FTX Fall 2012
On the 21st and 22nd of September the Chippewa Battalion conducted a Field Training Exercise at Fort Custer in Augusta Michigan. During the two days that the battalion was there they completed events such as LRC, land navigation, and finally MOUT training. Fort Custer is about a two hour drive from our home station in Mount Pleasant, at CMU, but we decided that was just too long of a drive. To get there quicker we knew there was only one way, UH 60 Blackhawks. Enlisting the help of the National Guard several helicopters land in Mount Pleasant and airlifted the cadets to Fort Custer. After the exciting chopper ride the cadets were immediately thrown into LRC training. Despite the rain, the cadets still managed to complete the challenges presented to them and learned something about leadership in the process. After LRC the cadets were given time to eat their MRE (Meals Ready to Eat). For some of the younger cadets this was their first opportunity to try one. After dinner the cadets participated in a land navigation written course. For many of the MS1 and MS2 cadets (Freshman and Sophomore) this was their first time doing land navigation so the written course helped them prepare for the actual outdoor land navigation course the next day. The next morning at 0530 the cadets were woken and given hot breakfast before they began a compass course. The course was designed to teach them how to check their compasses and get their pace counts to accurately determine their location. After the compass course the cadets learned about land navigation practical exercise. For the practical exercise they had to plot points on a map and then use the map and compass to find those points in the woods. After the practical exercise the cadets ate lunch and then immediately jumped into MOUT training. MOUT training is an acronym for Military Operations in Urban Terrain. It is training designed to teach cadets how to move and clear buildings in an urban environment. Cadets were given a formal instruction period and then given time to practice in both simulated buildings and actual wooden structures. To maximize the fun and the training value the cadets were using paintball guns. When the MOUT training was complete the older cadets realizing there was extra ammunition decided to let the younger cadets play a giant battle royale with paintballs. After several games of paintball, ammunition expended, and smiles on everyone’s faces, the battalion packed up its gear and headed back to Mount Pleasant via buses. According to the cadets I asked and photographed throughout the weekend they had a blast.
CDT Nolan Kiiskila