2IBCT ‘Warriors’ play bad guys & sustain readiness

| July 7, 2017 | 0 Comments

Soldier assigned 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment pulls security, serving as the opposing force at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, Louisiana. (Photo by 1st Lt. Elijah Durian)

Maj. Karen Roxberry
2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team
Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

FORT POLK, Louisiana — Soldiers assigned to 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, “Warriors,” 25th Infantry Division, returned to the Joint Readiness Training Center, here, to experience what it’s like to be the bad guys.

From June 3-30, over 400 Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 21st Inf. Regiment; 65th Brigade Engineer Bn.; and 2nd Bn., 11th Field Artillery Regiment, participated in JRTC’s 17-07.5 rotation, serving as the opposing force, fighting against the rotational training unit, 4th BCT (Airborne), 25th ID, based out of Alaska.

Role playing as forces of the fictional Southern Atropian People’s Army, Warriors experienced what it’s like to be on the other side, providing tough and realistic training that comes from a free thinking enemy opponent that wants to win just as badly.

“As the battle raged on, I was reminded of why I joined this profession,” said 1st Lt. Tyler Sowell, an infantry officer assigned to 1-21st Inf. Bn. “Many people would’ve stopped at the swamp and quit. But I watched as our company pushed through it, fought the fight and completed the mission.”

The training event also provided an opportunity for the Warrior Brigade to execute collective and individual training on the challenging terrain of Fort Polk.

Soldier assigned 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment pulls security, serving as the opposing force at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, Louisiana. (Photo by 1st Lt. Elijah Durian)

“Platoons refined light infantry tactics and fundamentals while also maneuvering through the unforgiving terrain of Fort Polk,” said Maj. Ryan Case, Operations officer for 1-21st Inf. Bn. “The battalion headquarters exercised four iterations of completely analog MDMP (Military Decision Making Process), to include a zone reconnaissance mission, a battalion attack, a battalion defense and air assault operations; conducted mission command of organic and enabling subordinate formations over 59 square km with limited communications; qualified Soldiers on assigned weapon systems; and conducted platoon live fires for six rifle platoons and two engineer platoons from the 65th Bde. Eng. Bn.

“Training events like this are incredible opportunities for Tropic Lightning battalions to capitalize on, as they offer a month-long opportunity to solely focus on training for war,” Case added.

Throughout the training, Sappers from the 65th BEB emplaced a multitude of complex obstacles and also conducted training on base camp construction, defensive obstacle emplacement and platoon live-fire exercises.

Soldier assigned 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment pulls security, serving as the opposing force at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, Louisiana. (Photo by 1st Lt. Elijah Durian)

“This event offered our platoons a rare opportunity to escape the distractions of home and focus on just the development of our cohesion, autonomy. (It) also gave us the ability to train on individual skills,” said Sowell. “From camo to ruck packing to weapons familiarization, as a platoon, we were able to develop individually as Soldiers.”

Over the past few months, the Warrior Brigade has executed decentralized operations: participating in theater security cooperation exercises in the Pacific Region, training future Army leaders at Cadet Summer Training in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and training with their partnered unit, 1st Bn., 151st Inf. Regt., in Camp Atterbury, Indiana.

“Whether it’s training in the harsh outback of Australia, playing opposition forces at JRTC, developing future leaders of our Army at Cadet Summer Training in Fort Knox or going to the range at home station, every single event is an opportunity for us to get after collective and individual training,” said Col. Anthony Lugo, commander, 2IBCT. “We are not only sustaining our readiness but our Army’s readiness.”

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Category: News, Training

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