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Sabers finish strong in Kuwait

Feb 17, 2011

By 2nd Lt. Daniel Elmblad, 3rd AAB UPAR, 1st Cav. Div.

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - As their time in Kuwait ends, troopers of the 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment finalized their preparation through tactical convoy operations training.

"I've been in the Army twenty years, and this is the best training I have ever received," said Staff Sgt. Trever Henning, from Milwuakee, Wis., a section leader in A Troop.

The tactical convoy operations lane was designed as a capstone exercise meant to challenge Soldiers in the most realistic means possible, ensuring that Soldiers are trained on the most likely scenarios they will face in their upcoming mission. This three day training event follows the "crawl, walk, run" method of instruction.

On the first day, the "crawl" phase, the troops received classroom instruction from civilian staff at Camp Buehring on tasks such as how to detect improvised explosive devices.

"The IED class was the most practical class I have ever received on how to detect and avoid IEDs. I definitely learned some new things in that class," said 2nd Lt. Wesley Kotz, fromClear Lake, Iowa, a platoon leader in C Troop.

Taking what they had learned on the first day, the Soldiers progressed into conducting rehearsals and close-quarters marksmanship ranges on the second day, the "walk" phase, to better prepare them for the final convoy operation execution on the third day.

"The close-quarters marksmanship range was excellent. They let us take a more active role in designing the training and developing our Soldiers in more realistic scenarios," said Sgt. 1st Class Dallas McKay, of Tampa, Fla., a platoon sergeant in B Trp.

Leaders also said the training provided valuable experience for new Soldiers.

"The rehearsals we were able to conduct allowed all the Soldiers, especially the new guys, to get involved and fully understand what was going on in the mission," said Henning.

On the third day, the "run" phase of the training, the Soldiers were bombarded with multiple, real-life scenarios including sniper fire, improvised explosive device attacks, and interaction with local nationals as they executed the convoy operation.

"Throughout the entire lane, we were constantly challenged with different threats and obstacles. I think it was as realistic as it could have been," said 2nd Lt. Casey Colbreth, from Summerset, Wis., a platoon leader in A Trp.

As their preparation came to an end, the Soldiers realize that this training had an important and positive impact on them. As a result of this realistic training, the troopers are now confident in their abilities to succeed in their upcoming mission in Iraq.

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