205th MI Bn. prepares for uncertainty

| June 12, 2015 | 0 Comments
Sgt. Shan’Draya Rutheford, human intelligence collector, Company C, 205th MI Bn., 500th MI Bde., directs her team while reacting to contact during a simulated training lane as part of the battalion’s annual field training exercise at Kahuku Training Area, May 29-June 1. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins, 500th MI Brigade Public Affairs)

Sgt. Shan’Draya Rutheford, human intelligence collector, Co. C, 205th MI Bn., 500th MI Bde., directs her team while reacting to contact during a simulated training lane as part of the battalion’s annual field training exercise at Kahuku Training Area, May 29-June 1.

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins
500th Military Intelligence Brigade Public Affairs

KAHUKU TRAINING AREA — As part of the 205th Military Intelligence Battalion’s field training exercise, Soldiers from the “Vigilant Pacific” battalion demonstrated their warfighting ability to conduct continuous, multidisciplined, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations, May 29-June 1, here.

Adding to the realism of a true deployment, the exercise began with the 3rd Bn., 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Avn. Brigade, providing airlift operations transporting Soldiers to the training area.

“I was excited for the airlift. I absolutely loved flying in the Chinook,” said Spc. Brian O. Solecki, human intelligence collector, Company C. The Ojai, California, native and Battalion Soldier of the Year added, “It’s an experience that every Soldier looks forward to and was an awesome way to start our FTX (field training exercise).”

Command Sgt. Maj. David E. Brasher, senior enlisted advisor, 205th MI Bn., 500th MI Bde., observes Sgt. Shan’Draya, Rutheford, human intelligence collector, Company C, 205th MI Bn., 500th MI Bde., providing suppressive fire during the battalion’s annual field training exercise, Kahuku Training Area, May 29-June 1. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins, 500th MI Brigade Public Affairs)

Command Sgt. Maj. David E. Brasher, senior enlisted adviser, 205th MI Bn., 500th MI Bde., observes Sgt. Shan’Draya, Rutheford, human intelligence collector, Company C, 205th MI Bn., 500th MI Bde., providing suppressive fire during the battalion’s annual field training exercise at Kahuku Training Area

Prior to the air movement, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment led the way by conducting ground convoy operations in support of the brigade’s phase 0/1 operations. HHD established both the tactical operations center (TOC) and administrative and logistics operations center (ALOC).

“The TOC/ALOC facilitates battalion-level mission command, sustainment and administrative operations in support of contingency operations. The support is critical to the entire exercise execution,” said Capt. George Gurrola, HHD.

Once on the ground, the Soldiers broke-up into teams and started with priorities of work.

“After landing, we were transported in LMTVs (light medium tactical vehicles) to our respective company area to begin setting up our sleeping area,” said Solecki. “After setting up tents and situating our equipment, we ate chow and received a brief from our commanding officer.”

Once on the ground at the Kahuku Training Area, Soldiers with the 205th MI Bn., 500th MI Bde., begin movement to their respective training locations as a part of the battalion’s annual field training exercise, May 29-June 1. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Thomas G. Collins, 500th MI Brigade Public Affairs)

Once on the ground at the KTA,  the 205th MI Bn., begins movement to its respective training locations.

Following situation briefings, the Soldiers prepared for the uncertain challenges ahead. The lanes had been intentionally undisclosed until the Soldiers were on them, enhancing the difficulty and realism of the exercise.

“They challenged us physically and mentally with (simulated) ambushes, hidden IEDs (improvised explosive devices), role players who were indistinguishable as friend or foe, key leader engagements, CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) attacks, convoy operations, sniper fire, tactical site exploitation, room clearing, vehicle searches and more,” said Solecki, exhausted from the day’s events.

Speaking to the importance of the training, Sgt. James Legier, imagery analyst, Co. A, said, “The lanes were well thought out and effective. Each scenario was based on a skill set required to conduct our battalion mission.”

With the drawdown of forces and deployments, leaders at all levels must find ways to maintain readiness and mission effectiveness.

“Some of our Soldiers have not deployed before,” said Legier. “Utilizing the Kahuku Training Area like this, we are able to train our Soldiers on Soldier tasks and mission essential tasks.”

It is important for intelligence Soldiers to be able to operate in today’s complex environment.

“This type of training gives you skills and experiences to operate on a battlefield,” said Col. Patrick J. Wempe, commander, 500th MI Bde., while talking with troops prior to a training lane. “Having this tactical skill set allows you to work with maneuver forces and meet the high expectations of combatant commanders.”

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Category: Exercises, News

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