SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, HI. – Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division executed an Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise (EDRE) training mission Dec. 9-10, which culminated with the unit air assaulting into Kauai, Hawaii, and conducting a mission to eliminate a small group of rebel forces and secure an international airport.
The purpose of the exercise was to rehearse and evaluate the battalion’s ability to deploy on short notice as part of the 3rd IBCT’s Immediate Response Force.
The scope of the exercise was to have an Immediate Response Company (IRC) from 2-35 IN go through the entire process of being alerted, going through the outload stations on Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii, deploy to a distant location, and conduct a mission at an unfamiliar location.
Once the company was on the ground at their objective, they were to locate key government and military officials inside an emergency bunker and secure the international airport to deter further aggression from the local Rebel Forces.
“We demonstrated our ability to rapidly deploy as well as conduct a mission with limited notification and demonstrate our lethality overall,” said Cpt. Andrew Borrebach, company commander of Alpha Company, 2-35 IN. “It was unique to get to a different island that we haven’t seen before. I’ve been on the islands for three years now so I’ve been to PTA, KTA, and been to pretty much every training facility on this island and the big island, and I didn’t even know there was potential to go to Kauai so it really opens up a door and allows my leaders on the ground to make decisions not knowing the terrain beforehand.”
2-35 IN was alerted at 1 p.m. on December 9 and immediately moved into a deployment preparation timeline for the IRC that was deploying. Approximately two hours later, elements of the company and battalion began to cycle through the outload process of having personal equipment inspected, Soldiers going through the Soldier Readiness Processing (SRP), and unit vehicles and equipment were prepared for deployment. That evening, Soldiers were assembled at the Sgt. Smith Theatre on Schofield Barracks for their pre-deployment briefings and threat brief.
“Once the briefs were done, we were able to get the maps from the shop and as mentioned this was a brand-new range for us, nobody has been there before and it made it more real knowing that it could be a potential if we ever have to deploy somewhere. It may not be somewhere we’ve ever been before so going to another island definitely helped us in the sense,” said 1st Lt. Stephan Kulick, 3rd Platoon Leader, Alpha Company.
At 3 a.m. July 10, the company manifested on Wheeler Army Airfield in preparation for Soldiers to load up and conduct their mission. After the final preparations were complete, Soldiers from Alpha Company deployed to complete their mission objectives.
The first objective was to locate key government and military officials in a known bunker within the international airport and secure the bunker in order to deter local rebel forces from expending their territory. Following the first objective, Alpha Company was to clear north of the bunker and destroy any enemy on the objective in order to secure the international airport.
Sgt. Christa Zimmerman, 2nd Platoon Sergeant, Alpha Company serving as her first time as the roll of a Platoon Sergeant learned a lot and gave her more insights on the planning preparation and responsibilities that a Platoon Sergeant has. She mentioned it was a challenging experience at first to plan and train for the unknown terrain but despite the unknown, her platoon and company had to adapt and overcome the obstacles they faced and complete the mission.