Combat Veterans Utilize Realistic Weapons Equipment
Hohenfels, Germany- There is a need to train and prepare for duty using realistic scenarios. Recently a group of soldiers participated in a training exercise using very realistic conditions. Many of the soldiers that participated in the exercise are veterans of actual mass casualties that have happened in Iraq.
The 18th Engineer Brigade underwent a fake car bomb training exercise in which a bus load of Iraqi citizens were involved in a bomb on a bus. This was during pre-deployment training in Germany, to prepare them for actual events that can happen during their scheduled deployment to Iraq. In the exercise a bomb “blew up on a bus,” and soldiers had to respond and deal with the situation.
Different type situations such as this are important to train for. There are at times casualties of 40 or 50 people from IED explosive devices or suicide bombers
Sergeant Major Jeffrey Mann of 54th Engineer Battalion talked about one engagement with the enemy. “My unit was involved in a Camp Ramadi Rocket Attack where 14 of us were injured,” said SM Mann. “I was one of the injured, I had wounds including shrapnel,” said Mann.
“The soldiers that helped me and the other injured did an excellent job, and everyone hurt survived,” said Sergeant Major Mann.
The training was tossed into a route clearance-training mission. Soldiers responding were not told in advance about the fake bomb scenario. The bus bombing was a surprise but it did not surprise Mann.
“We expect such things on the battlefield, why not here?” said Sergeant Major Mann.