Light infantry training event pushes 3rd BCT

| February 1, 2013 | 0 Comments
Pfc. Adam Barnwell, 3rd Sqn., 4th Cav. Regt., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, heads back to base during the unit's situational training exercise, Jan. 24. (Staff Sgt. Cashmere Jefferson |  3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs; 25th Infantry Division)

Pfc. Adam Barnwell, 3rd Sqn., 4th Cav. Regt., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, heads back to base during the unit’s situational training exercise, Jan. 24.

Story by 1st Lt. Zachary Kohl
Photos by Staff Sgt. Cashmere Jefferson

3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Soldiers from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, participated in light infantry training at locations across Oahu, including here, at Kahuku Army Training Area and at Marine Corps Training Area Bellows, Jan. 14-26.

The training mimicked some of the most grueling conditions the Army has to offer.

Lt. Col. Dave Zinn, battalion commander, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd BCT, described it as being like a week from the last phase of Ranger School. Many leaders described the training as one of the most realistic exercises in recent memory.

Soldiers operated as a company and functioned on extremely limited sleep; they moved over miles of difficult terrain and wore heavy body armor up to 22 hours a day, all while facing an evolving enemy that forced their leadership to adapt and integrate intelligence into their strategy.

“We want to train Soldiers in the toughest of conditions,” said Zinn.

The exercise was designed to not only stress Soldiers physically, but to also force their leadership to make decisions in a mentally challenging environment.

“Everybody starts the same, but not everyone has the same ending. What you do in one scenario leads into the next,” said Capt. Sara Webb, squadron intelligence officer, 3-4th Cav., responsible for much of the planning behind the training.

Upon landing at the training site, Soldiers were greeted with a protest at the gate.

Upon landing at the training site, Soldiers were greeted with a protest at the gate.

The training followed a free flow design. For example, flying into the Bellows Training Area, a company might encounter a riot outside the gate. How its commander handled that scenario would set up how the rest of the training would proceed, explained Webb.

This type of interactive training was difficult to develop, but was very useful for many of the junior leaders going through the training.

“This is the first time I have ever experienced that,” said 1st Lt. Kolby Kendrick, 3rd Platoon leader, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regt.

While the exercise was tough, leaders emphasized the importance of training hard.

A Soldier from Comanche Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, provides watch while on foot patrol during the unit's situational training exercise, here, Jan. 24.

A Soldier from Comanche Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, provides watch while on foot patrol during the unit’s situational training exercise, here, Jan. 24.

“It is getting them ready for a potential mission to Afghanistan, hiking up the mountains. It is about learning how your body reacts to the heat and wearing your body armor all the time,” said 1st Lt. Andy Ferrara, executive officer, Co. A, 2-27th Inf. Regt.

While the exercise was hard, in the eyes of leaders, it was worth it, .

“They are doing great; they are physically and mentally exhausted,” said Zinn. “I think they are challenged and I think they are uncomfortable and I think when they are done they are going to love it!”

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Category: News, Training

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