3rd BCT ‘Broncos’ prepare at JRTC to win the fight

| May 15, 2015 | 0 Comments
Pfc. Anthony Mercado, 3-7th Field Artillery Regiment, tosses an expended shell casing after firing the howitzer during a grueling 10 days of decisive action training at the JRTC. The Broncos are slated to support Pacific Pathways this summer.

Pfc. Anthony Mercado, 3-7th Field Artillery Regiment, tosses an expended shell casing after firing the howitzer during a grueling 10 days of decisive action training at the JRTC. The Broncos are slated to support Pacific Pathways this summer.

Story and photos by Sgt. Brian C. Erickson
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

FORT POLK, Louisiana — More than 2,900 Broncos from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, arrived here, April 30-May 9, for training at the Joint Readiness Training Center.

During the exercise, Soldiers were deployed to the fictional country of Atropia to partner with the friendly nation and deter aggression in the region.

The Broncos endured a 16-day training schedule, with the first four days at the intermediate staging base, followed by 10 days of grueling decisive action training described as being “in the box.”

They also experienced a wide variety of non-English speaking role players, such as civilians on the battlefield, including those who support the current government, those trying to overthrow the government and neutral civilians that were swayed by the outcome of U.S. presence.

“This training will help the Soldiers improve in their military occupation specialty, as well as their self awareness,” said Col. Scott Kelly, commander, 3rd BCT.

Pfc. Aryana Rowan, assigned to A Co., 325 Bde. Support Btn., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, fills the fuel tank of a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle during her unit's rotation at the JRTC at Fort Polk, Louisiana, on May 8. (Photo by Sgt. Brian C. Erickson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

Pfc. Aryana Rowan, assigned to A Co., 325 Bde. Support Btn.,
3rd BCT, 25th ID, fills the fuel tank of a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle during her unit’s rotation at the JRTC at Fort Polk, Louisiana, on May 8.

Each section of the units partaking in the training benefited from a JRTC observer/controller (O/C) during the exercise.

“The role of the O/C is to teach, coach and mentor them in an attempt to aid the leader’s contributions to the unit’s mission,” said Kelly. “Having an external set of eyes looking at the unit makes all of us better.”

This training is made to be as realistic as possible to fully prepare Soldiers for the diverse challenges they could face in future deployments.

“This is the doctorate level of warfighting, a challenge more than anything home station training could give these Soldiers,” said Kelly.

Members of the Bronco Brigade are expected to deploy this summer in support of Pacific Pathways, a partnership exercise that employs the best-trained units in engagements and exercises with partners to improve the quality of those exchanges, build capacity and achieve interoperability.

What’s in the Box?

JRTC conducts tough, realistic, multi-echelon, joint and combined arms training to develop bold innovative leaders that are able to deal with complex situations.

The box, more than 100,000 acres, is another world that lies within Fort Polk. It’s constructed to be as realistic as possible, made up of structures simulating foreign markets, farms, mosques, homes, embassies and military posts.

As part of training, rotational units also encounter nongovernmental organizations, competing organizations, political parties, media, local police, paramilitary forces and uniformed/non-uniformed insurgent military forces.

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Category: Exercises, News, Training

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