By Brian Schlumbohm, Fort Wainwright PAOApril 29, 2010
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - Soldiers from the 5th squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, participated in their first major training event since their return from deployment.
The week-long event took place at the Yukon Training Area located some 15 miles off the Richardson Highway in the hills south of Eielson Air Force Base.
Led by Lt. Col. David Raugh, Squadron squadron commander, 5-1st, nine platoons from the 5-1st stayed in field for a week honing their reconnaissance skills.
"What we're training is section-level fundamentals of reconnaissance and security," Raugh said.
Soldiers train in three main aspects of reconnaissance: route reconnaissance, the process of scouting out safe paths for troop movements; area reconnaissance, the infiltration and observance of an objective; and area security, the establishing of an area for early warning and defense of a sector.
Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph McFarlane, 5-1st command sergeant major, described the training areas in which the Soldiers were working as "lanes," spaced apart from each other to allow different scenarios of reconnaissance to be practiced without interference from other troops.
Within these lanes are hills, roads and forest in which small mock villages are set up as objectives for reconnaissance teams. Each day two of the troops performed missions out on the lanes while the 3rd third troop provided an opposing force in the form of villages and native peoples.
Missions of reconnaissance began as Soldiers and Strykers moved into positions far enough from a village to not be detected. Soldiers then "garaged" or concealed their Strykers and sent Soldiers out on foot towards the mock villages in small teams to set up observation posts. Concealed, they watched and reported back as much information as possible.
As part of the simulation, Soldiers from the opposing force are dressed in native attire, simulating foreign cultures which may be encountered at an actual deployed location. As the actors played out their roles in the village, the reconnaissance team observed, recorded and sent the information back to be evaluated by command.
Various scenarios were played out as the concealed patrol teams performed their reconnaissance procedures.
The objectives of the week were "to train the basic reconnaissance and security tasks and missions, and identify what additional retraining is needed," Raugh said. "We have achieved our training objectives and the men are performing magnificently."