By Spc. Sharla Lewis, 3BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.September 20, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas -Soldiers with 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division hosted leaders from throughout the Central Texas area, Sept. 10, in order to enhance military and community relations.
Greywolf troopers displayed vehicles, equipment and weapons; demonstrating the uses of the post's Warrior Skills Training Center, one of many tour stops.
Members of 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment and 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment held demonstrations of the small-arms simulator, close combat tactical trainer, roll-over simulator, and M1A2 tank and Bradley fighting vehicle simulators and displays.
Guests crawled over and in a tank and a Bradley fighting vehicle as Soldiers explained the components of the vehicles and answered questions. Visitors also had the opportunity to try on the 80-plus pounds of "lightweight" combat gear of today's Soldiers.
"One of the most common questions we answered was about the weight of the gear," said Sgt. 1st Class Shane Hanover, a cavalry scout with A Troop, 6th Sqdn., 9th Cav. Regt. from Davenport, Iowa.
Next, the visitors observed as Soldiers performed small arms marksmanship and assault-firing exercises in one of the facility's simulated firing ranges. Before moving on, the visitors were able to fire various weapons at the range.
Councilman Dan Meigs, from Georgetown, Texas, fired the .50 caliber automatic machine gun and said it gave him a fresh perspective of Fort Hood.
"That was my first time ever firing something like that," he said. "I'm honored to be invited. This gives me a lot of respect for our service members."
At the final station, guests experienced being part of a dismounted patrol, as well as a tank and Bradley Fighting Vehicle crew, at the facility's close combat tactical trainer.
"It was cool to see the excitement that they had about being in the tank," said Spc. Jonathan Pyles, a tanker with C Co., 1st Bn., 12th Cav. Regt. "They were surprised about how much small space and how much knowledge you have to have to operate it."
He said the visit was crucial to maintain military and community relations.
"They don't know why we're here, and if they can get a better understanding, then it helps them care more and be more interested in what we do," said the Bradenton, Fla.