‘Borzoi Company’ makes air assault during 5-day exercise

| July 5, 2013 | 0 Comments
Members of 1st Plt., Borzoi Co., 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, make a helicopter air assault and immediately set up in a half-moon formation to pull security. The 36-hour air assault was part of a five-day training exercise.

Members of 1st Plt., Borzoi Co., 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, make a helicopter air assault and immediately set up in a half-moon formation to pull security. The 36-hour air assault was part of a five-day training exercise.

Story and photo by 2nd Lt. Hannah Smith
1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment; 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team; 25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — “Five minutes!” called the CH-47D Chinook crew chief, signaling to alert the first chalk of “Borzoi Company,” 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.

“Five minutes!” the chalk echoed back, shaking the knees of their buddies next to them and signaling the five-minute mark.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Sgt. Lance Hagen (kneeling), team leader, Borzoi Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, identifies sectors of fire to Pvt. Nicholas Arnold, rifleman, Co. B., 1-27th Inf. Regt., 2nd SBCT, during the life-fire portion of a five-day training exercise, here, recently. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Hannah Smith, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment Public Affairs, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division)

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Sgt. Lance Hagen (kneeling), team leader, Borzoi Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, identifies sectors of fire to Pvt. Nicholas Arnold, rifleman, Co. B., 1-27th Inf. Regt., 2nd SBCT, during the life-fire portion of a five-day training exercise, here, recently. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Hannah Smith, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment Public Affairs, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division)

At two-minutes, Soldiers released their seatbelts to gather up rucksacks and weapons. Immediately upon landing at the Kahuku Training Area (KTA), the ramp went down and the troops deployed into a half-moon security formation.

As the helicopters departed, leaders huddled in the middle of the formation to check a map and confirm the timeline of events.

The air assault was part of Operation Junction City, a five-day exercise that began with team situational training and a live-fire exercise, followed by an air movement to KTA for 36 hours of squad situational training. The exercise was supported by 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Chinooks from Co. B, 3rd Bn., 25th Aviation Regt., and OH-58 Kiowas from 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regt.

“This mission was difficult because (we were) going into the Kahukus. All of our guys were exhausted from a weekend of day and night fires,” said Staff Sgt. Emmanuel Rodriguez, squad leader, “but the teams performed exceptionally at (training area) KR-5. And despite being tired at the Kahukus, teams and squads were becoming proficient.”

In addition to simple dismounted operations, the cavalry weapons teams helped layer on another level of training as they integrated themselves into several squad missions, said 1st Lt. Joe Orton, Borzoi executive officer.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Sgt. Josh Hagen (right), fire support noncommissioned officer, Borzoi Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, and acting forward observer, discusses the mission at hand with a Kiowa pilot during Operation Junction City, part of a five-day training exercise, here, recently. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Hannah Smith, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment Public Affairs, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division)

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Sgt. Josh Hagen (right), fire support noncommissioned officer, Borzoi Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, and acting forward observer, discusses the mission at hand with a Kiowa pilot during Operation Junction City, part of a five-day training exercise, here, recently. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Hannah Smith, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment Public Affairs, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division)

“Squads were able to use the Kiowas and practice close combat aviation support,” said Orton. “Borzoi forward observers (FOs) and platoon leaders helped talk the Kiowa pilots on target, or helped the pilots locate and track targets to assault.”

“Not only was this a great training opportunity for all the squads in Borzoi Company, but 2-6 Cav. was able to receive real-world training as they worked with the forward observers and platoon leaders,” said 1st Lt. Dan Heether, officer in charge of training. “The pilots of the helicopters got on the ground to speak face to face to FOs and platoon leaders to discuss their missions and how to best operate together.”

Due to multiple training obligations, absent leadership positions allowed key noncommissioned officers to rise up and play a significant role in the exercise.

“While running the tactical operations center for the company, we had to track each platoon and squad as their various missions moved them to many different locations throughout the Kahukus,” said Sgt. Luis Gomez, team leader, 1st Platoon, adding that the 24-hour operations were conducted with four hours on/off cycles. “Myself, and other members of the TOC, understood the intent of our commander and Lt. Heether, and we helped facilitate their training to the best of our abilities.”

“The air assault to the Kahukus enabled squads to conduct retraining on lessons learned from our live-fire, after-action reviews, in addition to the integrated training with the Chinooks and Kiowas,” said Capt. Ed Hoogland, Borzoi commander. “And in the absence of myself and the first sergeant for a portion of the training, a lot of leaders stepped up to fill roles, demonstrating how agile, adaptive and competent they are.”

The Wolfhounds will build further on this training during Operation Mindinao Fury, a nine-day, battalion-wide squad training exercise in the fall, followed by training on the Big Island that focuses on platoon live-fires and a company exercise.

(Editor’s note: Smith is the 1-27th Infantry’s unit public affairs representative.)

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Category: Exercises, News, Training

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