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Posts made in: 'Warrior Forge' (12) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 12

July 30, 2013 at 9:58am

Bird watching - OSC training at JBLM

Three Blackhawk helicopters approach a pick-up zone, or PZ, as National Guard Officer Candidate School selectees from 27 states wait to be airlifted to another training venue. Photo by J.M. Simpson

I like Blackhawks.

They produce a turbo-charged, earthshaking amount of lift when they take off.

While Warrior Forge draws to a close, 234 National Guard Officer School Candidates (OCS) selectees engage in an intensive 16-day training period before receiving their commissions as second lieutenants.

The 234 candidates came from 27 states west of the Mississippi River to complete the training they had begun at their home bases.

The 66th Theater Aviation Command of the Washington Army National Guard provided the airlift.

"The training has been great," Candidate Ryan Cash, a former sailor, said on Saturday afternoon as he prepared to board one of three Blackhawk helicopters for a 10-minute ride to the next training venue.

"Jumping on and flying in a Blackhawk is really great, and a nice touch for our training."

Moments later, Cash and ten other candidates moved toward a waiting Blackhawk.  They quickly boarded and strapped in.

The Blackhawk's power came up and grass, dust and noise followed the craft as it climbed into the blue sky.  

I like a bird like that.

>>> In the dust and heat of a makeshift pick-up zone at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, National Guard Officer Candidate School selectees load onto three Blackhawks during a training exercise. Photo by J.M. Simpson

>>> Two Blackhawk helicopters carrying National Guard Officer Candidate School selectees lift off in a whirlwind of dust, grass and noise. Photo by J.M. Simpson

July 26, 2013 at 1:53pm

Warrior Forge: Early morning warriors at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

A cadet searches a killed enemy for weapons and intelligence after a firefight during a squad training exercise. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

The 12 ROTC cadets assigned to 1st Squad, 1st Platoon, Alpha Company, 13th Regiment moved quietly through the woods and in and out of early morning pools of sunlight.

"I like this training a lot," Cadet Blake Jares said when the squad halted.  "The learning has been incredible."

Involved in what is called a squad training exercise, or STX, the soon-to-be-commissioned officers were engaged in a mission to find an enemy outpost.

They found it when they began to take gunfire.

Using the techniques and tactics learned over the past three weeks of training during Warrior Forge, the squad moved quickly toward the objective, silenced the gunfire and secured the area.

"It's a step in our military careers, and we will soon be leaving here and putting to use what we've learned," cadet Cory Palumbo said as other cadets searched the dead for weapons and intelligence.

"The instruction we've received has been excellent."

>>> ROTC cadets assigned to 1stSquad, 1st Platoon, Alpha Company, 13thRegiment move through the early morning light.

>>> Cadet Cory Palumbo puts on puts on camouflage before continuing on with his squad training exercise.

>>> A ROTC cadet takes cover during a squad training exercise.  The training allows cadets to use many of the lessons they've learned during Warrior Forge.

Read more...

July 25, 2013 at 6:28pm

2-2 SBCT plays bad guys during Warrior Forge at JBLM

Two soldiers from 8th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment acting as members of the opposing force for Warrior Forge, pose with their assault rifles in a manner reminiscent of terrorist propaganda material July 23 at JBLM. Photo credit: Spc. Leon Cook

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Loud cries of pain echoed through the trees as two black-clad insurgents whipped and kicked a bound and prostrate hostage. A cluster of shallow graves and the assault rifles in the insurgents' arms left little doubt as to the captive's eventual fate. The presence of a freshly-dug grave confirmed his fears.

"Ayuda me! Ayuda me!" The hostage cried out for help even as his captors continued to beat him and mock his cries for help.

Eventually, the insurgents had had enough and shoved their still-living captive into his grave. Before they could do anything else, a voice called out from the surrounding woods.

"You have five minutes to drop your weapons and release your hostage," the voice said in Spanish.

The startled insurgents shouldered their weapons and shifted their attention from their prisoner to the forest around them as they began calling out to the unseen voice.

Minutes passed with no action from either side when suddenly shots rang out beside the two insurgents, killing one of them. The other ran to his partner and cradled his body before he too succumbed to fire from the flanking element.

The rescuers finally revealed themselves as they assaulted the objective, rescued the captive, and exploited the site for intelligence.

"Alright, bring it in. Time for an AAR!" said a trainer evaluator (TE).

Cadets rose from their positions and formed a horseshoe around the TE for their after-action review. The two "dead" insurgents got up and joined the horseshoe formation, ready to give their input.

This was a scene played out many times July 23 at Squad Training Exercise (STX) Lane 10 of the U.S. Army Cadet Command's Leader Development and Assessment Course, better known as Warrior Forge. Warrior Forge takes cadets from Reserve Officer Training Corps units around the country and tests their leadership skills.

Read more...

July 19, 2013 at 2:21pm

Hanging at Cadet Tent City on Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Flora Edelbrock shows some of the notes she’s taken to prepare for a tactical exercise. Joining her are Tori Johnson and Joseph Edwards. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

LDAC - or the Leader Development and Assessment Course  - is on at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Reporter J.M. Simspon knows this all too well. He watched the sun come up this morning at JBLM, alone, in a parking lot ... waiting for the Warrior Forge action to begin ... only to discover it was canceled.

On his way toward the main gate he caught a glimpse of Cadet Tent City.

A diversion was made.

British cadets were discovered.

Photos were taken.

Enjoy.

>>> British Cadet Matt Lillie gives directions to some ROTC Cadets, 11th Regiment, during their training exercise at Tactical Training Base - West.  The scenario calls for the cadets to conduct forward operating base operations.

>>> British Cadet Abbie Lawrence said she is enjoying learning from the ROTC cadets she has interacted with.  About 20 British officer cadets are working with 11thRegiment.

>>> ROTC Cadets attached to the 11th Regiment take notes and prepare for a tactical leadership exercise.

LINK: Warrior Forge 2013 Photo Album

LINK: Warrior Forge Week One recap

LINK: Warrior Forge Week Two Recap

LINK: Warrior Forge does Field Leader Reaction Course

LINK: ROTC triplets share the bond of duty at JBLM

LINK: ROTC Cadets trained on the Capt. Michael Tarlavsky Hand Grenade Assault Course

LINK: Let's get physical

LINK: Warrior Forge kicks off at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

July 6, 2013 at 9:48am

Warrior Forge 2013: Week Two recap

Retired four-star general J.H. Binford Peay III, the superintendent at the Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Va., toured several training sites during the 2013 Leader Development and Assessment Course June 24 at JBLM. Photo courtesy of LDAC PAO

ROTC cadets from universities across the country are spending the summer at Joint Base Lewis-McChord as part of the U.S. Army Cadet Command Leader Development and Assessment Course, also known as Operation Warrior Forge. The leadership-based course is the Army's largest annual intra-continental training exercise with over 6,000 Cadets in attendance each year and serves as a rite of passage for ROTC Cadets prior to becoming commissioned officers in the Army.

This year's operation is broken down into 13 regiments with 29 days of training for each regiment. During each cycle cadets will undergo four different evaluations that are used for eventual placement on the national order of merit list.

Below are snippets from Warrior Forge week two action as seen through the eyes of the LDAC Public Affairs officers. Enjoy.

Cadets Colangelo and Edminston take top APFT honors

ROTC cadets Zachary Colangelo, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pa., a Pleasantville, NY resident, and Margaret Edminston, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyo., a Valencia, Calif. took first place for the male and female categories respectively during the 5th Regiment Army physical fitness test, June 24 at JBLM. Competing against 457 of their peers, Colangelo grabbed the top spot with a score of 354, while Edminston achieved the highest women's score with a 359.

The APFT is broken down into three parts including the two-mile run, two-minute push-up and two-minute sit-up. Each Cadet completes all three and then receives a score based on the Army's APFT score chart. Cadets must pass the APFT based on Army standards for age and gender in order to qualify for the Army. To pass the APFT, Cadets must receive at least 60 points in each event.

Retired four-star general J.H. Binford Peay III in the house

Retired four-star general J.H. Binford Peay III, the superintendent at the Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Va., toured several training sites during the 2013 Leader Development and Assessment Course June 24 at JBLM. During his visit, Peay met with senior leaders to discuss this year's training regimen and traveled to several training sites to observe Reserve Officers' Training Corps Cadets completing the training.

Read more...

July 5, 2013 at 3:18pm

Warrior Forge 2013: ROTC and Aristotle

5th Regiment ROTC Cadets shoot at targets ranging from 50 to 300 meters away. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Aristotle and Maj. Gen. Jeff Smith agree on the basic principles of learning.

"Using the language of knowledge is no proof that they possess it," Aristotle wrote. 

In other words, theory is not understood until a person has the ability to apply it.

Smith, commanding general, US Army Cadet Command, agrees. 

He has made it clear to everyone up and down the teaching line that cadets will learn by doing.

Cadets in 5th Regiment certainly had an opportunity to learn by doing during cultural awareness training.

>>> Loading Up: ROTC Cadets of 5th Regiment prepare to move to a weapons and firing training scenario. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Read more...

July 3, 2013 at 4:38pm

Warrior Forge 2013: Week One recap

Maj. Gen. Jeff Smith, commanding general, U.S. Army Cadet Command, stopped by the 2013 Leader Development Assessment Course at JBLM June 19-20. Photo courtesy of LDAC PAO

ROTC cadets from universities across the country are spending the summer at Joint Base Lewis-McChord as part of the U.S. Army Cadet Command Leader Development and Assessment Course, also known as Operation Warrior Forge. The leadership-based course is the Army's largest annual intra-continental training exercise with over 6,000 Cadets in attendance each year and serves as a rite of passage for ROTC Cadets prior to becoming commissioned officers in the Army.

This year's operation is broken down into 13 regiments with 29 days of training for each regiment. During each cycle cadets will undergo four different evaluations that are used for eventual placement on the national order of merit list.

Below are snippets from Warrior Forge week one action as seen through the eyes of the LDAC Public Affairs officers. Enjoy.

Cadet Connor Maher

As a hot crowded military bus rumbled southward down Interstate 5 June 13 from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., each of the Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadets sat jammed into the torn pleather seats, rife with looks of concern. One of the passengers, Cadet Connor Maher, a political science student from Boston University, recounted the flurry of emotions engulfing his thought process leading up to the uncomfortable bus ride down I-5 on the way to the 2013 Leader Development and Assessment Course.

Read more...

July 1, 2013 at 7:50am

Photos: Warrior Forge does Field Leader Reaction Course

ROTC Cadets, 1st Squad, 1st Platoon, 4th Regiment negotiate the “Overhand” obstacle on the Field Leader Reaction Course. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

LDAC - or the Leader Development and Assessment Course  - is on at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Better known as Warrior Forge, the course runs through Aug. 5. It is the Army's largest training exercise and has been held annually at JBLM for years.

Friday, Northwest Military reporter J.M. Simpson caught up with the cadets on the Field Leader Reaction Course.

>>> ROTC Cadets, 1st Squad, 1st Platoon, 4th Regiment listen to a briefing before facing another challenge on the Field Leader Reaction Course.

>>> ROTC Cadets pitch in to send a box of ammunition across a gully while on the Field Leader Reaction Course. 

LINK: ROTC triplets share the bond of duty at JBLM

LINK: ROTC Cadets trained on the Capt. Michael Tarlavsky Hand Grenade Assault Course

LINK: Let's get physical

LINK: Warrior Forge kicks off at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

June 27, 2013 at 9:43am

Warrior Forge: ROTC triplets share the bond of duty at JBLM

Triplets Randy and Allen and Matthew Jozwiak are the only set of triplets attending the Leader Development and Assessment Course at JBLM. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

The number three is significant.

In literature there are the well-known three wishes, the three little pigs, the three bears and the three billy goats gruff.

As to the religious aspect, the ancient Babylonians had three primary gods representing heaven, earth and the abyss. Moreover, there were three aspects to the Egyptian sun god - rising, midday and setting.

When it comes to the Leader Development and Assessment Course, or LDAC, where ROTC cadets from around the country converge at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, there are Randy Jozwiak, Matthew Jozwiak and Allen Jozwiak.

The three brothers are triplets, and they share more than just the bond of brotherhood.

They share the bond of duty to country.

Read more...

June 25, 2013 at 4:23pm

Warrior Forge: Let's get physical

More than 6,000 cadets will call Joint Base Lewis-McChord their home for 29 days of training in the Army’s largest intra-continental training exercise. Photo courtesy of U.S. Army Cadet Command PAO

Reserve Officers' Training Corps cadets were pushed to the limits on their physical abilities during the Army physical fitness test, June 21 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The APFT is broken down into three parts including the two-mile run, two-minute push-up and two-minute sit-up. Each cadet completes all three and then receives a score based on the Army's APFT score chart.

Cadets must pass the APFT based on Army standards for age and gender in order to qualify for the Army. To pass the APFT, cadets must receive at least 60 points in each event.

"What is expected here at LDAC is verifying or validating from campus how well they do PT," said Lt. Col. Todd Hourihan. "Holistically PT is huge for an officer in the Army just as for a soldier because it is a pure sign of leadership."

Cadets get a demonstration first of how to properly do push ups and sit ups from the Cadre who will be keeping count for them. If done incorrectly, their hard work will not be counted toward their score.

Doing well on the APFT is important to cadets as future Army officers.

"You can't lead Soldiers without being out in front," said cadet Jessie Betts, 4th Reg. of University of North Carolina who was first in the run. "You can't lead from the rear at all."

After completing APFT, cadets move into the training phase of LDAC where they will be assessed on their abilities.

LINK: ROTC Cadets trained on the Capt. Michael Tarlavsky Hand Grenade Assault Course

LINK: Warrior Forge kicks off at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

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