Company attack mission preps Soldiers for urban warfare

A Soldier approaches a captured building through colored smoke grenades June 24 at Selby Hill. (Photos by Gerald Williams)

A Soldier approaches a captured building through colored smoke grenades June 24 at Selby Hill. (Photos by Gerald Williams)

By Gerald Williams, Bayonet & Saber /

Lieutenants with B Company, 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment successfully conducted a company attack mission June 24 at Selby Hill Combined Arms Collective Training Facility.

A Soldier takes position from the window of a seized building June 24 at Selby Hill. (Photo by Gerald Williams)

A Soldier takes position from the window of a seized building June 24 at Selby Hill.

The Soldiers were tasked to seize and secure three buildings on Selby Hill. They were graded on how fast they secured the buildings and how effective their strategies were executed during the seize.

“The premise of the training mission is for platoons to seize the three buildings so that another unit may move in after them. Once the unit has moved in, the platoons will be able to seize more buildings during the operation,” said Capt. Jesse Coffman, B Company, 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment.

A fire team stealthily advances under cover of smoke to seize a targeted building June 24 at Selby Hill. (Photo by Gerald Williams)

A fire team stealthily advances under cover of smoke to seize a targeted building June 24 at Selby Hill.

The platoons had been outside Selby Hill since the previous night, where they received details about their target and formulated a strategic attack.

Coffman commented on the structure of planning and execution.

“There are three platoons. The company commander gave his plan to the three platoon leaders. The platoon leaders find their part within his plan, refine it and share it within their platoon.”

The exercise began at 7 a.m. with the Soldiers’ goal to drive out the enemies who occupied the buildings. Bright orange and violet columns of smoke filled the area as platoons threw smoke grenades to hide their advancing forces during the attack.

When a building came under fire, enemy units retreated to the next building. Once a building was cleared of enemy forces, a sign was hung outside the window to signal to other platoons that the building had been seized.

By 7:30 a.m., all buildings were secure.

“The world’s population is moving into urban areas,” said Coffman.

“The chances of platoons encountering resistance in urban areas is really high. Being under stress and under fire here is a good learning point for them so that when they do encounter these situations in the future, they’ll be ready. If they make mistakes here, they’ll learn from them in a safe environment.”

2nd Lt. Ryan Huseman, 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment, a platoon leader during the company attack, said that he found coordination to be key during the operation.

“This is our first time working together as a company. We’ve never had other platoons within the area, so being able to coordinate between us without performing fratricide or hurting friendly units is what is key in this mission.”

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