Oregon Army National Guard M1A2 Abrams battle tank with Alpha Troop, 3rd Squadron, 116th Cavalry Regiment, engages a target at a firing range during annual training at the Orchard Combat Tranining Center
Oregon Army National Guard M1A2 Abrams battle tank with Alpha Troop, 3rd Squadron, 116th Cavalry Regiment, engages a target at a firing range during annual training at the Orchard Combat Tranining Center

US Army 3-116th Armored Regiment Trains at Orchard Combat Training Center

3rd squadron, 116th Cavalry Regiment of the Oregon Army National Guard, trained at the Orchard Combat Training Center (OCTC) for their annual training from June 12-26. Their focus this year was on combat readiness across multiple military occupational specialties (MOS). The training helped improve the MOS-specific skills for the crewman of the Bradley M2A3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle, mortar teams, dismounted infantry and the crewman of the M1A2 Abrams battle tank.

US Army 3-116th Armored Regiment Trains at Orchard Combat Training Center
Oregon Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Lonnie Harrison (front left) and Sgt. 1st Class Michael White with Charlie Troop, 3rd Squadron, 116th Cavalry Regiment, receive the Order of St. George from Lt. Col. Seth Musgrove and Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Walker during training at Orchard Combat Training Center near Boise, ID, June 19, 2021.(National Guard photo by Spc. Dominic Trujillo, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

The field environment and firing ranges were also used for the entirety of the training by the squadron’s M1A2 Abrams battle tanks. “Training at OCTC provides an excellent opportunity for teams and squads to be able to get together and train as a single unit while gaining proficiency in their different MOS’s,” explained squadron Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Walker, “This is important as it helps build the camaraderie of our soldiers and ensures that we are prepared for any future combat scenario.”

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US Army 3-116th Armored Regiment Trains at Orchard Combat Training Center
Oregon Army National Guard infantryman with Charlie Troop, 3rd Squadron, 116th Cavalry Regiment, practice bounding as a squad during annual training at the Orchard Combat Tranining Center near Boise, ID, June 21, 2021. (National Guard photo by Spc. Dominic Trujillo, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

Staff Sgt. Valentine Otero explained that OCTC had certain advantages over other training environments due to the 143,000 acres and four-season availability allowing for a rugged, realistic training environment. “Not only do we have the chance to train in the fundamentals of infantry but we can also focus our training on concealment techniques as there is not a lot of actual cover. This is important because our soldiers are forced to get into the prone position which tremendously helps our infantry skills.”

US Army 3-116th Armored Regiment Trains at Orchard Combat Training Center
Oregon Army National Guard Spc. Pablo Ames and Spc. Ryan Johnson with 3rd Squadron, 116th Cavalry Regiment, work as a team of mortarman to fire a 120MM mortar at Orchard Combat Training Center near Boise, ID, June 19, 2021. (National Guard photo by Spc. Dominic Trujillo, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

OCTC, located 18 miles south of Boise in the Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, provides world-class firing ranges and logistic facilities to the Army National Guard and Army Reserves since 1953. Table six is one of the 12 annual crew qualifications required for the Bradley. Table six training for the Bradleys helped Bradley crewmen with specific skills. Training at OCTC helps crewmen with timing, targetry and understanding what type of ammo is used for different scenarios.

US Army 3-116th Armored Regiment Trains at Orchard Combat Training Center
Oregon Army National Guard M1A2 Abrams battle tank with Alpha Troop, 3rd Squadron, 116th Cavalry Regiment, is cleared to come off the firing range during annual training at the Orchard Combat Tranining Center near Boise, ID, June 20, 2021.(National Guard photo by Spc. Dominic Trujillo, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)
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