1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry
LEST, Slovakia- Soldiers with the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood, Texas, integrated with the Slovakian forces as part of a training mission at the Lest Military Training Area in Lest, Slovakia, conducted a three-day combined arms live fire with the Slovakian Army Sep. 17-19.
The purpose of the exercise was to give the unit a chance to work with other NATO nations, while also allowing them to train on their equipment in a tactical environment.The training events provide a defensive posture met by allied military forces as part of USAREUR's larger mission to ensure peace and stability throughout Europe.
Their training for this event consisted of route reconnaissance, maneuvering techniques, situational training exercise lanes and real-world scenarios to test their joint combat readiness.
During this exercise, there were close to 25 types of Army vehicles in operation during the three-day event, ranging from the M1 Abrams tank, M2 Bradley Fighting vehicle, to the M998 High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle used, simultaneously, to execute the training.
In addition, there were approximately 100 Soldiers, varying from Armor Crewman, Petroleum Supply Specialists, Cavalry Scouts, Combat Medic Specialist, to logistics personnel participated in the exercise.
"Everyone had a different role during this exercise," said Sgt. Jenna Trevino, the senior medic for 1-7 Cav. "But it was the overall unit that really made an effort to build that relationship with the [Slovakians] and learn from them, just as they were learning from us."
The Slovakian Soldiers provided the CAV with indirect fire during their mission to enhance their training, provide a realistic combat scenario, and acted as civilians on the battlefield to test the unit on their skills to work quickly and as one.
"The scenarios we're executing here are fairly complex," said Command Sgt Maj. John Pulido, the command sergeant major for 1-7 Cav. "We're doing route reconnaissance and zone reconnaissance, but the scenarios are used to challenge the organization and to add stress to the learning experience in order to make them better."
by: Online News
1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry
VILNIUS - US Army deploys tanks, IFVs to Lithuania for training - The US Army's Abrams tanks and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles were on Friday transported to Lithuania for training, the Lithuanian Armed Forces said.
The heavy equipment of the 1st Squadron 7th Cavalry Regiment, currently deployed in Poland, was unloaded at the Pabrade railway station. The Americans will be training at the Pabrade Training Area, in eastern Lithuania, until the end of September alongside Lithuanian troops and NATO's multinational battalion stationed in the country.
"Troops will train a range of tactical actions (reconnaissance, attack, etc., including using live fire and guns of armored personnel carriers and tanks. The exercise will also test possibilities of deployment of NATO allies in Lithuania," the Armed Forces said in a press release.
"We can state that deployment of tanks and armored vehicles from Poland to Lithuania via railway went smoothly, moreover, we have identified a number of things that will help us be even more effective with our time in the future," 1LT McGrady said.
"Railway stations here in Lithuania had all the equipment and infrastructure we needed, so our heavy equipment was moved almost three times faster than the previous times onto the readied wagons and to the training site in Rukla,".
The objective of the exercise is "to assess the conditions for tactical training with live fire using inert heavy equipment ammunition at the newly installed multifunctional firing range at General Silvestras Zukauskas Training Area of the Lithuanian Armed Forces".The firing range was installed at the training area at the end of the summer.
by: Online News
1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry
AVIANO, Italy - Soldiers assigned to 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, practiced their skills as a critical link to the joint war-fighting capability as a joint fires observer (JFO) in Aviano, Italy, Aug. 6-10, 2018.
The training exercises focused on close air support, which is the direct support of ground forces by aircraft. These activities are assisted by the JTACs and JFOs. The JFO augments the JTAC by serving as a different type of forward observer with increased skills and responsibilities.
Ironhorse Soldiers trained with the 2nd Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron (EASOS), a U.S. Air Force asset aligned with the 1st ABCT.
While Soldiers have the opportunity to train in a simulator, the prospect of real-world training is an invaluable chance to brush up on different skills.
by Sgt. Lisa Vines Public Affairs Detachment
1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry
WARSAW, POLAND - The Polish Defense Ministry held the annual Armed Forces Day Parade on Wednesday next to the Vistula River, also commemorating their 100th year of regaining their independence. For miles there were people wearing red and white, waving flags and the joy they all shared in the love of their nation.
"This is my first deployment in the Army," said Pfc. Julian Zamudio. "I’m glad I was able to travel to Warsaw and see how much we are welcome here. I am glad I was given the opportunity to deploy to Poland."
by Maj. Lloyd Bedford 1-7 Cav
1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry "Comanche Troop"
VÁRPALOTA, Hungary - Comanche Troop, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment (1-7 CAV) ‘Garryowen’, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division hosted several distinguished visitors during a unit training observation day at the central training area in Várpalota, Hungary, Aug. 3, 2018.
Glazebrook said it has been a great honor to be guests in the Várpalota training area - to be able to maneuver and to shoot live-fires on their range.
For Comanche Troop, nighttime operations are an important function in maintaining their readiness and combat effectiveness. "The way we operate as a cavalry organization is we own the night," Glazebrook said. "There’s no curfew in combat." U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Alex J. Marston, the indirect fire infantryman section leader with Comanche Troop agrees. "Day and night are not too different for a mortarman," he said. Marston’s section has completed two full mortar qualification tables, multiple sets of live-fires, and practiced all the task numbers relevant to their qualification as mortarmen. "We’ve practiced multiple times since being in Europe," Marston said. "Whether it be day or night, we’re going to be in the fight." Comanche Troop knows that nighttime training means much more capable U.S. and Hungarian forces, a more secure Hungary, and better interoperability with U.S. and NATO forces. They hoped the event would help the mayors and populations of the surrounding towns understand that need.
"Overall, our mission here is to assure our allies," Glazebrook said. To accomplish that mission, Glazebrook hopes to strengthen the partnership between the U.S. and Hungary by gaining the support of the communities that surround Comanche Troop. "I just felt like it was a great experience for not just me, but for my guys to show what they can do," Marston said. "I think it was also an invitation to cross-train with them in the future - to spread our knowledge and capabilities with the Hungarians."
2nd Battalion, 7th CavalryThe 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, recently returned from its rotation at Fort Bliss in support of the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team.
As the temperatures heat up in Central Texas, the Greywolf Brigade does not slow down, as Company C, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, departed for its three week rotation to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, June 5, in support of the Combined Summer Training Exercises alongside its Army Reserve partners. While there, 1-12th Cav. Regt. will provide opposing force support along with skill-level-one training for Army Reserve units scheduled to deploy in the near future.
It’s important because we need to make sure across the force our National Guard and Army Reserve partners are prepared to go forward and execute their missions,” said Capt. Reid Seiler, commander, Co. C, 1-12th Cav.Regt. We also have an engineer and MP unit that we will be working with, so hopefully we will be able to learn some from how those Soldiers operate.” Along with providing support to the Army Reserve forces, Co. C will ensure its own readiness is a top priority. The company will conduct individual and crew qualifications in addition to team live fires.
This will ensure that when Co. C returns, it will be prepared for its upcoming gunnery and platoon exercises scheduled in July and August.
"What we are doing up there will prepare us to come back and maintain our Objective T rating as we go through individual, crew, platoon, company and eventually battalion-level (Combined Arms Live-fire Exercise) and (Situational Training Exercises),” Seiler explained.
This is the second rotation in support of ongoing Guard and Reserve training that Greywolf has supported. 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, recently returned from its rotation at Fort Bliss in support of the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team from the Mississippi National Guard.
1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry
Operation Atlantic Resolve
On Sunday morning, some 200 troops from the brigade started offloading tanks, armored vehicles and Humvees from the cargo ship Endurance. Two more cargo ships are scheduled to arrive and finish offloading their cargo by Friday.
In all, the Fort Hood, Texas-based brigade is deploying some 3,000 soldiers in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
Col. Wilson Rutherford IV, brigade combat team commander, said he wants his junior leaders and enlisted soldiers to take initiative and engage in independent thought, both of which helped him as a young officer in Europe.
The total packing list includes an assortment of heavy combat gear, including 87 Abrams tanks, roughly 140 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 18 Paladin howitzers and 395 other tracked vehicles. They will make the trip by rail to various locations in the three Baltic nations as well as Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.
2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry
MCGREGOR BASE, NM - The unwavering temperatures of the New Mexico desert did not phase the Soldiers of the Ghost Battalion while they provided opposing force support to their National Guard partner, the 155th Brigade Combat Team during Multi Echelon Integrated Brigade Training, May 8.
For Company B, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, this training gave the newer Soldiers an opportunity to gain perspective in an environment they possibly had never experienced before.
"We have a lot of newer guys that aren’t accustomed to this training yet," said Sgt. Ryan Graham, squad leader, B Co., 2-7 CAV. "It’s nice getting out here and being on the defensive, it gives them a new perspective on things like where to set up in the defense, possible positions for enemy to approach and anticipation of an attack."
While this is only a training environment, it is to prepare the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team, Mississippi National Guard, for their upcoming deployment to Kuwait, as they take over the mission the Greywolf Brigade just finished in November.
"It’s very important for 2-7 to participate in these types of scenarios because, on one hand, it does give the National Guard the ability to train against a unit that just deployed to a location they are about to deploy to," explained 1st Lt. William Beckham, platoon leader, Company C. "And on the other, it provides us more opportunity to sustain our combat readiness."
For the sake of the exercise, the three maneuver companies from 2-7 CAV are broken up into company teams of Bradley and tank platoons. This allows the different platoons to cooperatively train with one another in a configuration they would most likely see in a decisive action fight.
"What 2-7 gains out of this training are the repetitions of doing this tactical maneuver training over and over again so that way we can get the experience we need," Beckham said. "When we get evaluated later this year a lot of our new Soldiers will have had that experience maneuvering in an environment, and they will be ready for their own evaluation."
While 2-7 will continue to work with the 155th for the next few weeks, it allows Soldiers the opportunity to show resiliency in a fast paced environment.
"I am really proud of the guys for the way they have handled things," Beckham said. "There have been some tough days and long nights and I am proud of the way they have persevered through the days, I am really impressed with them."
The battalion has been supporting their Army Total Force Partners since April. The Army Total Force Partnership Program is an ongoing effort by the service to transition its component forces, both Army Reserve and National Guard, into an operational force. The intent is to create a seamless and holistic "total force" governed by the same interchangeable policies and procedures.
2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry
MCGREGOR TRAINING COMPLEX, NM - Medics assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Co., 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team "Greywolf," 1st Cavalry Division completed mass casualty and trauma lane training with medical personnel assigned to C Co., 106th Support Battalion, 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team from the Mississippi National Guard, May 4, at McGregor Training Complex, New Mexico.
The two brigades are partnered together through the Army’s Total Force Partnership. The training was part of the Multi-Echelon Integrated Brigade Training that the 155th ABCT is currently undergoing to prepare for its upcoming deployment in support of Operation Spartan Shield. The troopers of 2-7 CAV have been providing training support to the 155th ABCT since early April.
"Training like this is important because it allows us to evaluate each other’s skills and to pass on knowledge that we both have," said 1st Lt. Elliott Boice, medical operations officer and medical platoon leader, HHC, 2-7 CAV. "We are an integrated Army, all three forces matter, Reserve, Guard and Active Duty."
For the two medical teams, training together is an important requirement in order to obtain certain skills or techniques the other may not have had before.
"It’s really important to work with the National Guard because there are certain skillsets that civilians have that we don’t necessarily get exposed to, because our environment is very specific," said Cpt. Andrea Nixon, physician assistant, HHC, 2-7 CAV. "But on the other hand, we do live and breathe this environment on a day-to-day basis as Active Duty, and we can impart our knowledge to our counterparts for when they get activated."
Completing the training together allowed the teams to see how the other half accomplishes their mission.
"I think being in this training environment has been a great opportunity to refine [standard operating procedures], to refine our processes with our platoons," explained 1st Sgt. Joseph Tullos, C Co., 106th Support Battalion. "One of the biggest training pieces for that is, for us, and the other unit, to be able to know how the other works.
Sometimes when you combine outside units and the small ways that they change things and actually working together and participating in a training exercise like we did today is extremely helpful to be able to finalize those small things that may be different from unit to unit."
Although the teams serve on different Army components, a point of the training was to show that training is the same across the board with different refinements for different situations.
"It was like they never missed a beat," said 1st Lt. Nathan Smith, field medical assist and treatment platoon leader, C Co., 106th Support Battalion. "We are all trained in basically the same way, and we all have the same starting point through Basic and [advanced individual training]. So when they hit the ground today, they just filled into the slots they needed for the MASCAL and the Roll 2, and everything ran just as smooth as if it was our own people."
The Army Total Force Partnership Program is an ongoing effort by the service to transition both Army Reserve and National Guard into an operational force. The intent is to create a seamless and holistic "total force" governed by the same interchangeable policies and procedures.
2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry
FORT HOOD, TX - Troopers Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, "Ghost", 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division along with elements of 3rd Brigade Engineer Battalion conducted rail operations here March 14 in preparation to support the Brigade’s Army Total Force Partners, the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team of the Mississippi National Guard.
The battalion is responsible for acting as the Opposition Force to the 155th. They will be a part of a much larger training force that includes the 177th Armored Brigade from Camp Shelby, Miss. and elements of First Army Division West. During their time there they will conduct situational training exercises in conjunction with the 155th at platoon and company level. They will also provide OpFor to the battalion-level field training exercises. But they plan on maximizing their time within the Fort Bliss training area by conducting their own training as well.
"We are still working on our own maneuverability, we are still working on our lethality. We’re not there just for their (155th ABCT) purpose, we’re there for our own too," said Sgt. First Class Aaron Keen, battalion Master Gunner. The Greywolf and Dixie Thunder Brigades have partnered for over three years as part of the Army’s Total Force Partnership. Not only has Greywolf provided them with training support, but the 155th ABCT has returned the favor. "We have had a fruitful partnership with the 155th," said Lt. Col. Will Wade, commander of 2-7 CAV. In January the brigade to include the battalion commanders were able to provide lessons learned from Greywolf’s recent deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Spartan Shield. The 155th ABCT is training in preparation for their deployment to Kuwait to assume the same mission Greywolf completed in November.
According to Col. Jack Vantress, 177th Armored Brigade commander, "The 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team will be the first Army National Guard Armored Brigade Combat Team to train and deploy prepared for decisive action operations that include operating all along the continuum of conflict."
1st Squadron 7th Cavalry
KEMPNER, TX - More than 400 past and present troopers of the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment "Garryowen," gathered Saturday night for a first-of-a-kind Past and Present Garryowen Reunion at the Kempner Veterans of Foreign Wars post.
The unit, which was established July 28, 1866, is part of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and is most well-known for its participation in the Battle of Little Big Horn under the command of Lt. Col. George A. Custer and for its victory against a vastly superior force during the Vietnam War at the IA Drang Valley under the command of Lt. Col. Hal Moore - a victory later portrayed in the Mel Gibson movie "We Were Soldiers."
The unit’s history, stretching from the troopers’ bravery during the Indian Wars through countless victories in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Operation Desert Storm and into actions in Iraq during the War on Terror, prompted current and former members of the unit to bring everyone together to help foster the deep pride shared by the unit’s alumni in the newest generation of "Garryowen" troopers.
"I love this. I think this is great," said Sgt. Janna M. Trevino, a combat medic with the squadron’s Headquarters and Headquarters Troop. "It’s inspiring. A lot of us are new to a (cavalry) unit and have no idea how the cavalry is run. To see all of these veterans and see everyone get together is great - it makes us want to stay motivated and positive while we do our work."
Trevino, who sang the national anthem at the start of the ceremonies, said watching the interaction between young soldiers and the alumni troopers who served as far back as the Korean War was amazing.
"This is a very fast-paced unit. ... The camaraderie is different. This is the type of stuff we need," she said, adding that she would love to do something similar and more often in order to help foster a sense of pride for the unit within the newest troops who had never served with "Garryowen" before.
"The new privates who have just gotten here have got to experience this," Trevino said. "Being able to see people who have so much experience in the military. ... This is just so great."
Lt. Gen. Paul Funk, III Corps and Fort Hood commander and a former "Garryowen" commander, even sent a video to the troopers from the Middle East, where he currently command Operation Inherent Resolve - the international coalition to defeat the Islamic State.
"I am even more proud I can hold my head high and say that I am a Garryowen trooper, just like you," Funk said in the video. "All Garryowen troopers have one thing in common - tenacity, the single most important trait of a trooper. That fixed resolve not to quit when things get tough."
Retired Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III, a former command sergeant major for the squadron and the 14th sergeant major of the Army, also offered some words of encouragement for all the troopers at the event, both past and present.
"My time in 1/7 Cav for me was the most pivotal and most memorable part of my military career," he said. "A lot of people ask me, ‘do you miss the Army?’ Hell no, I do not. What I do miss is you. It’s that blood we shared over in Iraq and unfortunately the lives we lost and those who suffer from the visible wounds of war and those who suffer from invisible wounds.
"I just want to tell each and every one of you, thank you for helping to shape my life and for teaching me one of the most important things - that honor is the most important value," Chandler added. "It’s what makes Garryowen, the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, the pride of not only the 1st Cavalry Division, but as far as I’m concerned, the rest of the United States Army."
Plans have already begun for the 2019 reunion, which will occur once the unit returns from an upcoming deployment to Europe with the 1st Brigade.
1st Squadron 7th Cavalry
Combat veterans of historic cavalry unit receive long-overdue awards
FORT HOOD - A Korean War veteran and 12 Desert Storm veterans of "Custer’s Own" 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment "Garryowen" received recognition for their combat service in a long-overdue ceremony Friday at the unit’s headquarters on Fort Hood.
The veterans were awarded their gold spurs, a U.S. Army cavalry tradition inducting the former troopers into the Order of the Spur. The gold spurs indicate the troopers served in combat with a cavalry unit and are worn at ceremonial functions, according to Lt. Col. Kevin Bradley, the squadron’s commander. The unit is a part of the 1st Cavalry Division’s 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team.
"It’s easy to say it’s an honor (to recognize the veterans), but it’s what they deserve," said Maj. Jason Walsh, squadron executive officer. "It’s doing the right thing. I know what it’s like to serve, they served, and we’re connected by that bond. "
For former Pfc. Jess Freeman, receiving his gold spurs was nearly 70 years overdue. The Korean War veteran served with the squadron in battles such as the Pusan Perimeter, one of the first major battles of the war in the fall of 1950.
"It wasn’t any fun when we went over there, but it sure was nice when we finally came home," Freeman said, adding that it felt "really good" to know his old outfit had not forgotten him.
All the Desert Storm veterans were members of the unit’s Echo Troop, which was later reorganized as Comanche Troop following Desert Storm. The squadron led the 1st Cavalry Division’s assault into Iraq at the beginning of the ground war, Bradley said.
"They went 250 kilometers in 24 hours, leading the charge into Iraq, destroying multiple enemy positions along the way and capturing about 500 prisoners," Bradley said.
For those veterans receiving their spurs, the event held a lot of meaning.
"It’s an emotional event and I think it’s long overdue - it’s been 27 years," said former Cpl. Julio Marin, who currently works with the National Desert Storm War Memorial. "When we heard the colonel (Bradley) was going out of his way to take care of us old veterans ... It’s a very special day, for a lot of us."
After awarding the spurs, Bradley reminded the troopers that they were always welcome to return and visit as they would always be a part of the unit.
"It is an absolute honor for us to be able to do this today, to honor your service in combat with the gold spurs," he said.
1st Squadron 7th Cavalry soldiers returning home to Fort Hood
FORT HOOD - About 3,500 members of 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division are on their way home from a month-long training exercise at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif
While the "Ironhorse" troopers spent their Thanksgiving holiday in the "sandbox" of the California Mojave Desert, the soldiers should be taking some time off during Christmas to spend with family, said a 1st Cavalry Division spokesman. The brigade conducted multiple training scenarios to prepare for any upcoming rotation or deployment deemed necessary by the U.S. Army.
The full brigade should be back on Fort Hood by the end of the week.
Normally a unit receives orders for a rotation or deployment shortly after completing a training rotation at Fort Irwin. FME News Service has asked the Department of the Army for information on upcoming orders the brigade will receive.