45th STB builds confidence and teamwork during live fire

| October 24, 2014 | 0 Comments
Soldiers at a Humvee firing weapons.

“If it’s not raining, we’re not training.” Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Morgan (center), 45th STB, demonstrates how to lay down suppressive fire during a convoy live-fire exercise. The CLFX took place Oct. 13-17 in spite of heavy rains from Tropical Storm Ana.

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Taresha Hill
8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs
8th Theater Sustainment Command


SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The Army’s future rests on the shoulders of its newest troops, and the 45th Special Troops Battalion uses combat-oriented training, like its recent convoy live-fire exercise (CLFX), to expose its junior Soldiers to the stresses and scenarios of real-world missions.

Despite rain and the impending arrival of Tropical Storm Ana over Oahu, the 45th STB, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, pressed on with the CLFX, Oct. 13-17, here, upholding the well-known Army motto, “If it’s not raining, we’re not training.”

“We want to build confidence within our organization, all the way down to the lowest level,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Morgan, the battalion’s senior enlisted advisor. “It’s important to be able to understand each individual Soldier’s capabilities.”

The unit’s troops range from privates to senior officers across multiple career fields, and provide financial management, signal, movement control, transportation, supply and services, and logistics support to Army Service Component Command forces and regional partners throughout the Pacific.

Soldier firing weapon

A 45th STB warrior participates in a convoy live fire training exercise, Oct. 13-17.

Morgan said that while it is true that new troops receive convoy live-fire training in basic training, it is only a small taste and isn’t nearly the experience Soldiers will need when deploying or performing other missions in stressful situations.

The training tested each company’s standing operating procedures and individual Soldiers’ abilities to function and make decisions in high-stressed environments.

Morgan said that it is only through realistic training that leaders can get a true assessment of their troops and units.

“We have to build a foundation, a solid base for our organization,” said Morgan. “It’s the only way we can actually figure out where we need to improve and where we’re doing well.”

Each company went through two blank-fire iterations, where troops were evaluated before moving on to live ammunition.


Morgan emphasized, “If they reached that level of efficiency, and we’re confident in their ability to negotiate the course safely, only then will we move on.”

This focus on safety existed at every level during the training.

As a gunner during their convoy, Spc. Joshua Smith of the 73rd Signal Company, said that while he was nervous and pumped up, he was always vigilant in keeping his battle buddies safe.

He said that the training ultimately strengthened both his awareness and confidence.

Smith hasn’t performed his mission in a deployed environment yet.

“Normally I sit behind a desk, but I now know I would be able to sit in a turret and cover my buddies in a convoy,” Smith said.

Teamwork was also a critical goal he wanted to accomplish with the exercise, Morgan said.

As the convoy commander in her team, Sgt. Lady Jennifer Cariazowatts, also a 73rd Sig. Co. troop, said that, while it was a new and stressful experience for her, by the second round of blank fire, she, too, felt more in tune with her team and more confident as its leader.

Morgan said that when his unit can get each Soldier involved and believing in each other and the organization, especially in this type of realistic live-fire exercise, it can build the safety, confidence and esprit de corps that will make the difference in future missions.

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Category: News, Training

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