IBOLC and ABOLC students collaborate in combined exercise
By Gerald Williams, Bayonet & Saber /
Students from the Infantry and Armor Basic Leaders courses were tasked with the objective of seizing or defending the installation at the Patriot Military Operations in Urban Terrain site July 20.
“This collaboration is an important part of the IBOLC and ABOLC curriculum,” said Sgt. 1st Class Tony Martinez, 199th Infantry Brigade. “For many students, this is the first time they’ll be working with students outside of their school or field of learning. The exercise allows students to work together to coordinate, execute and secure the objective in a real world like situation.”
According to Martinez, the operation involved a defending group and an offensive group. Each group contained a mix of Armor and Infantry Soldiers.
The offensive group’s objective was to seize the buildings at the Patriot MOUT site. During the operation, Raven Unmanned Aerial Vehicles performed reconnaissance on the enemy stronghold. Additionally, ABOLC lieutenants provided support by fire in Abram tanks and Bradleys, allowing Infantry Soldiers the opportunity to dismount and secure the objective.
IBOLC and ABOLC students located at the Patriot MOUT site were responsible for defending the building from enemy attacks. Many Soldiers used cover from buildings and pits to avoid detection from enemy reconnaissance.
“The attack puts together everything IBOLC and ABOLC students have learned, both institutional and on the job,” said Martinez.
“Combat Arms usually work together during operations,” said Capt. Paul Kim, 199th Infantry Brigade.
“When we bring Infantry units and Armor units together, Soldiers begin to realize that there is more to the mission besides what they’ve been previously taught to do. The exercise is a stepping stone to the real world of Army operations.”
According to Kim, formulating a battle strategy that uses both Infantry and Armor abilities and equipment to their greatest advantage is part of achieving a successful mission.
“The exercise gives everyone a greater understanding of the complexity of battle. It’s not as simple as everyone thinks it is. The lieutenants are taught basic things as a tanker or infantryman, but when they combine using radios and having other enablers – UAV, air support, artillery fire – they start realizing that there are a lot of factors,” said Kim. “They need to realize that combined arms rehearsal is extremely important. That is what Soldiers should get from this exercise.”
“It is very important to learn how to work with other units early so that they can be prepared for real world operations,” he added.