[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                    October 9, 2009

3rd, 335th TSBN helps train
Soldiers for overseas missions

By Capt. William B. Curto, 3rd, 335th Training Support Battalion

The 3rd, 335th Training Support Battalion (TSBN), also known as the “Blackhawks,” provides training to National Guard and Reserve units at Fort McCoy that are deploying in support of Overseas Contingency Operations.

The Blackhawk Battalion is mobilized from Fort Sheridan, Ill. The majority of the Soldiers are from the Chicago area, and the gaps are filled by active-duty personnel, as well as National Guard and Reserve Operation Warrior Trainer (OWT) Soldiers from all over the United States.

The 3rd, 335th TSBN has a few key areas of emphasis. Observer-Controller-Trainer (OCT) teams plan and conduct post mobilization training in accordance with training guidance from U.S. Army Forces Command, First Army, and Southwest Asia, and the 181st Infantry Brigade commander’s intent.

Liaison Officers (LNOs) decipher the training guidance and steer mobilizing units through the post mobilization process to get the units into theater.

The LNO team is also responsible for developing, planning, and executing units’ Mission Readiness Exercises. This realistic, kinetic training event tests the units in their wartime mission — culminating their individual and collective training in a five- to seven-day event.

Finally, the company and battalion staff do their best to keep the unit functioning and mission ready.

The Blackhawk OCT teams conduct six distinct training events: Short Range Marksmanship, Live-Fire Shoot House, Counter IED-Defeat, Light Scout Gunnery, Mounted Combat Patrol (MCP), and an MCP Live-Fire Exercise.

This spring and summer, the Blackhawk LNOs have assisted 11 units comprised of more than 700 Soldiers during the mobilization process.

The OCT teams have trained more than 5,200 Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen on the various training lanes since this spring, with a few thousand more at the doorstep during the fall and winter.

As the Overseas Contingency Operations continue to change, so does the mission of the 3rd, 335th TSBN. The unit’s mission is to train Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen on post mobilization tasks to ready them for their mission in-theater.

This winter will mark the first time that the 181st and the 3rd, 335th TSBN will conduct post mobilization training in winter conditions. This challenge will be welcomed by the Soldiers on the training lanes.

Many units scheduled to mobilize through Fort McCoy in the fall and winter will operate in Afghanistan. The terrain and conditions at Fort McCoy will offer good preparation for the Soldiers of these units.

The Soldiers of the 3rd, 335th Blackhawk Battalion will be ready to “Set the Standard!”


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