‘Devil’ Brigade Soldiers ‘fire’ back during fire coordination exercise
Spc. Lakeesha Archer, aviation operation specialist, 1st ABCT, left, ensures there are no friendly assets in the vicinity while Staff Sgt. Bryan Nelson, second from left, air defense and air space management NCOIC, provides instruction to the group that the unit’s air space is cleared before calling any fire on a possible enemy during phase one of the FCE Jan. 22 to Feb 1 at the Mission Training Complex at Fort Riley. Photo by: Sgt. Kerry Lawson, 1ST ABCT.
Story by: Sgt. Kerry Lawson
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Soldiers with the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division began their rehearsal for phase one of the Fire Coordination exercise Jan. 22 to Feb. 1 at the Mission Training Complex, Fort Riley.
The purpose of the rehearsal was to ensure all fires and maneuver elements participating are ready for future combat operations.
The exercise was designed to get all fires and fire support elements from all of the battalions and the brigade synchronized on their standard operating procedures, along with their tactics, techniques and procedures.
"We'll be going over in depth on the TTPs of our profession," said Maj. Josef Hatch, 1st ABCT plans and fire support officer. "We are getting back to the basics as a fire supporter. This type of exercise allows leaders to get on line with what is supposed to happen when integrating fires and maneuver assets."
For the majority of the last 10 years, aside from the invasion into Iraq, the fighting has been focused on counter-insurgency fighting or maneuver missions versus traditional fires and fire-support missions, said 1st Lt. Waylon Stovall, squadron fire support officer, 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st ABCT, 1st Inf. Div. "This phase is focused primarily on the fires and fire-support elements," he said.
The rehearsal allowed the Soldiers to refine their skills and ensure all of the units are up to par in a decisive-action scenario, he said.
"I have been to five previous war-fighter exercises, and this one is by far the most organized," said Ben Almquist, advanced field artillery tactical data system operator, 1st ABCT. "The scenarios are well thought out."
The terrain models show the enemy's dispositions that are being laid out are believable, i.e. their equipment, resources and personnel, he said.
"I receive a request and look to see if the area requested is clear of friendly forces and air assets," Almquist said, "before sending the request to the person in charge of the tactical operation center.
"This entire exercise was built from the ground up, to include having the intelligence shop creating our enemy. We had assistance from division, range control, the Air Force detachment here on Fort Riley and the missile launch rocket system based out of Fort Sill, Okla.
The anticipated project outcome of FCE is that 1st ABCT will be able to integrate all available fires with maneuver elements.