By 1st Lt. Ryan Zimmerman, B/3-6th Air Defense ArtilleryFebruary 21, 2013
FORT SILL, Okla. -- Recently, the Air Defense Artillery Patriot School at 3rd Battalion, 6th ADA planned and executed the first Combined Capstone Exercise (CAPEX) with U.S. and United Arab Emirates soldiers.
The CAPEX is the culminating certification exercise for Soldiers being trained as Patriot Launcher Station Enhanced operator/maintainers.
"The Combined Capstone Exercise provided all students with the unique opportunity to conduct tactical operations with our foreign military partners at a very early stage in their careers," said Sgt. 1st Class Shawn Daly, C Battery, 3-6th ADA, academics noncommissioned officer and missile reload evaluator. "Most air defense artillery noncommissioned officers and officers do not get this opportunity until they deploy."
U.S. and UAE Patriot soldiers endured a tough 10-week, 360-hour advanced individual training course which focused on maintaining, emplacing and reloading the Patriot launcher.
The Soldiers were taught on multiple training devices including the Patriot Interactive Virtual Trainer and the Reconfigurable Table Top Trainer. Both replicate key tasks associated with the Patriot weapon system.
Additionally, Soldiers trained on a prime mover and support equipment such as the M983 HEMTT, M901/M902 Patriot Missile Launching Stations, M985E1 Guided Missile Transporter and a 15 kilo-watt generator set.
Both U.S. and UAE soldiers were tested on their ability to march order and emplace the Patriot launcher as a mixed two-man crew within 25 minutes for each task. Afterward, soldiers were tested on their ability to reload the Patriot launcher using the Guided Missile Transporter as a mixed five-man crew within 60 minutes.
"The CAPEX was not only a great team building and tactical learning experience, but it demonstrated our ability to work together as air defenders," said Daly.
Building partnership capacity is an integral part of reinforcing the commitment and resolve of establishing lasting relationships with international partners.
After completing training using simulation devices and passing multiple written exams, the soldiers demonstrated their proficiency on the Patriot equipment.