JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – While outside observers might
see the Army as an organization that specializes in things involving
loud booms and bangs, there are many jobs that require a more
stealthy approach. One particularly important job is that of the
cavalry scout who is responsible for reconnaissance, which helps
paint a picture for commanders on the ground of what terrain and
enemies they might encounter.
Scouts with 1st Battalion, 14th
Cavalry Regiment, “Warhorse,” 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team,
recently returned from a month long training exercise at Yakima
Training Center, Wash., where they focused on honing their
reconnaissance skills while conducting Stryker vehicle crew
The training, known as gunnery, happened in
increasingly difficult levels that worked to improve and certify the
Two Stryker combat vehicle crew with
1st Battalion, 14th Cavalry Regiment, “Warhorse,” 3-2 Stryker
Brigade Combat Team, prepare to conduct live-fire training at Yakima
Training Center on October 22, 2014. Warhorse Stryker crews
conducted traditional live-fire training and also focused on
developing their reconnaissance skills during the nearly month long
training exercise at YTC. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Justin
Naylor, 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)
During their stay, the scouts were tested on their
ability to not only effectively fire their weapons and
engage targets, but also on how well they conducted
The unit accomplished this by setting
up specialized areas, known as lanes. The scout crews were
tasked with moving through the lanes while collecting
information for the commander to help him formulate his
were given intelligence on the area to find an enemy
observation post,” said Sgt. Michael Schmidt, a Riddle,
Ore., native and section leader with Troop B, 1st Bn., 14th
After finding the enemy position, Soldiers
reported it to their commander before moving into a
follow-up location where they were tasked with identifying
and destroying enemy targets as they popped up.
“Basically, the commander doesn't know what is out there and
our job is to figure out what's out there and enemy intent
and confirm or deny enemy presence,” Schmidt said.
While all of the combat battalions within 3-2 SBCT were
responsible for conducting some form of gunnery, the
Warhorse battalion added an extra level of difficulty to
“None of the infantry battalions are
going to do the reconnaissance that we do, they just go out
there, shoot gunnery and come back,” Schmidt said. “We're
out there to paint a picture.”
This training was part
of the brigade's Integrated Training Strategy, a broad
training initiative designed to ensure that Soldiers have
all the training necessary to accomplish any combat mission
they are given.
Many of the crews who participated in
the gunnery were new and had only a few opportunities to
work together prior this training.
“I think every
time that you go out as a newer group, because you have guys
rotating constantly, you find out what kind of operating
level you guys are working on and what strengths and
weaknesses you can work out,” Schmidt said.
many of the crews might have been new, they didn't let that
deter them from accomplishing their mission.
Soldiers did very well,” said Capt. Kyle Bruffy, the Troop B
commander. “There were some initial lessons learned ...
however, once they worked through it, they became very
proficient at engaging targets. They proved very lethal with
their assigned weapons systems.”
With this training
under the belts, the scouts are looking forward to whatever
comes next and are more confident than ever in their ability
to work as a team and conduct reconnaissance whenever they
are called to do so.
By U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Justin Naylor
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