Task Force Diamond Head supports 25th ID’s annual Lightning Forge exercise

| February 24, 2016 | 0 Comments
An air medical evacuation team deploys from tactical staging area on Dillingham Airfield, Feb. 7, for missions during the Lightning Forge exercise.

An air medical evacuation team deploys from tactical staging area on Dillingham Airfield, Feb. 7, for missions during the Lightning Forge exercise.

Story and photos by 1st Lt. Alycia Craven
25th Combat Aviation Brigade
25th Infantry Division

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii – Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Avn. Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, combined their aircraft with 3-25th Avn. Regt. and 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regt. to become Task Force Diamond Head, during the 12-day field exercise Lightning Forge.

Task Force Diamond Head supported the 2nd BCT by providing air medical evacuation, troop transport, air assaults and aerial attack and reconnaissance capabilities for their missions.

“Lightning Forge served as a great platform to learn and cooperate. It integrated several units from across the brigade, to include a rotational Apache platoon from Ft. Lewis,” said 1st Lt. Date Dakitse, 2-25th Avn. Regt. assistant operations officer and battle captain during the exercise. “In order to mitigate communication breakdowns and achieve mission success, it became crucial that the tactical operation center, from the battle captain to the radio telephone operator, knew every aspect of the ongoing operations as well as understanding the capabilities and limitations of the ground and aviation assets available.”

Task Force Diamond Head conducts field operations in blaring heat.

Task Force Diamond Head conducts field operations in blaring heat.

“Lightning Forge was a fast-paced environment, which challenged the task force as a whole, but also, the individuals involved in the operations. In the end, I am certain that each Soldier walked away from Lightning Forge, battle tested and more proficient in their primary duties than they were going in,” said Dakitse.

Task Force Diamond Head also had its own tasks to achieve during the exercise. One of which was jumping operations from Wheeler Army Airfield to Dillingham Airfield.

“When the Task Force was finally able to transport its operational position from Wheeler Army Airfield to Dillingham Airfield, we experienced a conflict with two visions. One vision was the Army doctrinal vision, the other was the situational vision. We were able to merge these two visions in a short period of time with the equipment of three battalions in a safe manner which I am proud of,” added Master Sgt. John Vera, 2-25th Avn. Regt. operations noncommissioned officer in charge.

An Apache helicopter flies overhead as a 2-25 Aviation Soldier trudges across the unit tactical assembly area on Dillingham Airfield Feb. 7, for missions during the Lightning Forge exercise.

A 2-25th Avn. Soldier trudges across the unit tactical assembly area on Dillingham Airfield, Feb. 7.

As a collective, these Soldiers enable and drive the greatest things the Army has to offer. There were many tasks that the unit needed to complete in order to be mission capable and serve 2nd BCT the world-class aviation support.

Command Sgt. Maj. Brandi Whitman, senior enlisted adviser, 2-25th Avn. Regt., “Lightning Forge was a great experience for all the Diamond Head Soldiers. The new Soldiers needed to see how the battalion works and what teamwork looks like. I am very proud of everything the Soldiers accomplished. I cannot wait to go to the field again in April.”

(Editor’s note: Craven is the unit Public Affairs representative for the 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division.)

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Category: Exercises, News

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