ROSE BARRACKS, Germany (February 10, 2017) -- Troopers assigned to Alpha Troop, Regimental Support Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment conducted a sling load operation training exercise with 12th Combat Aviation Brigade in the Grafenwoehr Training Area on February 9, 2017.
The purpose of this exercise was to validate personnel for real sling load operations. This training will help the Troopers enhance their necessary training skills to support the Regiment during its upcoming mission, Saber Junction, occurring later in the year.
Capt. John S. Mills, A Troop Commander said, "Sling load training in conjunction with 12th CAB provides Soldiers from each of our platoons a unique opportunity to broaden their skill-set and make them more multi-functional logisticians. I look forward to building off the experiences from the day's training and working with 12th CAB in the future on even more complex sling load operations to support the Regiment during its upcoming DATE rotation and in other future operations."
Utilizing past experience, SSG Danny Patterson, a squad leader in the Troop's POL platoon, started training Soldiers for sling operations this past October. He trained Soldiers over several months leading up to the recent event. SSG Patterson trained over 40 personnel on sling loading fuel blivets, HMMWVs, and packages. During the actual exercise, Troopers conducted sling operations with packages containing concertina wire, Stryker tires, and MREs.
"I spent a lot of time training these Soldiers, and I felt such a responsibility in making sure that they were prepared for this type of operation. Their personal safety was my main concern, but of course I also wanted to see each one of them successfully complete their tasks," SSG Patterson, the NCOIC stated, "They knew what they had to do, and I wasn't going to stand in the way of them performing their tasks. I was there to supervise and watch each one of them succeed. They were so nervous, but afterwards each Soldier felt so accomplished and excited. I couldn't be more proud of my Soldiers."
The ability to conduct sling operations provides the opportunity to support units through aerial delivery. In a dual threat environment, this training extends RSS operational support and allows line units to push forward. Sling loading allows the RSS to extend its support, and Soldiers in the Troop eagerly awaited the opportunity to use their training in an operational environment.
SGT Guadalupe Silva, an Air Assault qualified NCO in POL platoon, stated that: "Sling operations are a great mission for the Army and an important one at that. It will allow our unit to be successful in future expeditionary deployments."
Some Soldiers started at zero experience before all the training began, and now feel fully confident in their ability to conduct sling operations in future field exercises. Their vast improvement in this technical skill was displayed during the most recent exercise.
PFC Stephane Rouamba explained his excitement about the training exercise, stating: "As a young Soldier, I feel confident that I am able to select serviceable sling load equipment, secure a load on a cargo net correctly, and perform a sling load operation in a tactical environment."