16th August 2017
16th August 2017

2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - At four in the morning, the usually quiet Tactical Operations Center for 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division exploded with activity following a single code word called out over the radio.

In less than 30 minutes, the Soldiers of Alpha Company were standing in formation, ready to load buses and depart; the unit had been activated to deploy somewhere in the Central Command area of operations on short notice.

The Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise tests the unit’s ability to deploy on short notice. During this EDRE, the unit practiced the actions required from call-up all the way to wheels-up on a flight.

"We’ve done smaller EDREs such as level 1, which push us out to the field," said Capt. Kamal Wheeler, Alpha Co. commander, "but this is the first time we have done one on this scale using an entire company."

Following the initial alert, the unit has 30 minutes to form up for accountability. Once they have at least 90 percent of the formation they are dismissed to collect their ready bags and draw weapons and necessary equipment.

Meanwhile, the company leadership is briefed on the mission details, while the battalion headquarters personnel provide necessary deployment support.

"For a company-sized EDRE, it takes the whole battalion plus support from brigade and other elements such as the Air Force," said Maj. Antoine Oliver, the battalion operations officer "If this were a battalion or larger EDRE, the entire base and a significant portion of [U.S. Army Central] would be involved."

With gear in hand, the Soldiers begin soldier readiness processing to ensure they are all administratively and medically deployable. Once all of the conditions are met, the unit is considered ready to deploy. They are then transported to the airfield to load their equipment on aircraft.

"A lot of what we did today was to test the capabilities of our unit to deploy rapidly for ARCENT," Wheeler said. "The goal is to deploy almost immediately from here and push to anywhere in the CENTCOM area of operations. That’s what we are trying to do here. We’re actually going to test that capability today going out to the airfield, flying out on C-17s."

The EDRE not only served to test the unit’s capabilities, but also to help reassure partner nations of our commitment and capabilities to the region, said Sgt. 1st Class Gregory Turk, platoon sergeant of 3rd platoon. "Overall, it is helping us to build relationships with our partner nations, and if the need comes, to execute missions rapidly to accomplish the mission within the [Central Command area of responsibility.]"

The deployment standard varies depending on equipment packages and locations. Alpha Co., a mechanized infantry unit, exceeded the time standard set for them by more than two-thirds.

"I couldn’t be more proud of my Soldiers for their hard work today," Turk said. This may not be the most exciting aspect of what we do but it is a necessary one to ensure we sustain our readiness.

By: Capt. Scott Kuhn

8th August 2017

3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment

Alfa Troop 3-7 Cavalry Fighting Vehicle [CFV] now at the site of the National Museum of the United States Army.

The Bradley, part of Alpha Troop, 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd ID. The 'Thunder Run' lead vehicle scout recalls storming Baghdad.

FORT BELVOIR, Va. -- U.S. forces were rapidly approaching Baghdad in late March 2003. Inside the lead vehicle, an M-3 Bradley, was cavalry scout team leader Sgt. Tim Tutini.

When they reached Samawah, a town about halfway from Kuwait to Baghdad, the Iraqis opened up with mortar fire, Tutini said. Rounds from small-arms fire were pinging the sides of the Bradley. The firing continued all the way into the Iraqi capital, with the Bradley crew returning fire all the while.

The memories of that longest cavalry charge in history will live on in the minds of the Soldiers who experienced it 15 years ago. But the Bradley that led the charge will live on in the new National Museum of the U.S. Army being built at Fort Belvoir, Virginia -- about 15 miles south of the Pentagon.

The Bradley was lowered into place Monday atop a concrete slab at the site of the still-unfinished museum. That Bradley and three other extremely large artifacts are being put in place now so the museum can be built around them.

"The M-3 Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicle was the pivotal fighting vehicle of its time," said Peter Jennings, Ph.D., program and education specialist with the National Museum of the U.S. Army. "The Bradley represents the transition from the 1980s to the vehicles that the Army is fielding today. This Bradley, being lifted into the museum today, led the charge out of Kuwait up to the edge of Baghdad in March and April of 2003."

The Bradleys, part of Alpha Troop, 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, weren't alone in the fight, of course. Going into Baghdad, they were accompanied by M-1 Abrams tanks.

During the push toward Baghdad, Bradley turret gunner Sgt. Ramel Colclough remained busy pumping rounds from his 25mm cannon into the enemy, said Tutini, now a sergeant first class.

Meanwhile, Tutini himself was tucked inside the Bradley with the vehicle's commander, Staff Sgt. Lonnie Parson, fellow Soldier Pfc. David Watkins, and driver, Spc. Joseph Vales.

"We had these periscopes so we could see outside the vehicle from below," he said. "Plumes of black smoke were everywhere and you could see tracer rounds coming at us."

Tutini and Watkins weren't just sightseers inside their Bradley. When they rolled up to choke points, blind spots or bridges, for instance, the two troopers would dismount and walk up ahead to ensure there were no ambushes and that the bridges weren't wired with explosives, he said.

The improvised explosive device, often called the "signature" weapon of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, was something that Tutini said he didn't see during the early part of that first deployment. It wasn't until August of that year, he said, that he saw one for the first time -- on a road north of Balad. At the time, he said, "it looked pretty novel because we'd never seen one before."

Tutini admitted that while in Iraq he felt nervous about his mission, but at the same time, "My commander, Parson, was so good at what he did I knew we'd be alright."

The crew would remain alright and unscathed throughout the invasion.

According to a historical pamphlet produced by the museum, about 1,000 Soldiers in Tutini's convoy had been tasked to participate in the taking of Baghdad, a city of about 5 million people. By the end of that effort, those Soldiers had destroyed 20 T-72 tanks and deflected all enemy counterattacks. Their efforts allowed the U.S. to secure the airport there on April 3, and help take Baghdad on April 9.

For the next six weeks, Tutini said, Soldiers in his unit camped out in one of the palaces of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. By then, he said, all of the Iraqi soldiers had fled the palace grounds, so there was no fighting required to take the area.

By then, American Soldiers were being tasked to pull security in locations throughout the city, Tutini said. One of the things he said he remembers most of that time is the great amount of looting that was taking place throughout the city. Some of it was to get valuables, he said, but a lot of it was people out looking to find basic necessities like fuel, water and food.

"The looting was pretty crazy," he said, but the Soldiers were told not to interfere because "we weren't in a law enforcement role. Our hands were tied."


Allen Pinckney, the museum's deputy director, said he expects the museum to open sometime in 2019. It was Pickney who initially contacted Tutini to inform him that the museum would house his Bradley.

Tutini said he was elated to hear the news. But at the same time, he said, he was sad that the vehicle's commander, Parson, would never be able to see the vehicle he once commanded enshrined at the museum. During a second tour in Iraq, Tutini said, Parson had been killed.

All of the other Soldiers who had been in his Bradley separated from the Army right after that first tour.

Tutini still serves today in the Army -- now as part of an Army cyber unit in Tampa, Florida. He said he plans to retire in November 2018.

"It was a great honor to serve with very brave men who view me as a peer and allow me to be around them," Tutini said of his Army career. "They're all very brave, dedicated and disciplined."

By: David Vergun, Army News Service

23rd July 2017

On behalf of Lieutenant Colonel Kevin D. Bradley, the honor of your presence is requested at the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment

Assumption of Responsibility Ceremony whereby Command Sergeant Major John P. Pulido will assume responsibility on Thursday, the 24th of August 2017 at 9:00 a.m. on Cooper Field, Battalion Avenue Fort Hood, Texas.

Sorry about the confusion! Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Thank you!

Submited By:
Victoria J. Ellis 2LT, OD Squadron S1
1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment

15th June 2017

Greetings, On behalf of LTC Bradley and CSM Light, I have attached the invitation to CSM Light's Relinquishment of Authority.

We hope to see you all there to celebrate CSM Light's hard work and dedication to 1-7 Cav! Thank you!

Submited By:
Victoria J. Ellis 2LT, OD Squadron S1
1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment

5th May 2017


Just wanted to follow up on the upcoming reunion and update you on our plans for 9 June. The Squadron HQ, barracks, and motorpool will be open to 7th Cavalry alumni and their families from 1330 to 1630 on Friday, 9 June. Former members of the organization will be able to tour the headquarters and we will have a Bradley Fighting Vehicle and M1A2 Abrams Tank on display in our motorpool. Our motorpool is located directly across the street. The HQ is located on the corner of Old Ironsides Ave and 76th Street.

1-7 CAV Troopers will also be manning vehicles and have night vision devices at the 1CD Museum Static Display from 1000-1300. That night, we will be in period dress for the Spirit of the CAV performance as well.

9 June
0600 - 0730 1st Cavalry Division Run
1000-1300 1CD Museum Static Display (1-7 CAV Soldiers manning stations)
1330-1630 Open House at the Garryowen HQ (76th St and Old Ironsides Ave)
1800-2100 Spirit of the CAV Performance

I have included our XO (MAJ Tommy Burns), S3 (MAJ Justin Malone), and S1 (LT Victoria Ellis) on the CC line to facilitate any coordination or information you need from us.

A query we often get is regarding "Combat Spur" certificates. I don't have a problem with signing them for veterans who were either overlooked during their combat tour or lost them over the years. It would be helpful if we could get the names and verified service period of any 7th Cavalry members who this applies to beforehand to prepare the certificates. If they would like, we can formally present them during the open house.

Again, I hope this finds you well and look forward to meeting you in June.


LTC Kevin D. Bradley
1st Squadron, 7th U.S. Cavalry
Office: 254-287-0842
Cell: 254-319-0597

Submited By: Guillory John 1LT, President 7th Cavalry Association

ace and stability in the region.

5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st ABCT, performed the ceremony at Coleman Barracks, Mannheim, Germany Sept. 9, 2016. Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, Commander of United States Army Europe, oversaw the ceremony.

The unit spent their deployment in Hungary, Poland and Germany. While there they executed a cavalry scout led combined training center rotation in Germany with minimal support from their parent BCT. During exercise Anakonda 16, 5-7 CAV was able to improve their interoperability skills by leading Lithuanian and Croatian companies and working with a Polish brigade.

They continued working side-by-side with NATO allies while in Hungary.

“Hungarian infantry soldiers dismounted out of the back of our Bradley’s during a live fire exercise, while our squadron was fighting simultaneously; great to watch,” said Lt. Col. Christopher S. Mahaffey, commander of 5-7 CAV. “It was also great to watch the junior leaders interact.”

“I’ve got almost 20 years in, but these young lieutenants have 20 years left in them. So to have them make a relationship with a Croatian, Hungarian, Lithuanian, a Kosovar, and a Polish soldier and to have that carry on 10-15 years down the road when they’re Majors and Lieutenant Colonels – priceless,” he added.

The USAREUR commanding general congratulated the squadron and shared some insight on the importance of the deployment.

“If there ever is a crisis here in Europe, we won’t have five or six months to get ready for it, we’ll have 5 or 6 days,” said Lieutenant General Ben Hodges. “It’s not likely, but the best way to keep it unlikely is us always showing that we are ready and we can move fast from port to equipment to the field and getting into a crouched posture. That’s how we deter a crisis from ever happening.”

“I’m sure that the possible enemies of our country, they look at and see units like this squadron,” he said. “They say to themselves – it’s not worth it.”

The Warpaint cavalry scouts stood proud with their colors cased knowing that they and their allied partners became better trained and better able to be operate with NATO forces, allies and partners.

“We accomplished all of this with our partners and have made friends and built relationships with Kosovar, Polish, Lithuanian, Croatian, and Hungarian troopers that will last a lifetime,” concluded Mahaffey.

By: SSG Micah VanDyke

TD> including hand-launched small unmanned aerial vehicles known as "Ravens.”

Soldiers from 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, trained to use the Ravens over the course of two weeks during the month of July, in conjunction with M2A3 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle gunnery tables.

SPC Steven Vawter, a cavalry scout with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Sqdn., 7th Cav. Reg., acted as the primary Raven operator during the training event.

"I am very passionate about Raven training,” said Vawter. "To the point that I'm thinking about changing my MOS (military occupational specialty) to 15W, unmanned aerial vehicle operator.”

During the training, the Squadron accumulated more than 60 flight hours – 50 hours and 15 minutes of which were flown by Vawter.

"I was amazing to see how many hours Specialist Vawter was able to fly the Raven,” said Sgt. Michael Deremiah, electronic warfare specialist, 1st Sqdn, 7th Cav. Reg. "Fifty hours and 15 min is very impressive.”

Raven SUAVs are designed to be ground-launched by an assistant operator and are intended to be flown at altitudes up to 500 feet and have a maximum range of about 6.2 miles, or 10 km.

Operators got the opportunity to accrue flight hours on multiple aircraft during this training. Soldiers flew the small UAVs over the Warrior Valley Live Fire Area at Rodriguez Range, allowing them to observe and report targets to the Bradley crews conducting gunnery directly below the aircraft.

By: SSG Matthew J. Bryant

16th July 2016

5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry
Garryowen Troopers Shooting under stress

CPT Michael Benson, the commander for Troop A, 5th Squardon, 7th Cavvalry, said the intent of the exercise was to replicate conditions on the battlefield and see if the Soldiers could still hit targets as their stress level increased.

Though this wasn’t the first time the Troopers did a stress shoot, it was the first time doing it alongside their Hungarian allies.

"The neat thing about this exercise was the participation of the Hungarian unit with us," said Benson. "We would have a team of their Soldiers with a team of ours and move down the lane simultaneously, enabling the cross talk between host nation and ourselves."

The stress shoot began with Soldiers carrying a weighted casualty litter followed by a 20-meter low crawl and 3-5 second buddy rushes for 250 meters, with Soldiers carrying M240B machine guns with full ammunition canisters to simulate the machine gunner and the assistant gunner.

"Pretty good smoker," said Benson. "It met the intent of combat stressors and their ability to still engage targets under fire."

With the Soldiers breathing heavy and their heartrate elevated, they traded out the M240 for their primary weapon, the M4 carbine for the U.S. Soldiers and an AK-47 for the Hungarian Soldiers.

At the firing line the Soldiers moved as two-man buddy teams, engaging targets as they bounded forward.

"Initially, U.S. Soldiers and Hungarian Soldiers moved in alternating bounds, engaging targets on the move, then transitioned at the end of the lane," said Benson. "As they reached the end of the lane we simulated a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear attack using colored smoke, where at this time Soldiers dawned their [NBC] masks and continued to engage targets."

SPC Bennet Francois, a cavalry scout with Troop A, 5th Squardon, 7th Cavvalry, said the stress shoot was a great training opportunity, especially doing it alongside the Hungarians.

"The work experience with the Hungarian Soldiers is pretty cool," said Francois. "The stress shoot was pretty intense, I wasn't expecting it. It was probably the most competitive stress fire I have ever done."

By: SPC Ryan Tatum

1st June 2016

1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry
Garryowen Soldiers distinguish themselves at gunnery

RODRIGUEZ LIVE FIRE COMPLEX, South Korea - During semi-annual training, Fort Hood-based Soldiers accomplished something special in South Korea, with 23 crews achieving “distinguished” certification from April 15 - 24 at Rodriguez Live Fire Complex.

A total of 23 crews out of 34 undergoing certification in their M2A3 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles from the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment “Garryowen,” 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, achieved the distinguished rating meaning those crews scored at least 900 out of 1000 points during the live fire exercise.

During the “Table VI” gunnery, crews fired with full-caliber ammunition using the 25mm chain-driven autocannon and the 7.62mm coaxial machine gun against moving and stationary targets and against point and area targets. Garryowen Soldiers shot live rounds during day and night operations for four days during Table VI.

Crews must score at least 700 points to qualify and be certified; if a crew scores 800-900 points it is rated “superior,” and if a crew scores 900-1000 it is rated “distinguished.”

This semi-annual training allows all the Bradley crews in the reconnaissance squadron the opportunity to prove their effectiveness at engaging targets that range from several hundred feet to over 2,000 meters away.

The certifications and training were complex.

Crews conducted operations in simulated chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear environments, corrected “faults” in the turret that emulated possible electronics damage, performed with of the several targeting systems “failing,” and successfully met requirements that both the gunner and commander engage targets.

During the gunnery, Bradley crews fought through scenarios while shooting and performing berm drills, allowing the vehicle to move forward and engage targets and then immediately return to cover, said Staff Sgt. Mathew Dunn, the squadron’s master gunner.

Besides certifying crews, the gunnery validates the squadron’s ability to effectively conduct its mission in South Korea, said Maj. Jeremy Williams, executive officer, 1-7 CAV.

“The field training exercise has also allowed us to demonstrate the fighting force of the mighty ‘Garryowen,’” said Williams. “As we look at the path ahead it is clear to us the capabilities of this squadron are only increasing with time.”

The reconnaissance unit’s primary mission while deployed to the Korean Peninsula on a nine-month rotation is supporting Republic of Korea partners

By: SSG Matthew Bryant

30th April 2016

5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry
Operation Atlantic Resolve

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team is once again calling Europe home as more than 3,000 troops rotated to the region.

It marks the third time in a little more than a year that the Fort Stewart, Ga.-based unit has returned to the Continent as part of its duties as U.S. European Command’s regionally allocated force.

The brigade will once again take on the bulk of the land force responsibility for Operation Atlantic Resolve, the American-led effort to reassure eastern allies since Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

“We’ve been here before but now we’re taking the relationships that we built over these last rotations and the lessons learned and we’re continuing to build off them,” said Maj. Randy Ready, brigade spokesman.

During its six-month rotation, the 1st ABCT will conduct a number of operations across 11 countries, including taking part in Anakonda 16, a show-of-force exercise in Poland that will place 25,000 soldiers from 24 nations right on Russia’s doorstep.

Before that though, reconnaissance elements from the brigade will move to Hohenfels to begin the smaller-scaled Combined Resolve exercise, where it will begin laying the groundwork for the larger missions down the road.

“We’ll be mixing and matching essentially our reconnaissance units with other NATO forces and trying to work together,” said Capt. Derrick Jerke, commander of Troop C, 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment.

Jerke and his fellow Bradley infantry fighting vehicle-mounted troops have spent the past week getting ready for the exercises. A large part of that preparation took place at the gunnery ranges at the Grafenwoehr training area.

“It’s designed to test the mettle of the platoon and to challenge the platoon leader,” Jerke said of the ranges. “Overall, this is the certification process for those platoons to go in to a future operation we’re conducting at Hohenfels.”

While Jerke said he’s been a part of every one of the brigade’s regionally aligned force deployments to Europe, this is the first time he’s been among the soldiers, leading them in the field. The recent gunnery and upcoming major exercises such as Anakonda 16, have already begun to make their mark on the brigade’s rank-and-file, many of whom have never deployed before.

“A lot of the training exercises that we’re doing, most U.S. forces will never get the same experiences,” Jerke said. “The significance of that definitely resonates with the soldiers.”

By:Online News

15th March 2016

2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry

FORT HOOD, Texas - When Soldiers on the frontlines are in the midst of an operation, the last thing they need to be uncertain about is whether their protective equipment will hamper their combat effectiveness.
Before new equipment gets to the frontlines, it is put to the test by Soldiers.

Company B, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment "Garryowen," 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division partnered with the U.S. Army Operational Test Command to put the Soldier Protection System through its paces here March 10.

When the Army is looking to improve or purchase a piece of gear, it turns to the Army Test and Evaluation Command for a detailed analysis.

Within the organization is the OTC, which performs tests while its partner unit, Army Evaluation Command, collects and analyzes data from the tests and sends it to the Program Executive Office for a decision based on the results.

After the SPS passed the engineer’s test in the labs, OTC had to partner with a unit most qualified to test the gear. OTC funded the unit’s training while the Soldiers wore the body armor and provided candid feedback.

"We are testing new equipment," said Lt. Col. Anthony Gianopulos, senior test officer, maneuver test directorate, OTC. "And if your unit gets tasked, we are helping you augment your training to get more proficient in your battle tasks, while simultaneously you are getting an opportunity to give us direct feedback on a piece of equipment that the Army is considering putting in the inventory."

And the unit jumped at the chance to play a role in the process of fielding new equipment, said Lt. Col. Andrew Watson, commander, 2-7 Cav.

"It’s a great win for the battalion and the brigade, but more importantly [for] our Soldiers," said Watson. "They know that this equipment can go out to their brothers and sisters in uniform, and this is their opportunity to have that voice and tell the Army what works and what doesn’t."

For the tests, OTC wanted the Soldiers to perform the very same training they always do in order to produce accurate data on how the system performs through realistic combat training.

The process began for Garryowen in February, when they were trained on how to properly wear the prototype. Then, they loaded into their tactical vehicles and headed to the field.

Through day and night, rain and shine, the Soldiers trained and tested the durability of the gear, and how it affected their mobility.

"Today was the final situational training exercise of what has been a six-week SPS testing," said Capt. James Flannery, commander, Company B.

At an urban training facility here, Flannery had his unit attack a mock city, find a high value target, and eliminate the enemy. The squads went from room to room, clearing and eliminating enemy combatants while simultaneously performing basic Soldier tasks.

"You don’t know if a piece of equipment is truly effective unless you’re maneuvering under stress or fire, getting down in the prone, conducting individual movement techniques, and firing weapons," said Flannery. "The only way to get a real, realistic test on any piece of equipment that we would use in the Army, is to try to simulate combat situations as closely as possible to what it’ll be in real life."

They maneuvered through the rooms, alleyways and streets as smoke and concussion grenades deployed in close vicinity, while simultaneously firing simulation rounds from their M4 carbines.

Soldiers participating in the testing had a unique opportunity to contribute to the Army’s acquisition process and have their voices heard, while also training on their tactical skill sets, said Staff Sgt. Cesar Serrano, platoon sergeant, Company B., and a Compton, California, native.

"The Soldiers have gotten a lot of great training out of this," said Serrano. "It helps them sharpen their skills for our upcoming events, such as team and squad live-fire exercises. It gave us the time to dedicate to our Soldiers and our training, so we can develop our procedures."

When the unit finished each training exercise, Soldiers were asked for their honest opinions regarding performing with the armor.

"This is definitely equipment that we will be using in the future, if it gets approved," said Serrano. "So… if we don’t give accurate information, we [will] probably have Soldiers in the future wearing armor that doesn’t benefit them and doesn’t provide the ability to do their jobs. So, we have to give 100 percent when we are doing this."

By:Online News

21st February 2016

5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Security Force Assistance Teams
(SFAT) in Afghanistan 2013

SFAT Team 39. Between 2012 - 2013 the 1st ABCT from 3rd Infantry Division was deployed to Zabul Province Afghanistan as an Advise and Assist Brigade. The Brigade was broken up into several different components to support operations throughout RC South. 5-7 Cav was tasked with Security Forces Advisory Teams, attached to the 2nd Brigade 205th Corps Afghan National Army.
In order to meet the requirements, Officers and Senior NCO's were pulled from throughout the Brigade and assigned to the Warpaint Squadron. The team was comprised of officers from Varying specialty skill sets in order to best provide advice and assistance to the Afghan Brigade leadership.

The SFAT team members are military members from various units who are formed up for this specific mission. An SFAT will have eight to eighteen members depending on echelon and type of unit they will be advising.

( Task Force Team Roster )

SFATs will work with conventional coalition units that are "partnered" with Afghan counterpart units to improve their logistics, intelligence, maintenance, administration, rule of law, and training capabilities.

By:CPT Scott Kincaid 5-7 2013

30th January 2016

2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry

FORT HOOD, Texas – Soldiers from Company C “Comanche,” 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, participated in a joint forcible entry exercise alongside Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division Feb. 11, 2016.

The exercise was designed to support the Global Response Force, a joint services task force tasked to rapidly deploy at a moment’s notice.

“We are an armored and mechanized package designed to support the Global Response Force if it's determined they need that type of support,” said Capt. Robert Greene, the Comanche company commander. “We are the heavy firepower and the heavy mobility.”

Everything kicked off when about 800 paratroopers jumped into the Fort Hood training area over Drop Zone Antelope, landed, formed a perimeter and set up their tactical operations center.

Next, the paratroopers secured a nearby landing strip to allow their support to arrive by aircraft. Playing the role of support unit, Company C brought its combat vehicles with it.

Greene’s M1A2 Abrams tanks and M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles were carried to the landing strip on a fleet of Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks, which simulated vehicles being flown into the battlefield.

“We simulated an air landing after the 82nd jumped in and secured the airfield,” Greene said. “We attacked and seized two towns for their specialist chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high yield explosives forces to seize a weapons of mass destruction site.”

Comanche Company hit the ground running and provided additional security and firepower. The paratrooper’s mission was to travel miles of open land, cross a river and pass through multiple mock cities to get to a suspected WMD site.

The Soldiers used their tanks and fighting vehicles to create a safe passage, something they have been training for since being assigned to the GRF June 2015.

Just recently, the organizations completed a monthlong rotation to the Joint Readiness Training Center where they executed similar missions together.

“Coming here to Fort Hood is different,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Beau Barnett, command sergeant major of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. “It allows us to practice setting up our training objectives. So now we are at Fort Hood training with them, so different commanders can get to work with those Soldiers and learn how to be prepared in case we have to go to war.”

With the partnership between the airborne and cavalry units growing each time they are able to train together, Green said he feels confident the GRF will be ready for anything.

“The more we train with the 82nd, the more prepared we are to fight with the 82nd,” said Greene, “which is what the country needs us to do. More repetitions help us develop shared systems and fully understand each other’s capabilities and limitations.”

By:SGT Brandon Banzhaf

30th January 2016

2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry

FORT HOOD, Texas — After a soft landing, the back door of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter lowers, unleashing a wave of Soldiers on the outskirts of a city. With their objective in front of them, they sprint to the closest building for cover. Seconds later, shots are fired.

“Contact, contact!”

Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division performed a military operations on urban terrain exercise in a simulated town here Jan. 27.

“Training like this is extremely important,” said 1st Lt. Charles Lord, a Baltimore native and platoon leader with Company B, 2-7 Cav. “Without this type of training, I don’t think we will be as prepared to deploy overseas. This allows us to refine our standard operating procedures and implement new ones as we see fit.”

The company leadership knew that in order to establish basic infantry fundamentals, the training needed to progress incrementally, starting at the team level and moving all the way up to a full-on platoon operation that could seize the town from enemy control.

“We started out with individual techniques and tactics and moved up to a team, a three- to five-man element,” said Lord. “The second week, we did squads, a nine to 10-man element, to platoon maneuvers, which is three squads. This is the culminating exercise, the platoon hitting the town by itself.”

The exercise started with Soldiers being flown into the area on two aircraft. In addition to the expected excitement of the training, many of the Soldiers had never rode in a helicopter before, so that element only added to the nervousness.

“The adrenaline is really high at that point,” said Spc. Jordan Schulze, a Las Vegas native and squad leader with 2-7 Cav. “We are coming in, and we don’t know what’s going on.”

Three squads, each consisting of about 10 Soldiers, put the knowledge they learned from the last three weeks of training into use by going from building to building, eliminating the opposing forces as they encountered them.

“This is really valuable because these are the types of buildings you see overseas,” said Lord. “The unpredictable aspect of this just helps us be prepared.”

For the platoon to be successful, many things have to be done right, but one of the most important elements is communication.

“The squad leaders were pushing me the information as fast as I could handle it,” said Lord. “Then I was able to push it up to my company commander to let him make decisions.”

Due to the ever-changing nature of war, Lord had to ensure his squads were in the right areas at the right time; a matter of only a few minutes could make the difference between neutralizing the enemy and receiving casualties.

“I think it actually went really well, because it was basically flawless up until we encountered the large building with a large enemy force, but we handled that appropriately,” said Schulze. “My thoughts were where were the other two squads in relation to mine; what are my teams doing; and where we are clearing.”

To add to the realism, Soldiers used simulated rounds, a nonlethal training ammunition. When a Soldier was hit, the team would begin patching their simulated wounds and evacuating them.

“They didn’t let the enemy’s numbers or resistance slow them down any,” said Lord. “It’s like any other team, if you don’t practice, you’re not going to do well when it’s game time.”

By:SGT Brandon Banzhaf