By Spc. Justin Naylor, 2nd BCT PAO, 1st Cav. DivFebruary 17, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas - No matter what your job is in the Army, there is going to be an element of teamwork to what you do.
But for infantry Soldiers, working well as a team can mean the difference between life and death in a combat zone.
For the Soldiers of the Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, squad and team training February 16-17 was an opportunity to practice teamwork while working on their basic infantry skills.
During the first day of the training, Soldiers took part in a total of eight stations that focused on weapon maintenance, engaging with a weapon, performing counter improvised-explosive device measures, reacting to contact, escalation of force rules, and other skills that are vital while on a foot patrol.
"This is a chance for us to make sure the new guys know their jobs," explained Spc. Charles Wright, a Liberty Hills, Texas native and a team leader.
The Soldiers began the training by moving as a squad-sized element through tall brush and lightly forested areas. Upon leaving the forest, Soldiers were engaged by a two-man enemy element, which they had to eliminate or detain.
After successfully defeating the attack, Soldiers continued on to find a weapons cache, and then simulated calling in support from an explosive ordnance disposal team. Lastly, Soldiers encountered an armed but non-threatening civilian on the battlefield, and had to decide how they would handle the situation.
These are the basic skills that all infantrymen need to know how to do, and this is what they will build off of, said Wright.
Once all Soldiers had completed the training lanes and night had fallen, Soldiers began to conduct night patrols in a situation similar to what they had encountered during the day.
"[This training] gave us a chance to work as a squad, which is how we are going to operate," explained Pvt. Zach Mecthel, from Tucson, Ariz. "This helps us get to know how everyone works, and get what we do down to a science. It also gave us an idea of what we need to improve on."
This training provided these Black Jack troopers with the opportunity to see how well they can work together, and identify what they need to improve on to continue to make themselves a more lethal fighting force.