FOB Shank provides RSOI training

Soldiers of 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, fire their weapons at paper targets to ensure the accuracy of their sight systems at Forward Operating Base Shank, Logar Province, Oct. 19. (click for more)

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BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Manges, a counter improvised explosive device instructor with Combined Joint Task Force Paladin, escorts incoming Soldiers from 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, through a CIED lane at Forward Operating Base Shank, Logar Province, Oct. 19. The CIED lane is part of the reception, staging, onward movement and integration training that helps Soldiers who are fresh in theater understand and identify threats from insurgent forces within their area of operations. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Grant Matthes, Regional Command-East Public Affairs)BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – When U.S. Army Soldiers arrive in Regional Command-East, they go through two days of reception, staging, onward movement and integration training at Bagram Airfield prior to being pushed out to their forward operating bases.


However, Soldiers operating on or around FOB Shank in Logar Province get their RSOI training on location when they arrive at the FOB.

“Reception and integration training is one of the most important training we conduct. Our units are constantly in a situation where RSOI training is necessary,” said U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Schroeder, RC-East and Combined Joint Task Force-101 command sergeant major.

FOB Shank’s 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team recently began training 4th Brigade, 10th mountain Division Soldiers prior to their upcoming transfer of authority.

Receiving RSOI training by Soldiers who are familiar with the area of operations helps raise awareness of what is to be expected in the operational environment.

“It makes more sense ... because nobody knows the AO like the Soldiers who have been operating in it,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Salvador Montez, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 173rd ABCT operations sergeant major. “You will get more accurate and recent information when the people who are training you are the ones out on the roads doing missions every day.”

One of Shank’s RSOI training areas includes a counter improvised explosive device lane where Soldiers walk through a makeshift road and try to identify dummy explosives to raise awareness of what to look for while outside the wire. Soldiers also sight in their rifles, test their night-vision optics and get a map overview of the AO’s hotspots for kinetic activity.

Shank also provides a mail handler’s course as well as training on biometric automated tool and handheld interagency identity detection equipment, common remotely operated weapon station and counterinsurgency.

“I haven’t seen anything we can’t do here that they can do on Bagram,” said Montez, a native of Vernon, Texas.

“Having RSOI training at Shank also cuts down on aviation assets that can be used to maximize combat-mission support,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. James L. Collins, HHC, 4th Bde., 10th Mtn. Div., operations sergeant major and Enfield, Conn., native. “It also cuts out about three days out of the movement process. When Soldiers get into country, they want to get to their destination FOBs instead of waiting for flights and dragging their bags to multiple locations.”

“The training takes 48 hours max, and by the third day, Soldiers are heading to their FOBs and COPs (combat outposts),” Montez said concerning the brigade-level training. “This maximizes the amount of time incoming Soldiers get to learn the AO from the unit they will be replacing.

“This system is working really well, and hopefully other COPs and FOBs will start doing this,” said Montez.

There are three different groups who go through RSOI training, Schroeder explained: Full brigade combat teams, individual or late deployers, and smaller units such as agribusiness development teams, provincial reconstruction teams and explosive ordnance detachments.

“We will continue to refine the tasks we train at each level of command,” said Schroeder, who calls Fort Campbell, Ky., home. “The tasks are determined by the outgoing unit’s understanding of what the incoming unit’s challenges will be, and the incoming unit will be able to adjust these based on their assessment.”


BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Soldiers of 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, fire their weapons at paper targets to ensure the accuracy of their sight systems at Forward Operating Base Shank, Logar Province, Oct. 19. Sight adjustments are part of the reception, staging, onward movement and integration training process Soldiers receive immediately after entering theater. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Grant Matthes, Regional Command-East Public Affairs)

Last Updated on Monday, 25 October 2010 09:04


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