GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- "The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war," said Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., leader of coalition forces during the 1991 Gulf War. This hallmark of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division was on full display as they trained with all their heavy weaponry at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany on May 30, 2017.
The heavy weapons the Soldiers brought to Germany showcased the range of awesome firing power they have to offer. Showcasing many of the weapons that are part of their regular arsenal, the 2-12th utilized the TOW (Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided or wireless) missile system, the FGM-148 Javelin, and the AT-4, all of which are anti-tank weapons.Capt. Mario Gutierrez, the commander of Company A, 2-12th spoke on earlier training his troops had on these weapons, which ultimately factored into the day's mission.
"We get to simulate this sort of thing, and live fires are not opportunities that come often, so it's good to get to do this training," he said.
The Soldiers of the 2-12th were selected to be a part of the Army's emergency deployment readiness exercise. This exercise is conducted to ensure that units have the ability to deploy overseas on short notice, and to be an effective fighting force immediately.
The Soldiers of the 2-12th have proven that, while not easy, they can deploy overseas rapidly and effectively. Since entering the country two weeks ago they've conducted myriad drills that pushed them to their mental and physical limits. This exercise with anti-tank missiles tested their gunnery skills against tanks and other armored vehicles, and the soldiers succeeded with numerous hits against the imaginary enemy targets.Pvt. Jason Kelbaugh, an infantryman with Company A, 2-12th spoke on his success firing the Javelin during the exercise.
"I'm proud to say the missile was effective," he said.
The hard work of the soldiers didn't go unnoticed. Maj. Gen. Timothy McGuire, the deputy commanding general of US Army Europe, paid a visit to recognize the 2-12th for their hard work in not only getting to Germany on short notice, but their proficiency on the firing range. He made note of the special efforts of every soldier participating in this EDRE, and even recognized some of the outstanding soldiers at the range with a special USAREUR coin.
The Soldiers of the 2-12th are starting to wind down their month-long trip to Germany, and with limited training opportunities left on this deployment, today's exercise won't soon be forgotten. Pfc. Garret Horst, one of the TOW gunners from Company D, 2-12th, spoke for many of the troops involved in training opportunities like this involving lethal anti-tank missiles.
"I was a bit nervous, but it was awesome," he said.