Soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, executed a company-sized Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise, Courage Ready 18-02 from Fort Wainwright, Alaska to JBLM, July 31 through Aug. 14, 2018.
Upon notification, the company had 72-hours to start its mobilizing. To start an EDRE, units must ensure Soldiers, equipment, personnel and medical data, and family safeguards are in place to begin its mission.
"When called, we can be the ones to respond anywhere in the world, even if it's home-station training with another unit, or to a foreign theater and respond to a real-world threat," said Cpt. Alexander Purdy, Charger Company commander. "As part of Courage Ready 18-02 we were alerted and brought down here to attach to the (4th Bn., 23rd Inf. Reg., 2nd SBCT, 2nd Inf. Div.), and integrate with them for a tactical mission."
"It's a new experience for me, I've never had to do this before," Purdy added. "We definitely learned a lot as far as the new unit coming into a unit that always works together. We learned how they work, how they think, how their staff operates, and how the commander thinks.
"For the Soldiers, it has been pretty eye-opening to reinforce readiness at their level. We need to be ready to fight tonight and always be ready to be that credible fighting force to answer the nation's call," Purdy concluded.
Readiness is the Army's number one priority. As such, an EDRE is a realistic and stressful training aid, used to identify an organization's strengths and areas needing improvement.
"Being here for Courage Ready, we practiced a rapid deployment, quick notification 'hey, you guys are leaving, let's go' and we had to get over here as fast as possible," said Spc. Christian Garcia, an infantryman from Charger Company. "While here, we did a platoon live-fire, we worked on platoon maneuvers, as a company and as a platoon. We also did squad tactics, squad training, how to occupy a patrol base, a platoon raid and it was really good."
Units consistently practice possible scenarios that enhance skillsets, strengthen unit cohesion, and improve tactical proficiency.
"Being an infantryman isn't like riding a bike," said Spc. Kevin Stevens, an infantryman from Charger Company. "These are skills that are perishable, it's very important to conduct exercises like Courage Ready. The more you practice your job, the more lethal you become and the more coherent you become as a team, a squad, a platoon, and as a company."