CHEOLWON, South Korea –
Soldiers from 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, 210th Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division conducted a Field Training Exercise June 6 -- 20 at Rocket Valley, near Cheolwon, South Korea.
In order to learn what it really means to deter the enemy in combat situations and send rockets to a precise mark under intense stress, Soldiers need the copious hands-on practice that only being in the field can provide.
According to Maj. Thomas Murphy, the battalion's operations officer, the two-week long exercise aimed to test the battalion on their fundamental skills and reactions while in a stressful environment.
"The exercise was to test and evaluate the platoons on their core competencies," said Murphy, a native of Lancaster, Penn. "We put them into stressful environments for a 24 hour period to see how they react to different aspects of what they could eventually get into in the fight."
During the exercise, Soldiers conducted platoon level exercises that were presented in scenarios to prepare them for real life situations.
Most of them were designed to guide Soldiers to help them work in stressful situations, including chemical attacks, small arms contact, and isolated small group attacks, all scenarios that could hinder performance of the unit.
"The important thing with these exercises is that Soldiers learn the lessons," said Murphy. "I think they learned a heck of a lot."
For Pfc. Kamryn Brown, from New Berlin, Wis., a multiple launch rocket system crewmember assigned to C Battery, 6th Bn., 37th FA Regt., 210th FA Bde., 2nd Inf. Div., it was the hands-on action that helped her.
"I learned a lot," said Brown. "We did a lot of hands-on work. We got to see how to work under stressful environments and got to work with our crew individually and see how we perform together."
Towards the end of the exercise, MLRS crews did live fire qualifications to test what they learned throughout the exercise.
Brown added that the training helped build unit cohesion. Most of all, the Soldiers were able to have experiences from the field that they could not in an office space or motor pool.
"We would have competitions between batteries and that brought the platoons and the batteries together," said Brown. "Everyone was interested in learning. It wasn't that we were forced to learn, but we wanted to."