By Pfc. Angel Washington, 4th BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.April 6, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas -Troops assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division gathered around Owl Creek Assault Course, March 29, to conduct fire team training to prepare them for their upcoming deployment to Iraq.
Each fire team consisted of four Soldiers, which built a foundation for troops to understand the fire team basics prior to working in larger groups.
"We start with the lowest level of training so they can learn how to work to together as a team," said Waco, Texas native 1st Lt. Tyrie Carroll.
By working on moving techniques, reacting to contact and understanding arm signals, troops familiarized themselves with the procedures of functioning in a fire team.
"New Soldiers are given the opportunity to see how our platoon works," said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Duncan, an infantryman from Tri-Cities, Washington. "It definitely gives them the confidence to shoot live rounds if real life scenarios were to happen and it helps fire team leaders to understand each part in their fire team."
The crews moved tactically through the range, communicating only by the various hand movements given by the leader of the group prior to the actual engagement of enemy pop up targets.
While Soldiers engaged targets, they maneuvered safely by maintaining muzzle awareness and being attentive to where each Soldier moved.
"Working as a team, you get to know each other's thinking and movements while learning how the NCO's (non-commissioned officers) want you to move," said Spc. Christopher Paddick, a scout from San Antonio, Texas.
Along with conducting concurrent training, leadership personnel continuously corrected Soldiers mistakes to ensure they received the most from the training exercise.
"NCO's can evaluate where everyone is at and if there's a problem, they can help get them to where they need to be before deployment," said Paddick. "If we get it straightened out now, it makes it better for our deployment."
What started out as a day with Soldiers working together to prep for the night ahead, quickly turned into Soldiers working together to complete the mission at hand. While some troops had no experience in conducting fire team training, other Soldiers were quite knowledgeable from previous training and past deployments. As a team, Soldiers strengthened their weaknesses and gained the essentials that will equip them to be successful during their deployment this fall.