2-35th Inf. Regt., 3rd BCT, wins ‘Best FiST’

| January 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — More than 120 Soldiers, including Soldiers from the 1-151st Infantry Regiment, 76th Brigade Combat Team, Indiana National Guard, competed in the most recent 25th Infantry Division “Best FiST,” or Best Fire Support Team certification and competition, Jan. 5-11 in the East Range Training Area at Schofield Barracks. The “Best FiST” included a fire support equipment layout, a 12-mile ruck march, a land navigation competition, a written test on the tactical employment of fire support assets, and teams were rated on observation post occupation and calling for fire with VBS3 simulation equipment. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Vanessa Atchley, 28th Public Affairs Detachment)

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Glenn Butler
Targeting Officer
25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Twice a year, artillery Soldiers in the 25th Infantry Division compete in a challenging competition and certification to ensure fire support teams are prepared for contingencies around the Pacific Theater.

More than 120 Soldiers, including Soldiers from the 1-151st Infantry Regiment, 76th Brigade Combat Team, Indiana National Guard, competed in the most recent 25th ID “Best FiST” from Jan. 5-11 in the East Range Training Area, here.

“The training is tough, realistic and important,” said Capt. Zachary White, 25th ID assistant fire support officer. “All the fire supporters, once they get done with the long test days, it is something that they can be proud of. It paints a picture for the commanders and senior NCOs (noncommissioned officers) on the quality of the Soldiers they have in their formations and what they need to continue training up on for the next mission.”

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — More than 120 Soldiers, including Soldiers from the 1-151st Infantry Regiment, 76th Brigade Combat Team, Indiana National Guard, competed in the most recent 25th Infantry Division Artillery “Best FiST,” or Best Fire Support Team certification and competition, Jan. 5-11 in the East Range Training Area at Schofield Barracks. The “Best FiST” included a fire support equipment layout, a 12-mile ruck march, a land navigation competition, a written test on the tactical employment of fire support assets, and teams were rated on observation post occupation and calling for fire with VBS3 simulation equipment. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Vanessa Atchley, 28th Public Affairs Detachment)

The Best Fire Support Team competition and certification included a fire support equipment layout, a 12-mile ruck march, a land navigation competition, a written test on the tactical employment of fire support assets, and teams were rated on observation post occupation and calling for fire with VBS3 simulation equipment.

“The approach that we took this year was to incorporate lessons learned from the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, into the Best FiST,” said Lt. Col. Loreto Borce Jr., deputy fire support coordinator, 25th ID. “This year’s Best FiST not only validated fire support skills, but it challenged every Soldier mentally and physically, getting the best out of each Soldier who participated in the Best FiST. I wanted this training event to inspire professionals and give them honest feedback, so they knew what they need to work on.”

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — More than 120 Soldiers, including Soldiers from the 1-151st Infantry Regiment, 76th Brigade Combat Team, Indiana National Guard, competed in the most recent 25th Infantry Division Artillery “Best FiST,” or Best Fire Support Team certification and competition, from Jan. 5-11 in the East Range Training Area at Schofield Barracks. The “Best FiST” included a fire support equipment layout, a 12-mile ruck march, a land navigation competition, a written test on the tactical employment of fire support assets, and teams were rated on observation post occupation and calling for fire with VBS3 simulation equipment. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Vanessa Atchley, 28th Public Affairs Detachment)

The 23 teams, averaging five Soldiers, including a fire support officer, a fire support NCO and a forward observer, prepared for months for the competition, vying for the coveted title “Best FiST.”

The 12-mile ruck march was the start to a five-day FiST certification. Sgt. Matthew Dicristo, Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 35th Inf. Regt., 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th ID, earned the fastest time for the ruck march at 2:09.13.

In addition to the competition, the opportunity to integrate with 1-151st Inf. Regt. was an invaluable outcome of the certification. The Indiana National Guard regiment is partnered with 2nd BCT, 25th ID, as part of the Army Associated Units Program. The program pairs a National Guard or Reserve unit with an active duty counterpart for organization, training and deployments.

The certification also includes a battalion-level fire support rehearsal. The fire support officers and their teams briefed commanders from the 2nd Bn., 11th Field Artillery Regt.; the 3rd Bn., 7th FA Regt.; and 25th ID Division Artillery, on the detailed integration of the fire support plans they composed in support of a maneuver element. Junior leaders got direct feedback from senior artillerymen in the 25th ID on their respective plans and their ability to provide shared understanding across a staff.

After a grueling week of competition, Maj. Gen. Ronald P. Clark, commanding general, 25th ID, recognized the top-performing Soldiers. Spc. Johnathan White, Battery C, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 2nd IBCT, earned the individual title “Best FiST Soldier,” and Sgt. Charles Laabs, Battery C, 1-27th Inf. Regt., earned the title of “Best FiST Leader.”

“I was lucky enough to be assigned to a great team with knowledgeable leaders that prepped me for the event,” said White.

Soldiers from Battery C “Charlie Rock,” 2nd Bn., 35th Inf. Regt., 3rd BCT, earned the overall “Best FiST.” The team included Pvt. Reed Kennedy, Sgt. Matthew Dicristo, Sgt. Joshua Holliman, Staff Sgt. Brett Lavigne and 1st Lt. Derek Swanson.

“We expect excellence in all we do, be it calling for fire or rucking up East Range, and we train accordingly,” said Swanson. “I think our key to success during FiST certification was establishing a clear sense of Charlie Rock identity early on, so whether it be a new private with two months in the Army or a staff sergeant with eight years’ experience, buying in is easy. It is great seeing that training pay off in an event such as the 25th Infantry Division artillery certification.”

Winners
•Best FiST Soldier
Spc. Johnathan White of Battery C, 1-27th Inf. Regt., 2nd IBCT
•Best FiST Leader
Sgt. Charles Laabs of Battery C, 1-27th Inf. Regt., 2nd IBCT
•Best FiST Team
Battery C “Charlie Rock,” 2-35th Inf. Regt., 3rd BCT

 

 

 

 

 

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