Story and photos by Sgt. Daniel Johnson
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division
RODRIGUEZ LIVE FIRE COMPLEX, South Korea — A UH-60 Black Hawk begins to bank around a mountainside on its approach to a landing zone.
Grass, dirt and debris fill the air as the bird hovers slightly above the deck before touching down.
The green and tan of an Army Combat Uniform emerge from the fuselage in all directions.
As adrenaline-filled Soldiers leap to the ground, they immediately aim their weapons and prepare to protect their assets should the enemy be near.
These are the Soldiers of the “Coldsteel” company, and they’re ready for a fight.
Soldiers of Company C, “Coldsteel,” 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, conducted an air assault and urban assault mission on the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility, here, Aug. 31.
“The platoon air assaulted into the objective via four separate aircrafts and established the objective rally point, as well as conducted their leader’s reconnaissance,” said Capt. Carmen Bucci, commander, Co. C, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt, 2nd SBCT.
The Soldiers then quickly moved over a hilltop to establish an elevated firing position for their automatic weapons teams.
The terrain here in Korea is similar to that of the mountainous areas in Afghanistan, providing ideal training conditions for future deployments to Afghanistan and contingency missions inside the Pacific region.
“Afghanistan isn’t exactly flat and level terrain,” said Staff Sgt. Matthew Reel, squad leader, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt, 2nd SBCT. “Being able to go straight up a mountain and come back down the other side is a great training experience.”
Once the platoon established its support by fire positions, it continued on to establish isolation, Bucci said.
Establishing isolation on its objective confirms that a unit has effectively set the conditions to achieve their task, he explained.
“To get this experience here is an excellent opportunity for the Soldiers,” Reel said. “This is the type of mission we may be conducting downrange.”
The platoon then continued on to the objective of capturing or neutralizing a high value target. During the assault, the team took a notional casualty and then requested a medical evacuation.
“This is tough, realistic training,” Reel said. “You know when you’ve been hit, and it makes the Soldiers realize the impact their decisions have on the mission.”
With the casualty in tow and the mission complete, the platoon began its exit plan. The platoon moved through the town to reach its helicopter landing zone and requested helicopters to pick up Soldiers.
“It’s fantastic,” Bucci said. “It is an absolutely awesome opportunity that we’ve had to come here and focus solely on training without any distraction.”