USA/Deutschland

Train­ing Site in Kaiser­slautern, Ger­many Pre­pares Sol­diers for Com­bat

By Ange­li­ka Lantz
Spe­cial to Amer­i­can Forces Press Ser­vice

The dis­tinct cack­le of machine-gun fire and the ear-pierc­ing det­o­na­tion of a sim­u­lat­ed car-bomb are not the sounds asso­ci­at­ed with a U.S. Army base in Ger­many that hosts a two-star, the­ater-lev­el com­mand head­quar­ters. But now that a for­ward oper­at­ing base train­ing site has been built at Panz­er Kaserne, these sounds are much more com­mon here.

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Army Pfc. April Edwards, a mil­i­tary police sol­dier with the 92nd Mil­i­tary Police Com­pa­ny, 95th Mil­i­tary Police Bat­tal­ion, checks her sec­tor of fire as she stands behind an MK-19 auto­mat­ic grenade launch­er mount­ed to a Humvee at For­ward Oper­at­ing Base Panz­er, a train­ing facil­i­ty in Ger­many, Sept. 29 to Oct. 2.
U.S. Army pho­to by Staff Sgt. Tyrone Bas­night

Sol­diers of the 92nd Mil­i­tary Police Com­pa­ny test­ed the new facil­i­ty when they con­duct­ed a field train­ing exer­cise Sept. 29 to Oct. 2.

The real­is­tic set­ting at Panz­er pro­vides a great back­drop for train­ing, Army Sgt. 1st Class Robert Brenck­le, 92nd MP Com­pa­ny oper­a­tions sergeant, said. The train­ing site resem­bles an Iraqi vil­lage and has mul­ti-sto­ry struc­tures for sol­diers to prac­tice enter­ing and secur­ing a build­ing. It is also large enough to train them in estab­lish­ing and defend­ing perime­ters.

But the best part for Brenck­le was see­ing the sol­diers in action.

“This is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty for the sol­diers,” he said. “I love see­ing how they learn and how they grow with each run-through.”

Army Sgt. 1st Class Tony Rosa­do, the company’s 1st Pla­toon sergeant, also praised the facil­i­ty for adding an ele­ment of real­ism and flex­i­bil­i­ty that increas­es the cal­iber of train­ing and pro­vides sol­diers with dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios they like­ly may encounter when they deploy.

“Being out here is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty and offers quite a few chal­lenges for the sol­diers. Train­ing is cru­cial,” Rosa­do said. “It means sol­diers get to prac­tice and learn, and learn­ing means they devel­op and grow. Being here, train­ing here, real­ly fos­ters team­work — good team­work with­in the pla­toons.”

Army 2nd Lt. Michael Barn­hart, pla­toon leader, agreed. “The best train­ing val­ue prob­a­bly comes from the inter­ac­tions the sol­diers have with one anoth­er,” he said. “Being out in field for a week is great. We can focus sole­ly on the train­ing. There are no dis­trac­tions.”

Forward Operating Base Panzer
Sol­diers with the 92nd Mil­i­tary Police Com­pa­ny, 95th Mil­i­tary Police Bat­tal­ion, pull secu­ri­ty duty at a check­point out­side For­ward Oper­at­ing Base Panz­er, a train­ing facil­i­ty in Ger­many, Oct. 2, 2008.
U.S. Army pho­to by Staff Sgt. Tyrone Bas­night

The lay­out is one of the advan­tages asso­ci­at­ed with train­ing at the 10-square-acre site. The vil­lage fea­tures nine build­ings, includ­ing a mosque, a farm house, two store fronts and an auto repair shop, as well as a mar­ket­place.

The facil­i­ty can bed about 120 sol­diers, and it has a field din­ing facil­i­ty, an aid sta­tion and a tac­ti­cal oper­a­tions cen­ter. A 50-by-75-foot com­bat­ives pit is filled with 24 inch­es of Rhine Riv­er sand. Guard tow­ers mark the four cor­ners. A close-quar­ters marks­man­ship train­ing facil­i­ty pro­vides for teach­ing the fun­da­men­tals of room clear­ing.

“We train and learn fun­da­men­tals here that can eas­i­ly be incor­po­rat­ed into larg­er set­tings,” Barn­hart said. “Being here even instills a cer­tain cul­tur­al aware­ness.”

(Ange­li­ka Lantz works in the 21st The­ater Sus­tain­ment Com­mand Pub­lic Affairs Office.)

Army Sgt. Natano Kahale­wai of the 92nd Mil­i­tary Police Com­pa­ny, 95th Mil­i­tary Police Bat­tal­ion, leads a fire team dur­ing train­ing at For­ward Oper­at­ing Base Panz­er, a train­ing facil­i­ty in Ger­many.
U.S. Army pho­to by Staff Sgt. Tyrone Bas­night
92nd Military Police Company, 95th Military Police Battalion

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)