in Israel, they focused on urban operations at Ma'ala Military Urban Training Site; an area with approximately 600 buildings.
"The significance behind (the exercise) is we were there to build interoperability with the IDF but, we were also helping them build on their capacity to conduct defensive operations," Pearson said. "We focused on four big groups that the Israelis are really good at."
Two of those areas were subterranean warfare, which means maneuvering through tunnels, and transitioning from open terrain into urban terrain.
"That is a big transition point. It is when you are most vulnerable as you move from the edge of a town/village. When you get your foothold in that first initial area," Pearson said.
The third and fourth areas were clear buildings that are four stories and above, and conduct defensive operations in urban area.
"The IDF have a lot of different techniques that they use to move into those (high rise) buildings and clear them of any threats," added Pearson. "And there are different considerations when conducting defensive operations in an urban area, like how to pick the right area or right building you want to defend."
Sgt. 1st Class Jose Rendon, platoon sergeant for 2nd Platoon said the Troop did an amazing job during the close quarter maneuvering and close quarter battle drills.
"It has been a while since we trained in military operations in urban terrain overall, so going from the open ground terrain to urban is a whole new mind set and fight," Rendon said. "I think it benefited us a lot to see where we were at and see what we need to work on."
Although the length of the exercise was short, the Troop gained experience.
"I think we did really well. We learned a lot from the IDF. They have a lot to offer as far as tactics and techniques that they use in that type of an environment." Pearson concluded.