Soldiers of 526th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), recently conducted a field training exercise designed to prepare the battalion for upcoming collective training at the brigade level this summer.
Each company focused on their own unique training objectives while also working together to establish a tactically effective brigade support area capable of providing seamless sustainment support to brigade.
“This team has demonstrated that they can easily complete their mission in a home station environment while simultaneously demonstrating that they are tactically proficient battalion of Strike Soldiers,” said Lt. Col. Laura Hutchinson, 526th BSB commander. “They have proven that they fight where they are told and win where they fight.”
Critical to the tactical value of the training was a well-organized and synchronized opposing force resourced from 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd BCT, 101st Abn. Div.
They focused on testing the battalion’s base defense capabilities while 526th BSB used the opportunity to assess its recently revamped base defense standard operating procedures by stressing secondary fighting positions and using the Raven, an unmanned aerial vehicle, to provide reconnaissance and surveillance during hours of darkness.
“The level of discipline we maintained out on the line waiting for the enemy was set extremely high,” said Sgt. Carlos Rodriguez, wheeled vehicle mechanic, A Co., 526th BSB. “We were able to spot the enemy before they attacked. We were ready for it, but they weren’t. The enemy didn’t know what they were getting into. When it’s time to work, the BSB puts in some real work and we become unstoppable.”
For the first time since 2018, the performance team successfully deployed the entire supply support activity to the field and brought it to full operational capability. They also coordinated and distributed fuel, water and ammunition and deployed a forward logistics element comprised of water, food, ammunition, maintenance and medical support.
The FLE is designed to provide sustainment support in a closer proximity to the brigade for more expeditious resupply and maintenance capability.
The Soldiers of 526th BSB also focused on field maintenance – a capability that is critical to the brigade’s equipment readiness in a tactical environment. Their efforts yielded outstanding results, culminating with 25 recoveries and mechanics completing more than 35 scheduled services in a field environment.
The FTX ended with a mass casualty exercise that tested the Role II capability of the Charlie Medical Company. With the assistance of the 426th BSB, who simulated Role I and Role III care, the team successfully processed and treated 53 patients while preparing them for further levels of care.
The Soldiers of 526th BSB are eager for the upcoming collective training to test their capability at the brigade level prior to executing a Joint Readiness Training Center rotation in September.
“I am looking forward to the challenge that JRTC brings,” Rodriguez said. “I am confident that we can tackle anything that comes our way. We have the best of the best here.”