homepage logo


Preparing for Afghanistan

By Staff | May 4, 2010

The National Guard detain two “civilians” while conducting a search for “terrorists” during a training exercise Saturday at the south building of Roosevelt school. EDN photo by David Swartz

“Being prepared” may be the Boy Scouts motto, but it definitely works for the military too.

The south section of Roosevelt school building was once again the site of learning this past weekend-but unlike anything it’s been used before.

On Saturday, members of the 194th Field Artillery of the Iowa National Guard used it as the site of their training. The unit is preparing for deployment to Afghanistan later this year.

In full gear, teams entered the building “chasing after hostiles,” and learning when to shoot and how to protect against an ambush as part of their urban operations training.

“They learn the fundamentals of how to safely clear a room and have clear, concise objectives,” said Captain Bill Pick.

National Guard troops secure the perimeter after exiting their vehicles during Saturday’s training exercise. EDN photo by David Swartz

A second training session was held in field southeast of the National Guard Armory (to the west of Dakota Pack) as Guard members worked on three objectives while trying to avoid an ambush.

Pick said the goal is to take the individual tasks the members have learned and use them in a squad. The outdoor exercise had two squads working together. The goal is to have a full platoon-four squads-working together as a team.

The two squads faced

three “attacks” during the session.

At both sites, instructors review with the soldiers what they did right and what they could do better.

Pick said a key part of the training before the unit’s deployment later this year is for the men to learn the culture of Afghanistan and how to avoid conflicts with the public.