‘Cacti’ conduct live-fire training with teammates

| March 21, 2016 | 0 Comments
Photo by Spc. Patrick Kirby, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Mortarmen with Bravo Company, 2-35th Inf. Regt., set in and lay cover fire at the BAX, March 12, as part of a combined arms live-fire exercise.

Photos by Spc. Patrick Kirby, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division
Mortarmen with Bravo Company, 2-35th Inf. Regt., set in and lay cover fire at the BAX, March 12, as part of a combined arms live-fire exercise.

 

Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The “Cacti,” 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, held a company combined arms live-fire exercise (CALFEX) at the Battle Area Complex (BAX), here, March 8-13.

“We essentially have an infantry company team,” said Maj. Jacob White, operations officer, 2-35th Inf. Regt. “So, what makes it a team is it’s our core infantry company, and they have a heavy weapons platoon attached, which is four humvee gun trucks.”

Lt. Col. Ryan O’Connor, commander, 2-35th Inf. Regt., said Cacti created the exercise for the company level.

AT-4 anti-tank missile

AT-4 anti-tank missile

“The company is the training audience,” O’Connor said. “We tried to design the exercise, so it makes tactical sense and the company can practice what the company would do in combat situations.”

Such exercises are normally held at Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island of Hawaii.

“Here on the island of Oahu, it is a smaller impact area, so we have to do a lot of management around the edges to make sure the company is free to do what they need to do to train,” O’Connor said.

The Soldiers had conducted extensive training in advance for the final live-fire exercise last weekend (March 12-13).

“We started last month doing squad live fire,” O’Connor said, “so we do all the progression to get up to a squad, which is then able to fire maneuver under live conditions.”

What truly made it a combined arms exercise was the integration of combat elements from the 3-7th Field Artillery Regt., Sappers from the 29th Bde. Engineer Bn. and combat aviation elements from the 2-6th Cav. Regt.

“They’ll go from just breaching the obstacle and taking out a bunker, (to) establishing a foothold, to clearing the entire objective and fighting off a counter attack,” White said. “To execute that larger mission, we’ll use a larger force; we’ll bring the whole company out here and build to that as the culminating event. From a combined arms perspective, we have infantry, engineers, aviators and field artillerymen. All those different specialists of the Army come together to make a combined arms team.”

“So that entire team can come out here in the BAX of Schofield Barracks and execute a live fire together to help train our core warfighting functions,” he added.

It isn’t often that a heavy infantry company has supported mortars,

AH-64 Apache

AH-64 Apache

sappers, field guns and AH-64 Apaches.

“On the rare occasions that we get together to plan a larger event that we can incorporate some of our warfighting functions like the artillery, aviation and engineer communities into our training is invaluable, because in reality, if we ever deploy, we don’t deploy as infantryman, we deploy as an Army,” White said. “Having that interaction with our brothers in the different specialties out there is critical to what we do.”

An AT-4 anti-tank missile hits the target at the BAX.

An AT-4 anti-tank missile hits the target at the BAX.

O’Connor found the live exercise was great, not just for the battalion, but all elements involved.

“We have seen exponential progression for every platoon, and now this company,” O’Connor said. “It is great to see that, and it’s very important and valuable for the Soldiers and the leaders. Exercises like these ensure confidence of the Soldiers in their weapons and equipment, and their leaders, units and their buddies on their left and right.”

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: Exercises, News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *