By Tyler AbneyMarch 16, 2009
FORT RILEY, Kan. - Soldiers, Airmen, and Sailors assigned to a transition team trained by Company C, 1st Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade, took the next step toward deployment March 4, as they breached buildings and cleared rooms at the Combat Arms Collective Training Facility for day two of urban operations.
The combined force training presented all three branches with the basics of urban operations and a chance to complete missions as a team, rather than separate entities.
Since the call for military personnel in the Middle East has increased over time, Airmen and Sailors have traded in their submarines and F-16s for Humvees and M-4s.
"It's pretty basic fundamental training," said Small Group Advisor 2nd Lt. Benjamin Gilbert, Company B, 1st Battalion, 16 Infantry Regiment, said. "Some of the Air Force and Navy have never seen this done before, and for the Army, it's a good refresher because they may have not done it in a while."
Gilbert also said urban operations is managed in a crawl, walk, run format and teaches personnel how to enter unfamiliar rooms safely, while at the same time identifying with threats and keeping themselves and civilians safe.
Teams started out in a classroom, where they were briefed on "stacking" and different approaches to entering rooms. From there, personnel were broken down into four-man stacks and began developing standard operating procedures for entry method and means of communication once inside. The teams spent approximately an hour moving in and around a two-story apartment complex practicing their SOPs, tweaking drawbacks as they went.
Once teams worked out the kinks, they moved to a target identification station to put their SOPs in action while firing ultimate training munitions at targets. Each group stacked up outside, breached the door and progressed through the building. Images of enemies and friendlies were posted on walls and behind furniture, forcing teams to quickly decide to fire or not.
Phase four, the run segment, combined all features of the day's training and put personnel in situations where targets fired back. A two story building, located at the entrance of the CACTF, housed riflemen armed with ultimate training munitions. Just as they had in the target identification phase, personnel entered the building and engaged the targets.
"They're hiding down there, giving them some pressure and turning up the volume on the intensity of the training," Gilbert said. "They're making sure their SOPs are coming along and are as live as we can get it."
Gilbert said one day is not enough time to make everyone an expert in urban operations, but by day's end, they would know how to enter a building safely.
"It's an intense, dangerous situation to walk into a room you've never seen before," Gilbert said. "So we're basically giving them a method to the madness. There is a (correct) way to do it and break it down so that everyone is staying as safe as possible."