FORT BUCHANAN, PR- Soldiers from the 268th Transportation Company, U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico, conducted a Military Operations on Urban Terrain training, July 14, at Fort Buchanan, as part of their Annual Training.
""We must practice these skills continuously, so we can be ready to be mobilized anytime, anywhere, "said 1st Sgt. Rafael Mass, from Arecibo, who has served in the Army Reserve for 19 years.
The MOUT training is a requirement for all troops assigned to the largest federal U.S. Army command in the Caribbean, as the current combat environment primarily takes place in the middle of cities.
As a matter of fact, one of the preferred insurgents' tactics is to operate in the middle of civilians.
"The majority of the military operations taking place today are in streets, building and cities, within narrow spaces and in the middle of the city. This training prepares us to effectively operate in that environment, "said 1st Lt. Juan Ortiz, company commander, and who has been deployed to Iraq and Somalia.
Despite the fact that the majority of the Soldiers in the command have logistical military occupational specialties, being able to tactically enter a building in urban zones, is critical for all Soldiers, regardless of their specialty.
"As Soldiers we could be required to perform this type of missions," added Mass.
Meanwhile, Soldiers were motivated with the training.
"This training saves lives. It helps us to work in a team, in very stressful situations," said Sgt. Angel Medina from Trujillo Alto.
The 268th Transportation Company is one of the many units that compose the Army Reserve in Puerto Rico. The Army Reserve has approximately 5,000 Soldiers assigned, with an approximate yearly economic impact of $285 million.
Since 2001, the Army Reserve-Puerto Rico has mobilized 100 percent of its formations in support of the needs of the Nation. In the upcoming months, Soldiers from different units in the Army Reserve-Puerto Rico will be deployed to the Middle East, Latin America, and Europe, among other areas around the globe.