Range reconnaissance equips leadership with knowledge

| November 23, 2011 | 0 Comments
Col. Christopher Vanek (left), commander, 2nd BCT, 25th ID, uses a field expedient diagram to  convey training possibilities to members of the 2nd BCT staff at the CACTF in Kahuku, recently.

Col. Christopher Vanek (left), commander, 2nd BCT, 25th ID, uses a field expedient diagram to convey training possibilities to members of the 2nd BCT staff at the CACTF in Kahuku, recently.

Story and Photo by
Sgt. Robert M. England
2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

KAHUKU — The commander stepped down from the vehicle into the open air and surveyed the scenery; a vast expanse of rolling mountain ranges and deep ravines crowded with towering trees stood before him.

The view, as eye-catching as it may have been, was not the center of attention; the vacant buildings in the near vicinity were his main point of interest.

Col. Christopher Vanek, commander, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, “Warriors,” 25th Infantry Division, conducted a reconnaissance of a range, here, recently.

Vanek, accompanied by several members of the 2nd BCT staff, surveyed the range for future training operations.

“The purpose of this recon is to give brigade leadership the opportunity to see this new training resource that we have available, so that we understand the capabilities, limitations and potential risks to our Soldiers when utilizing this site,” Vanek said.

Vanek said that all the battalions within the Warrior Bde. could utilize the range, here, but that training would most likely be geared toward smaller-sized elements.

“This range will be utilized for maneuver training primarily for company and platoon maneuver, and situational training exercises,” he said.

Ken Torre, manager, Training Support, Range Div.; Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security; U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, added that the training site boasts new equipment and facilities.

“I will tell you from past experience, not just as a civilian, but also as a Soldier, Kahuku allows the battalions to train as a pure training unit,” Torre said. “It encompasses a lot of training area — about 9,000 acres — and the new capability that is out there, the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility, will enhance their training.”

The CACTF, a series of multi-level vacant buildings, provides a suitable location for units to train in urban combat, Torre added.

This training site comprises one of many options available to commanders interested in conducting training. Vanek said that the range compliments the ranges at Schofield Barracks, East Range, Ewa and the Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island.

Having so many available training sites offers commanders a variety of training resources to best meet their training goals for their units, Vanek said. Certain locations create better training environments for specific tasks, such as weapon qualifications or entering and clearing a room.

“Each location in Hawaii has unique capabilities that provide opportunities for unit commanders to focus their intents,” Vanek said. “For example, Kahuku is not certified for live-fire training, but it’s a great area to do maneuver training. Schofield Barracks’ ranges are very good for live-fire training, but not as good for maneuver training.”

Multiple Department of Defense organizations have full operating bases in Hawaii. With that in mind, another benefit for having so many available training locations is not having to compete for training space, Vanek added.

To reserve any of the available ranges in Hawaii, Torre said that the brigade commander must schedule the use of the property. Range Control’s responsibility is to provide training resources and support for the military, Torre said. That includes maintaining the ranges and ensuring the ranges are within regulatory requirements throughout the Army.

Vanek agreed upon the importance of adhering to environmental standards and regulations, adding that he expects the Soldiers in the Warrior Bde. to help maintain the training environments while in use.

“We want to be in compliance with all environmental considerations, and we want to be good stewards,” Vanek said. “Our goal is to leave the training area better than we found it.”


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Category: News, Training

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