Deployment confidence
Scout platoon Soldiers from HHC, 2-8 Cav. Regt., 1st BCT, 1st Cav. Div., pull security during rehearsals. Photo by Sgt. Nathan Jones

Just before sunset, scouts from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment and the 2nd Battalion 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, gathered in a field near the Hargrove Platoon Military Operations/Urban Terrain facility to prepare to conduct a training raid on a time-sensitive target.

This air assault raid was the culmination of six months of training with assistance from the Asymmetric Warfighting Group from Fort Meade, Md.

“For our platoon this is one last chance to iron out all the kinks and refine our (standard operation procedures) and give the guys that last bit of confidence before we deploy,” said Capt. David Andros, a scout platoon leader with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-8 Cav. Regt., 1st BCT, 1st Cav. Div. “The new guys have come a really long way, and we can communicate now without really talking.”

This training is different because it is more in depth and more standardized. It gives Soldiers the full picture of how to better conduct cordon-and-search missions, capture or contain high value targets, and conduct site sensitive exploitation.

“It is always good training to do it a few times, and then it’s always good to do before we actually go in to do the real thing” said Pvt. Elliot Redington, a scout from HHC, 2-8 Cav. Regt.

The training was developed based on successful lessons learned from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Ed Lynch, the senior trainer from the AWG.

Lynch and his team travel to military posts to advise, assist and coach units during training operations. The AWG team then joins the deployed Soldiers and stays with them during initial operations to ensure that they are properly employing the techniques.

Using available light from the falling sun, the Soldiers put on their gear and completed their pre-combat checks and

inspections. Then, once the UH-60 Black Hawks landed, the

teams rehearsed loading and

unloading the aircraft under the supervision of the crew

chiefs.

As the sun set, team leaders met with the pilots to conduct a hasty planning session.

With the addition of two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cav. Div., the training on this night puts together all the aspects of many different training classes the Soldiers have received. The nested training events include basic and combat marksmanship, cordon and search, site exploitation, and close quarters battle.

“It gives them a special forces type skill set that they normally would not get anywhere else” Lynch said.