By Sgt. Lisa VinesJanuary 27, 2019
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Enduring sub-zero temperatures, Soldiers worked a schedule consisting of nothing but train, eat, sleep, repeat. Demanding 12-hour shifts are the standard for Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, during Combined Resolve XI, phase II, near the Camp Aachen training area in Grafenwoehr, Germany, Jan. 15-25, 2019.
Combined Resolve plots Soldiers in combat scenarios against near-peer enemies. Soldiers across the brigade worked nonstop to ensure they are ready to face any potential adversary.
"If I'm not in the TOC [tactical operations center] or on guard duty, I'll be asleep or working on Humvees and tracked vehicles," said U.S. Army Pfc. Cord Peterson, a fire control specialist assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1-82 FA.
In the TOC, personnel maintain constant contact with the M109 Paladin crews and battalion batteries on the firing line.
The fire direction center is the link between the Soldiers on the ground and the TOC.
"We choose the missions, we choose the ammo and where to shoot," said Peterson. "We decide when to shoot it and how to shoot it."
Maintaining communications with the teams on the firing lines is key to a successful mission. In addition to properly engaging a steady link to Soldiers on the firing lines, it is also mission critical to come to the field prepared.
With temperatures reaching 20 below freezing, Soldiers found ways to stay warm. The U.S. Army issued modular sleep system provides comfort in temperatures down to negative 50 degrees Fahrenheit when used in conjunction with various layers of extreme cold weather clothing.
"The field is whatever you make it out to be," said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Pearsall, a cannon crewmember section chief assigned to Bravo Battery, 1-82 FA. "If you come well prepared, you will have an okay time. It's not the best time because we're away from our families but, if you bring a sleeping bag that the Army issued you, at least you won't be cold at night."
Throughout the Atlantic Resolve rotation, Soldiers have had the opportunity to grow and learn. From life lessons to tips on what to pack for the field, no one is going home empty-handed.
"I've learned about talking on the radio, doing charts and maps," said Peterson. "This has shown me how much I've learned throughout the rotation, but there are a lot of things we still need to learn."
Combined Resolve is the big finale of field problems for the Ironhorse Brigade. Soldiers are excited to make plans for when they finally get home.
"I believe it's great training for our guys," said Pearsall. "This is our last field problem, and our guys are excited to finish it."
More than 5,500 service members from across the globe participated in Combined Resolve XI at U.S. Army Europe's Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels training areas from November 2018 to January 2019. The training exercise gives units deployed in support of Atlantic Resolve the opportunity to participate in a combat training environment alongside multinational partners before returning home.