08/25/2018 | By Sgt. Daylin Bingham
The soldiers of the B Co, 3-414th CST Battalion, 1st Brigade, 104th Division. Photo credit Cpt. Monica Lim
CAMP RILEA, Or. — Cadets from the University of Portland and Soldiers from B Co, 3-414th Cadet Summer Training (CST) Battalion, 1st Brigade, 104th Division came together at Camp Rilea, Oregon from April 13-15, 2018, for a field training exercise (FTX). The three-day FTX provided an opportunity for both parties to complete weapons qualifications as well as affording the Cadets valuable training focusing on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) defense, individual movement techniques (IMT), First Aid, and company level patrolling.
Cadets from the University of Portland prepare to fire from the prone supported position during weapons qualification. Soldiers from B Co, 3-414th CST Battalion, 1st Brigade, 104th Division acted as range safeties and assisted the cadets on proper technique and safety rules.
Photo credit Cpt. Monica Lim
OPFOR from B Co, 3-414th CST Battalion, 1st Brigade, 104th Division prepare their equipment and strategy for their defense of the city on the mount which was the last objective for the Cadets to secure.
Photo credit Cpt. Monica Lim
Additionally, Cadets and Soldiers alike were given an opportunity to test their Army-issued wet weather gear as an “atmospheric river” from the Pacific Ocean centered itself over Camp Rilea, drenching the Soldiers and Cadets for the first two days of the FTX.
On Friday, NCOs from the 3-414th CST instructed and demonstrated to Cadets the proper way to handle and fire their M4 rifle before conducting zeroing and qualifications for the Cadets. For some of the Cadets present, it was their first time ever touching a rifle, adding an increased focus on the fundamentals of safety, proper handling and effective firing techniques. Concurrent training was conducted as Cadets left the firing line, including instruction in the basics of IMT, CBRN, and First Aid.
The following day, instructors from the 3-414 observed and assessed Cadet-led squads and platoons through lanes designed to test the Cadets’ leadership skills and tactical movements. These lanes featured situations that the Cadets would face including: reacting to contact, both direct and indirect, squad assault, and crossing a linear danger area (LDA). The Cadets were armed with M4 rifles or M249 squad automatic weapons (SAW) and used blank simulation rounds to fire upon OPFOR who were role played by Soldiers of the 3-414th CST.
Saturday evening the FTX culminated in a final battle, “The Assault on the Mount.” The objective, a town controlled by the OPFOR, was assaulted by the University of Portland Cadets who were able to combine all that they had learned into one final mission. The sound of gunfire filled the air and the rains came down with an intensity only matched by the battle it fell upon, as NCO and Cadet met with fire and fury, brass and gunpowder. When it was all said and done, there were many “dead” on both sides, but the mount was secured and everyone involved not only had fun, but also bettered themselves as people and as Soldiers, marking the end of an incredibly successful and effective FTX.