Army

August 23, 2012

‘Buffalo’ mortar section tests its limits in training rotation

Tags:
Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Joseph Wilbanks

The Soldiers of Alpha Company, 4th Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment “Buffaloes” Mortar Section, sit under their Camouflage net while waiting for a fire mission at Forward Operating Base Denver during a National Training Center rotation Aug. 14.

A rotation at the National Training Center is supposed to be tough; conditions are harsh, limits are tested, and impossible odds become the norm for two weeks of difficult training.

The Alpha Company, 4th Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment “Buffalos”, mortar section is more than up to those challenges though, and happy to show they can be exceeded.

The Buffalos mortar section consists of two Strykers with a crew of five Soldiers per vehicle. These vehicles are equipped with a 120 mm mortar, capable of hurling deadly fire with pinpoint accuracy up to seven kilometers.

What makes the Buffalos mortar section stand out though is that they are manning both of those vehicles with only six Soldiers total and running 24-hour operations.

And if being at 60 percent strength and sleep deprived wasn’t enough, they are pushed all the way to the edge of fob, living under a camouflage net by their vehicles. Over 500 meters from the nearest building.

The section chose to be out there so as to be more prepared for their mission, said Corporal Brandon Walker, “Buffalos” Mortar Section Sergeant. We run in shifts with someone always awake in case of a fire mission.

With gear and weapons, a 500-meter walk over soft sand isn’t to appealing, so some creativity on Walker’s part was needed to decide who would go get ice or water for the Soldiers of the section.

“Sometimes it’s who ever lost at cards or who ever screwed up the last time,” said Walker.

Constant winds have also been a problem for the section.

“The net has blown down at least a dozen times,” said Private First Class Matthew Lizyness. “Once it blew down about six times in one day, but we just pick it up and start over.”

The whole team seems to have the same mindset as Walker and Lizyness. Roll with the punches and drive on in true Infantry fashion.

“It’s pretty dang difficult out here running a three-man crew on each truck,” said Walker, “but so far we are making it.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Legal counsel helps Soldiers with Integrated Disability Evaluation System

Soldiers undergoing a medical evaluation board sometimes feel lost and confused with the significant decisions they have to make that will affect their military careers and the rest of their lives. The Office of Soldiers’ Counsel is the Army’s team of qualified and trained attorneys and paralegals who assist Soldiers in the Integrated Disability Evaluation...
 
 
JAG_seal

The power to contract – use it wisely

The basic memorialization or record of any business transaction is a contract. More often than not, this contract is the only evidence of any relationship between the parties to the transaction. Whether you are purchasing somet...
 
 
Convoy_brief

NTC trainers prepare units for success on battle fields of today, tomorrow

Staff Sgt. Marcus McCormick, of the 289th Quartermaster Company, provides a convoy its mission brief Aug. 20 during a morning supply mission.   The training that rotational units receive here can be brutal – challenging ...
 

 
Gustavo Bahena

Department of Defense official views training area

Gustavo Bahena National Training Center and Fort Irwin Commander Maj. Gen. Ted Martin motions while speaking with Jamie Morin, director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation for the Department of Defense. The director of Co...
 
 
Photo by Capt. Jessica Cook

Women combat isolation with mentorship

Photo by Capt. Jessica Cook Sgt. Meriem Ettioutioui (right), 51st Translator and Interpreter Company, talks with Spc. Farida Alvi and Spc. Maryam Mahfeli, also with 51st TICO, about her deployment experience in 2013. The tough ...
 
 
Gustavo Bahena

IMCOM command sergeant major visits Fort Irwin

Gustavo Bahena Fort Irwin USAG Commander Col. Jon Braga points to an illustration of the installation’s future new hospital while speaking with Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Hartless, of United States Army Installation Management...
 




One Comment


  1. [...] High Desert Warrior » Army 1 min ago by in Fort Irwin. You can follow any responses to this entry through the | RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. [...]



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin