So this was my unitâ€™s last Annual Training as B co. 1/108th, and even though it was only a small portion of my unit (37 pax) it was a good one. I served as the Commander, XO, and 1SG during this tour, and even one day as the acting CSM while ours was gone back to BDE for a day. Overall it was a great tour. I had a total of two NCOs, SFC Canella as the PSG and me. All the squad leaders were senior specialists. Every soldier performed above the standard. Four of the soldiers received Army Achievement Medals, one has a pending Army Commendation Medal, four more received coins from me, and one received a BN coin from the BN CDR.
The AT was broken down in two phases, ranges and the field STX lanes. During the ranges phase, the 37 members of B co. fired multiple weapon systems, to include, M16s, M9s, M249s, M240Bs, MK-19s, M-2 .50 Cal, AT-4 Subcal and 2 live missles, M203 training and HE, and was the only unit to spend a day firing the M24 Sniper Weapon System. The soldiers also got to experience and utilize the GUARDFIST call for fire simulator, the Engagement Skills Trainer (EST) simulator, the FireArms Skills Trainer (FATS), the newest Beamhit devices, and the Virtual Battlefield Simulator (VBS). All of these edge-cutting simulators are what the Nintendo-aged young men of todayâ€™s military have been honed to perfect. Not only were those great real-time feedback training aids, it provided the soldiers with some â€œcoolâ€ fun while at AT, in some of the worst heat we have seen since being in Germany two years ago. During the STX phase I focused the unit on its upcoming mission related to the re-organization that will start Oct. 1. On Oct 1, B co, 1/108th, 27th BDE will become C Troop (Light Recon), 2nd Squadron, 101st RSTA, 27th Brigade Combat Team. We will be THE light recon company for the BCT and therefore needed to concentrate on those tasks that typically were executed by traditional Scout and LRSD units. With 3 squads of privates (E1s) to specialists (E4s) we entered the crawl phase of training and executed an awesome 4 day mission of TLPs, mission planning, preparation, execution and situation reaction. None of them had worked in the world of â€œsnoop-n-poopâ€ and they did a great job not only learning new techniques and tactics, but executing them with a degree of competence faster than I had anticipated.
I have no doubt that the integration of the OIF experienced soldiers with these guys will be easy. Even though most of the 37 have no combat experience, their training tempo has been fast and furious over the last year. Since the recon world will be new to all, the playing field will be mostly even. Bravo Company has ended up with the best mission out of the re-org, and between that mission, the quality of soldiers, the experience of many of the soldiers and the high degree of professionalism that the NCO corps holds, we have all the right ingredients to continue to set the standard in all we do and exceed all expectations.