10th AAMDC conducts field training exercise

by 2nd Lt. Jean P. Tomte
10th AAMDC Public Affairs

BAUMHOLDER, Germany — The road was slippery and icy when Soldiers from the 10th Army Air and Missile Air Defense Command left Kaiserslautern to complete an Air Defense Artillery field training exercise. The temperature was below freezing, but it didn’t distract the Soldiers.

The field training exercise, which took place Feb. 7 to 16, created a sense of confidence among Soldiers as they achieved their main goal: conducting air defense operations and, most importantly, preparing for any contingency mission as directed by U.S. Army Europe.

The exercise was intensive and based upon realistic wartime scenarios. This type of exercise helps shape the mindset of Soldiers and equips them physically, not only to overcome adversities during wartime but also to defeat the enemy.

The tactical operation center was located at Baumholder Army Airfield and the batteries were spread into different locations. It took them three days to set up the operations center and the living areas.

Col. Steve Richmond, the 10th AAMDC commander, said the event could not have occurred without the support of a number of organizations, including U.S. Army Europe Contingency Command Post, the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, the 16th Sustainment Brigade, 5th Signal Command, the Joint Multinational Simulation Center and observer/trainers from the 32nd AAMDC.

This training exercise provided an excellent opportunity for the staff and Soldiers of the 10th AAMDC to exercise their functions in an austere environment.

“Our primary goal is to provide a high level of command control,” said Sgt. Maj. Manuel Mirabal, a G3 sergeant major.

In fact, all the operations coordination goes through his staff section.

“We simulated an air battle, which consists of the U.S. assets engaging the enemy threat,” said Capt. Neal Paulus, Air Defense Artillery fire control officer. “Conducting analysis and planning based on simulated air battle is the next step to define our plan.”

First Lt. Andrew McElroy said the training was eye opening.

“It also gave us the chance to train our junior analysts on intelligence support to the Air Defense Artillery,” he said. “We did real time intelligence analysis on each threat group, in particular their tactics, techniques and procedures.”

“Everything out here is a training event or an opportunity to train,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jesus Arrellano, from Charlie Battery, 5-7 ADA. “The challenge we are facing right now is the weather. Other than that, Soldiers’ morale is very high and they received hot meals twice a day.”

When asked how this training and experience helped her, Master Sgt. Kelly Stransky, the senior NCO in charge, said, “to react calmly and to understand tactical tasks.”

 “We worked away from the flag pole, away from the easy answers and executed those tasks we would be responsible for during an operational deployment,” said Capt. Michael Bux, 10th AAMDC chemical officer.