[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                        June 26, 2009
Mobilization

1st, 340th supports units 
preparing to deploy

By 1st Lt. Justin Heinze, The Real McCoy Contributor

The 1st, 340th Training Support Battalion (TSB), with headquarters in Arden Hills, Minn., has provided training to mobilizing Soldiers at Fort McCoy since 2003. The unit is aligned with the 181st Infantry Brigade, a training support brigade of Division West, First Army, which has the mission to conduct the post-mobilization training and subsequently validates units for these deployments at Fort McCoy.

Photo: Sgt. Travis Blackborn Jr., an observer-controller-trainer for the 1st, 340th Training Support Battalion, 181st Infantry Brigade makes a point during Humvee Egress Assistance Training at Fort McCoy. (File photo)
Sgt. Travis Blackborn Jr., an observer-controller-trainer for the 1st, 340th Training Support Battalion, 181st Infantry Brigade makes a point during Humvee Egress Assistance Training at Fort McCoy. (File photo)

Currently, the 1st, 340th TSB is responsible to guide several units through the mobilization training process. This includes Army Reserve and Army National Guard units as well as Air Force, Coast Guard and Navy units as part of Joint Service Training Operations. Additionally, the battalion provides the following training to all mobilizing units.

The 32 Army Warrior Tasks (AWT) and 12 battle drills, high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle (HMMWV) Egress Assistance Trainer (HEAT), language training, individual and crew-served weapons training, and leader development briefings.

Deploying Army units complete most of the AWT training prior to arriving at Fort McCoy. However, 100 percent of a unitís Soldiers must complete these tasks, and 1st, 340th personnel assure that this happens during training lanes conducted at Fort McCoy.

HMMWV rollovers have been one of the top killers of U.S. Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The armor added to tactical vehicles has drastically increased the risk for a rollover to occur.

The Army devised the HEAT system to help improve Soldiersí knowledge and ability to react during a vehicle rollover.

Fort McCoy has been instrumental in obtaining two HEAT systems and has provided a new facility this year to ensure the best training is available for deploying Soldiers.

The 1st, 340th TSB uses the HEAT system to help Soldiers learn how to rapidly and safely egress from a vehicle that has rolled over. The trainer is a HMMWV that rotates a full 360 degrees to simulate a rollover.

At first the Soldiers are tilted to the critical angle before a rollover will most likely occur, allowing the Soldiers to actually know what it will feel like in a controlled environment. Then the true test comes and Soldiers are rotated 360 degrees for a few turns to allow them to react to an actual rollover drill.

One of the important training events for all deploying Soldiers is to become knowledgeable in 15 key phrases of the Arabic language.

In the past, language training never played as large a role in a Soldierís deployment as it does today.

One of the important training events for all deploying Soldiers is to become knowledgeable in 15 key phrases of the Arabic language. The 1st, 340th TSB has a team of linguists that provide this training to Soldiers.

The language team offers three tiers of training. Tier 1 training provides Soldiers with a basic knowledge and testing of 15 standardized phrases. Tier 2 and Tier 3 training allows units to receive additional instructor-led language training to support their missions.

The most-important aspect of this training is the ability of all Soldiers to recite and understand the 15 Arabic Common Phrases that include: "What direction?," "Stop!," "Hands Down!," "Drop your weapons!," "Stop your vehicle!," "Show me your identification card!," "Are you in possession of weapons?," "Do you need medical attention?," "What is your name?," "Let me search your car," "Excuse me/Iím sorry," "Do you need help?," "Do you understand?," "Put your weapon down," and "You can leave."

Personnel from the 1st, 340th TSB are further emphasizing politeness to enhance counterinsurgency effectiveness.

Soldiers need to show respect to Iraqi and Afghani citizens to enhance relations and cooperation.

Additionally Soldiers have specific courses for the Afghan language. New devices such as the Voice Response Translator and Speech Translation Device will allow Soldiers to have a computer system known as the IraqComm Laptop system to translate both Arabic into English and vice versa.

As technology evolves so will the training at Fort McCoy, and the 1st, 340th trainers will help ensure deploying Soldiers receive the most current training available.

The 1st, 340th TSB has a weapons training team (WTT) that provides top-notch instruction on all individual and crew-served weapons systems. Training is provided on common weapons systems, such as the M-4, M-9, M-16, M-249, M-240B, M-2 and MK-19.

After the Soldiers have the fundamentals down, the WTT introduces them to the Engagement Skills Trainer Shooter (EST), a computer-based system.

The EST places Soldiers into a real world scenario with realistic weapons systems. This system allows Soldiers to hone their shooting skills.

The Soldiers are tested on their ability to use their weapon systems effectively in a battle where the computer-animated enemies shoot and move closer to them on screen.

This quality training greatly increases the Soldiers effectiveness with both their individual and crew-served weapons.

The last training venue the 1st, 340th TSB is responsible for is mandatory briefs that Soldiers must receive before going overseas.

All Soldiers receive these mandatory briefings.

Additionally the unit leadership receives leader development briefings. Topics covered range from Force Protection, Rules of Engagement, operations security and Subversion and Espionage Directed Against the Army to leadership training, which covers Risk Management and the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP).

Soldiers of the 1st, 340th TSB are vital to the training mission of the 181st Infantry Brigade.

The continued success of the mobilization training is the direct result of hard work by the Soldiers of this battalion and many other entities on Fort McCoy.

(Heinze is the commander for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st, 340th Training Support Battalion, 181st Infantry Brigade.)

 

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