Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Fort Carson Mountaineer

Support companies hone combat skills: Testing capabilities at FTX

By 1st. Lt. Sophia Imperioli | 4th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division

FORT CARSON, Colo. — Throughout the beginning of June, companies deployed to the training areas of Fort Carson to conduct field training exercises (FTX), where they practiced mission essential tasks (MET). The Soldiers had the chance to get in the dirt and get hands on various equipment such as medical evacuation, vehicle recovery and distribution operations in a variety of conditions to simulate a combat environment.

The purpose of conducting company-level FTXs is to ensure the support Soldiers are able to sustain operations for larger events like battalion- and brigade-level exercises. Consistent focus on mission-critical tasks fosters the expeditionary mindset that is key to remaining ready for deployments.

“We are proud of our sustainers and medical personnel for their continued efforts to sharpen their skills to better provide support to the ‘Raider’ Brigade,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth McCarn, senior enlisted leader, 4th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. “It’s all in keeping with the ‘fight tonight’ mentality.”

Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th BSB, 1st SBCT, was charged with mission command and ensuring the battalion had an adequate understanding of the battle space to make decisions that not only affect internal operations, but that affect brigade support as well.

“Titans are professionals because we execute with lethality first and foremost,” said Capt. Angelo Uele, commander, HHC, 4th BSB, 1st SBCT. “Secondly, we are force multipliers; because of the variety of the sustainment (jobs) in our company, we enable first brigade’s warfighters to go farther and faster to destroy the enemy without hesitation.”

Alpha Company was the main distribution effort of the tactical brigade support area (BSA). It is comprised of a fuel and water platoon, a supply support activity platoon and a transportation platoon.

During the company’s FTX, Soldiers trained on convoy operations for the purpose of executing logistics resupply points (LRP) missions in which two units link up in order to disburse vital supplies needed on the frontline.

“The exercise provided Soldiers and junior leaders the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the unit’s mission essential tasks and company tactics, techniques and procedures,” said Sgt. Andrew Vosick, transportation platoon, 1st SBCT. “Many of the newer Soldiers got to experience their first field training,

which allowed leaders to introduce the vast array of tasks we carry out, all while still building cohesion and creating experienced logisticians.”

Bravo Company executed maintenance and recovery operations for both the battalion and the brigade, recovered a high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle (HMMWV) and practiced establishing perimeter security with heavy machine guns.

“It was my first FTX with the company,” said 2nd Lt. Stephanie Hunter, maintenance platoon leader, Bravo Company, 4th BSB, 1st SBCT. “It was great getting out there and leading the Soldiers to train on setting up our portion of the BSA in preparation for the upcoming battalion-level FTX. It also allowed the new Soldiers to learn their roles and integrate fully with the unit.”

Charlie Company was responsible for the medical treatment and evacuation of the brigade across the battlefield to higher echelons of care. The troops set up the Role II Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) where casualties received treatment, as well as executing ambulance exchange points (AXP), where patients are transferred between medical platforms.

“I learned a substantial amount about my role as an X-ray technician in a mass casualty (MASCAL) situation,” said Spc. Aaron Lloren, radiology technician, Charlie Company, 4th BSB, 1st SBCT. “It quickly became apparent that clear communication, vigilance and fluidity was vital to accomplishing tasks. When X-rays were not presently needed, I had to quickly learn how to assist in triaging and preparing patients for movement.”

Each company was responsible for deploying with all of its available equipment and personnel, setting up a tactical footprint and testing capabilities on ground. Soldiers had the chance to conduct military occupational specialty-specific training; making the exercise as realistic and close to a real-life mission as possible.

“From loadup to cleanup, every individual had to stay flexible to execute this FTX,” Lloren said. “I’m looking forward to expanding my skills to assist the combat medics in making the mission a success.”

Support companies hone combat skills: Testing capabilities at FTX
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