3-41, 1-1 AD conducts team live-fire training

Sgt. Riley Greenwald, assigned to 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, bounds toward the enemy during a team live-fire training exercise at McGregor Range, N.M., Nov. 2. For more on this story, see page 3A. Photo by Jonathan LeBlanc, Fort Bliss Bugle Staff.

Sgt. Riley Greenwald, assigned to 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, bounds toward the enemy during a team live-fire training exercise at McGregor Range, N.M., Nov. 2. For more on this story, see page 3A. Photo by Jonathan LeBlanc, Fort Bliss Bugle Staff.

By Jonathan LeBlanc, Fort Bliss Bugle Staff:

(El Paso, Texas, Nov. 16, 2017)

MCGREGOR RANGE, N.M. – Soldiers assigned to 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, conducted team bounding live-fire exercises here at Range 5 on Nov. 2.

The training consisted of three to five Soldier teams, where they had to bound throughout the firing lanes while reacting to enemy fire. Further down the lane, Soldiers had to evacuate a casualty from the danger zone to a designated safe place where the teams assess and treat the casualty’s wounds.

First Lt. Sebastien De Groof, a platoon leader with the unit, said the training did not necessarily teach the Soldiers anything new, but made sure they had perfected previous training.

“This was all fundamentals training,” De Groof said. “It’s all the skills we should be proficient at, so we do this training about two to three times a year to keep reinforcing it.”

The training instills the importance of team building and unity, especially on the team leaders.

Pfc. Braxton Acosta, assigned to 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, engages the enemy with his M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, commonly referred to as the SAW, during a team live-fire training exercise at McGregor Range, N.M., Nov. 2.

“This training falls heavily on the team leaders, which are usually corporals and sergeants, and it gives them a chance to work with their own Soldiers,” De Groof said. “It helps them focus with their Soldiers rather than just a subordinate.”

Everything the unit trained on that day was standard fundamentals for combat arms Soldiers.

“Putting all the different elements together in a live-fire exercise is really what makes this training interesting,” De Groof said.

Sgt. Vicente D. Torres Vazquez, who won 1st Armored Division’s Best Warrior Competition this year, was one of the Soldiers participating in the realistic training.

Pfc. Seth Scheible, assigned to 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, drags a litter holding a simulated casualty during a team live-fire training exercise at McGregor Range, N.M., Nov. 2.

“I think this is great training because you underestimate a real life situation until you are out in the lane and targets start popping up,” Torres Vazquez said. “Your adrenaline starts pumping, and it starts to feel as realistic as it can.”

For combat arms Soldiers, this type of training is important for future deployments where they might find themselves in a hostile environment.

“It’s chaos. Everyone is yelling and there is shooting all around you, so it is important to get Soldiers used to this, so when they do deploy they already have training and experience in this type of environment,” Torres Vazquez said.