‘Durable’ units conduct air assault training
A Soldier assigned to STB, 1st Sust. Bde., provides security at an overwatch position during an air assault exercise June 22 at Fort Riley. Photo by: 1st Lt. Kymberly Koenig, 1ST SUST. BDE.
Story by: Sgt. V. Michelle Woods
1ST SUST. BDE. PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Soldiers who spend the majority of their time perfecting technical skills had the opportunity to test their tactical know-how June 22 during an air assault exercise in the Fort Riley training area.
Supported by Soldiers and helicopters from the 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, troops assigned to various units within the Special Troops Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Inf. Div. conducted a variety of missions that required them to secure a location, enter and clear a building and set up a successful medical evacuation.
"This training helps make the Soldiers more well-rounded," said air assault participant Capt. Patrick O'Brien, commander, 172nd Chemical Company. "We predominantly train for technical operations, so conducting tactical training was refreshing for the Soldiers."
During the exercise, CH-47 Chinook and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters flew "Durable" Brigade Soldiers into an area of operations where they dismounted and secured a designated location. Soldiers also trained on the proper procedures and tactics for communicating with aviation support during air assault missions.
Sgt. Timothy Frasier, movement noncommissioned officer, 266th Movement Control Team, said Soldiers were tested tactically at every level of leadership throughout the exercise.
Frasier said the challenges his team faced required them to take charge, be assertive and trust the Soldiers to their front and rear with live ammunition.
Noting that the missions were executed using live ammunition, 266th MCT Mobility Officer 2nd Lieutenant Kirk Wallace II said the exercise challenged his team to secure an area during nonconventional operations while maintaining awareness of the dangers of using live rounds.
Though the challenges the Soldiers faced were many, so too were the benefits of the training, Frasier said.
The NCO said his team was able to see just how split-second decisions impact the unit's overall mission.
"(This training) was new, engaging training that strengthened camaraderie and enhanced teamwork," Wallace said.