ADA maintains readiness
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- To the untrained eye, the soldiers from Alpha Battery, 2nd Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment appeared to be scrambling around a Patriot missile launching station. However, there was method to their madness.
The 2-1 ADA soldiers were taking part in a battalion field training exercise with mobile surface-to-air missile systems. Used for air and missile defense, the event is happening across several locations on the peninsula.
"We're practicing all the stuff which goes on with the launchers," said U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Laura Ruiz, Alpha Battery platoon leader. "It's not much different from what we normally do; it's kind of just an extended work day."
Alpha Battery practiced march order and emplacement drills, or lowering and raising the launcher for transportation. The soldiers were timed on each drill and were evaluated at the end.
Private First Class William English, A 2-1 ADA patriot launching station enhanced operator and maintainer, prefers the training drills compared to learning in a classroom environment.
"The hands-on training is what makes you a better operator," said English. "Reading it is different from coming out here and doing it"
English said when he arrived here "fresh" from Advanced Individual Training he felt nervous and didn't know much about the job. But after completing field training exercises, performing his job became like second nature, he said.
"We train a lot every day," English said. "We can just come out here, start it up and carry out the mission."