561st Engineers prepare new troops for deployment at muddy combat outpost

| March 19, 2010 | 0 Comments

Sgt. Ricardo Branch
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The Soldiers of the 561st Engineer Company, 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command take any opportunity to train, teach and mentor their new troops for combat.

Accordingly, they jumped at the chance to further improve their engineer skills at East Range, March 9-12.

A Soldier from the 561st Engineer Company searches a body during a close ambush exercise March 11, at Schofield Barracks’ East Range. (Pfc. Darnell Collins | 8th Theater Sustainment Command)“Today’s purpose is to help prepare the Soldiers for our annual field training exercise at Kahukus,” said Capt. Kevin Siegrist, company commander, 561st Eng. Co.,130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC. “This week, all the platoons are doing their own train-up in construction, learning how to operate their equipment, and helping their new Soldiers learn more engineering and warrior skills.”

The Soldiers braved knee-high mud and rain showers to construct a makeshift combat outpost.
Platoons pushed out from here in various combat missions, including squad-based movement and reacting to situations at the entry control point.

“These tasks are important because they can be applied for any given situation when you are deployed,” Siegrist said. “Our Soldiers will know how to properly construct a berm around an outpost, emplace security around a location, and utilize an ECP, from small-level events like today.”

During the training, Soldiers reacted to vehicles and locals at the ECP demanding entry to the base or returning hostages for bribes, as well as reacting to ambushes on their patrols.

“The terrain engineers face is anywhere from deserts to mountains, like Iraq or Afghanistan,” said Pfc. Joshua Hergesheimer, a heavy equipment operator with the unit. “We have to be prepared for any place we go. Any training will only benefit Soldiers, especially those new to the unit.

“We’re rehearsing all this training, and the noncommissioned officers are really helping break it down well for us,” Hergesheimer said.

Although rain pelted the Soldiers for a majority of the training, the Soldiers shrugged off the elements and “Soldiered on.”

Hergesheimer put it best coming out of a woodline during a close ambush, “Any opportunity to start up our vehicles, get dirty and do what we came in the Army to do, is always a good day — this beats garrison work any time.”

Category: News

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