By Staff Sgt. Timothy Hughes, 75th Fires BrigadeFebruary 7, 2013
FORT SILL, Okla. -- Soldiers assigned to Task Force South, 3rd Battalion, 13th Field Artillery participated in a two-day personal security detachment and quick reaction force training Jan. 24-25, at Forward Operations Base Little Chicago and FOB Liberty on Fort Sill.
The Soldiers are scheduled to deploy to South America soon where they are slated to aid Operation Continuing Promise by conducting ship-to-sea security duties from aboard the United States Navy Ship Comfort.
"We used the Little Chicago to simulate the ship," said 1st Lt. Kenric Lull, task force operations.
The training tested the Soldiers' ability to respond to various hostile situations they may face while deployed. One scenario featured a personal security team that escorted a doctor from the USNS Comfort to FOB Liberty. While at a foreign national's home, the villagers became aggressive and began to attack the Soldiers.
"They got pinned down in a building," said Sgt. Brandon Huval, quick reaction force team member. "The personal security team's vehicle tires got slashed by one of the villagers."
Once the quick reaction force team members received an order to find and extract the personal security team and the doctor, they rehearsed their mission plan and "sailed" to FOB Liberty.
"We went in blind," said Huval. "We had no radio communications with them. The only thing we knew was their last known position."
The quick reaction force team successfully completed its mission. Less than 20 minutes after its return to Comfort, the security forces resolve was challenged by a crowd of angry demonstrators.
The demonstrations rapidly went from peaceful to hostile. However, the security teams acted quickly and were able to bring the hostilities to a stop.
"There's a lot of moving parts with doing boat security," said Staff Sgt. Brandon Caminero, a personal security detachment team leader.
Unlike most of his Task Force South team members, Caminero has experience with working with a different branch of service.
"I've worked with the Navy in Africa doing the same thing [humanitarian-aid missions]," said the Detroit native. "This is what we signed up for. We help make sure everything goes smooth."
In addition to the possible human-threat element, the Soldiers also had to brave the near-freezing Oklahoma temperatures and wind chill.
Lull said the weather conditions helped his staff apply an additional, but necessary amount of stress on the Soldiers. He added the Soldiers will benefit from training in the cold weather which might mirror what they experience while at sea.