U.S. Army Soldiers from Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment completed night and day land navigation training along with other Army warrior tasks, Aug. 5-6, 2016, in Arta, Djibouti.
The land navigation training was conducted to give the soldiers experience in navigating in an austere environment, maintain their skills and help prepare for future real world situations.
“This training is important because it makes us more proficient in our jobs, and navigating is one of the key tasks of being an infantryman,” said U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Hubert Howell, 1/124th Inf. Rgt. “Also it helps better identify terrain on a map. So if you are going to do (reconnaissance), you can actually look at a map and based on the colors, you can see what the terrain will be like.”
The mountainous terrain of Arta gave the Florida Army National Guard soldiers experience in navigating in a different environment than what they are used to in Hollywood, Florida.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone is going to react to the mountains out here versus back home where we are used to flat land and swamps,” said U.S. Army Spc. Terrence Curry, 1/124th Inf. Rgt. scout.
On the first day, after the soldiers set up their camp, they reviewed what was expected of them before starting night land navigation training. Once the soldiers found the pre-determined points spread out through the rocky land, they were then tested on their casualty care.
After camping out under the stars of Arta, the soldiers were again tested on their land navigation skills, this time during the daylight hours, and while simulating calling for fire support and assembly and disassembly of the M4 carbine rifle.
“This (training) makes me a better soldier by giving me a whole new area to train in,” said Curry. “Even though it is the same skills I have known for years, the environment allowed me to see how I fare in this weather and this terrain.”
Alpha Company is assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, primarily providing port security for combined and joint tasks in and out of Djibouti.