Table of Contents
· TAG's Message
· CSM Message
· 108th Passes First Year Mark in NETTF
· Band of Brothers - and Sisters
· 177th CE Deploys to RAF Mildenhall
· Cavalry MOUTs up at Fort Knox
· 21st CST Go For Hot Zone
· Operation Whirlwind
· Chaplain Beats the Devil out of Soldiers
· News Guard Families Can Use

· Short Rounds
· Army and Air Enlisted Promotions
· Farewell to Brig. Gen. Bell
· Family Assistance Centers & Family Readiness Centers
· Guardlife Information

Guardlife - Volume 31, No. 4

Cavalry MOUTs Up At Fort Knox
Photo and story by Sgt. Shawn Morris, 444th MPAD

Animated discussion. Cav Soldiers look on as volunteers react to their
presence during one of the training scenarios. (Click to enlarge)The 5th Squadron, 117th Cavalry, took advantage of a recent opportunity to become the first New Jersey Guard unit to train at the nation’s premier MOUT (Military Operations on Urban Terrain) site, the Zussman Urban Combat Training Center at Fort Knox, Ky. The 5-117th spent July 7 through 10 living and training at the 26-acre site – which has been open to military, lawenforcement, and emergency-response personnel since October 1999 – as part of the Army’s continuing transformation into a 21st-century fighting force.

The Army estimates that untrained troops fighting in an urban environment will sustain 25- to 30-percent casualties. Realistic training like that provided at the Zussman site aims to reduce those figures as much as possible. The four-day drill in Kentucky was the culmination of training that began in November 2004; when cadre from Zussman began traveling to New Jersey to give the 5-117th Soldiers preliminary training.

“There was a whole plethora of sub-tasks,” explained Lt. Col. Jim Rosenberg, squadron commander.

“The training programs helped the unit immensely,” said Staff Sgt. Tom Alderson, A Troop. “I cannot say enough good things about the cadre.”

“The Zussman crew is amazing,” added 2nd Lt. Vincent Tirri, A Troop. “They are all about training, and they are very experienced individuals.”

At the MOUT site, their first mission was to occupy the embassy building and take out insurgents in a nearby restaurant. The second mission involved clearing five
townhouses while searching for a rumored weapons cache.

The Cav Soldiers quickly became acquainted with the volunteers who play the insurgents and Civilians On the Battlefield (COBs) at Zussman.

“The volunteers were great,” said Tirri. “They reacted the way normal people would to Soldiers, and they were able to pick up on my Soldiers’ body language and emotional reactions to situations, and use this to make the exercise even more realistic.”

The paintball guns helped add to the realism.

Mission three was a presence patrol. Several car bombs exploded and the local inhabitants began to yell and throw trash at the Soldiers, but everyone kept their cool and the potential uprising eventually fizzled out.

On the fourth mission, information gathered from insurgents led to a raid against a local boss’ stronghold. Later that morning, the fifth and final mission called for a Traffic Control Point (TCP) to be set up at the town’s traffic circle. One unique characteristic of the training was that junior officers and NCOs led all the missions.

“I think the junior leaders really stepped up,” said Rosenberg. “I was very, very proud of the way they executed their missions.”

Two of those junior leaders, Tirri and Alderson, were equally impressed with the training received at Zussman. “Zussman is quite possibly one of the finest Training Areas the Army has at its disposal today,” said Tirri. “From the trainers, to the civilian volunteers, to the structures themselves, everyone plays a part in creating the immersive environment of Zussman. Without these guys, Zussman would just be a lot of concrete and dirt.”

“The Zussman site is an outstanding facility,” said Alderson, vehicle commander during the mission. “The training we got was by far some of the best and most
realistic training that I have had in my almost 16 years of service.”

The Army’s current transformation process is replacing the 5-117th’s tanks and Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) with Humvees and the oldest form of APC – boots. But having their armor taken away hasn’t lessened the Soldiers’ warrior ethos.

“I think their performance was exemplary,” Rosenberg said. “There are lessons to be learned, and that’s the purpose of training.”

“We’ve got to do this again,” he concluded.