ZAGAN, Poland -- At 3 a.m. on Monday morning, Soldiers from 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, took part in an Initial Ready Task Force (IRTF) exercise, at Johanna Range, Poland, May 20, 2019.
"This morning we received an alert to prepare us for deployment operations," said 1st Sgt. Andrew Macvey, Delta Troop, 1st Sqdn., 4th Cav. Regt., 1st ABCT, 1st Inf. Div. "We quickly gained accountability of our personnel, which was relatively simple because we happen to be in a field exercise. We immediately transitioned from miles equipment and field training status to be prepared to deploy."
An IRTF is a no-notice, rapid-deployment exercise designed to test a unit's ability to alert, marshal, and deploy forces and equipment for contingency operations or an emergency disaster.
Once all personnel were accounted for, Macvey explained, they worked to ensure that all communication systems were up and operational, enabling seamless communication between each other and higher headquarters. Once communication was up, the weapons systems were mounted and checked for functionality.
"IRTF exercises are important because they allow the unit to determine if their policies and procedures are being effective in how we manage personnel and equipment," said Macvey.
This deployment readiness exercise helps us prepare for exercises like Combined Resolve by ensuring that each and every crew member understands where they should be as a piece of a larger puzzle and how his or her actions play into the units readiness, added Macvey.
"I think that this [exercise] reflects what can happen in real life," said Staff Sgt. Jason Tanner, a platoon sergeant for Apache Troop, 1st Sqdn., 4th Cav. Regt., 1st ABCT, 1st Inf. Div. "Call up times could be at 0330 in the morning or at 1600 in the afternoon."
The Devil Brigade is part of more than 6,000 U.S. regionally-allocated Soldiers in Germany, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania, on a nine-month rotation, in support of Atlantic Resolve. Atlantic Resolve provides ready, combat-credible forces through multinational training and security cooperation activities.