Vaughn Thompson, The Real McCoy Contributor
3rd, 340th Training Support Battalion (TSB) (a.k.a. Archer Battalion)
is one of four training battalions assigned to the 181st Infantry
Brigade. The 181stís primary mission is to provide post-mobilization
training to units deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan through Fort
A Soldier from the 115th Engineer
Company downloads materials for SouthWest Asia Hut construction
at Fort McCoy. The training was coordinated by the 3rd, 340th
Archer Battalionís primary mission is to conduct the culminating
collective training event, the Mission Readiness Exercises (MRX) for
battalion- and brigade-sized elements. Units are trained on their
mission-essential tasks as well as communications, leadership, and the
military decision-making process. The Archer Battalion helps
mobilizing units validate their standing operating procedures and
troop-leading procedures while conducting their mission-specific
operations. They replicate their operating environment overseas as
closely as possible by incorporating the current tactics, techniques
and procedures in that particular area.
3rd, 340th TSB is task organized into four Observer-Controller-Trainer
(OCT) teams, each with a specific area of expertise. OCT teams cover
vertical and horizontal engineer companies, a forward support company,
concrete sections, survey and design sections, and a protective
services detail as well as a construction engineer battalion staff.
The Archer Battalion trains Construction and Route Clearance Engineer
Battalions. With this type of mission, the 181st and the other
battalions within this training organization have combined forces to
make this a truly brigade-wide effort. The Archer Battalion received
tremendous support with OCTs from 1st, 338th TSB, a Green
Force/Opposing Force section from both the 1st, 340th TSB and 2nd,
411th Logistics Support Battalion.
first two months of 2009 were spent preparing for this
engineer-specific training. This doctrine-based training focused on
force structure, equipment, battlefield awareness and command support
relationships. In response to the changing operating picture and
increased cultural awareness, the Archer Battalion developed realistic
scenarios focused on helping the unit understand Iraqi and Afghani
culture and customs. Each scenario brought the training unit into
contact with Iraqi/Afghani police and army as well as local nationals,
which required them to use their assigned interpreters. They also have
demonstrated a level of proficiency in dealing with the customs and
courtesies to enhance efforts in counter insurgency.
844th Engineer Battalionís MRX concluded in May, after which the
unit was validated for deployment. Each section within the Archer
Battalion provided assistance in making this training event a success.
The exercise gave the training unit candid feedback and enabled its
chain of command to improve upon their performance.
Archer Battalion replicates the unitís higher brigade headquarters,
responsible for establishing a leadership role, maintaining the
battlefield common operating picture and issuing orders for their
subordinate headquarters to execute.
act as a higher-level commander, adjacent unit commander, or liaison
officer receiving tactical operations order briefings if required.
181st Brigade has worked closely with the Fort McCoy Garrison making
the 844th Engineer Battalion MRX a great team effort.
844th Engineer Battalion provided the manpower while the installation
provided the material resources to complete several improvement
projects. Some of the projects include building Southwest Asia huts in
the training areas, preparation of a site on Young Air Assault Strip
(YAAS) where the unit conducted clearing and grubbing operations of a
large area for a future building; and also resurfaced an additional
200 meters of road. Additionally, the concrete detachment built
sidewalks and flatwork in the vicinity of the ChalleNGe Academy.
company built the first HESCO Bastions on Contingency Operating
Location (COL) Freedom to better simulate a COL in-theater.
the survey and design section performed quality control checks of the
job sites and developed future site plans at both YAAS and Badger Drop
(Thompson is the 3rd,
340th Battalion S-4 (Supply) and Logistics Trainer.)