By Sgt. Kyle Richardson, 41st Fires Bde. PAOSeptember 15, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas-Within seconds of the two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters touching down, the quick reaction force teams jumped out and hit the dirt, forming a 360 degree perimeter.
Soldiers with Battery A, 26th Field Artillery Regiment, (Target Acquisition Battery), 41st Fires Brigade, had the mission to clear a local band of "insurgents" during cordon and search mission on North Fort Hood, Texas, Sept. 10.
The troops shifted gears in training, from providing target acquisitions for brigade fires and counter fires, when the command received a call to assist a California National Guard unit with tactical air operations and insertion procedures.
"The training we received benefited both units on multiple levels," said Warrant Officer Jordan Kness, a radar platoon leader with Btry. A from Loveland, Colo. "First off, this training will help the Soldiers become more familiar with the UH-60s, which will help for our upcoming field problem where we will do some casualty evacuations. We're actually going to get some helios coming in to do some aerial CASEVACs with us.
The training also allowed the National Guard Soldiers to prepare their tactical training procedures and receive additional flight time hours.
"This is a good way to teach Soldiers how multiple services come together," said Sgt. 1st Class Mathew Fillnow, Btry. A's radar platoon sergeant from San Diego. "The training allowed the Soldiers to become more familiar with an overall picture of platoon and battery level security."
After a thorough walk through of the Black Hawks, the Soldiers stood motivated and ready in anticipation of the flight and a chance to train on something new.
"I think the training we received was good," said Spc. Jamel Abdulaziz, radio operator specialist and Cleveland native. "You never know when you would need training like this over in Iraq and Afghanistan."
For some Soldiers, the cordon training provided a chance for first-time flight experiences and at the same time strengthen traditional training standards.
"It was good to go out and train on this," said Pfc. Blake A. Essex, a Carmel, Ind. native and radar repair specialist with Btry. A. "I haven't done this kind of training since basic. It was very helpful to have that reinforcement training. Plus, this was my first time flying, it's an amazing experience; it's like nothing else."