2nd CAB leads joint/combined exercise

by Sgt. Jesse Smith
U.S. Army

CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea -- The sky was grey without a cloud in sight. The sounds of helicopter blades and artillery grenades were all that could be heard. An AH-64 Apache swooped into picture and stayed at a hover at least a hundred yards from the control tower. A few seconds went by until a loud hiss rang out, and two rockets propelled down range toward their target leaving nothing but a small cloud of dust left to be seen.

The helicopter was part of the joint/combined live fire training exercise, 'Furious Talon', on May 6 at the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex in South Korea. Multiple units from across the Korean Peninsula took part in the exercise to include units from the Air Force and the Republic of Korea.

Capt. Derek Brown, the plans officer for the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, was the officer in charge of the exercise.

"The goal of the exercise is to bring multiple teams together to perform tasks that could happen in real wartime situations," Brown said.

Part of the exercise saw out a joint/combined attack with AH-64 Apaches from the 2nd CAB, artillery from the 210th Fires Bde. and Cobras from the ROKA all working together to complete the mission.

"We are using a lot of different assets in this training," Brown said. "For the combined attack there were a lot of conflicting events we had to work through like the timing of when the artillery would fire paired with when the Apaches could fly in."

Brown had a hand in most of the planning for the exercise to include the combined air assault with CH-47 Chinooks from the 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion and Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.

"The air assault planning was very detailed," Brown said. "Our guys need to know exactly what to do because it is a very aggressive mission."

Col. Hank Taylor, the 2nd CAB commander, watched the completion of the exercise and said he was impressed by the performance of his Soldiers.

"Every single Soldier from the fuelers to the pilots did their part today," Taylor said. "This exercised proved just how well U.S. and ROK forces work together."

Taylor said he was especially impressed by the effort Brown put forth throughout the entire process.

"Capt. Brown is a former Apache attack company commander," Taylor said. "His past experience of leading attacks led to him being successful today."

He said the helicopters used during the exercise are some of the most lethal aviation platforms in the world, and this training allowed people to see their capabilities.

"This is what has to happen during real wartime," Taylor said. "Everyone comes together."

When the dust clouds had settled, the targets were destroyed, the Soldiers had assaulted and the mission was complete.

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