By Pfc. Sohn, Joon HyungMarch 6, 2008
The 70th Brigade Support Battalion held the Blacksmith Rodeo to enhance driving skills and confidence in their equipment Feb. 27 at Camp Mobile's airfield.
Fourteen Soldiers paired up in seven two-man teams during the training led by 70th BSB Noncommissioned Officers.
Under combat conditions, rough roads, urgent maneuvers and other circumstances can take place. The ability to keep Soldiers moving in and out of a combat environment is the key to the success of the mission.
"This Driver's Rodeo is open to all Soldiers in the 70th BSB," said Staff Sgt. Rashawn Samuel, Co. B Master Driver, 70th BSB. "Today's participants are from all different types of MOSs. Soldiers who participate get training on all vehicles. We have High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV), Light Medium Tactical Vehicles (LMTV) and a Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) available for this event. Throughout two weeks of training, I expect to have 100-150 Soldiers participating from the battalion."
The objective of the event is to improve driving skills in support of a mission. The event is also a good time to test drivers who do not get an opportunity to demonstrate their skills.
Soldiers practice three kinds of training, alley docking, straight line backing and serpentine. Alley docking is a basic backing up with a trailer into a compact space. The principle is to park the vehicle as straight as possible. Serpentine is a course on maneuvering on winding roads. Soldiers should drive all the way through the course, moving forward and backward. A ground guide is always present for assisting the driver.
"We learned how to check vehicles properly and how to operate all vehicles available in today's event," said Pfc. Michael Harris, Co. A, 70th BSB.
"It was fun to drive a big truck," said Pfc. Molly Lau, Supply, 70th BSB. "Making an S-turn was a hard part, but I learned a lot from this training. I feel like I became an expert driver."