2nd SBCT conducts 1st CALFEX in decade

| March 1, 2013 | 0 Comments
A Stryker gunner from 2nd Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, fires the mobile gun system on the combined arms live-fire lane during the brigade-wide exercise “Warrior Spear,” held in February at Schofield Barracks. The exercise worked all of 2nd SBCT’s warfighting functions in preparation for upcoming missions throughout the Pacific region.

A Stryker gunner from 2nd Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, fires the mobile gun system on the combined arms live-fire lane during the brigade-wide exercise “Warrior Spear,” held in February at Schofield Barracks. The exercise worked all of 2nd SBCT’s warfighting functions in preparation for upcoming missions throughout the Pacific region.

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Sean Everette
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

A combined arms live fire exercise (CALFEX), the first held on Oahu in more than a decade, was run here by 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team as one of the components of its recent brigade-wide training exercise “Warrior Spear.”

“Most of the CALFEXes we do are on the Big Island at Pohakuloa Training Area,” said Capt. Jerry Wolfe, lead CALFEX planner and officer in charge. “Before now there was no maneuver area to do a CALFEX on Oahu, but with Range Division help, we were able to maneuver and get our training objectives met.”

A CALFEX is a complex operation that involves more than just Soldiers on the ground. By conducting this exercise now, 2nd Bde. made sure it would be prepared for any future operations.

A squad of 2nd Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt. Soldiers advances to its objective on the combined arms live fire-lane. The CALFEX, or combined arms live-fire exercise, is the first in 10 years on Oahu, and was made possible by using existing ranges on Schofield Barracks.

A squad of 2nd Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt. Soldiers advances to its objective on the combined arms live fire-lane. The CALFEX, or combined arms live-fire exercise, is the first in 10 years on Oahu, and was made possible by using existing ranges on Schofield Barracks.

“The worst thing we could do is have a company commander conduct his first CALFEX in combat,” said Col. Thomas Mackey, commander, 2nd SBCT. “So, we have provided them the opportunity to learn how to not only use the organic weapons systems they have within their company or their troop, but also then to add combined arms, so the commander can truly integrate and synchronize real, live, indirect- or direct-fire in order to accomplish the mission laid out in front of them.”

Mackey said each company commander had his unit’s regular components: three infantry platoons, a mobile gun system platoon, a mortar section with two 120mm mortar systems, snipers and medical evacuation assets. Each company also had several enablers attached.

 

A mortar team from 2nd Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt., 2nd SBCT drops 60mm mortar rounds.

A mortar team from 2nd Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt., 2nd SBCT drops 60mm mortar rounds.

Additional contributions included tactical explosive detection dogs, an engineer squad, a Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle and artillery batteries from the 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment.

The combined assets to the mission gave company commanders a greater span of control than they might normally have had.

“It gives them a chance to practice the way we fight, with all of the tools available,” Wolfe said. “A lot of times, you can run things in simulation and see how things work, but until you actually have all of the assets and see the potential friction points, you don’t see how things may be delayed or how you may have to change plans, accordingly. So, having this exercise makes the commander more agile and flexible than he probably would be on a traditional live fire.”

During the three weeks of “Warrior Spear,” each infantry battalion and the cavalry squadron sent its Soldiers to absorb invaluable experience available only through the CALFEX.

“Having done all nine infantry companies and all three cavalry troops, a tremendous amount of lessons have been learned by the organization, about how we integrate all these other arms into a combined arms team to effectively support maneuver,” Mackey said.

“I’m absolutely pleased with the work ethic, the willingness to learn and the results of the exercise. It will make us better in the future as we build upon this,” Mackey added.

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