US tankers in South Korea learn to navigate urban terrain

South Korea has large metropolitan areas, and cavalry units here can be called on to conduct infantry operations in an urban environment. The training is needed so that the first time soldiers need to operate in urban areas isn’t during conflict.

US tankers in South Korea learn to navigate urban terrain
 Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, train together on traffic control point operations at Rodriguez Live Fire Range March 30. (Picture source: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Christopher Dennis, 1st Armd Bde Combat Team Public Affairs, 1st Cav. Div.)

“A lot of the senior noncommissioned officers have taken tanks through Iraq, Afghanistan and other places,” said Capt. Daniel Davison, commander, Company C, 2nd Bn., 5th Cav. Regiment. “But the younger guys have never seen this type of training before.” In a country that is roughly one-seventh the size of Texas, with a population of 51 million, “Ironhorse” Soldiers in South Korea have to train and be prepared to operate in city environments.

Tankers took time during gunnery training to rehearse movement and maneuvers in an urban environment, setting up traffic control points and reacting to sniper fire and improvised explosive devices. This diverse range of training is necessary for Soldiers to be able to understand and react, when called upon.

Soldiers and crews from 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment “Lancers”, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, took the time to hone additional skills March 31 during a month-long gunnery from March 22 to April 24, at the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex.

“It’s important that dismounted Soldiers work in conjunction with tankers, so they can work on those basic skills,” said Staff Sgt. Eric Ivory, an M1A2 Abrams crewman with Co. C, 2nd Bn., 5th Cav. Reg. “Without those basic skills you can’t adapt”, Capt. Daniel Davison said.

The training is also different from Lancer Soldiers’ rotation in Germany during Combined Resolve II from May 15 to June 30, 2014. “The facilities here are better and more appropriate for what we need to achieve,” said Spc. Stephen Bocox, a M1A2 Abrams crewman with Co. C, 2 Bn., 5th Cav. Reg. “I also feel like there is more of a mission and an immediate threat here.”

Korea can be a difficult and complex place to operate, so Soldiers need to train, plan and think ahead. “You're going to have to move through streets,” said Davison. “How are guys going to be doing that - are the drivers going to be looking out of their hatches, are the loaders going to be out of their hatches, are tank commanders going to be out their hatches? If you have to stop, who’s going to be getting out? So those are the things we’re getting the young guys to start thinking about.”



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