Reserve Soldiers train, broadcast on ‘The Heat’

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Photo by Sgt. Hector Corea, 302nd MPAD

Soldiers of the 222nd Broadcast Operations Detachment and the 302nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment conducted battle training assembly here Feb. 6-9.

The Bell, Calif., and Vallejo, California-based Army Reserve units conducted a variety of training events, including radio operations, range operations coverage, and drown-proofing techniques.

“We are here to reinforce individual military occupational specialties and collective task skills,” said Sgt. 1st Class Alyn MacLeod, first sergeant of the 222nd BOD. “This exercise is a culmination of all training we’ve done for the past year.”

Drown proofing training is designed to help Soldiers survive in open water emergencies. Soldiers learned several swimming techniques such as the dead man’s float, side stroke and breaststroke. The trainees also learned to inflate their uniform tops and pants to gain buoyancy.

“It was pretty interesting,” said Spc. Morgan Ancheta, a visual information equipment maintainer with the 222nd BOD. “I never thought of anything like that. Most people don’t think of their attire being a tool to save themselves.”

The 302nd MPAD and 222nd BOD Soldiers also practiced their public affairs roles. The 222nd conducted live radio operations on the installation radio station, 88.3 FM “The Heat.” As part of their training, 222nd Soldiers managed music queues, controlled volume and cross-fade controls, and held live interviews with several guests, including Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Travers, command sergeant major of the National Training Center and Fort Irwin.

“The best part of the radio ops was the impromptu interview, it was really a baptism by fire,” said Spc. Marsalas Morney, a human resources specialist with the 302nd MPAD. “The whole experience was nerve-wrecking, but fun.”

Spc. Derek Sherwood, a musician with the 222nd BOD, described the operation as a one-man radio station.

“This was the real thing,” Sherwood said. “It was great hands-on experience.”

The 302nd MPAD provided story and photo coverage of several units, including 968th Quartermaster Company range operations and 801st Engineering Company airfield construction duties.

“Anytime we can get out and practice our trade, it will make us better at what we do,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Proseus, training and operations noncommissioned officer of the 302nd MPAD. “This was a chance to really see my Soldiers in action. When they are called upon to go on a mission, they are able to accomplish our goals.”

Soldiers of the 302nd MPAD and 222nd BOD expressed admiration of the training objectives completed and are eager for future opportunities to serve the Fort Irwin community.

“I’m proud of my Soldiers,” said MacLeod. “I love the community here at Fort Irwin and feel grateful to the Public Affairs Office for taking us in.”