Paratroopers from 407

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Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team recently conducted a squad defensive live fire exercise from April 29 to May 2, at Fort Bragg.

The exercise certified squads from the battalion which is responsible for planning and providing 2nd Brigade’s logistics support. The training conducted continues applying lessons learned from the battalion’s recent joint readiness training center rotation and intensive training cycle while assigned as part of the nation’s Global Response Force.

The squads began the first phase of training by preparing for a mounted convoy logistics patrol throughout the Fort Bragg training area. Squad leaders prepared and conducted convoy briefs, rehearsals and pre-combat checks and inspections before moving out.

The squads then executed mounted convoy logistics patrols through a simulated hostile area of operations. Leaders and crews practiced reacting to enemy contact while forming part of a convoy, leader decision making, and reporting. The scenarios stressed procedures to leaders and paratroopers having to react to small arms fire, IEDs, and civilian role players on the battlefield during their missions and convoy operations. Machine gun and IED simulators from the Training Support Center provided added realism for the convoy iterations.

“It was great to get back on the road and train on convoy operations again in an austere environment,” said 1st Lt. Raephel Jenkins, Company B, 407th BSB platoon leader. “We have been so focused as an Army on forward operating base operations and convoys like we have run in Iraq and Afghanistan, but this training allowed us to focus on the next threat that we might face. It was challenging because of the uncertainty built into the scenario and going back to an enemy we are not used to fighting.”

As the culminating event, squads established a defensive perimeter of an assigned area within the brigade support area. Leaders focused on the troop leading procedures; establishment of defensive positions; range cards and sector sketches, and distribution of intelligence updates in preparation of an imminent enemy attack.

After contact, leaders and paratroopers controlled fires, treated simulated casualties, and reacted to enemy contact while firing at targets on a range.

“The training not only helped the battalion rehearse convoy operations, but it allowed us to train on setting up a defensive perimeter for a support area and defending against an enemy attack,” said Capt. Darren Rawlings, assistant operations officer. “The training mirrored what the paratroopers would face if they had to jump into  hostile territory and build up combat forces. It stressed the importance of team and squad organization, cohesion, and especially control.”

The squads conducted day and night live fire iterations and received constant feedback throughout the training from dedicated observer/controllers.

Leaders and paratroopers of 407

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Brigade Support Battalion will continue to focus on multi-echelon and small unit training to strengthen the battalion’s mission readiness as part of the 82

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Airborne Division’s Global Response Force.