Cacti warriors conduct air assault at Bellows

| December 11, 2015 | 0 Comments
Photos by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division A Black Hawk, transporting Cacti Soldiers of the 2-35th Inf. Regt., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, flies over Kaneohe Bay in the early morning, Dec. 2. The Soldiers flew to Marine Corps Training Area Bellows to conduct air assault operations.

Photos by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division
A Black Hawk, transporting Cacti Soldiers of the 2-35th Inf. Regt., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, flies over Kaneohe Bay in the early morning, Dec. 2. The Soldiers flew to Marine Corps Training Area Bellows to conduct air assault operations.

 

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

MARINE CORPS TRAINING AREA BELLOWS — Instead of deploying to the Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island for a battalion-sized exercise, “Cacti” Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, conducted a two-day battalion air assault exercise, here, Dec. 2.

“It is rare for our battalion to be able to exercise at this level of training without having to go to a CTC (Combat Training Center) rotation,” said Chris Newman, plans officer, 2-35th Inf. Regt., 3rd BCT.

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To begin the exercise, leaders from 2-35th Inf. Regt., and 2-25th Aviation Regt, 25th Combat Avn. Bde., conducted planning in a condensed 48-hour window.

According to Newman, the timing and synchronization of the aerial and ground pieces were critical to the success of the mission. The condensed timeline forced the planning to move from one step to the next quickly, forcing everyone to stay abreast of the fast-paced mission.

“Working in synchronization with our aviators to ensure we meet the commander’s intent is the kind of teamwork that is key to successful planning,” Newman said.

Cacti Soldiers a form a defensive perimeter after dismounting their helicopter, Dec. 2, during a battalion-sized air assault operation. Normally, an exercise of this scale would be conducted at PTA on the Big Island.

Cacti Soldiers a form a defensive perimeter after dismounting their helicopter, Dec. 2, during a battalion-sized air assault operation. Normally, an exercise of this scale would be conducted at PTA on the Big Island.

During the course of the operation, orders were sent to each of the companies. The company staff then had to conduct their own mission analysis and planning.

Some of the tasks the commanders had to prepare for were reacting to contact, clearing buildings and sensitive sight exploitation.

Once on the ground at Bellows, the Cacti Soldiers headed toward their objective: a large urban area with several multistory buildings.

“This was an extremely fruitful training event that provided the Soldiers with a plethora of skills needed to increase their proficiency,” Newman said. “This exercise definitely increased our abilities as warfighters.”

According to one of the squad leaders, the Soldiers were able to make the most out of the training exercise.

“Training is all about getting back to the basics. Even the basic fundamentals can sometimes get fuzzy, so anytime we get a couple days, back to back, to hone our skills is good training,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Castro, squad leader, A. Co. 2-35th.

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At the end of the day, when the mission was complete, the plans officer summarized the training.

“Overall, the units did great, and when you plan an operation over a 48-hour period, and are successful at the end of the day, it is just really satisfying,” Newman said.

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Category: Exercises, News

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