FORT STEWART, Ga. – Georgia Army National Guard Soldiers with the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team conducted an Exportable Combat Training Capability exercise June 18.
The urban operation for Soldiers assigned to Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, and the 177th Brigade Engineer Battalion focused on breaching doors and clearing rooms.
The U.S. Army National Guard's XCTC program enables brigade combat teams to achieve the platoon readiness to deploy, fight and win battles worldwide.
Training in urban operations allows unit commanders to ensure Soldiers can carry out their mission and establishes internal procedures for operations, education and training at the platoon level.
"Historically, urban warfare has actually been more common than rural warfare," said retired Lt. Col. Louis DiMarco, an assistant professor of military history at the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. "The transition to urban warfare came around the time of Napoleon Bonaparte in the late 1700s and early 1800s."
Over time, the Army has successfully evolved, improved and executed many urban operations.
"I feel like this training prepares me and improves my readiness by giving me that real-world effect without being outside the wire," said Spc. Josiah Pierce, combat engineer, Bravo Company, 177th Brigade Engineer Battalion. "We get all the necessary training and learn the value of being patient."
XCTC enables Soldiers to train how they fight.
"We want to be proficient in our squad and platoon operations," said Cadet Michael Sandrin, acting platoon leader, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion 121st Infantry Regiment. "When we go to further training missions, stateside and deployments overseas, we're more than proficient in operating as a platoon with other units."
Synergy is vital to the Army, and it is imperative to work with other troops to complete the mission.
"We've worked with our units along with other units since XCTC has started," said Pierce. "It gives us the experience of getting to know and understand the chemistry of different people."
One of the Army's core values is personal courage. Throughout the Army's history, Soldiers of all ranks have needed to overcome challenges to complete their mission. These challenges promote character, competence and camaraderie.
"This is a huge leadership opportunity," said Sandrin. "Even for privates and specialists, they will have the opportunity to be team leaders and complete missions side by side with everyone."
Sandrin, a University of North Georgia cadet, said he was grateful to experience his first real opportunity to lead a platoon.
The XCTC was also a first for Spc. Dallas Montgomery, combat engineer, Bravo Company, 177th Brigade Engineer Battalion.
"It has been a great learning experience for me, and even though I'm not proficient in every skill, I feel confident I will be," Montgomery said.