‘Strike Force’ validates troops, training
Sgt. Brandon A. Bednarek,
4th BCT, 1st AD Public Affairs:
The 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, took to the field last week to conduct situational training exercises and validate the basic Soldiering skills of its troops at the Adowa Village just east of Fort Bliss.
Soldiers from the “Strike Force” Battalion, which includes a military intelligence, signal and engineering company, rotated through three Situational Training Exercise lanes over the course of three days, which tested their ability to perform warrior tasks and drills to the Army’s standard.
The STX lanes focused on three particular missions, with companies working in team- and squad-sized elements to complete entrance control point procedures, dig individual fighting positions for base defense missions, and conduct a dismounted patrol within Adowa Village to conduct a key-leader engagement and establish their presence to hostile enemy forces.
Each lane incorporated different skill sets for the validation but often forced Soldiers to successfully navigate through important recurring scenarios such as improvised explosive device attacks, small-arms and grenade engagements, ambushes, and keeping the chain of command informed by submitting real-time reporting.
“What we were doing is bringing them here, giving them different types of scenarios and validating the overall training they’ve done so far,” said battalion Command Sgt. Maj. Brian T. Raines.
Although companies conducted the same lanes and were evaluated on identical criteria, the battalion created an environment where units could complete their tasks unconstrained in terms of their execution and tactics and allowed them to maneuver exactly how they trained, according to Raines.
“The validation process not only allows the battalion to maintain the combat readiness of “Strike Force” troops, but also validates individual Soldier learning and increases confidence in their fellow comrades, their core competency skills, and their ability to handle themselves effectively during adverse situations to accomplish the mission,” said Raines.
“You always have to stay up on your warrior task and drills, because no matter where we are deployed, these are our core competencies,” Raines said. “Even though we aren’t an infantry or armored battalion, individual Soldiers can still be called to take part in those teams. They can always come under contact and they’ll need to be able to react to that correctly.”
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