By Sgt. Inez Hammon | 14th Public Affairs Detachment
Calls of “Battle buddy, cover me while I move!” break the still silence of a brisk Fort Carson morning.
Soldiers with Signal, Intelligence and Sustainment Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, covered each other’s movement with suppressive fire during a live-fire exercise Oct. 31, 2019, at ranges on Fort Carson.
Despite the adverse weather, about 40 Soldiers increased lethality and tested their critical thinking skills during the build-up battle buddy team exercise, which consisted of dry, blank and live iterations.
“Normally this is not routine training for Soldiers assigned to HHBN, so giving our Soldiers exposure to basic tactical and maneuver skills through live-fire exercises ensures they are ready for whatever situation they may encounter in a combat environment and be able to react,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Rietta Owens, senior enlisted leader, HHBN.
Battle buddy team live-fire exercises are designed to improve teamwork and communication skills in real-life engagement scenarios.
Soldiers practiced movement techniques while moving with their battle buddies to assess and engage 25-meter simulated targets during the dry and blank runs. The live-fire iteration gave the Soldiers a realistic training experience with live ammunition.
Owens recognizes the importance of keeping Soldiers’ basic tactical maneuver skills sharpened in order to be ready.
The training progression leading up to the exercise included marksmanship qualification, hand and arm signals, firstaid and combat techniques.
“The battlefield doesn’t care what (military occupational specialty) you are,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Morris, battalion commander, HHBN. “Everybody has to be able to integrate into some type of combat formation.”
For some of the Soldiers this training was their first experience conducting an exercise on this scale.
“I feel that we’re properly trained and had sufficient time to familiarize ourselves with our weapons and battle drills,” said Spc. Aaron Cook, a signal system support specialist with SISCO, HHBN. “Conducting a live-fire exercise isn’t something done by many signal units. It gave us an opportunity to stretch beyond our normal training into an environment that was new, but I believe (it) is a necessity for all Soldiers.”