903rd CCBN completes field training exercise in Bavaria

by Rachel Clark
409th CSB Public Affairs

The weather was chilly, the leaves were turning and the Soldiers from the 903rd Contingency Contracting Battalion invaded Hitler’s bunker in true Army fashion during a recent fall collective training exercise.

The 903rd CCBN completed a field training exercise in Berchtesgaden, Germany, Oct. 24 to 29. Teams all over Europe gathered to analyze and discuss tactical procedures used in support of expeditionary and contingency environments.

“This isn’t your typical FTX,” said Lt. Col. David Hosna, commander of the 903rd CCBN. “Our goal was to review current working 903rd CCBN tactical standard operating procedures, provide cohesive team building, celebrate some Army traditions as well as cultivate professional development by visiting some historic World War II sites.”

Part of the training included a visit to Hitler’s bunker. Soldiers got to relive part of the past with a visit to the Obersalzberg Documentation Center in Berchtesgaden, which documents the Nazi rule. Teams were also tasked with profiling infamous historic figures and personalities from Hitler’s Nazi party.

“Our team profiled Hermann Göring, a leading member of the Nazi party,” said Sgt. 1st Class Barrett Taylor, the training and requirements noncommissioned officer for the 903rd CCBN. “It was a great exercise, and we got to experience the historic significance of the area.”

More than historic role playing, Soldiers completed comprehensive Soldier fitness activities and looked at and discussed after-action reviews for missions executed within the last fiscal year.

“While the expeditionary contracting training was definitely important, it was the sense of camaraderie with having all of our teams from Vicenza in Italy, Grafenwöhr and Kaiserslautern that really made this training exceptional,” said Master Sgt. Michael Bonds, the senior enlisted adviser for the 903rd CCBN.

The 903rd CCBN provides contingency contracting to support missions in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. The battalion has the highest operational deployment tempo of all the contracting battalions.

 “We had the opportunity to bring all of our teams together and discuss individual practices that are successful, as well as share a unified knowledge base,” Colonel Hosna said. “This is the third collective training that the 903rd CCBN has had, and I think it has been the best one yet.”

A fourth collective training exercise is planned for the spring, which will be a culmination of all previous training and a review of standard operating procedures that have been established and finalized.