Story and photo by Sgt. Grady Jones
3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
Signal Soldiers from 4th Infantry Division headquarters participated in vehicle familiarization training provided by their counterparts from 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, Oct. 16 in the unit’s motor pool.
Soldiers belonging to the division’s Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Information Management, or G-6, received familiarization on the Bradley fighting vehicle and M-1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank, during upgrades to communications equipment.
“Most of the Soldiers under my leadership have never seen a tank or Bradley fighting vehicle up close,” said Maj. John Drake, assistant chief of staff for information management, 4th Inf. Div. “So we came down here so that we could see the ‘tip of the spear,’ and see how our daily work impacts the tactical edge here.”
The 1st Bn., 68th Armor Reg., 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div., which recently assumed its role in the Global Response Force mission in support of 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C., was making changes to communications equipment in order to enhance the unit’s compatibility with technologies used in 82nd Airborne Div.
In the Army, there are challenges when plans concerning training and operations are made at higher echelons, said Capt. Tyler Johnson, G-6 plans officer, 4th Inf. Div.
“Finding out what’s going on with a tank makes it easier for us to plan,” said Johnson. “It helps to have a picture in your head as to what the guy on the ground has to do, when you’re making grandiose plans at the division level.”
Combining all the efforts, echelons and resources for a mission is vital for mission success, said Sgt. Clayton Wilkerson, M-1 armor crewman, Company C, 1st Bn., 68th Armor Reg.
“It’s the Army,” said Wilkerson. “You have your logistics side and the combat side. It’s good when the logistics (personnel) actually come down, and they’re legitimately interested (in learning) about what we do.”
Having division leadership and Soldiers participate in training at the battalion level proved to have a good effect on the unit and the division, said 1st Lt. Avron Bloom, signal officer, 1st Bn., 68th Armor Reg.
“It was definitely positive,” said Bloom. “Now they will have a little background as to what’s entailed with the vehicles and the upgrades.”