FORT POLK — To survive the modern-day battlefield, a soldier must be adaptable. Tactics change in both conventional and nonconventional armies, and even in terrorist organizations.
FORT POLK — To survive the modern-day battlefield, a soldier must be adaptable. Tactics change in both conventional and nonconventional armies, and even in terrorist organizations. These tactical transformations mean soldiers must learn to work together to fight in a fluid environment.
With this concept in mind, soldiers from 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, 317th Brigade Engineer Battalion (Sappers), trained on combined arms maneuver tactics with 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk’s Peason Ridge training area. Both units are members of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, an associated unit of the 36th Infantry Division, Texas Army National Guard.
Gen. Mark A. Milley, the Army’s Chief of Staff and Gen. Robert Abrams, the commanding general of Forces Command, are pressing the Army to rebuild its combined arms maneuver capability — and to do so quickly.
In a letter to the force earlier this year, Milley challenged the Army to “aggressively rebuild its combined arms maneuver capability while preserving its wide area security competency in support of Unified Land Operations through home station training and combat training center rotations.”
“Upon returning from our deployment to Afghanistan in June, we immediately aligned our Sapper platoons with maneuver battalions,” said Capt. Patrick Jackson, Alpha Company commander.
“These habitual relationships allow platoon leaders and platoon sergeants to fully integrate into the maneuver units they support while at home station. They attend the unit’s weekly training meetings and plan training as an integrated force.”
Fort Polk is one of the few locations in the Army where assigned units have ready access to combat training center facilities.
“Our ability to access the Joint Readiness Training Center’s world-class facilities provides us with a unique opportunity to train early and often as an integrated team,” Lt. Col. Chris Blais, commander, 317th Brigade Engineer Battalion, said. “Last week, engineer squads were conducting live fire breach validation. Just a week later, these same squads are building proficiency as members of a combined arms maneuver team, conducting a live fire exercise. Many units have to wait until they attend a (Combat Training Center) rotation before being able to train at this level.”
“The brigade made a deliberate effort to integrate enablers — including our engineers — into training early and it’s paying off,” said Lt. Col. Casey Welch, commander, 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment.