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By Spc. Tanya C. Polk
1st Armored Division Public Affairs Office

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- The need to move people and equipment in combat

areas by convoy exposes deployed Soldiers to the most dangerous missions in which

they can participate. That's why 1st Armored Division units are paying extra

attention to giving their troops the skills to eliminate or mitigate the risks of convoy


Convoys routinely expose Soldiers to the 360-

degree arena of today's battlefields, where

every troop, whether a "combat arms Soldier"

or not, can find himself on the front line. As a

result the division expects every Soldier to get

realistic hands-on training in convoy skills

Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 159th Aviation, part
proficiency as an integral part of its "Iron
of the 1st Armored Division's 12th combat Aviation
Brigade, run through a convoy operations training
scenario at the Grafenwoehr (Germany) Training Warrior" program.
Area January 11.

The units assigned to the division's 12th Combat Aviation Brigade have been tackling

convoy operations training at the Joint Multinational Training Center here this month.
Soldiers of the CAB's 2nd Battalion, 159th Aviation had the opportunity to experience

realistic scenarios that allowed them to practice battlefield skills such as conducting

convoys; recognizing improvised explosive devices; reacting to ambushes and hostile

engagements, and reacting to sniper fire, as part of their Iron Warrior training.

“We’re trying to make it as realistic as possible by using the 1AD Iron Warrior

manual, simulators and opposition forces,” said Capt. Jerrod Adams, a 12th CAB

training officer.

“This training will give them the confidence they need and skills that are required for

combat operations -- skills that are vital to the ongoing mission in Iraq and

Afghanistan," said Sgt. 1st Class John Copeland, a human resources NCO with the 2-

159th who served as a range officer-in-charge for the training.

“They’ll gain a feeling within themselves that they can survive, whether it be here in

the field or downrange in Iraq or Afghanistan," he added.

The "infantry-style" training is a departure from the CAB Soldiers' normal home-

station operations. Most are aviation mechanics and helicopter crew chiefs.

“Our day-to-day mission is mainly keeping helicopters flying, and this is the total

opposite,” said Sgt. Shawn Huebner, an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter crew chief

and mechanic with Company C, 2-159th. “We’re not combat arms (Soldiers by

trade), and we usually are not training on how to conduct convoys. We wouldn’t get

an experience like this during most normal field exercises.”

But Huebner's experiences deployed to Iraq have also convinced him that the Iron

Warrior training is realistic and helpful for all Soldiers.

“This teaches a lot of younger Soldiers -- especially Soldiers who are new to the

Army and have not been deployed -- how to react to contact,” continued Huebner.

“They’ll know what to do in a situation such as having Soldiers down in a vehicle.”

The 12th CAB's battalions are expected to continue to train on convoy operations

and the other 11 training tables that make up the Iron Warrior program for the rest

of the month.