A great video of US Military tanks and artillery during live fire exercise. To validate their ability to operate in complex environments and prepare for deployment in June, 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment “Field Tigers,” 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, joined elements of the 40th Engineer Battalion, 1st AD, to conduct a culminating training event April 23-26 in the Fort Bliss training area.
Mission readiness and unit validation of this kind are typically achieved through combat training center rotations at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. or the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., explained Capt. Charles Hoke, exercise control officer, 1st AD. However, based on a limited timeline, 1-77 AR certification was conducted here at the division level.
Despite being conducted at home station, the CTE training objective remained the same allowing leaders to assess unit operations and provide Soldiers with practical field experience, which could prove to be invaluable in reaching future objectives.
“Anytime you are going against an element in defensive posture, there is going to be some form of an obstacle belt between you and them,” said Staff Sgt. Jeff Howerton, division battle captain, 1st AD. “Conducting the breach facilitated the battalion being able to assault through to their objective.”
In addition to conducting offensive movements, the CTE enabled Soldiers to hone their lines of communication and work directly with division staff.
“With this exercise, we are facilitating a training event for them as if they were the divisional reserve,” Howerton said. “That’s the context they are operating under, which is why they are reporting as a battalion directly through the division headquarters instead of a brigade as they normally would.”
Reporting directly to division is a unique tasking which provided learning opportunities the Soldiers may not have gained through a traditional CTC rotation, Hoke said. Soldiers of 1-77 AR quickly adapted to making the most of their limited resources.
“Something we have worked on in the past is communication and it has definitely improved,” said Spc. Jeremy Sanders, an infantryman with 1-77 AR. “At the same time it’s different doing it from a battalion-up standpoint rather than at the company level. I think overcoming an obstacle like this with communication will help us in the long run.”
As the final certification for deployment, the Soldiers of 1-77 AR worked with a new command team, and new Soldiers to prove they are ready.
“This CTE served as our NTC rotation for an upcoming deployment,” said Capt. Katie Dean, battalion human resources chief, 1-77 AR. “We did three different lanes: a breach, a defensive engagement, and movement to contact. We worked with a brand new team and did a great job validating all of our systems.”
As the dust settled, and the rumble of the tanks’ turbine engines drew to a close, the Soldiers departed the training site, ready to tackle their next objective, the real world.
Video Description Credit: Spc. Lauren Harrah
Video Credits: Spc. Derrick Ramey and Spc. Eddrenia Scott
Thumbnail Credit: Lance Cpl. Aaron Patterson Photo Modified by ArmedForcesUpdate