Paratroopers from Company A, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment conducted a noncombatant evacuation operation on June 6, as part of a training plan for a Joint Readiness Training Center rotation later this summer.
The noncombatant evacuation operation took place in Fort Bragg training areas and the paratroopers from Company A, known as “Attack Company,” air assaulted into Latham Landing Zone. They quickly assembled and moved north to a training village known as Afghan Village where role players, acting as American citizens, were to be evacuated to Simmons Army Airfield.
The exercise tested the Soldiers on multiple tasks from the company’s mission essential task list which included conducting an air assault via CH-47 Chinooks.
“After conducting two weeks of academics on noncombatant evacuation operations, this was my company’s first training exercise for that specific mission set,” said 1st Sgt. Bradley Shaw, Company A first sergeant.
Troop leading procedures began when the mission was received from Maj. Jeremy Turner, battalion operations officer,
Next, an in-depth enemy analysis was led by the company intelligence support team. There was also multiple rehearsals and cold load training with the pilots from Company B, 3rd Battalion, 82nd General Support Aviation Battalion. Finally, pre-combat checks and pre-combat inspections were conducted.
During the exercise, the paratroopers responded to complex attacks by the enemy, medical evacuation procedures, marshalling of American citizens and persons of interest to the evacuation control center at SAAF where Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment was located.
Paratroopers also coordinated a vehicular departure with Company E, 1st Bn., 505 PIR. Battalion leadership exercised mission command from Sicily Drop Zone and also maintained a forward element with Attack Company.
“This exercise allowed us a prime opportunity to see how complicated a NEO can be, assisting us in developing standard operating procedures which will help us when the nation calls on us to complete this mission,” said 1st Lt. Rory Blake, Company A executive officer.
An after-action review was conducted by Lt. Col. Joseph Kuchan, commander of 1st Bn., 505th PIR.
“We’ve been building on what 2nd BCT provided us based on their recent experiences. Alpha Company did a great job eliminating the threat, preparing and transporting the civilians out of danger and refining their own task organization for the mission,” said Kuchan.
This exercise fostered critical thinking and adaptive leaders, skills which will allow these paratroopers to accomplish any mission on an ever-changing battlefield.
“We haven’t done this mission in a long time so there’s still plenty for all us all to learn,” said Kuchan.