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.


 
 

 
Gustavo Bahena

Flying Tigers activated

Gustavo Bahena The 2916th Aviation Battalion commander, Lt. Col. William Garber (right), hands a guidon to Capt. Jesse DeJaynes during a unit activation ceremony here, Oct. 16. DeJaynes leads the newly activated unit – B ...
 
 

Celebrating pride, spirit

From the Aleutian Islands to the Florida everglades, American Indians and Alaska Natives have contributed immensely to our country’s heritage. They have enhanced our nation through contributions in the fields of art, science, education, business and our military. Native Americans have bravely served and participated with distinction in U.S. military actions for more than 200...
 
 

Honoring cultural differences

National Hispanic Heritage Month, a celebration of the contributions and accomplishments of America’s Hispanic community, is celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. In recognition of this year’s celebration, Weed Army Community Hospital and the National Training Center’s EO/EEO Office hosted “Hispanics, A Legacy of History, A Present of Action and a Future of Success,”...
 

 

Soldier, leader, Veteran

The Veterans Day observance provides the country an opportunity to recognize the contributions of past and current servicemembers, but it also gives Soldiers a chance to reflect on experiences and people who have impacted a career in defense of the United States of America. Deployment experiences, friends and family have been a huge influence in...
 
 

Sustainability involves repairs, latest technology, planning for future

The Directorate of Public Works here strives to keep this post, not only operational, but modern for personnel to conduct the mission of the National Training Center. In the past two fiscal years, DPW has been involved with numerous projects that continue the sustainability and upgrading of the installation, said DPW Director Mohammed Bari. Installation...
 
 
Photo courtesy of Lelan Daines

Ten-Miler team places fourth in division

Photo courtesy of Lelan Daines Fort Irwin Soldiers took fourth in their division at the 30th Army Ten-Miler road-race near Washington D.C., Oct. 11. A team of eight Soldiers placed fourth in a mix (male and female) division whi...
 




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