The Bayonet

Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012

Armor, Infantry schools merge training

2nd Squadron, 16th Cavalry Regiment

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Armor and Infantry Soldiers in the Armor Basic Officer Leader and Infantry Basic Officer Leader courses took another step toward combined arms integration during training Dec. 4.

Armor Soldiers from I Troop, 2nd Squadron, 16th Cavalry Regiment, observed their Infantry counterparts conduct training during the final combined arms company attack at the Selby Combined Arms Collective Training Facility.

This was the first introduction to combined arms maneuver for the new class of Armor and Cavalry leaders and provided an opportunity for the Infantry class to see firsthand the mobility and protected firepower provided by the Armor force.

As part of the training, the Infantry Soldiers had to plan and synchronize the effects of a section of M1A2 System Enhancement Package Abrams and the employment of Bradley fighting vehicles as part of the dismounted attack.

The tanks provided mobility, firepower and shock effect at the decisive point while the Bradleys maneuvered to a position for the dismounted troops to assault the objective.

All systems provided direct fires supporting the IBOLC lieutenants’ clearing operation. Once the objective was secured, the ABOLC lieutenants moved to the vehicles and the crews briefed them on the capabilities and tactical employment of the weapon systems and vehicles.

The training highlighted the importance of the synchronized application of combined arms to rapidly overwhelm an enemy force, a lesson the new Armor officers will carry with them throughout the course and to their first assignment, said Col. David Davidson, 316th Cavalry Brigade commander.

“It was awesome seeing how the Armor and Infantry branches can interact to accomplish a mission,” said 2nd Lt. Michael McCoy, from Ironhorse Troop.

Capt. James Gallagher, the commander of A Company, 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment, who was responsible for planning and executing, the IBOLC training agreed with McCoy.

“With the help of some great Armor and Infantry units here at the (Maneuver Center of Excellence), we were able to expose our Infantry lieutenants to the important task of training our LTs to execute mission command with what they will see in the force, a modern combined arms company team in an Armor brigade combat team,” Gallagher said.

The lieutenants learned firsthand the capabilities of the M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the M1A2 SEP Tank directly from the crews who man them.

“The crews were very knowledgeable about the equipment,” said 2nd Lt. Bryant Adams, ABOLC. “They were able to answer questions quickly and accurately, yet in a manner to where we could understand it.”

The students were also exposed to other combat enablers like the RQ-11Raven Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, getting a briefing on capabilities and limitations of the Raven along with instruction on the most up-to-date assets that units are using in theater.

“It was valuable to see how combined arms can be used effectively on the modern battlefield,” said 2nd Lt. Micah Barley, an ABOLC student.

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