Missouri Guard's 1-138th Infantry Regiment conducts annual training

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

FORT CHAFFE, Ark.----The two week annual training for the Missouri National Guard's 1-138th Infantry Regiment, including Company D, based at the Monett National Guard Armory, culminated with a battalion-level cordon and search training exercise.

With the companies of the 1-138th spread across the state, annual training is one of the few times a year the entire battalion comes together and exercise battalion-level tasks. During the first week, companies A, B and C were able to conduct simultaneous and coordinated night missions, which included attacks to clear, attacks to seize, and attacks to secure a variety of objectives while incorporating, scouts, snipers. Company D, the 1-138th's heavy weapons company, engaged its equipment.

The A, B and C companies operated out of company assembly areas, transported by the 138th Forward Support Company. Companies dismounted the vehicles and moved on foot toward their objectives.

The night missions ensured soldiers of the 1-138th were skilled in the use of night vision goggles, advanced target pointer illuminator aiming lights, and moving quietly as a group in nearly-complete darkness.

Prior to training, the battalion staff spent several drills training with Fort Leavenworth's Battalion Staff Training Team on the military decision making process. The first week of Annual Training was the culminating event of this training.

Week two began with a combined arms rehearsal, including the battalion staff, company command groups, and specialty platoon leaders. A large shade tent covered a terrain model showing each unit and suspected enemy locations. The company commanders and specialty platoon leaders briefed their action for each phase of the operation. This rehearsal ensured all leaders understood the plan and how each unit's actions affected the others.

The next morning A, B and C companies headed to an area called "Objective Sally" to destroy enemy forces located there. The scouts and snipers, inserted three days before the main body movement, reported back critical intelligence to inform the commanders of the current enemy situation.

The companies fought through smaller objectives for three days before reaching their assault position. D Company screened the western flank of A and C companies as they moved toward the objective, enduring blistering heat and long tactical foot movements, but they never slowed down.

While the other companies moved south, B Company conducted an air assault into Landing Zone Keystone and set up a blocking position to ensure the enemy would not be able to reinforce the objective.

Upon reaching Objective Sally, Company D established an outer cordon. Company C established an inner cordon, and Company A cleared the objective through dynamic clearing of buildings. Once the enemy was destroyed, Company A began a more thorough search of the village which resulted in the discovery of enemy intelligence and weapons caches.

The 1-138th battalion commander and chaplain then met with the village elders to understand the needs of the community and ensure they would not harbor the enemy any longer.

According to a Guard spokesman, "The training demonstrated how competently the 1-138th conducted in their warrior tasks and drills, and how prepared they are to deploy to a current operating environment."

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