‘Golden Dragons’ train on Big Island of Hawaii

| May 24, 2012 | 0 Comments
Sgt. 1st Class Ron Aguilar of HHC, 1st Bn., 14th Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT, 25th Inf. Div., gives signals to the driver of a Mobile Gun System, or MGS, Styker as it prepares to drive onto the LSV, May 8 at Waipio Point to prepare for the unit’s training at PTA on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Sgt. 1st Class Ron Aguilar of HHC, 1st Bn., 14th Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT, 25th Inf. Div., gives signals to the driver of a Mobile Gun System, or MGS, Styker as it prepares to drive onto the LSV, May 8 at Waipio Point to prepare for the unit’s training at PTA on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Story and Photo by
1st Lt. Andrew Schmidt
1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

WAIPIO POINT, Hawaii — Dust fills the air as Sgt. 1st Class Ron Aguilar, the mortar platoon sergeant in Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, “Golden Dragons,” 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, stands in front of a Stryker vehicle preparing to drive onto the Logistics Support Vessel, or LSV.

“Why are your side mirrors still angled out?” he yells to the driver.

Aguilar quickly moves to each side of the Stryker and pivots the mirrors flush with the Stryker’s armored sides. As he does, each vehicle behind the Stryker follows suit and pivots their mirrors inward.

Prior to loading the boat, the ship’s crew gave explicit instructions on making the vehicle as narrow as possible to maximize space on the ship. Every inch of space on the LSV must be conserved and utilized efficiently for the multiple trips to the Big Island of Hawaii.

The LSV is the U.S. Army’s largest powered watercraft. It is designed to carry up to 2,000 tons of cargo right up to shore during operations. The vessel’s cargo deck can hold any vehicle in the U.S. Army inventory and can carry up to 25 Stryker vehicles at once. The cargo hold would be tested as 14th Inf. Regt. prepares to deploy for training.

The 1st Bn., 14th Inf. Regt., has been preparing for months to transport its vehicles and equipment from Oahu to the Big Island of Hawaii and to conduct training at the Pohakuloa Training Area, or PTA.

The first phase of the mission was to transport these vehicles to the Big Island of Hawaii by way of ship, which the battalion completed to Waipio Point, recently.

Currently, the 2nd BCT, 25th Inf. Div., is on standby as a quick reaction force in the Pacific region. This movement phase of the battalion’s deployment to PTA gives the unit an opportunity to train for real-world situations in which the unit may be called on to deploy in support of humanitarian aid or crisis response.

“When we get the word, our unit will rapidly deploy to any area in the Pacific region faster than we would during a normal training cycle,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Larsen, commander, 1st Bn., 14th Inf. Regt.

“Training for that type of mission is one of the key tasks we conduct as an infantry battalion,” he said.

During this training rotation at PTA, each company in the battalion conducts a series of firing and maneuver exercises that culminates in a combined arms exercise with a light infantry company from the Australian army.

“This training exercise is a great opportunity to build a partnership with a very capable foreign army,” said Maj. Ray Carr, executive officer for 1st Bn., 14th Inf. Regt. “The U.S. and Australian armies are fighting side-by-side in Afghanistan. Training with them will increase communication and esprit de corps with our units.”

This training exercise gives not only the unit the chance to work on communication between other units and with each Soldier, but also gives Soldiers the opportunity to train in their military occupational specialty.

“I am looking forward to going to PTA to do more training related to my military occupational specialty,” said Spc. Yang Xiong, combat engineer, 66th Engineer Company, 1st Bn., 14th Inf. Regt.

When the battalion completes its training at PTA, the Golden Dragons will return with enhanced individual and small unit Soldier skills and an increased overall unit preparedness to support the Pacific region as a quick-reaction force.

 

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Category: News, Training, U.S. Army Garrison-Pohakuloa (USAG-Pohakuloa)

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