GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Soldiers assigned to Nemesis Troop, 4th Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment conducted an air assault in support of a counter reconnaissance training exercise Oct. 26, 2017 in the Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany.
The Regiment, also known as a Stryker Brigade because their main mode of travel is in several Stryker Combat Vehicle variants, has been assigned a new Mission Essential Task List from the Army. A task added to 4th Squadron's mission is to be able to conduct air assaults to increase the Soldiers' mobility around the battlefield.
"The benefit of having our team air assault into a mission enables us to maneuver into the fight at a much quicker rate," said Sgt. Cody Anderson, a team leader in Nemesis Troop.
Alpha Company, 214th General Support Aviation Battalion, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade flew in UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to support the training. Before being flown into the fight, the Soldiers received safety instructions from the crew and familiarized themselves with getting on and off the helicopter with full battle uniform, gear and weapons.
"This allows them to basically have the experience of getting on and off a (helicopter) to be able to quickly gain situational awareness upon exiting the (helicopter) then moving directly into a live fire," said 1st Lt. Joshua Cooksey, executive officer for Nemesis Troop.
Once the initial training was complete and they received their orders, the Soldiers loaded into the helicopters and flew to their objective. To mimic a real life battle scenario, targets popped up for the Soldiers to engage when they disembarked.
"(The Soldiers) did phenomenally well, they were knocking out targets; everything they engaged, they were hitting," said Cooksey. "So, they did very well with their lethality."
The gained operational reach by helicopter also gives the unit the ability to send reconnaissance elements forward so they can observe the objective before Stykers are moved up or if the vehicles cannot be driven through the terrain, Cooksey explained.
Capt. Matthew Whitehouse, commander for Nemesis Troop, is grateful for the opportunity for his Soldiers to train with aviation support.
"It was great having our aviation out here and allowing some of our enlisted junior Soldiers to get some experience on the (helicopter) and see what it is like for combined arm maneuver to be orchestrated and when it all comes together, what effects they can bring," he said.