BOISE, Idaho – The 2nd of the 116th Combined Arms Battalion conducted an extended drill March 2–April 1 at the Orchard Combat Training Center to build team proficiency before deploying in support of Operation Spartan Shield later this year.
“The battalion did a phenomenal job coming together as a team,” said Maj. Sam McDowell, 2-116th CAB commander.
M1A2 Abrams and M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle crews conducted Table VI crew qualification tables. They will build off their crew-level proficiencies to conduct platoon qualifications at annual training in May before mobilizing and conducting a combined arms live-fire exercise at Fort Bliss, Texas.
The unit took advantage of several of OCTC’s 23 training ranges to perform individual weapon and crew-served weapon qualifications, a staff exercise, sniper training, Javelin firing and mortar training to Table III.
The battalion also teamed with the Idaho Army National Guard’s 1st of the 183rd Assault Helicopter Battalion to conduct medevac and combat search and rescue training and air insertion missions on a simulated village at the OCTC.
More than 700 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team Soldiers, comprising a task force led by the 2-116th CAB, will deploy to Southwest Asia for approximately 12 months in support of OSS later this year. OSS is a joint mission under the United States Central Command and is part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The task force will relieve Task Force Griz, which is led by the 116th CBCT’s 1st of the 163rd CAB and includes Soldiers from the Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Oregon National Guards and augmentees from the Florida National Guard. Idaho Army National Guard Soldiers make up more than 20% of the current task force.
“The Soldiers of the 116th CBCT are training hard and will be prepared for this mission when they deploy,” said Lt. Col. Eric Orcutt, 116th CBCT commander.
The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team previously deployed in support of the Global War on Terror in 2004 and 2010 to Iraq. Idaho National Guard personnel have been supporting the state of Idaho throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and helped the Idaho Department of Lands battle wildfires across the state last summer. Additionally, more than 400 Idaho Air National Guardsmen deployed to Southwest Asia in the summer of 2020.