The 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division is one day away from “rolling-out” for the beginning of its 14-day training at the National Training Center’s 1,000 square-mile “box.”
The Commando brigade from Fort Drum, NY, will complete Reception, Staging and Onward Integration (RSOI) tomorrow. The next phase of their rotation at the NTC and Fort Irwin will be a significant step in their preparation for a deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, later this year.
A press release from the 10th Mountain Division Public Affairs office has stated that the 2nd BCT has been given the mission to deploy to Afghanistan as a Security Force Assistance Brigade. Their primary role will be to advise Afghan units and help them achieve levels of proficiency where they can lead and conduct independent security operations.
“This is one of the courses of action that we have planned for,” stated Col. Dennis S. Sullivan, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, in the release dated Aug. 24 . “The lessons learned during the combined arms live fire training during a Joint Readiness Training Center rotation, Mountain Peak exercise, and future rotation to the National Training Center will prepare us to successfully accomplish this mission.”
Major Gen. Mark A. Milley, commander of Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division, was quoted as stating that the Commandos will answer the nations’ call and live up to the legacy of all the great Soldiers who have gone before them.
“I have absolute confidence in the leaders – officers and noncommissioned officers – who will be selected to participate in this mission,” Milley said.
A story filed by the Division’s Public Affairs Office described the significance of the training exercise Mountain Peak, which the Commando brigade completed before traveling to the NTC. The training was one of the largest two-week field training exercises ever conducted at Fort Drum. Elements of the division’s brigades were involved throughout the exercise with the Division Tactical (DTAC) command post providing command and control.
Maj. Valent P. Bernat, G3 chief of training and DTAC officer in charge, said the DTAC would continue this role at the NTC.
“Mountain Peak has given us the opportunity to exercise mission command and our other warfighting functions, while enhancing the training for the brigades,” Bernat said. “Most division-level training exercises are simulated, so you absolutely have to take advantage of the opportunity to train with live units maneuvering in the field. It’s as close to real combat operations as you’re going to get.”
Mountain Peak provided numerous training opportunities for the division and its brigades. More than 58 platoon live-fire ranges and 42 convoy live-fires were conducted, Bernat said. Soldiers of 2nd BCT executed the organization inspection program, performing platoon- and company-level STX / LFX, a battalion force-on-force exercise, as well as air-assault planning and execution.
The Commando brigade will again function at a high-operational tempo during its OEF rotation here at the NTC.