HOHENFELS, Germany - Soaring through the sky over Germany, soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, embarked on their final training exercise during their rapid deployment to Grafenwoehr Training Area. They were flown out to Hohenfels Training Area on June 1, 2017, to participate in one of their most realistic training exercises to date, an air assault mission.
The soldiers of 2nd Bn., 12th Inf. Regt., were brought to Germany as part of an emergency deployment readiness exercise, one of the Army's plans to showcase the readiness of soldiers to prepare themselves and deploy on short notice. The battalion was given two weeks to prepare for the deployment and once they got on the ground in Germany, they faced some of the most intense training an infantryman could endure.
In the beginning of this training the infantrymen with the 2nd Bn., 12th Inf. Regt., worked on successfully clearing the UH-60 Black Hawks they would be boarding to fly to Hohenfels. The Black Hawks were supplied by the 2nd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division. After the refresher course on entering and exiting the aircraft they made their way to Hohenfels where they needed to maneuver through the woods covertly as they captured a simulated hostile target in a mock town nearby. Capt. Austin Caroe, commander, Company B, 2nd Bn., 12th Inf. Regt., 2nd IBCT, 4th ID elaborated on his unit's performance.
"We were a brand new crew brought together at the last minute, but ultimately, we were successful in our mission," Caroe said.
The planning process was stressful on such short notice, testing different components to see that a mission like this could be conducted within rigorous time constraints. There had to be planning on the part of the 2nd Bn., 12th Inf. Regt., as far as precise movements and backup maneuvers. Then they needed to work with the 2-10 CAB, which is spread across Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. The 2nd Bn., 12th Inf. Regt., also worked closely with Albanian Special Forces, who provided area reconnaissance for the mission. Caroe explained the planning process.
"We were working on a condensed timeline to bring together multiple partners, which made this mission more challenging than the others we've done," he said.
For some of the soldiers on the ground, this was a first time experience, but they did their duty to the fullest of their ability. Pvt. Noah Zalesky, a rifleman with 3rd platoon, Bravo Company, 2nd Bn., 12th Inf. Regt., 2nd IBCT, 4th ID, who recently arrived to the unit from basic training. He described what it was like to be a part of such a complex mission so soon.
"It was crazy and really fast-paced, but everyone knew what to do and when to do it. That teamwork really made the mission successful," he said.
That kind of commitment to teamwork is what made the entire Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise successful. From the moment these soldiers were given their deployment orders all the way up to conducting combined missions in Germany, the resolve of the 2nd Bn., 12th Inf. Regt., has not lessened. They have pushed themselves to their limits and proved that the Army is ready to go anywhere in the world at any time.