PTA allows brigade to train for whatever may come

| September 28, 2017 | 0 Comments

Sgt. Michael Blair, a squad leader with D Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, provides gunnery support as his platoon executes a mounted wide-area patrol lane during their rotation through the Pohakuloa Training Area. This training site helps 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division to maintain its readiness to be deployable around the Pacific Rim and the world within 72 hours. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. David N. Beckstrom, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

Story and photo by
Sgt. David N. Beckstrom
2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team
Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA, Hawaii  — Tucked away high in the peaks of the Big Island of Hawaii is a military training area like no other in the region.

The sprawling landscapes and rugged terrain give military service members a chance to spread out and stretch.

With the limited land available to train in the Pacific Rim, the Pohakuloa Training Area is a place for the military to practice their mounted maneuver and wide area objectives.

Spc. Tiffany Lyons, a logistics specialist with 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, practices gunnery techniques during her unit’s rotation through the Pohakuloa Training Area. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. David N. Beckstrom, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

“PTA helps the brigade out a lot because there isn’t much training space on Oahu, much less Schofield Barracks,” said Capt. Sean Butler, current operations planner, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. “Without PTA, we wouldn’t be able to train company-sized elements. Since we train to be ready for anything our nation’s call on us for, we need to be a complete fighting force, not just an individual fighter.”

Training areas like this one afford Soldiers and units the opportunity to train on equipment and drills that they would otherwise not have access to.

“I was able to do things out here that I haven’t done since I have been in the military,” said Spc. Tiffany Lyons, a logistics specialist with 1st Battalion, 27th Inf. Regiment, 2nd IBCT, 25th ID. “Since I came to PTA, I have been able to conduct mounted live-fire, dismounted patrols and military operations on urban terrain (MOUT), which we can’t really do at Schofield Barracks, because we don’t have the room.”

Throughout the year, training centers like PTA are used by members from each service of the armed forces, giving them the chance to polish their skills. While each service member might train for 15 days, when these 15 days are multiplied by the number of service members within the unit, a great deal of work can be accomplished, said Gregory Fleming, the deputy commander, PTA.

Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment are getting ready to conduct a mounted wide-area patrol at during their rotation through the Pohakuloa Training Area. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. David N. Beckstrom, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

“On average, we have more than 13,000 service members from around the Pacific Rim cycle through the training area with more that 190,000 training days among them,” said Fleming. “The service members that come here get access to a rugged environment where they can train on relevant objectives and maintain their military tasks and skills.”

Army units – whether active duty, Reserve or National Guard – from Guam, Samoa, Hawaii and Korea – train at PTA throughout the year to ensure they are ready to deploy, engage and destroy any threat against the nation.

“Having the units from around the Pacific Rim train at the Pohakuloa Training Area, not only helps the security and safety of the area, but (also) it saves the military a lot of money,” said Col. Sean Berg, commander, 196th Infantry Brigade. “Having these service members train at PTA costs about one-tenth of the cost of sending that same unit to the National Training Center in California or the Joint Readiness Training Center in Louisiana.”

Expended rounds litter the floor of the Light Medium Tactical Vehicle at the close of a Military Operations on Urban Terrain lane at the Pohakuloa Training Area. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. David N. Beckstrom, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

The mission of PTA is not only to ensure that Soldiers have a place to train, but also to maintain the fighting force within the Pacific Rim, ensuring they are fully trained and ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.

“We are able to build adaptability when we solidify the fundamental skill of being a Soldier,” said 1st Sgt. John Marenda, senior enlisted adviser, D Co., 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt., 2IBCT. “PTA affords us the opportunity to practice our movement capabilities from the individual level all the way up to division. PTA gives us the chance to be the best fighting force in the Pacific Rim and the world.”

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Category: News, Training, U.S. Army Garrison-Pohakuloa (USAG-Pohakuloa)

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