Story by U.S. Army Sgt. Alex Romey
Troopers from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment “Brave Rifles” begin to return home after a challenging month of training at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California.
The Regiment faced the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment “Blackhorse” in a force-on-force training exercise in the Mojave Desert to prepare for future missions. The Brave Rifles overcame multiple challenges, including the severe heat, flash flooding, and Blackhorse opposition, while serving alongside Soldiers from the 136th Mechanized Infantry Battalion, Republic of Korea.
“It’s one of the reasons why our alliance is one of the best in the world,” Col. Jeffrey Barta, commander, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, said. “We are blessed to have the 136th join us, allowing us to perform critical tasks in the scenario which ultimately made us so much better.”
The Regiment, the 136th, and various other partnered units, such as the 3-227th Aviation Regiment, succeeded in their task while facing off against both a high heat index and a flash flood brought by Hurricane Hilary. Despite these risks, Troopers performed professionally and safely to get the most out of their training.
“The best part of this training was having South Korean Soldiers working hand in hand with us and actually sweating, fighting, and climbing the mountains together,” Lt. Col. Joshua Silver, commander, 3rd Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, said. “This was the best part of the training for me, incorporating different types of tactics on the battlefield.”
While NTC Rotation 23-09 might have been one of many throughout “First Team” and “Brave Rifles” history, it is notable as being the last time the Regiment will face off against their “Blackhorse” counterparts for at least several years. The two Regiments, alongside representatives from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment “Dragoons” celebrated with an event known as The Lucky 16, where the three active duty Regiments sign charters, acknowledge their shared history and look forward to the future where they can meet again.
With August past and training in the Mojave complete, Troopers eagerly return home trained and proficient, gaining new experiences from working with embedded units and Korean allies.
“It benefits us to work together, so I look forward to it,” Barta, said. “Working with the South Korean Army will be a big focus area for future missions.”