FORT HOOD, Texas-Troopers from 1st Squadron "Tiger," 3rd Cavalry Regiment, participated in an urban training exercise Dec. 7, 2017, officially ending their month-long training exercise, in preparation for the regiment's upcoming rotation at the National Training Center, at Fort Irwin, California early next year.
The mission begins in the early afternoon, under dark and looming clouds. Blistering, cold winds bring freezing temperatures and snow flurries as Tiger troopers patiently wait and watch their objectives from their hidden positions.
The last remnants of enemy forces have turned two villages into their own strongholds of resistance and now wait to strike against the Tiger troopers.
The troopers, along with their fellow cavalrymen, are not fooled into believing this will be an easy mission, for their enemy knows they are being watched, that they are being hunted.
Suddenly, there is an explosion and the troopers, along with Strykers, spring forward out of their hiding positions, and ferociously engage the enemy forces.
Tiger troopers quickly bound forward under the cover of smoke while dodging machine gun fire and explosions. Any barriers blocking their path to their objectives are quickly destroyed.
Despite meeting such a fierce and violent opposition, Tiger troopers slowly and methodically cleared building after building, successfully cornering the enemy until finally, it is done.
Enemy forces are defeated. Both villages are secure and Tiger Squadron declares the training a success.
"It was fun and something I haven't done in a long time," said Sgt. Julian Darling, a fire team leader with Apache Troop, about the training exercise.
"Training like this is extremely valuable no matter how many times you do it, you will always get something out of it," added Darling.
Tiger Squadron Commander, Lt. Col. David Rowland, said the scenario his troopers trained through today, is very much what they will be facing during NTC.
"NTC will have huge urban environments and the troopers needed to gain experience fighting in such environments," said Rowland. "The enemy can come from anywhere in an urban environment, so moving from building to building, using cover and having someone cover you while you move is something they need to understand."
Rowland said that with the help of mission intelligence and engineer assets, the training proved invaluable to everyone involved.
"Part of this training is building the intel picture on the backside that allows the teams to collect and feed the intelligence to the infantry Soldiers. That is part of the exercise you can't visually see, but it is something that is very important to the training," said Rowland.
Rowland added that Tiger Squadron was ready for NTC and said he was extremely proud of his troopers and their performance during the training exercise.
Command Sgt. Maj. Kim Mendez, senior enlisted advisor for Tiger Squadron agreed with Rowland and said, "They did an outstanding job today. It was good, effective training."
Mendez added, "We always like more time to train, but I think Tiger Squadron will definitely do well and we are ready to go to NTC."