By Jacob Hester-HeardFebruary 4, 2019
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Soldiers with the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, executed the second phase of Combined Resolve XI, at the Camp Aachen training area, Grafenwoehr, Germany, January 18, 2019. The Soldiers of the Ironhorse brigade are almost home with their final field problem approaching.
Spc. Adam C. Morgan, a fire control specialist with Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, recalls the latest of his training missions.
"It's been good, we haven't made any mistakes. Everything has been fast, going well, and hopefully this table 18 will be the same way," Morgan said. "Table 18 - we're going to do different fire missions, like illumination, smoke, regular [high explosive], they're going to do call-for-fire and we're going to send fire missions down range," Morgan said.
Morgan has already certified with 1-82 FA two times in the past. This time, he doesn't have any worries.
"I know that we're squared away, we're ready to go. I think if we went overseas right now, we'd be fine," Morgan said. "This is our last field problem, we just want to knock it out."
Other Soldiers took away more specific lessons-learned than just the confidence in their previous trainings, missions and exercises.
Pfc. Thomas Freeland, a combat medic specialist with "Cobra" Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st ABCT, 1st CD, said his most valuable lessons were learned in the foothills and valleys of the Caucasus, at the Vaziani Training Area near Tbilisi, Georgia.
"Notionally, I didn't have all the equipment that was required of me to take care of a notional casualty we had," Freeland said.
While this problem was invented artificially to impart the training value of a rare but real possibility, Freeland didn't skip a beat.
"They didn't have what they needed, so I had to improvise," Freeland said.
Freeland's notional casualty "survived," but this notional exercise caused him to update his own process regardless.
"Now I go through -- not just asking them, but opening up everything they have -- making sure each individual item is where it's supposed to be," Freeland said. "Trust but verify."
Not all of the training was entirely in-house' though. Throughout the rotation, Ironhorse Soldiers training and partnered with NATO allies and shared knowledge, experience, methods and tactics.
Spc. John M. Tierney, an M1 armor crewman with the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st ABCT, 1st CD, recalls his favorite opportunity to work with such partners.
"We got some good training with our Lithuanian friends, shooting their weapons -- and they shot ours -- some good training, building that relationship with them," Tierney said.
Training with allied forces has been some of the most beneficial moments for his personal readiness during the rotation, Tierney said.
"It's been a lot of good training with our allies, building that relationship," Tierney said. "We learned some good things ... overall a great experience here in Europe."