By Tom Michele, The
Real McCoy Contributor
Nearly 200 trainers from the 174th
Infantry Brigade of Fort Drum, N.Y., are at Fort McCoy to assist with
mobilization training of the 81st Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT).
Sgt. 1st Class Scott Chesser
(right) of the 174th Infantry Brigade gives last minute
instructions to Soldiers from the 81st HBCT before a convoy
exercise. (Photo by Tom
174th is augmenting the trainers of the 181st Infantry Brigade in
preparing the Washington Army National Guard troops, known as the
"Ravens," for deployment in support of Operation Iraqi
174th’s trainers primarily are conducting the eight-day Mission
Rehearsal Exercises for the 161st Infantry and 185th Armor of the 81st
HBCT. The exercise, a major component in mobilization training at
McCoy, tests the mobilizing unit’s skills and mission readiness.
the exercise, the 161st and 185th will serve as the security force for
the Army in the Contingency Operating Location (COL) Liberty area at
Fort McCoy. The Ravens will protect logistics convoys, perform route
security, escort and site security missions and perform other missions
as directed by higher headquarters. They will deal with opposing
forces, civilians on the battlefield, vehicle malfunctions,
disorientation along the convoy route, etc.
John Palo, 174th operations officer, said, "We will train those
Soldiers on those missions."
161st and 185th will be issued orders to direct them to situations
similar to what they can expect to perform in-theater," Palo
said. "We will be watching their battle staffs perform, including
their leaders making decisions. With this training, we want them to
leave a better unit than when they arrived at McCoy. We want to build
up unit cohesion. We want to increase their confidence and ability to
perform their mission."
job is to mentor and assess and provide feedback and to tell them, ‘do
you think you could better do it this way, or another way?’ We will
monitor and control this training. We will do ‘injects,’"
Palo said. Injects will include placing improvised explosive devices
on a road, creating simulated injuries to Soldiers where they must
treat each other for wounds, recover damaged vehicles and do it
simultaneously while under fire. "That’s combat," Palo
emphasized, "We will train them so they follow their standing
of our Soldiers is important because it is important to the people of
Iraq. It is their country and we are there to assist them. They need
our help. We can provide a secure environment allowing them to rebuild
their country," Palo said.
important for 174th Soldiers to help train mobilizing Soldiers because
we want every mobilizing Soldier to return to their homes safely. That’s
important to their families and to their communities," Palo said.
job as Soldiers and as trainers is important because America has asked
us to do this," Palo said. "We have been tasked to train our
fellow Soldiers and prepare them to support Operations Iraqi Freedom
and/or Enduring Freedom."
(Michele is a public affairs specialist for Eagle Systems and
Services Inc., contractor for CONUS Support Base Services.)