Fort Polk, LA – Soldiers from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell began a two-week training rotation on September 18th, 2021 at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, Louisiana.
“Getting our team out of our home environment and putting us in somebody else’s backyard is one of the true benefits of training at JRTC,” said 1st Lt. John Schoeneweis, a platoon leader for Bravo Company, 1-187 Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. “It puts all of our training to the test and I couldn’t be prouder of how the team is doing.”
To seize the town in the training exercise, Bravo Company had to evacuate the local citizens. Soldiers set up roadblocks and checkpoints to control the flow of people into and out of the town. They conducted area security and patrolled the town’s perimeter.
Working alongside the national town’s local law enforcement, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 187 Infantry Regiment helped the locals regain control of their town from enemy militia.
Throughout the rotation, Soldiers from Leader Rakkasan have seized multiple objectives and “killed or captured” combatant role players in order to hold key terrain for the brigade.
For B Co. 1-187 Infantry Regiment and the rest of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team “Rakkasan”, the training experience JRTC provides is invaluable to ensuring their Soldiers and their units are prepared for the rigors of combat.
“The point of JRTC is to test the systems that we built prior to coming here,” said 1st Lt. Bear Hatfield, the executive officer of Bravo Company, 1-187 Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. “As we have gone through these past few days, we have really been tested, but I am fully confident that the systems we built are helping us to see results and we are doing really well together as a team.”
Despite facing difficult weather conditions such as heavy rain, heat, and dense fog, common to Fort Polk this time of year, the unit’s leadership continues to build on the tremendous effort the Soldiers put forth.
This particular mission for Bravo Company demonstrated the presence of mission command philosophy and principles of mutual trust, cohesive teams, clear commander’s intent, and discipline initiative.
“We have cohesion across the company because the things our Company Commander did was integrated across the platoon,” said Staff Sgt. Collin McAuley, a squad leader for Bravo Company, 1-187 Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. “Even as we took on casualties, we were still executing our mission and doing our jobs.”
The training exercises that JRTC incorporates allows Soldiers and commanders to experience realistic scenarios during combat training. Each new mission is another opportunity for Soldiers of Leader Rakkasan to hone their skills, improve their training, and get their unit ready to win the future fight.
“A lot of us have longevity here, so we are trying to build on this experience. So, on the next JRTC rotation, we will be able to come in and just smash the enemy,” said