Infantry Soldiers sharpen skills during annual training

NOTE: As often as we can kentuckyguard.com publishes stories by or about Kentucky National Guard unit public affairs historian representatives, also known as UPAHRs. This is an additional duty taken on by a Soldier or Airmen with the intent of telling their unit’s story. This is one such story ….

Story and photos by 1st Lt. Joshua Witt, 1/149th Unit Public Affairs Historian Representative

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Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry take up defensive positions during a training scenario at the Harold L. Disney Training Center in Artemus, Ky., July 23, 2013. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Joshua Witt)

ARTEMUS, Ky. — More than 500 Mountain Warrior Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry participated in annual training July 13-28 at the Disney Training Center in Artemus, Ky. Despite the heat index regularly cresting 100 degrees, the undaunted Infantry of the Kentucky National Guard diligently focused on achieving proficiency within their squads and sections.  Emphasis this year was on collective tasks that support both their company and the battalion.

“It is imperative that we build capable squads before we transition to platoon training and potential deployments in the future,” said Capt. Jason Mendez, battalion training officer.

“We will continue to train and validate our maneuver squads and sections in a decisive action training environment that encompasses offensive, defensive, and stability operations,” said Maj. Joe Lear, acting battalion commander.

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Soldiers of the 1/149th Infantry conduct a react to contact while mounted battle drill as part of their annual training at the Harold L. Disney Training Center in Artemus, Ky., July 23, 2013. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Joshua Witt)

To see more photos from the unit’s annual training, click here.

Annual training was completed with the successful validation of 18 rifle squads and six assault sections from Delta Company.  By achieving this milestone the battalion will advance to platoon-level training in 2014.

During annual training infantry Soldiers conducted multi-echelon training and progressed through a crawl, walk, run methodology.  Days and weeks of preparation culminated in a 96-hour continuous exercise.  Each company was responsible for operating a training lane during annual training – react to conduct, knockout a bunker, and point ambush.

They planned and resourced the training while also certifying instructors.  Key training events included squad and section validation through lanes training, tactical leader validation program, sustainment operations, staff decision making processes and communication exercises.  The S2 section built a hybrid-threat training operational environment and controlled 24 oppositional force personnel during the final training events.

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A Soldier with the 1/149th Infantry takes cover during a battle drill at the Harold L. Disney Training Center in Artemus, Ky., July 23, 2013. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Joshua Witt)

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Soldiers and aircraft from Bravo Co. 2nd Battalion, 147th Aviation assisted the 1/149th Infantry with aviation support during the infantry’s annual training in Artemus, Ky., July 13-28, 2013. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Joshua Witt)

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Soldiers of the 1/149th Infantry escort another Soldier posing as an enemy combatant during a scenario as part of the infantry’s annual training in Artemus, Ky., July 23, 2013. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Joshua Witt)

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