By Staff Sgt. Caitlyn rneAugust 14, 2019
FORT CAMPBELL, KY- Beneath the hot August sun, a roar of generators can be heard and a cluster of camo-nets can be seen as you make your way through the high arching grass approaching Range 62, on Fort Campbell, Kentucky, all signs identifying the 101st Sustainment Brigade 'Lifeliners', Soldiers are hard at work conducting sustainment operations.
However, this is no ordinary brigade training event; Lifeliners' Soldiers are out training in-support-of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) exercise, Operation Eagle Talon II, a 10-day field training exercise, from August 5th to the 16th. This exercise is designed to prepare Soldiers and senior leaders for a series of larger warfighter exercises, which will validate their warfighting skills as a complete fighting force.
Lt. Col. R. Arron Lummer, commander of the 101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Sust. Bde., further explained the purpose and nature of Eagle Talon II, highlighting the benefits an exercise of this magnitude can provide to the brigade.
"Eagle Talon II is a division level command post training exercise that integrates real world training scenarios which provide actual feedback to the command posts that range from receiving reports from subordinate organizations, to conducting their staff processes, and feeding information to commanders who make decisions to reallocate resources to change priorities," Lummer stated. "So it's a very effective way to train your command posts in maneuvering large scale formations and forces without all of those real-world resources being commanded."
Lummer emphasized that the real value of Eagle Talon II for Lifeliners' Soldiers was all of the learning opportunities it presented them.
"This is the first opportunity for our organization to integrate newly assigned key leaders within the battalion's staff warfighting sections to operate in a tactical setting together," said Lummer. "Our teams are learning how to work together and those teams are learning how to work with the bigger team of the entire headquarters. This allows us to maneuver in a safe environment without wasting resources."
Sgt. Cristal Falcon, motor transportation operator and brigade command driver for the 101st Sust. Bde., agreed that participating in Eagle Talon II has helped her hone her military occupational skills.
"Being out here has been very helpful to me and my coworkers in terms of real field hands-on training," Falcon said. "It's definitely more difficult in an austere, field environment, but we've been getting in a lot of good tactical training and I know this will help to better prepare us for when we are called upon for our next deployment."
Capt. Andrew Paulin, commander of the 101st Headquarters and Headquarters Company 'Angry Dogs', 101st STB, went on to say how proud he was of how his Soldiers have been performing during the field exercise, despite austere and challenging conditions.
"The company and our Soldiers are performing great, they continue to rise to the challenge despite what Mother Nature throws at them," Paulin said. "They truly understand what we are doing and why we are doing it and that makes me proud to be their commander."