Soldiers charged into dimly lit rooms, smashing wooden doors into splinters and firing upon hostile targets. A small, central northeast Kansas house erupted with the sounds of gunfire and falling brass.
The Kansas mid-spring air was cold enough to see the heat from the brass lining the doorway of Shoot House One. This is where Soldiers with Battery D, 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division finished a month of Battle Drill Six training exercises April 12 near the Maj. Kimmell Rifle Range, Fort Riley.
“Getting into the rhythm of urban warfare is what Battle Drill Six is all about,” said Sgt. Chase Laporte, Btry. D team leader. “It’s important for Soldiers to get into the flow of live combat.”
Battle Drill Six is a training and evaluation course that focuses on entering and clearing rooms and buildings.
Soldiers in the battery trained as they would fight in combat, said Laporte, a three-time Iraq war veteran, who used the same set of skills as an artilleryman in Iraq and now teaches them to his Soldiers.
“As an NCO, Sgt. Laporte ensures that Soldier’s aren’t just going through the motions,” said Capt. John Nguyen, Btry. D commander. “Though the training is building on reflexive action, Battle Drill Six isn’t just about neutralizing a threat inside a room full of combatants, it’s also about having Soldiers understand the implications of their actions, both on the local populace and on the enemy.”
The battery conducted several weeks of training and classes in preparation for the shoot house.
Basic rifle marksmanship, safety classes and rules of engagement training were just a few of the daily classroom and practical instruction Soldiers received before Battle Drill Six evaluation.
“We’re conducting those fundamental tasks that every Soldier has learned upon coming into the Army,” Nguyen said. “It’s a nested plan that gives my subordinate leaders like Laporte a chance to train his Soldiers in tasks they will need to fight the next battle.”
Nguyen and Laporte, along with the rest of 1st Bn., 5th FA, returned from a nine-month deployment in early winter 2011. The Soldiers immediately began resiliency training upon return.
“We conduct resiliency training to reintegrate our Soldiers into a more comfortable lifestyle,” Nguyen said. “Soldiers, who have deployed to a combat environment are given an opportunity to cope with their experiences and implement systems within their lives to return to normal everyday life.”
The training for Battle Drill Six helps Soldiers reintegrate back into the rhythm of being a professional Soldier, Nguyen said.
“It’s a deliberate plan to gradually adapt a Soldier from post-deployment, low-intensity resiliency training, to getting them to thinking about preparing to answer our nation’s calling at a moment’s notice.”
The battery is busy preparing for its next exercise – a live-fire this summer with its 155mm Paladins.
“The Soldiers have taken to the training well and are anxiously awaiting to hear the sounds of the weapon system they proudly signed up to fire,” Nguyen said.
By Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux
1st HBCT Public Affairs
Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux | 1ST HBCT
Spc. Troy Hobbs, artilleryman, Btry. D, 1st Bn., 5th FA Regt., readies his M4 carbine rifle during quick-reaction fire training April 11 at the Maj. Kimmell Rifle Range at Fort Riley.