2nd BCT takes on Lighting Forge 2016

| February 12, 2016 | 2 Comments
A Soldier with Company B, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, provides over-watch for his platoon Feb. 5, 2016, during training exercise Lightning Forge at Bellows Training Area. The main purpose of exercise Lightning Forge is to certify 2nd BCT’s ability to transition from a Stryker brigade to a Light Infantry brigade. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ian Ives, 2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs/Released)

 Company B, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, provides over-watch, Feb. 5, during training exercise Lightning Forge at Bellows Training Area.

 

Story and photos by Sgt. Ian Ives
2nd Brigade Combat Team
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — On Feb. 1, Soldiers of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, began training exercise Lightning Forge 2016 across military training areas throughout Hawaii.

Exercise Lightning Forge is a home station combined training certification that validates that the 2nd BCT is prepared to conduct light infantry operations throughout the Pacific. The exercise marks the first time the unit has trained at the brigade scale since starting the transition from a Stryker Brigade late last year.

During training exercise Lightning Forge, a platoon of Soldiers with Company B, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, get in position to attack an objective Feb. 5, 2016, at Bellows Training Area. The main purpose of exercise Lightning Forge is to certify 2nd BCT’s ability to transition from a Stryker brigade to a Light Infantry brigade. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ian Ives, 2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs/Released)

During training exercise Lightning Forge, a platoon of Soldiers with Company B, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, get in position to attack an objective, Feb. 5,  at Bellows Training Area.

Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd BCT, played a pivotal role during Lightning Forge 2016 as it was tasked with the mission of establishing and operating the brigade’s tactical operations center (TOC), which serves as the primary control center for conducting operations.

“The main focus of HHC, Bde., is the build-up of light infantry readiness,” said Capt. Dave Zelaya, battle captain for HHC. “To do this, we have to ingrain like culture into every battalion and every Soldier in the brigade for the transition to a light infantry unit.”

The way the brigade TOC works in conjunction with its subordinate battalions is by sending commands and information down to battalion TOCs, and then tracking the resulting actions. By doing this, the brigade TOC can ensure its units are meeting the brigade and division commanders’ intent.

An infantryman with Company B, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, locks his sights on an enemy roleplayer Feb. 5, 2016, during training exercise Lightning Forge at Bellows Training Area. The main purpose of exercise Lightning Forge is to certify 2nd BCT’s ability to transition from a Stryker brigade to a Light Infantry brigade. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ian Ives, 2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs/Released)

An infantryman with Company B, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, locks his sights on an enemy roleplayer Feb. 5.

“This exercise will help by creating adaptive, rehearsed and refined warfighting functions to enable future success once we completely switch to a light infantry unit,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Pytel, HHC.

Ensuring that junior Soldiers within the unit are competent in their tasks is a must during this transition to a light infantry brigade.

“Junior Soldiers need to know that every Soldier plays a vital role and has an affect on the overall mission,” said Pytel. “Whether it is placing concertina wire or assaulting an objective, they have an impact on his or her unit’s success.”

Following the success of Lightning Forge, the unit must now prepare for the final step of transitioning by going to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., next year.

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Category: Exercises, News

Comments (2)

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  1. Theresa I. says:

    Another interesting article with great photos. I really enjoy seeing how our soldiers are staying prepared for any unforeseen conflict.

  2. Aunt Susan says:

    Nice job, nephew!! Great photos!

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