Ex DESERT RAM
10 June 2009
B Sqn began its odyssey to Suffield as part of Ex DESERT RAM on the sixth of April. The exercise is part of the Road to War, which will prepare soldiers of TF 3-09 to take the next step in training as they prepare to deploy overseas to Afghanistan.
After a day of maintenance, the squadron moved out to the training area to conduct Level 4 dry attacks. Despite not working together at that level, the squadron came together and performed brilliantly. Next on the agenda was the River Run. The River Run is the name for a resupply mission in Afghanistan. While the River Run is conducted at a pace slower than normal for tankers who are used to speed and violence, the operation came off well as all sub units and arms took a great deal from it.
After squadron level training was completed, the three troops moved out to conduct link-ups with various infantry companies to show them how tankers work and move. Probably the two most important tips passed on were not to stand to close to the turret when it fires and not to get in the way when the tank is backing up. Both will ruin any infanteers day!
After the dry runs with the companies it was time to move onto the Level 3.5 attacks. Level 3.5 is a combined arms operation which has a platoon of infantry, troop of tanks, engineer section, artillery FOO and a FAC for air control. As this work up training is for Afghanistan, a platoon of Afghan National Army (ANA) and a CIMIC det was included. So far each troop has completed two runs on the 3.5 range. Plenty of targets have been knocked down with several first round hits while on the move. The ground has been challenging as many of the wheeled vehicles getting stuck along with one tank who decided to investigate a possible IED by tunnelling underground!
At the midway point for Ex DESERT RAM the squadron is riding high on its successes and looking forward to completing its training here in Suffield and then moving on to Wainwright for Ex MAPLE GUARDIAN and for a lucky few, training in Germany.