‘Iron Rangers’ hone skills during counter WMD training

by Capt. Jonathan Camire, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
Stripes Korea

CAMP HOVEY, South Korea – More than 400 Soldiers from Task Force Iron Rangers participated in exercise Warrior Strike 5 at the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex in Pocheon, South Korea Feb. 14 through 17.

The exercise was designed to train the Iron Rangers from 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, in the identification and elimination of enemy weapon of mass destruction sites.

"This exercise is the culmination of ten months of training for the Iron Rangers. It's been a fantastic opportunity to combine with our Republic of Korea Army partners,” said Lt. Col. Jon Meredith, the battalion’s commander.

Task Force Iron Rangers consisted of Soldiers from 1st Bn., 16th Inf. Rgmt. along with 3rd General Support Aviation Bn., 2nd Infantry Division / ROK-US Combined Division; 23rd Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives Bn.; and other units from across the 1st ABCT.

The exercise also included the largest number of Republic of Korea Army partners than any previous Warrior Strike exercise. Approximately 200 ROK Army solders participated in the exercise alongside their U.S. partners.

“Working with our ROKA partners is a key part of our mission here in the Republic of Korea,” said Maj. Jared Nichols, the battalion’s executive officer. “The working relationship with the ROK Army is like nothing else.”

Task Force Iron Rangers conducted multiple events during the four-day exercise to include conducting an air assault into the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex, locating WMDs and seizing an objective.

“The terrain in the northern part of the Republic of Korea is especially challenging,” Nichols said. “Compared to our past training in Kansas and at the National Training Center in the Mojave Desert of California, Korea is extremely different and presents new problem sets for all of us.”

The battalion plans to use the lessons learned from Warrior Strike 5 to better refine their skills and increase readiness in preparation for future training.

“Our companies refined their standard operating procedures for air assault operations, urban operations and combined operations with our ROK Army counterparts,” Nichols said. “The value of training like this is key to our mission to be ready to ‘Fight Tonight’ if called upon.”

The Soldiers of 1st Bn., 16th Inf. Rgmt. are currently on a nine-month rotation to the Republic of Korea as part of the U.S. commitment to security on the Korean peninsula and to help deter North Korean aggression.

 

(Photo by Capt. Jonathan Camire, 1st ABCT Public Affairs)

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