Grafenwoehr, Germany (May 25, 2017) -- "The 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment (2-12 IN) had two weeks from the time we got the order to fly from Fort Carson, Colorado, to Grafenwoehr, Germany," said Lt. Col Bo Dennis, battalion commander.
Approximately 600 Soldiers from 2-12 IN, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division rapidly deployed to the Grafenwoehr Training Area (GTA) to conduct platoon-level training as part of an Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise (EDRE), May 20-31.
The EDRE tested 2-12 IN's ability to alert, recall and deploy under emergency conditions while also testing the GTA's capability to train the unit.
Deploying a large number of personnel and equipment in a short notice and in a brief amount of time can be challenging in itself.
"It was the right challenge because we learned a lot from the process," said Dennis as he observed the Soldiers from his battalion conduct a situational training exercise (STX) lane. "We were able to get over here in the time allotted, and we are now postured to conduct excellent training."
Upon arrival to the GTA, the battalion was given a training plan to conduct in an environment they've never trained in.
Due to the fact the operation was an EDRE, Sgt. First Class William Neal had to devise a training plan from scratch, which is not the norm when planning range operations, said the GTA's maneuver branch noncommissioned officer in charge.
"Normally a commander or platoon sergeant comes here with a plan," said Neal. "I would take what they have on paper and make it a reality on a range. Due to the fact it was an EDRE, we developed the product for them to come here and train."
Neal, with 20 years in the infantry, applied his experience and knowledge from working at GTA to provide the light infantry unit a plan that would meet the battalion commander's intent.
"We have probably over 200 tenant units that come here and train, so we see a lot of different plans," Neal explained. "There's good and bad in every plan. I take all the good that most people come here with and add it to a plan that I've already done to make it more challenging."
In addition to executing troop leading procedures, the battalion conducted STX lanes and air medical evacuation with a platoon-level live fire as the culminating event.
"GTA has provided a unique environment where we can exercise the fundamentals of infantry, closing and destroying the enemy," said Dennis. "We really can operate in a truly decisive action environment and that will enable us to be successful for the mission ahead."