1st Battalion, 293rd Infantry Regiment conducts Annual Training

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By Ashley Roy, Atterbury-Muscatatuck Public Affairs

Infantry’s annual training conducted at Atterbury-Muscatatuck

EDINBURGH, Ind. – The 1st Battalion, 293rd Infantry Regiment, an Indiana Army National Guard from Fort Wayne, Ind., began annual training at Atterbury-Muscatatuck near Edinburgh, Ind.

The 1-293rd, originally slated for a deployment to the Horn of Africa in June that was cancelled due to budget restraints, is focusing on getting back to the basics of their infantry mission during their AT ending May 9.

Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 293rd Infantry Regiment, Delta Company, Indiana Army National Guard from Fort Wayne, Ind., conduct convoy operations in annual training at Atterbury Muscatatuck near Edinburgh, Ind.
Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 293rd Infantry Regiment, Delta Company, Indiana Army National Guard from Fort Wayne, Ind., conduct convoy operations during annual training at AtterburyMuscatatuck near Edinburgh, Ind. Photo by Ashley Roy, Atterbury-Muscatatuck Public Affairs

Training has focused on a variety of tasks including grenade throwing, individual weapons qualifications, mounted operations, individual Soldier readiness and career development.

“It’s mainly breaking it down to basic skills again because the last couple of years we’ve been focused on mission specific stuff,” said Capt. Andrew Wathen, 1-293rd, Delta Company commander, referring to the focus of the training. “We’ve been getting back to the meat and potatoes of what we do as Delta Company, and get to focus in on some of the special aspects that we have in our weapons systems and vehicles.”

For Delta Company, a heavy weapons infantry company, the big training piece is Situational Training Exercise lanes. Soldiers get to break down everything they’ve learned in individual tasks training, from weapons qualifications to drivers training, and put it all into one. “It’s where guys kind of get to work together as one unit, and identify strengths and weaknesses,” said Wathen.

Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 293rd Infantry Regiment, Delta Company, Indiana Army National Guard unit from Fort Wayne, Ind., are stopped by a fellow Soldier role playing as a village elder in convoy operations.
Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 293rd Infantry Regiment, Delta Company, Indiana Army National Guard unit from Fort Wayne, Ind., are stopped by a fellow Soldier role playing as a village elder during convoy operations. Photo by Ashley Roy, AtterburyMuscatatuck Public Affairs

Training is going well for the 1-293rd, and involves a variety of tasks and courses. Bravo Company participated in a Leader Reaction Course earlier in the week. “It taught them how to work together and let junior Soldiers learn leadership skills in order to accomplish a mission when other senior NCOs or officers are not present,” said Staff Sgt. Jeremy Bricker, 1-293rd, Bravo Company.

Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Burkhardt, also with the 1-293rd, Bravo Company said this training is providing, “the opportunity for young leaders to progress as leaders,” and “the opportunity for new Soldiers to get trigger time on systems that they have never handled before.”

Staff Sgt. Jared Grillo, 1st Battalion, 293rd Infantry Regiment, Bravo Company, Indiana Army National Guard, fires an M4 in weapon qualifications at Atterbury Muscatatuck near Edinburgh, Ind.
Staff Sgt. Jared Grillo, 1st Battalion, 293rd Infantry Regiment, Bravo Company, Indiana Army National Guard, fires an M4 during weapon qualifications at AtterburyMuscatatuck near Edinburgh, Ind. Photo by Ashley Roy, Atterbury-Muscatatuck Public Affairs

Bravo along with other companies of the 1-293rd integrated squad and team individual movements into training to emphasize unit cohesion, said Bricker. Many basic infantry skills the 1-293rd is training on are applicable in a variety of missions and often arise in mobilization training, as was apparent in training given for the Horn of Africa mission. “We’re not stepping backwards; we’re stepping forward and doing specific training in different areas and certain weapon systems we haven’t had the chance to use,” said Wathen.

Despite returning to traditional training after prepping for a mobilization, the Soldiers feel they are transitioning smoothly and that their senior leadership is going out of their way to provide opportunities they wouldn’t normally have. “It seems like we didn’t even leave off as far -more- as training goes,” continued Bricker.

One of these unique opportunities comes in the form of career training and resume development for those Soldiers returning to civilian life.

Pfc. Keondre Davis, 1st Battalion, 293rd Infantry Regiment, Bravo Company, Indiana Army National Guard, fires an M4 in weapon qualifications at Atterbury Muscatatuck near Edinburgh, Ind.
130506Z-KN828-037: Pfc. Keondre Davis, 1st Battalion, 293rd Infantry Regiment, Bravo Company, Indiana Army National Guard, fires an M4 during weapon qualifications at Atterbury-Muscatatuck near Edinburgh, Ind. Photo by Ashley Roy, Atterbury-Muscatatuck Public Affairs

“There was a very nice resume building class. It was a power point introduction class and gave the Soldiers an opportunity to build a resume to send to employers to benefit themselves coming off the Horn of Africa [mission]. It’s helping them get jobs,” said Bricker.

This whole AT has been very Soldier focused as opposed to training focused. Wathen was happy with Soldiers’ reactions to annual training so far. “All of our guys are staying motivated. They’re excited to be here so anytime you can do that, the training value is good because they’re going to work hard.”

Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 293rd Infantry Regiment, Bravo Company, Indiana Army National Guard, conduct M4 weapon qualifications in annual training at Atterbury Muscatatuck near Edinburgh, Ind.
Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 293rd Infantry Regiment, Bravo Company, Indiana Army National Guard, conduct M4 weapon qualifications during annual training at AtterburyMuscatatuck near Edinburgh, Ind. Photo by Ashley Roy, Atterbury-Muscatatuck Public Affairs

By Ashley Roy, Atterbury-Muscatatuck Public Affairs