By Staff Sgt. Cody HardingJanuary 29, 2019
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division conducted live-fire exercises in the trenches of Fort Campbell's Training Area Jan. 15 to Jan. 20.
The exercises, which tested the battalion's ability to breach, clear and organize in tight spaces, allowed the Soldiers to help build their team and unit cohesion, clear a large area of enemy forces and defend against a counterattack.
Alpha Company 2-506, better known as "Easy Company," is known widely for its storied history for actions during WWII, from the airborne operations in support of Operation Overlord in Normandy to the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne. Pvt. David Montoya, a squad automatic weapon gunner in Easy Company has a direct connection to the past through his great uncle who served in the 506th PIR during WWII.
"I love being in Easy Company," Montoya said. "The [non-commissioned officers] are good motivators and guided me through the exercise."
The exercise required each platoon to tactically move through the woods until they made contact with simulated enemy forces, and then utilize their sappers to breach concertina wire and other obstacles. Once the platoon breached the obstacles they needed to clear the trenches and successfully defend against a counter attack.
Staff Sgt. Cale Buck, a squad leader in Easy Company, was proud of the work done throughout the training exercise and the skills demonstrated by his soldiers.
Their training also included elements of the 21st Brigade Engineer Battalion, which provided a demolition team to give the units training on combined arms synchronization. Using a fence picket and five pounds of explosives, the engineers breached obstacles, provided security for moving forces, and directed the squads into the trenches before heading down to take up the rear element.
Capt. Charles Bird, the Company Commander of Easy Company, was enthusiastic about his company's success during the challenging environment of the exercise.
"Easy Company conducted an excellent training event," said Bird. "Our platoons have displayed their proficiency in synchronization of fire and maneuver. The Company is now better prepared for JRTC [Joint Readiness Training Center] and further ready to deploy, close with, and destroy their enemies."