FORT STEWART, Ga. (June 23, 2022)- Observer Coach Trainers of 188th Infantry Brigade recently oversaw the Air Assault Raid training conducted by Georgia Army National Guard Soldiers of C Battery, 1st Battalion, 118th Field Artillery Regiment, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, during the eXportable Combat Training Capability June 23, 2022, here.
The purpose of the air assault raid training was to simulate aerial pick-ups and drop-offs of the M777 howitzer by properly preparing and hooking the M777 to a CH-47 Chinook aircraft to transport the M777 as a means of mission-readiness in case of adverse situations or scenarios.
“Essentially the helicopter [CH-47 Chinook] comes in to pick us up and picks up our weapon and moves us to a different location,” said Sgt. 1st Class Warren Lowry, a field artillery specialist assigned to C Battery, 1-118th FA, 48th IBCT.
“We then process and conduct our [simulated] fire mission should we know the enemy’s target, location, etc. and we prepare to take them out,” Lowry added.
During the training, the job of the embedded OC/Ts was to coach and mentor the Soldiers as they conducted the air assault raid by providing feedback after the simulated mission through an After Action Review (AAR).
“We are facilitators,” said Staff Sgt. Dakota Armstrong, a Multiple Launch Rocket System crewmember assigned to 2nd Battalion, 306th Field Artillery Regiment, 188th Inf. Bde. “I cover safety to make sure that everybody is doing the right thing.”
“We follow these guys around during the training process. Specifically, during this lane we are breaking it down to the smallest level to make sure that they are covering every single task and sub-task,” Armstrong said.
After the training is complete the OC/Ts gather the Soldiers to conduct the AAR to help improve training procedures and to enhance mission-readiness capabilities through recognition of training sustains and areas of improvement.
“I feel like this is a good experience for us newer guys because … there are those like myself who have never flown on a helicopter or who have never seen a M777 get picked up,” said Spc. Javon Drake, a field artillery specialist, assigned to C Battery, 1-118th FA, 48th IBCT.
Once the AARs are complete, the Guard Soldiers recover and prepare for a new iteration with a chance to perfect their techniques and procedures by implementing the feedback given them by the OC/Ts.
“It’s actually surprising because you don’t get a chance to see the Army National Guard get out there as much because they train two weekends out of the month or even four days out of the month,” said Armstrong.
“Surprisingly for them to operate only two days out of the month, they are really getting after it and operating very well,” he said, “it’s really exciting to see; it’s really motivating.”