Bleeding Fuchsia in Training to Avoid Bleeding Red in Battle

 

Written by Master Sgt. Tip Boxell

HHC, 300th Military Intelligence Brigade

Published May 24, 2006

 

Download Printer-Friendly Version

       

 

The supply sergeant keeps his troops geared up.

Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Todd Glover

The supply sergeant keeps his troops geared up.

See glossary at end of article for explanation on acronymns used in the article.

CAMP WILLIAMS, Utah— For one long day, the Soldiers of the 300th MI Brigade Headquarters climbed out from behind their computers May 6 and become the land warriors of MICO H.

They set out from their comfortable Draper Building offices for the dust and the mud, the heat and the cold, the clouds and the sunshine of AO Williams. In other words, it was a typical spring day at good old AGCW.

Capt. Brian Wood, commander of HHC, 300th, was bound and determined that his Soldiers would accomplish their CTTT this year in a combat scenario with real-world objectives opposed by the sneakiest possible OPFOR.

Paintball enthusiast HHC 1st Sgt. Stephan Vogl knew just how to introduce a realistic “pucker factor” into the field-training exercise.

Sgt. Michael Naretto prepares to cordon and search a suspected insurgent base.

Photo by Sgt. Elizabeth Davis

Sgt. Michael Naretto prepares to cordon

 and search a suspected insurgent base.

Staff Sgt. Gary Nielsen, HHC Supply Sergeant, made sure that everybody had food, water, battle dressing (for first aid training only), paintball gun, plenty of paintballs and accompanying protective gear, radios, batteries and vehicles.

To make sure that everybody drove a humvee, MICO H secured some from neighbor Charlie Company, 142nd MI Battalion and with the kind assistance of Sgt. Maj. Randy Bunker, 115th Engineers.

Sgt. 1st Class Todd Glover, HHC Readiness NCO, put the fear of AGCW Range Control into the troops with his detailed safety brief. He knew that Range Control would watch this exercise closely as it considers increasing the amount of paintball training conducted on post. Paintballs do not start fires, but they can cause bruises in hard-to-describe places. Paintballs also give a realistic edge to training that traditional MILES gear cannot.

Staff Sgt. Ben Torgersen, HHC, 300th MI Brigade, moves in on the insurgent stronghold.

Photo by Sgt. Michael Naretto

Staff Sgt. Ben Torgersen, HHC, 300th MI Brigade,

moves in on the insurgent stronghold.

With a little help from their friends in SMM, MICO H conducted its first-ever, for-real convoy.  Eleven vehicles (humvees and CUCVs) snaked out the Draper back gate and wended their way over I-15 on Bangerter Highway and on to Camp Williams Road. Engineers and artillerymen would not have been impressed, but this was an achievement for these MI Soldiers.

Tip Boxell, Todd Anderson, and June Bondoc, old master sergeants of the brigade staff and combat veterans all, spent three months planning and coordinating with Range Control how four METs  were going to tactically convoy down MSR Watts, deal with an enemy sniper team blocking the roadway, find WMD somewhere in NAI Snoop (the WLC land-nav course), search vehicles and guard the main gate of FOB Rattler (the WLChuts at Piņon Hill), avoid IEDs, fight through an insurgent ambush on Juniper Lane and end up with a presence patrol with difficult law-of-land warfare challenges in the village of Willimaniyah (more WLC huts).

It’s all in a day’s work on a mission outside the wire and now these MI headquarters Soldiers know that.

The handiwork of the MICO H team.

Photo by Sgt. Michael Naretto

The handiwork of the MICO H team.

Glossary

NAI – Named Area of Interest

AGCW – Army Garrison Camp Williams

AO – Area of Operations

CTTT – Common Task Training and Testing

CUCV - Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle

FOB- Forward Operating Base

HHC – Headquarters and Headquarters Company

IED – Improvised Explosive Device

Land-Nav – Land Navigation

MET - Mobile Exploitation Team

MI – Military Intelligence

MICO H – Military Intelligence Company H

MILES – Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System

NCO – Noncommissioned Officer

OPFOR – Opposing Force

SMM – Surface Maintenance Manager

WLC – Warrior Leader Course

WMD - Weapons of Mass Destruction

The insurgent (Sgt. Maj. Mick Waters) surrenders to members of the MICO H team.

Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Greg Loveridge

The insurgent (Sgt. Maj. Mick Waters)

surrenders to members of the MICO H team.

Sgt. Elizabeth Davis is in place, waiting for her battle buddy to make the next move.

Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Greg Loveridge

Sgt. Elizabeth Davis is in place, waiting

for her battle buddy to make the next move.