DVIDS – News – Direct Action Raid Exercise at HTA Leave a comment

HOHENFELS, Germany – Troops assigned to ‘Blackfoot Company’ 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment team up with 6th Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade to conduct battalion Direct Action Raid exercises at Hohenfels Training Area, Feb. 17-18, 2021.

The light infantry unit and flight crews perform combined training operations, testing capabilities for the successful execution of battalion minus direct action raid exercises through air assault in black-out conditions.

“What that looks like is security elements put in their blocking positions and give the direct action company the ability, resources, and security to be able to conduct their mission; to seize the objective and exfil safely,” said Sgt. 1st Class Joshua DePalma, platoon leader for Bravo Company, 1-4 IN.

The direct action company uses night vision devices as well as infrared lasers, sensors, hand-arm signals, and other means of infantry basics to accomplish the night missions.

“Some of the biggest challenges, especially at night, are security elements having positive ID on where the element trace is, where the Soldiers are on the perimeter and being able to safely allow Apache Company [101st CAB] to conduct the mission safely,” said DePalma.

This type of training is a good opportunity for different elements to work together, giving all the units involved a chance to work ‘on the fly’ and enhance rapid reaction, serving to prepare for the Combined Resolve exercises.

The experience is also something new for the Troops who have not yet participated in this type of training scenario.

“I think the opportunity here is exciting because you never really know when you’re going to get the opportunity to move around in these CH-47’s and Blackhawks and things like that,” said Pfc. Kristian Tadic, a radio telephone operator for Bravo Company, 1-4 IN. “You get a lot of amazing training here, so I’m really excited that we keep this training pace going, and learn from it.”

Bravo Company commander, Cpt. Peter Fortier echoes the sentiment that these direct action raid exercises offer a unique challenge to train in limited visibility in cold conditions.

“This is a great training opportunity for resiliency and for toughness training,” said Fortier. “It’s dark, cold and they move dismounted in the woods at night, so that is probably the most difficult, yet the most rewarding part of this mission.”

Fortier confirms that performing this type of scenario will absolutely help prepare Troops by familiarizing them with using their night optical devices and moving in limited visibility through the cold terrain, saying it will definitely enable them to be more successful in the coming weeks for Combined Resolve XV.

At the conclusion of the first night’s training exercise, leadership of Bravo Company reflected on the diversity and competence within their ranks.

“Blackfoot Company Air Raid mission is a great training event, seizing a rare opportunity for us to improve lethality at squad and platoon levels while having some good, old-fashioned light infantry fun,” said Bravo Company 1st Sgt. Mark Riley.

“One of the most incredible things about the Army is our ability to pick up on the spur of the moment and carry out a new mission,” Riley said. “Working with elements from other units thousands of miles away, never having worked together before, the Soldiers of 1-4 IN were able to safely and effectively carry out the mission… a testament to the power of the Army as a whole.”

Date Taken: 02.18.2021
Date Posted: 02.20.2021 05:58
Story ID: 389365
Location: HOHENFELS, BY, DE 

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