Clipped From The Gettysburg Times
Gettysburg reservists in desert training By SGT. DENNIS MCMAHON Special to the Times More than 125 157th Separate Infantry Brigade (Mech) soldiers participated in desert warfare training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif., from May 2 to 25. The event marks the first time that a Reserve unit has had the opportunity to participate at this highly recognized training center for active-duty units. Cadet Michael Richardson and Spec. Huy M. Trinh, both from Gettysburg, Pa., participated in the training event. The soldiers, who came from various companies within the 314th Infantry Battalion headquartered in Lock Haven, along with attachments froni the 315th Infantry Battalion from Philadelphia, Pa., all formed a composite company with the purpose of supporting the training activities at the center. The company's time i n California was to be spent as an attachment to the permanent unit at Fort Irwin, which serves as the Opposing Force (OPFOR) for visiting active units. In this case the active they opposed were the 4th Division from Fort Carson, Co. the 6th Infantry Division from Wainwright, Alaska. The Composite Company, commanded by Capt. William M. Robbins of Company A, 314th, performed its mission as an opposing force with the use of Soviet weapons and tactics to give the the most realistic training experience possible. According to Robbins, the reservists first went through their Soviet tactical trainingbefore turning their skills against the Army soldiers. While the Pennsylvania reservists taught some lessons about capabilities of reservists, the significant aspect of their assignment may have been-what they learned for themselves. Operating in the open desert with no trees for cover, and Soviet weapons and tactics all helped to create an entirely training experience.