Northwest Military Blogs: Army West Blog

August 10, 2017 at 7:14am

Brings out fighter in you

Soldiers from Group Support Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), conduct weapons training at Range 43 during Enabler Integration Program on Joint Base Lewis-McChord July 17. Photo credit: Spc. Garret Smith, Released

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New soldiers from Group Support Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), completed 21 days of Special Operation Forces (SOF) integration training through the Enabler Integration Program (EIP) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Thursday, Aug. 3.

Pfc. Diana Ravelo, a supply specialist and participant from GSB, was among the soldiers to experience the intense training.

"It was very vigorous," said Ravelo.

While the course was a great challenge to her, Ravelo said that it pushed her to meet each challenge.

"The program brought out the fighter in me," she said.

The soldiers' average day began at 4:30 a.m. and concluded at approximately 10 p.m. Throughout the duration of the program, cadre lead participants through a series of events, such as land navigation, Tactical Combat Casualty Care, and military driver's training.

Master Sgt. Juan Contreras, the non-commissioned officer in charge of the training, said, "The soldier needs to understand that they have to get up at four in the morning, and they might not be able to lay their head down on their pillow until eighteen or twenty hours later."

Contreras ensured the ranges and training sites were available and scheduled, and he was also responsible for providing ammunition and resources to the soldiers.

His cadre were hand-selected to assess participants.

Sgt. 1st Class Viantha Chhim, a senior cadre member, saw the value in choosing highly motivated soldiers who were capable of pushing themselves.

"I think what we're doing is creating well-rounded and adaptable soldiers for SOF," said Chhim. "You got to be ready for anything. You got to be willing to put in the effort."

To be successful in a SOF environment, soldiers were not only required to be adaptable, but capable of exceeding the physical fitness standard.

The next EIP is slated for Oct. 10. Following the program, participants who meet all standards can receive an identifier and are prepared to take on SOF challenges.

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