Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Fort Carson Mountaineer

‘Raiders’ refine battle skills

Capt. Pete Erickson, right, commander, Company A, 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, meets with a village elder, played by a Soldier from 4th Bn., 42nd Field Artillery Reg., 1st BCT, during a “Raider Strike” training scenario at Camp Red Devil, June 5.

Story and photo by Spc. Nathan Thome

1st Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division

Soldiers of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, continued to train and hone their skills during “Raider Strike” conducted at Fort Carson ranges, June 5, in preparation for an upcoming rotation to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., in October.

“Raider Strike provided extensive training to maneuver companies, who used the exercise to refine their battle drills in a decisive action operations environment,” said Maj. Brian Herzick, fire support coordinator, 1st BCT.

The exercise offered scenarios to units training for potential adversaries U.S. forces might face in the 21st century. In a decisive action training environment, Soldiers learn to assume missions ranging from deterring and defeating aggression to providing humanitarian assistance and engaging with allies, while training partner forces.

During Raider Strike, Soldiers conducted hands-on training on unit maneuvers, force protection and key leader engagements, said Staff Sgt. Robert Tylor, brigade physical security noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div.

Company A, 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st BCT, trained to provide security for a village, while Soldiers from 4th Bn., 42nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st BCT, served as role-players, acting as villagers and enemy forces.

“During the role-playing scenario, a village elder came to our outpost to talk about the American presence in the area,” said Capt. Pete Erickson, commander, Company A, 1st Bn., 66th Armored Reg. “Soldiers set up a perimeter, so the elder and I could talk in private, while also providing security for the villagers.”

Upon completing training events, leaders conducted an after-action review, providing units information on how to improve, so “Raider” Soldiers will be better prepared for NTC.

“We have taken everything we’ve learned and constantly tried to find ways to improve on it,” said Tylor.

He said that while the majority of Fort Carson celebrated Iron Horse Week, 1st BCT Soldiers continued to train during Raider Strike, because they wanted to enhance their skills to accomplish the mission.

Raider Strike is scheduled to end June 29, after which 1st BCT Soldiers will begin preparing to deploy to NTC, where units will use their enhanced skills during realistic combat situations.

“Overall, I believe this training went very well, and Soldiers got a worthwhile experience that will stay with them,” said Maj. Colin Brooks, executive officer, 1st Bn., 22nd Inf. Reg. “Soldiers fully immersed themselves in the scenarios, each time getting better with experience, which serves as an advantage for future training missions.”

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