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US Army Shifts Training Focus To Stryker Teams

U.S. Army Stryker teams with the 5th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, were required to charge into a building to secure a room in a mock Iraqi village that was occupied by comrades dressed as Iraqi insurgents who fired upon them. Photo courtesy of Spc. Amanda Flemett, U.S. Army.
by US Army Spc. Amanda Flemett
2nd Brigade Public Affairs
Schofield Barracks HI (AFNS) Jun 05, 2006
The U.S. Army 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team continues to transform with five new units and a fleet of new, highly mobile, survivable and lethal Stryker vehicles. Similarly, the brigade's 5th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, is continuing to transform training by shifting from individual soldier tasks to Stryker team building exercises.

Recently, the first Strykehorse Stake Challenge, which involved a series of exercises covering four days, concluded at the brigade's 5th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment.

Soldiers executed water combat survival skills, foot marches, call for fire and enter-and-clear enemy building scenarios, and casualty evaluations that graded teams on how quickly they could complete obstacles, as well as teamwork. "Second Brigade training is steadily changing to meet demands of new Stryker units," said U.S. Army Capt. Kirk Alexander officer-in-charge of the challenge. "Training is becoming more team-focused with emphasis on soldiers performing as leaders," he added.

The Strykehorse challenge was the first time Stryker team members of the 5th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment have trained as squads.

They successfully executed tasks, explained Alexander, then added that these "cohesive teams" of "tough soldiers" will comprise the new Stryker crews.

After demonstrating initial mastery of individual physical fitness, marksmanship,medical training, small unit drills and digital training, squads prepared to further demonstrate their capabilities as formid-able Stryker teams. Team leaders were forced to make decisions such as best foot-march routes, foot march pace, rest stops and times, and ammunition distribution for movements.

Each leader's decision greatly impacted the capability of Strykehorse teams at subsequent stations.

"My job is to make sure my guys are taken care of," said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Jacob Hina, Troop D leader, "and my guys kicked butt!"

The simple idea of training teams together so they will work smoothly as one unit capable of dynamic thought is the principle of these exercises. It is this type of team building that unit leaders believe will bond Stryker soldiers, teams and leaders.

"Everything we are doing has to have a combat edge to it," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. David Davidson, squadron commander for the 5th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment. "It's better for them to learn here than learn downrange."

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