By Spc. Jerod HathawayJuly 17, 2017
Members of the Army's 10th Mountain Division, the Air Force and the National Guard came together to conduct joint-training exercise "Shooter Focus" from July 10 through July 17, 2017, at the Adirondack Air-to-Ground Gunnery Range on Fort Drum, N.Y.
The purpose of the exercise was to train, validate, and prepare 6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, for any future operations that may arise.
The squadron conducted an aerial gunnery alongside other elements performing ground operations.
Army infantry and engineer units from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, the Air Force and the National Guard all came together to support the joint-training exercise.
"It's a really special opportunity for us," said Army 1st Lt. Michael Harayda, a fire-support officer assigned to Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 2nd BCT. "The ability to work with subject-matter experts in the Air Force is something we don't get to do often."
Harayda, alongside his fire-support team, worked with Air Force joint terminal attack controllers.
These airmen direct the action of combat aircraft engaged in close air support and other offensive air operations from a forward position.
6th Squadron conducted aerial reconnaissance, aerial security, and attack missions for squadron validation while providing close air support.
"Working with the Air Force gets us ready to go downrange," said Army Sgt. Tyler Platanella, a fire- support non-commissioned officer assigned to Bravo Company, 2-87 IN.
Platanella's Soldiers normally train with indirect-fire assets on the ground such as artillery and mortar units. Working with Airmen provided his Soldiers the chance to learn how to direct A-10 Thunderbolt 2 aircraft, F-16 fighter aircraft and various other fixed-wing aircraft.
"This training provides a really special one-on-one training opportunity that's really going to make these guys go above and beyond in the future." Harayda said.
This exercise not only prepared 6-6 CAV for future combat operations, but it also provided an opportunity Soldiers and Airmen to work together in a combined-arms environment.