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NEWS | April 24, 2024

Oregon Guard Sharpens Combat Skills Before Deployment

By Maj. Wayne Clyne, Oregon National Guard Public Affairs Office

BOISE, Idaho - Soldiers from the Oregon National Guard’s 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team conducted intensive live-fire squad exercises April 19 at the Orchard Combat Training Center, honing crucial skills ahead of overseas deployments starting at the end of the year.

The training involved infantry squads from the 1st Battalion, 186th Infantry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment. Troops maneuvered through a range with pop-up targets, rehearsing with blanks before switching to live ammunition.

Weapon squads opened up to suppress simulated enemy positions. Once shifting off-targets, infantry squads bounded between firing points, assaulting across the range while negotiating smoke, dust and obstacles.

”Providing exceptional training like this live-fire range allows us to cultivate an environment where Soldiers thrive and hone vital combat skills,” said Col. Peter Helzer, 41st IBCT commander. “It’s critical for maintaining readiness for the multifaceted missions that lie ahead.”

The realistic drills forced squads to apply fire discipline and battle drills amid simulated combat conditions. Troops practiced squad tactics like suppressing fire and bounding overwatch.

“Our people signed up for events like this. It’s a chance to showcase what we do and demonstrate our commitment, connectedness and competence to our communities in which our Soldiers live in and serve,” Helzer said.

Intensive live-fire exercises demonstrate the brigade’s commitment to demanding, high-quality training and readiness for overseas operations.



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