Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Porch
2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
PIÑON CANYON MANEUVER SITE — High intensity combat training began for Soldiers of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, after they relocated to Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site, Feb. 19-23, in preparation for a monthlong field training exercise.
As Soldiers arrived, they were assigned sleeping tents and received mandatory classes before moving to their assigned training sites. Their vehicles were staged in a marshaling area while additional vehicles were offloaded from rail cars.
“As the brigade arrives at Piñon Canyon, we are replicating the procedures that we would follow as we enter a combatant theater using reception, staging, onward movement and integration training,” said Master Sgt. Phillip Cornell, brigade master gunner, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd BCT.
Units will have time, resources and personnel to conduct a variety of training ranging from offensive and defensive maneuvers to stability operations during the monthlong training.
“The units are in a crawling, walk stage,” said Capt. Luke Bowers, deputy current operations officer, HHT. “When they leave, they should be at a brisk walk or a nearly running phase. Companies should be effective in connecting their operations and mission essential task list.”
Bowers said he knows the units will have obstacles to overcome.
“Units will have to be self-sustaining and have a general understanding of the mission, the intent and be able to accomplish that within the boundaries provided,” said Bowers.
Communicating orders quickly and concisely to convey the intent without relying on a robust communications system is essential, said Bowers.
For many of the junior leaders, this is the first time operating away from counterinsurgency operations, which have been used to fight the war on terror for the past 10 years.
“A lot of junior leaders have not done many of these tactical tasks,” said Cornell. “The only time they have done them was during initial training, basic officer and noncommissioned officer courses or a professional school. This is an opportunity for
leaders to actually get down on the ground, execute these tactical tasks, take away lessons learned and go back to Fort Carson with knowledge that will drive our onward training into the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif., and preparation to enter the (U.S.) Central Command area of operations.”