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‘Mustang’ troopers help ready 'Sledgehammer'

POSTED: April 9, 2012 10:10 a.m.
Courtesy Photo /

Captain Timothy Mahoney, with 6th Sqn., 8th Cav. Regt., 4IBCT, facilitates an after action review with the Soldiers of Co. C, 1st Bn., 15th Inf. Regt., 3HBCT, 3rd ID during their rotation to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.

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Fort Irwin, CA


Twenty-five troopers with the 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team were selected to coach, teach and mentor their brothers and sisters in arms at the world class training center for America’s military.

Sent to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., the ‘Mustangs’ served as combat trainers during the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division’s rotation, Feb. 27-March 26. The Troopers were chosen to help train based on their leadership and proficiency within their specific military occupational specialties.

Although NTC is equipped with permanent-party observer-controller trainers, Col. Tobin Green, commander of the NTC Operations Group, requested additional Soldiers due to a substantial modification in training. Unlike previous NTC rotations, the 3HBCT Soldiers faced a shift in focus from counter insurgency operations to the focus of a hybrid threat. “This rotation is more devious and daunting than I have ever seen,” Col. Green said. “This fight will consist of a conventional army, a guerilla para-military force, a criminal element, and a form of insurgency.”

Observer controller trainers’ or OCTs as the 6th Sqn., 8th Cav. Regt. troopers were referred to, primary functions were to enforce U.S. Army standards, doctrine, and the exercise operating procedures. At the culmination of every mission, each OCT was expected to facilitate an in-depth after-action review with their respective 3HBCT platoon, company or section, highlighting the areas of success and weakness, along with recommendations for methods of improvement.

Although a complex and demanding task, Mustang Troopers rose to the occasion.

“Having the opportunity to coach a junior platoon leader was extremely rewarding,” said Capt. Bryan DiPalmero, executive officer with Troop B, 6th Sqn., 8th Cav. Regt. “These guys were faced with a complex mission set and consistently improved with each mission.”

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