We’ve had a busy couple of weeks between the Regimental Troop Validation Exercise (VALEX) and Squadron-level validation exercises. This week and last, Troops from Scott Cheney’s 3d Squadron and Steve Gventer’s 2d Squadron each conducted a live fire exercise at Grafenwoehr Training Area followed by a tactical road march into a defense in Hohenfels Training Area. Upon arrival, the Troops received about 12 hours to conduct engagement area development and then defended their battle positions from a tenacious OPFOR provided by 1-4IN who supported us for this training. Following their defense, Troops immediately went into TLPs for an air assault raid to interdict “Torriken” enemy forces attempting to retrograde across an “international border” to their home territory. However, upon landing, each Troop received a series of Intelligence injects indicating that the enemy force had already departed the original objective and was moving in the opposite direction. The new information forced the Troop Commander to quickly analyze the situation and dynamically generate a new plan to accomplish the mission.
The training consisted of mounted and dismounted maneuver in a complex environment while integrating direct and indirect fires, Engineers, attached MGS and ATGM elements, M-777 fire support, Shadow UAS, and AH-64 attack reconnaissance assets. Of note, Angel Estrada’s Charlie Med established the Role 2 at the HTA to receive and treat the casualties from the defense and offense STX Lanes.
The VALEX proved to be challenging both mentally and physically for leaders and Soldiers alike and is a great event that saw several Troop achieve T-1 standards of training. Despite frigid temperatures and a lack of sleep, this exercise brought 6 of the Regiment’s 9 Infantry Troops to Gate 1 certification. I am looking forward to getting the last three Infantry Troops as well as our Reconnaissance Troops to Gate 1 certification in March.
Of course, this VALEX would not be nearly as successful if not for the enablers that enhance not only the Regiment’s capabilities but also our training. Mark Himes’s Engineer Squadron was the glue that held all the training together as they provided six sapper squads that conducted deliberate mechanical explosive breaches during live fires, and Volcano support to the defense. We deployed his Equipment Troop to HTA and they continually dug positions and obstacles in support of each line Troop. His team also provided real world essential recovery and operational support from HHT and FST, to the units training at HTA. Also this week, Thurman McKenzie’s FA SQDN supported our live fire exercise while simultaneously certifying 18 of 18 howitzer sections, two Q-36 crews, and one Q-37 crew during FA’s operation FROZEN TIDE. Greg Campion’s Reconnaissance Squadron was also dual-hatted this week supporting both the Regiment VALEX while also executing Platoon Certification consisting of Area, Zone, and Route Reconnaissance which transitioned into a Screen along the Czech border. Greg’s dynamic training in the MRA along the Czech border was covered by the Stars and Stripes and can be found at the following link. http://www.stripes.com/news/soldiers-scout-hybrid-enemy-in-german-countryside-1.452343
Adam Lackey’s 1st Squadron hosted their Georgian Army counterparts this week in preparation for Noble Partner 17. Adam’s productive counterpart engagements are essential to ensuring a successful mission this summer in Georgia. During their time together they were able to build strong initial relationships with the Georgian Battalion Commander as well as the Mechanized Company Commanders and Artillery Battery Commanders. 1st Squadron also escorted the Georgians to observe the defense STX at HTA and the CALFEX at GTA. While at the training sites, 1/2 facilitated excellent discussions about TTPs and capabilities that will further inform our planning as the Regiment moves forward towards the Defense LPD and Noble Partner MPC in March.
We were also fortunate to have our British allies visit us last week to prepare for the integration of their Reconnaissance COY into the eFP Battle Group. Steve Gventer and his team hosted the UK Mustang Troop and established the beginnings of a relationship that will go a long way in ensuring the success of the mission this summer.
Finally sir, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say thanks to LTC Ryan Welsch, the commander of 1-3 ARB, and LTC Matthew Archambault, commander of 1-4 IN, for their invaluable support to our VALEX. Their support really made the event.
2CR Summary of the Week
1/2 and 2/2 executed the Troop Validation Exercise from 19JAN-05FEB, consisting of a Troop Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise (CALFEX) conducted in the Grafenwohr Training Area and a Situational Training Exercise which consisted of defense and assault lanes conducted in Hohenfels Training Area. The 6 troops were validated and certified by the RCO on the following METL tasks: Area Defense, Conduct an Attack, Conduct an Air Assault, and Conduct Movement to Contact. Certifications were conducted in accordance with OBJ “T” task evaluation criteria and the Integrated Weapons Training Strategy (IWTS) Gate 1 certification standards.
The Troop CALFEX included the clearance of an enemy strongpoint, a combined arms breach, and the clearance of a trench complex. The end-state for our CALFEX was that our troopers applied the fundamentals of Marksmanship, gained confidence in their weapon systems, executed Fire Distribution and Fire Control, and synchronized both Indirect and Direct Fires.
AH-64 Army Attack Aviation, supported by 1-3 ARB, provided aerial attack by fire capabilities during the Regimental CALFEX
Following the CALFEX, the Troops road marched to the Hohenfels Training Area in order to conduct an area defense. The Troops, utilizing our organic assets as well as the augmentation from attached Sapper and Horizontal Engineer enablers, constructed a series of battle positions and obstacles under the cover of darkness. 1-4 Infantry Regiment from Hohenfels provided realistic and challenging training scenarios operating as (Opposing Force) OPFOR for the defense. Conducting this operation together with our enablers improved interoperability between our organizations and built relationships that will support future operational deployments. Most importantly, the Troops were able to defend against an aggressive and adaptable OPFOR while operating in severe weather conditions.
Following the Defense STX, the Troops executed a Troop Offensive STX Lane in the Hohenfels training area. The event consisted of planning an air assault operation and conducting a movement to contact that culminated with a Troop Attack on an enemy defensive position. Due to inclement weather, the Troops were forced to conduct a ground movement and infiltration consisting of vehicular movement and approach march of over 6 miles. Critical to this operation was the fusion of real-time intelligence collection from a Low Level Voice Intercept (LLVI) team, coupled with injects from Regimental TOC, and information obtained from Sensitive Site Exploitation (SSE). The Troops were able to successively attack and defeat a platoon-minus sized enemy element, in defensive positions, under extremely adverse weather conditions
Enhance the Alliance:
Representatives from UK 4th IN BDE, Light Dragoons (Cav Squadron), and Mustang Troop traveled to Rose Barracks, Germany 22-24 January to conduct a pre-deployment site survey (PDSS) in preparation for their upcoming deployment with 2nd Squadron in support of Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP). On Monday 23 January, the 2CR Regimental Staff conducted an eFP Conditions Check IPR where the UK contingent was able to synchronize and discuss pre-deployment efforts across all warfighting functions. The UK contingent joined the operations staff from 4th Squadron to plan the integration of Mustang Troop into 4th Squadron’s Troop VALEX occurring in early March, serving as the UK’s contribution to Allied Spirit VI (UK/US Interoperability Training) and certifying Mustang Troop in support of the US NATO Battle Group – Poland. The 2CR Support Operations Cell conducted a logistics synchronization meeting to discuss specific requirements from Mustang Troop regarding reception on Rose Barracks, maintenance and life support, sustainment support during Allied Sprit VI & 4/2 Troop VALEX, Tactical Road March to BPTA Poland, and sustainment support while occupied in BPTA. On Tuesday 24 January, the 2CR Operations Cell escorted the UK contingent to observe Ranges and Life Support Areas in vicinity of Rose Barracks followed by a reception and operations brief at 2nd Squadron Headquarters. 2nd Squadron oriented the UK contingent around the Squadron Headquarters, shared their Squadron History, and conducted an eFP Operations Brief highlighting the reception of Mustang Troop, pre-deployment glide-path, tactical road march, occupation plan, training schedule at BPTA, and the concept of employment for Mustang Troop in support of the US Battle Group. The day concluded with a staff breakout session, where the UK contingent were able to address specific topics with their Squadron Staff counterparts and exchange information.
Individual Squadron updates follow.
1/2 Squadron (War Eagles)
Since our last report, War Eagles have completed Squad Live Fires and Stryker Gunnery. We learned valuable lessons in both areas and will return to these gate events often to maintain readiness. The highlight of the week was the opportunity to host the Georgian Army delegation led by LTC Jintcharadze. A more detailed note will follow, but the visit was a resounding success thanks to our CPT von Dohlen and 1LT Korsala; we will see these same Georgian officers throughout the planning and execution of Noble Partner 17. Additionally, Chaplain Lee executed a fantastic Prayer Luncheon for 100 War Eagles today. Thanks to Dragoon Chaplain Mvondo for his participation.Thanks also to the 4/2 team for their efforts to better our Scout Platoon this week. I’m looking forward to furthering this relationship with Saber as the SMEs along our recon training path.
I will be in Budapest next week for the Saber Guardian 17 MPC; CSM Manzanares and MAJ Gilluly will be in the Squadron footprint.
Summary from this Week:
Hosting our Georgian counterparts this week was enlightening as we learned much more about the details of the Companies we will be working with in Georgia. We were able to build some strong initial relationships with the Georgian battalion commander who will be providing forces for the mission as well as the Mechanized Company Commander and Artillery Company Commander that will be in our multinational battalion. As we took the Georgians to the defense STX and the CALFEX we were able to facilitate some excellent discussions about TTPs and capabilities that will further inform our planning as we move forward towards the Defense LPD and Noble Partner MPC in March. As the Squadron completed the successful collective training from last week, the focus this week was on recovery operations and preparation for the upcoming Platoon STX and LFX training. This past week, the War Eagles also had various opportunities to help and participate in training with the other Squadrons. The Squadron Scout and Mortar Platoons were able to support 4/2 in their PLT LFX, and HHT Commander, CPT Bedrin, had the opportunity to follow Kronos Troop from 3/2 through their Troop CALFX and VALEX at the HTA. CPT Bedrin’s visit has proved immensely valuable and he has already begun to share his observations and thoughts with his fellow commanders, as well as identifying some training and resourcing requirement that still need to be addressed before our Squadron’s VALEX in March.
As maintenance and recovery were stressed for the Troops this week, many of the Troops were engaged in some additional high quality training. Apache Troop completed their SQD LFXs and also conducted a TM Blank Fire. During the SQD LFX, each SQD was able to run through the iteration at least three times. The Squads are getting good enough now that additional stressors can be implemented forcing junior leaders to set up and take the next higher leadership position in the event of casualties. In addition, during the TM Blank Fire, the Team Leaders gained a much better understanding of their Squad Leaders expectations when contact is made from every possible direction. The Platoons in Bull Troop also received their Troop OPORD for the upcoming PLT STX. This initiated the TLP process and the Troop Commander is looking forward to the back briefs. A big thank you to the RES for providing an attached Sapper Squad to teach proper emplacement of obstacles and breaching of those obstacles. Platoons will undoubtedly have a better understanding of planning factors when emplacing and breaching obstacles, and this knowledge will go great lengths during PLT and Troop VALEX.
The Squadron Medical Platoon is continuously training to be a progressive unit in regards to medical equipment and systems. On Thursday, they attended a course offered by Training Support Activity Europe, where they were instructed on a new medical training aid, TC3X. The kit contains multiple mannequins that have wireless capabilities that remove the instructor from the scenario, forcing the operator to interact with the patient which adds a level of realism. 2CR will be the first unit to use the new kits for TRP VALEX. On Friday, the Platoon was trained on Telehealth, a program that allows a medic who is forward deployed and the specialty provider in the rear to communicate via webcam. We are hoping to have this system up and running for ARROW 17.
The Squadron Staff continues to support the Squadron in the current training cycle while also planning for upcoming operations. In particular, the S2 has a done professional job this week synchronizing the Georgian Army Officer visit, ensuring we are building a strong relationship with our partners this coming summer. Our staff sections will be divided among three different countries in the weeks ahead for upcoming planning conferences while continuing daily operations and sustaining our Squadron readiness.
Finally, Dakota Troop entered their final stretch of Change of Command inventories as well as continuing to provide uninterrupted support to the Troops. This past week the Distro Platoon sorted through the ammo and dunnage from the TM/SQD LFX and the Maintenance section was extremely busy this week as they worked diligently on
2/2 Squadron (Cougars)
This week Cougar Squadron executed complex live fire and situational training through the Regiment’s Troop validation exercise deployed across both Grafenwohr and Hohenfels.
While maintaining our focus on training, the Squadron hosted BG Jaroslaw Gromadzinki, Commander of the Polish 15th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, to our CALFEX and to 3/2’s Troop STX. BG Gromadzinki witnessed the defense of Schwend by Iron Troop, combined arms live fire with Ghost Troop and was immersed into the great history of the Regiment at the Reed Museum. This continue to build upon a great foundation and prepare 2/2CR to be fully integrated into the 15th upon our arrival into Poland.
The Squadron was very honored to host the USAREUR Commanding General, LTG Hodges and the Command Sergeant Major, CSM Lyon to the Cougar Motor Pool and to view the Troop level VALEX and Live Fire Exercise of Ghost Troop as we prepare for the first NATO eFP Battle Group Mission.
Special thanks to the OCs and Regimental Staff for a great VALEX and backside coverage!
Summary from this Week:
The Squadron’s overall focus this week was on leader development as Troop Command Teams and leaders at all levels were challenged during iterations of the Troop live fire and training in execution of the defense and of the offense. Troopers executed face-to-face coordination with multiple attachments to integrate enablers into the fight. Platoon and Squad leaders integrated CCA, sappers, engineer dig assets, LLVI teams, snipers, MGS and ATGM into their training. The Troops conducted rehearsals of movement, actions on contact, actions on the objective, medevac, calling for fire and extensive camouflaging, engagement area development with Squad Leaders and above.
The staff successfully conducted the tactical road march to Hohenfels Training Area on Tuesday despite the inclement weather. Upon arrival to HTA, HHT set up the TOC in support of the Troop VALEXs. The Scout platoon provided crucial support to the VALEX by operating as OPFOR and being enrolled in the SEEK’s biometrics data base.
Havoc Troop had a tremendous week providing full spectrum logistics to the Squadron during the execution of Troop VALEX across the entire Operating environment. The Distribution Platoon provided support of CL I, III, IV, V and IX in both GTA and HTA. The small, but powerful 16 service member Platoon ran LOGPACS nearly 24 hours to support the requirements of 2/2, 4/2, and RES. The Maintenance Platoon worked long hours to recover, repair, and return multiple vehicles to the fight. During this extremely busy period, the Maintenance Platoon was able to complete 6 services, 8 unscheduled repairs, and bring the OR rate to 89%.
3/2 Squadron (Wolfpack)
This week, the Wolfpack continued to execute and provide support during the Troop VALEX. Iron Troop and Kronos Troop conducted their Troop VALEX to demonstrate progressive mastery of combined arms maneuver against a hybrid threat. The integration of ground and aerial assets under varying and harsh environmental conditions challenged the Leadership of Iron and Kronos Troops to make tough decisions as they adapted to the constantly evolving enemy situation.
During the six day exercise, Troops were validated on the following METL Tasks: Area Defense, Conduct an Attack, Conduct an Air Assault, and Conduct Movement to Contact. Leadership across the Regiment evaluated Iron and Kronos Troops utilizing the Army’s Objective “T” task evaluation criteria and the Integrated Weapons Training Strategy (IWTS) Gate 1 certification standards. Troop Commanders greatly benefited from controlling their platoons and supporting assets, and also identified key sustains and improves for their subordinate units and Troop headquarters. This event enabled them to refine their TTPs for use at Saber Junction 17 and in preparation for eFP.
Additionally, the Squadron TOC and TAC practiced and validated its ability to execute mission command while battle tracking and creating vertical and horizontal shared understanding. Fury Troop used the VALEX as an opportunity to stress its ability to execute sustainment operations while becoming familiar with the terrain in Hohenfels.
Having completed the VALEX, Lightning Troop conducted its Five Day Recovery Plan with focus on repairing and maintaining vehicles and equipment. In addition to recovery, Lightning Troop began preparation for its upcoming CoC Inventories (13-24 FEB 17). Hammer Troop provided ROLE I medical support, OPFOR support, and Mortar coverage to enhance the capabilities of the Squadron and support the Regiment during all iterations. Additionally, Wolfpack’s Scout platoon demonstrated resiliency and agility as it seamlessly shifted from OPFOR support in HTA to participating in the Scout Platoon Certification conducted by 4/2 CR. Overall, the week allowed the Wolfpack to further define and refine “how we fight” as a part of the Dragoon Team in preparation for upcoming exercises and operations.
4/2 Squadron (Saber)
This week Saber Squadron continued to push the training envelop with our live fires on GTA and maneuver STX in the MRA north-east of Weiden. Both events are stretching platoon leadership and challenging them in ways that they have not been tested before, particularly in the dynamic environment that is the MRA. Our presence in the German countryside has drawn strong interest from the local communities and we have been able to foster strong bonds with our host nation through interactions and presence.
The second week of Platoon Certification has continued to hone our abilities to provide the Regiment with accurate Reconnaissance in all weather conditions. Our LFX on Range 118 has proven the lethality of the Regiment’s Scout Platoons and helped build confidence in our leaders to employ organic weapons systems, SUAS and indirect fires in support of the Recon objectives of the commander. We have had great success employing 120mm mortars with the live fire lanes and look forward to increasing the complexity and use of Regimental assets during Troop Valex in March. Weapons Troop continues to support the Infantry VALEX and our MGS and ATGM Platoons are reporting phenomenal training across the board.
Palehorse and HHT conducted cold load training and aerial insertion training in the MRA this week with support from 12th CAB rotary wing assets. We would like to thank the Regimental staff for their help making this training possible. The Squadron will return from the field this weekend and begin an in depth focus on recovery and increasing the maintenance status of all of our organic systems.
Summary from this Week
Saber Squadron continued to conduct Platoon Certification this week. The 4th Squadron Commander and Squadron Executive Officer led the ongoing assessment and oversight of each iteration as Platoon Leaders conducted TLPs, briefed their orders, and executed an Area, Zone, and Route Reconnaissance transitioning into a Screen along the Czech border. The MRA has provided realistic challenges and forced Leaders to emphasis Society and Infrastructure as considerations when planning a Platoon’s movement and maneuver. This has been particularly valuable when transitioning from a Terrain focus to a Threat focus, and provided Platoon Leader’s with a complex and realistic setting for adjusting graphic control measures and movement techniques based upon different threat levels in a tactical context.
Warhorse Troop continued to operate as the MC node for Platoon Certification. The CTCP tested the limits of its communication systems to include FM, HF, and JCR. The focus remained on life support and sustainment operations, but by validating systems ranging from reporting formats to equipment pack-out the Warhorse team seized every opportunity to identify areas for improvement and increase performance. The S6 team managed Retrans site placement within the MRA to maximize the range of FM communications and negotiate the challenges of the terrain. Concurrent training provided opportunities that would not have been available as stand-alone events. This has been key to keeping our formations in a constant state of readiness.
The Platoon Live Fire exercise at Range 201 continued to test Platoons’ lethality and assessed Leaders’ abilities to establish direct fire control measures, coordinate sectors of fire, and exercise command and control of their unit. Platoon Leaders integrated indirect fire into the exercise, utilizing their Troop’s FSO and MCV. Troopers conducted actual call-for-fire missions and incorporated them into their plan, as FOs observed and reported the effects of rounds fired. The integration of the MCV into Platoon level planning was particularly valuable, as the 120mm mortars provides Platoon Leaders with flexible, highly mobile, and effective IDF support for reconnaissance operations at the FLOT. Quickstrike Troop continued to support both 3/2 and 2/2 with ATGM and MGS platforms during their Troop VALEXs.
During TW 20 (T+1), the primary focus will be recovery after two long weeks training in the field for PLT certification. FST will continue training twenty 91S from across the Regiment on the MGS system and will conduct a FUPP split class for vehicles in the Regiment. They will also help facilitate the Troop’s Stryker swap this week and will be the primary participates in the Department of the Army Inspector General (DAIG) sensing sessions. This event will have G4 personnel discuss the maintenance program with Squadron Commanders all the way down to lower enlisted Soldiers in order to improve the maintenance program across the Army. Select leaders from each Troop will attend the HEAT train the trainer program. This will allow these Soldiers to train the rest of their unit in TW21. Two platoons from Quickstirke Troop will attach to 2/2 in preparation for Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP). Lastly, the Squadron will take February 10th off as a much needed day to take care of personal issues and spend time with families. All of this will be done while executing Regimental red cycle.
Additional photos and information can be found on the 4th Squadron Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/4thSquadron2dCavalryRegiment/
FA (Artillery Hell)
Summary of the Week
The Field Artillery Squadron currently has 18/18 howitzer sections certified 2xQ-36 crews certified, and 1xQ-37 crew certified.
The Squadron has concluded Operation FROZEN TIDE, and has three certified and qualified batteries that can deliver timely, accurate, and lethal fires in support of the Regiment! Validating this, Bulldog Battery provided Fires to Cougar Squadron in support of the Troop VALEX. As always, our FISTs continued to support our maneuver brethren. This exercise accelerated the Squadron as a whole, and leaves us ready to accomplish Table XVIII Gunnery, Squadron certification and qualification, during Dynamic Front II. Additionally, we began to field our new and upgraded AFATDS, Centaur, PFED, and LFED as part of the FSC2 systems fielding. To end the week, Bulldog Battery executed a Change of Responsibility, in which 1SG Wascar Diazhernandez relinquished responsibility to 1SG Victor Marquez.
Next week the firing batteries will conduct some much needed recovery operations and continue to field our new systems. Additionally, HHB will run a M4 range next Tuesday and Wednesday. We will cap off the week by building some Espirit De Corps with a Squadron 4 mile run on Friday morning.
There continues to be outstanding training and valuable lessons learned across the Squadron as we remain engaged in GTA, HTA, and MRA. I will highlight two successes for the PIONEER Squadron that I observed this past week: 1) we’ve successfully integrated a SWO (Senior Airman Boehima) from the 2d Detachment, 7th Weather Squadron into the UAS platoon activities at HTA. Having a certified SWO on the ground (vs depending on forecasts from geographically separated locations) with the platoon has significantly enhanced our ability to forecast flight conditions and better utilize short flight windows when available. Despite the unfavorable weather conditions in HTA this past week, we were still able to conduct 6 hrs of flight time, including a small window (<30min) where the shadow was operated from the 3/2 TOC. We intend to include the SWO as part of the PIONEER SOMBRA mission in Spain to improve our flight planning capabilities; 2) the unfavorable weather/icy conditions in HTA this week created numerous driving challenges for everyone, but it presented a tremendous opportunity for the RES recovery elements to gain valuable experience and they’ve proven their worth across HTA in the last 96hrs. My team tackled countless recovery missions enabling them to utilize some of their recovery techniques/equipment in ways that could not have been replicated in training. End result was positive training/experience created by the very real weather challenges and hazardous conditions.
Great training all around for the PIONEERS over the last two weeks. I anticipate the RES elements beginning to closeout HTA on Sunday with ALL elements back on Graf by COB Tuesday.
Finally, MG Mark Yenter, USACE Deputy Commanding General for Military and International Operations, will be in Graf next week and his staff has reached out to try to synchronize an opportunity to meet with the engineer leaders. It would be a good chance for the Squadron engineer leaders to engage with one of the senior leaders of the Engineer Regiment. Right now, not sure if his schedule will permit.
Please see the training summary below as the PIONEERS continue to provide tremendous support across the Regiment.
Summary from this Week:
This past week the PIONEER Squadron provided critical enabler support to Regimental Troop VALEX’s, demonstrating the capability of the RES to enhance operations and be a force multiplier. The training support that is ongoing at GTA and HTA, consisted of six Sappers Squads, which are conducting deliberate mechanical, explosive breaches, and Volcano support to the defense, six Signal Intelligence teams providing timely and accurate SIGINT, two Squads of Horizontal assets establishing countermobility obstacles and survivability positions in support of engagement area defense, Signal RETRANS, and UAS flight operations. The PIONEERS also provided real world essential recovery and operational support from HHT and FST, to the forces training at HTA. The PIONEER Team will quickly reset and conduct deliberate recovery operations in order to set conditions to support 1/2 CR’s and 4/2 CR’s validation exercise. The PIONEER efforts in support of maneuver training place the Regiment in a position of advantage to provide USAREUR and NATO a trained, lethal fighting force.
This week the Regimental Support Squadron continued to meet the challenges of supporting the Regiment in Hohenfels and Grafenwoehr Training Areas and the Weiden Maneuver Rights Area while conducting dynamic training events to improve our mission readiness. As this week, the RSS can secure four convoys with our own certified gun crews which decreases our dependency on our maneuver brethren to conduct logistics on the battlefield. We’ve continued to receive the IG inspectors for this year’s OIP inspection, and we have displayed the professionalism of the Dragoon through each engagement. Early this week we participated in the RAND Corps discussions on the modern battlefield, and rounded out the conversation with discussion of the complexity of multifunctional logistics. To end this week, I’ve welcomed the newest group of Muleskinners into the fold, as we prepare them to meet the challenges of our enhanced Forward Presence mission, the Saber Junction rotation, and this summer’s activities throughout Eastern Europe.
Summary from this Week:
The RSS has continued to prioritize training and readiness this week as we move forward with convoy live fire, troop validating exercises, and continued support throughout the Regiment. In addition to training we’ve also spent time coordinating the logistical efforts needed for Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP). Charlie Troop’s skills were put to the test this week, as they established Role II medical care in their troop VALEX at Hohenfels Training Areas. The Soldiers were challenged daily as they performed simulated life-saving exercises and ended the week with a mass casualty event. Alpha Troop also had a productive week which emphasized personal development. In addition to the Convoy Live Fire Exercise, the troop conducted a Fuel Handler’s course, which greatly increases readiness for bulk fuel operations, and a communications workshop. Finally, SFC Porco was named USAREUR’s Career Counselor of the Month, rewarding his hard work for maintaining and motivating Soldiers, and showing the dedication to the fight on our Soldiers’ behalf.
This week Charlie Troop (CPT Marmol/1SG Ebert) conducted their Troop VALEX beginning with the deployment to Hohenfels Training Area on 28 January 17. O/O 281200JAN17, Charlie Troop initiated establishment of the Role II upon infill of our AO IVO 32UQV10363 5977. After conducting a final assessment, the troop began with the construction of the Role II. Troop leadership attended a LOGSYNC hosted by 3/2 in reference to concept of support for the defense and the offense. During this meeting Role I and Role II leadership were able to discuss details such as AXP’s, utilization of Evac platforms, and establishment of our PACE plans.
The Headquarters platoon established mission command with internal and supported units via JCR and FM. The platoon also coordinated CL I and CL III support via daily LOGSTAT through 3/2 FST as well as RSS TOC. Treatment platoon established the Role II in five hours and thirty eight minutes, a full day prior to the NLT DTG prescribed in the OPORD. The Evacuation platoon synchronized the evacuation concept with the Role I, conducting reconnaissance of proposed MEDEVAC routes and AXPs; furthermore, one MEV was designated as forward augmentation for the Role I which greatly reduces the time required to reach lifesaving treatment at the Role II. The early establishment of the Role II allowed the platoon to conduct MASCAL rehearsals incorporating both our internal and external litter bearing augmentation from HHT, Alpha and Bravo Troops. The Troop CP initiated the rehearsal call over the NET, and appropriate action followed based upon rehearsed TTP’s. The AAR following the rehearsal aided immensely in addressing efficiencies and timeliness of the troop.
On 30 January, 2017 the troop received our first iteration of notional causalities. The troop performed as expected by managing life threatening injuries, coordinating evacuation support and transporting casualties to higher echelons of care. The OC led AAR further refined our TTP’s and gave the troop useful tools for future operations. The Scalpel Medics stand to support 2CR in any operational environment and remain postured for continued improvements throughout the VALEX.
Teamwork was the theme of the week for A Troop Soldiers (CPT Mills/1SG Smalls). On the morning of 1 February Soldiers from all platoons participated in a communications workshop sponsored and taught by representatives from Comprehensive Soldier Fitness at the Rose Barracks Multi-purpose building. Soldiers had the opportunity to participate in various games to improve communication and teamwork amongst their sections. Teamwork was also essential to the safe and successful execution of the Squadron’s Convoy Live Fire Exercise (CLFX) at GTA Range 211 on 1 February, led by 1LT Ashley Hamlett (OIC), SSG Oscar Rodriguez (RSO), and SSG Tanya Wilson. During the CLFX two gun crews from the Troop continued to work together and build off the skills they acquired during the gunnery ranges two weeks prior.
For Sergeants Time Training (STT) this week Soldiers focused on improving efficiency at MOS-based skills. In POL platoon, Soldiers conducted Fuel Handler Certification at the CAT-C building. This training is required in order for Soldiers to receive or issue bulk fuel from the M978, and it will be essential to supporting 2/2 for its eFP road march less than two months out. Soldiers in Transportation and Supply platoon conducted hands-on training on the Enhanced Container Handling Unit (ECHU), a system that is used in conjunction with an LHS or PLS to pick up and move large containers.
In addition to all of this training, the Troop continued providing support to the Regiment and external units in various ways. The Troop continued to enhance its relationship with its Distribution Company counterpart in the 173rd Airborne Brigade, transporting ammunition in GTA to support training it was conducting in the area. Troop VALEX support was also ongoing, with the Transportation platoon shipping CL I to HTA on 30 January. The Troop also provided ammunition handlers and guards for ammunition being stored at Range 201. The Troop also filled support equipment gaps for the Troop VALEX, providing one ADR certified LHS to 2/2, as well as one ADR certified M978 fueler to 4/2. Finally, the Troop continued preparations for various future missions, with each platoon continuing to modify UDLs and manifests for eFP and the Squadron Defense VALEX taking place.
Bravo troop (CPT Deboest/1SG Townsend) continues to excel while providing logistical support for the Regiment as well mentoring the Soldiers within our footprint. The troop started the week off with command maintenance paying special attention to communication, snow chains and tires. B Troop’s command team has been instrumental ensuring that the flow of communication is distributed from the highest ranking Soldier to the lowest ranking Soldier and training for all Soldiers has increased dramatically.
The armament section reorganized their bay due the Maintenance Activity Vilseck (MAV) workers moving into the area. They also continued prepping parts for turn in while also preparing for the Squadrons Convoy Live Fire. This week, Armament opened a total of 10x M2 work orders for RHHT, Alpha, Bravo and Field Artillery through MAV. GSE provided ground support equipment maintenance and services to the regiment while focusing on FA, C Troop FTX, and the Convoy Live-Fire Exercise. They continue to work hard in ensuring that all heaters are ready for the Squadron FTX. CW4 Clark, SSG Breese and SPC O’Dell, of the ELM section, supported the VALEX for 3/2. During that time, they repaired 4 ATGMs enabling them to shoot. Meanwhile, SPC Hotchkin and PV2 Priebe were in the shop servicing 4 LRAS for FA.SSG Leal conducted the SHARP OIP inspection. Four Soldiers from the wheeled vehicle section were sent to HTA for CALFEX support, 1 for MCRS support and 3 for simulated air support. During command maintenance Wheeled Vehicle Soldiers focused on verifying faults IOT deadline appropriate vehicles. With coordination between SFC Sparlin and 1LT Bishop, verifying faults has significantly improved this week. Wednesday, 01Feb, 2 Soldiers were sent to GTA Rng 302 for wrecker support. 4 deadlined vehicles were fixed, 3 services were completed, and 5 vehicles were troubleshot, diagnosed, and parts were ordered.
HHT (CPT Minghella/1SG McCrudden) continued to aid the regiment this week through various support efforts. Troop VALEX support continued with nine personnel performing a combination of OCT, RTO, driver, and litter bearing details in the HTA. 3/2 Field Feeding Team returned from supporting 3/2’s Troop VALEX. 2/2, 4/2, and FA Field Feeding Teams remain in the field supporting their Squadrons’ exercises in the GTA and WTA. HHT sent one gun crew to the convoy live fire on Wednesday. HHT provided water buffalos at Camp Aachen to support Austere Challenge.
The Regimental staff continued to work a number of planning priorities as we begin to enter the spring and summer training cycle. As the USAREUR CG stated at the Winter Commander’s Conference, 2017 is the “Year of Execution”. One critical planning effort that has consumed the staff is planning for eFP. While half the staff continued to focus on planning efforts, the remained of the staff and the Soldiers provided Troop VALEX support at Range 201/301 in GTA and throughout the box at HTA. Their dedicated support allowed the Troops of 2/2 and 4/2 to conduct successful VALEXs. The RHHT headquarters was also actively involved this week. The Regimental Mobile Command Post conducted VALEX support at HTA. The platoon ran continuous operations for the Regimental Command Team by moving them around the battle field, conducting recovery missions and helping transport Soldiers into the fight. The RHHT supply section was busy working on turning in Troop property. The items turned in are part of the Regiment’s overall goal of turning in 5000 items of excess equipment by FY 18. Additionally the section worked feverishly on getting paperwork straightened out to turn in more property in the coming weeks.
This week the SPO shop worked in conjunction with Regimental S4 to complete the Regimental EFP OPORD, specifically Annex F (Sustainment). Additionally, we received confirmation of our Unit Combat Load from USAEUR. The Sustainment RoC Drill script is currently underway to be briefed 22 February, before the Combined Arms Rehearsal on 24 February. Lastly, we have begun to work on the EFP synchronization matrix for Phase II Tactical Road March which will be essential to synching logistical assets across the battlefield during this operation. On Friday, 27 January, SPO MED facilitated telehealth-in-a-bag training at the Soldier Centered Medical Home provided by the Regional Health Command – Europe Virtual Health Team. Over 30 medical professionals from 2CR, B-MEDDAC, 3/4 ID, and SOC Africa received the training. Additionally, SPOMED supported the troop VALEX’s by conducting OCT validation of MTF’s as well as 4/2’s VALEX with TC3X (Advanced Medical Training and Simulation Mannequin) medical training support. SPO MEDLOG in conjunction with RMSO successfully connected with and ordered the first CL VIII items with USAMMC-E through their Role II DCAM system. SPO Maintenance started this week by kicking off with the three week MGS FLMNET training that have been coordinated for the last few months with instructors from PM Stryker. Work has continued on the concept of support for eFP, Saber Guardian and Saber Junction. We are currently working with DLA and 21st TSC to create a new route from the Poland SSA to the BPTA to shorten resupply timelines. In addition, we are working with BMCT and 21st TSC to receive additional low boy assets for the convoy to BPTA. SPO maintenance has passed $240,960 through Z-Park for base equipment, and $1,000,039 for eFP. CL III Section conducted mission analysis and refined running estimates on Saber Junction 17, eFP and Saber Guardian. CL III continues to coordinate with MAV and SPO Maintenance for ADR certifications for Tank Rack Module systems. SPO AMMO assisted units with authorization increase memorandums for the upcoming troop VALEX/STX in March, assisted units with ammunition requirements for Juniper Falcon, and assisted Fires with requesting an operational load document and assisted them with the OP Load signature card process. Additionally, SPO AMMO approved and reconciled ammunition documents for the units training locally. SPO Transportation has been working with units and RS3 throughout Troop VALEX to ensure they receive March credits and their Transportation movement requests are met.