‘Pale Riders’ return to basics of recon, support
Private Jan Buan, wheel vehicle mechanic, Troop D, 4th Sqdn., 4th Cav. Regt., inserts the bolt of a B240 machine gun during a squad tactical exercise Aug. 22 at Fort Riley. Photo by: Sgt. Kandi Huggins, 1ST ABCT.
Story by: Sgt. Kandi Huggins, 1ST ABCT PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Creeping through the grasslands and fields of Fort Riley, scouts with the 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division pushed forward in mounted and dismounted patrol as part of a squad tactical exercise Aug. 22.
The exercise, which began Aug. 20, included the entire squadron, as they returned to the basics of support and reconnaissance.
Cavalry scouts serve as the eyes and ears of the commander during battle. They are responsible for engaging the enemy by tracking and reporting their activities and directing the employment of weapon systems to the enemies' location.
"A scout's mission is recon," said 1st Lt. Robert Heds, platoon leader, Troop B. "They monitor the enemy's presence … and assess their strengths and weaknesses so the commander knows how to better use (the unit's) Soldiers and equipment."
The squadron deployed as an infantry unit, and they performed ambushes, clearing operations and engagements. Heds said it's great the Soldiers get to train in their actual job.
The troops conducted area, zone and route recon designed to build upon old skills and test their tactical knowledge. During a dismount patrol, a platoon covered about 4 kilometers of terrain, gathering information and signs of enemy presence.
"This is a first time for a lot of the young Soldiers and probably the largest field exercise they've experienced," Heds said, "so the Soldiers who have been around get to teach the newcomers and see what it takes to control a vehicle. It pushes them into the realization that it's not as easy as it seems."
In regard to the support elements, the "Pale Riders'" fire support company pushed fuel to the maneuver troops throughout the exercise.
"We're testing our field skills and those we would need in a tactical environment," said 1st Sgt. Kendall Titus. "While the scouts are working on their recon skills, Delta Troop is testing our sustainment systems."
Titus said being in the field helps the newer Soldiers understand the concept of support while taking them away from their everyday distractions.
When Soldiers are in a simulated environment, Titus said they tend to soak up what they've been taught and focus on successfully completing their mission.