FORT KNOX, Ky. – Hundreds of Cadets of 1st Regiment, Advanced Camp simulated different combat scenarios early this morning in preparation for their upcoming Field Training Exercise (FTX).
University of North Carolina at Pembroke student, Cadet Sean McCarthy from 1st Regt. walks through the field after his squad determined the area was safe during the preparation for the Field Training Exercise portion of Advanced Camp June 9, 2019, at Fort Knox, Ky. The FTX is arguably the most important event during CST, as it gives Cadets a chance to use all of their prior training during a single event. | Photo by Makayla Holder, CST Public Affairs
The FTX is a vital part of Advanced Camp for these Cadets. They are able to practice the various skills they’ve learned from previous training during the 14 days in the field.
Capt. Patrick Harvey, a logistics officer, explained the purpose of field preparation today.
“The purpose of the training today is to basically go over the squad battle drills,” he said. “What that means is the squads are breaking down to about 9-10 personnel teams. They’re kind of going over different missions that they would do in the field [during the FTX].”
Harvey said there are multiple situations the squads will practice while in the field. It could be how to face an enemy, when to break contact or strategies for defense. Today, the Cadets worked as a platoon to form a plan for any of these potential missions.
Jennifer Pozanc, a Michigan State University student, said she has some experience with FTX through her university but has not been in the field for as long as CST requires. She said she’s nervous about “keeping my feet dry” but eager to go through this important exercise.
“I think FTX is something everyone should go through,” she said. “Even if you’re not going to branch combat arms, you still need to know this and understand it. You never know what kind of situation you’re going to be in.”
Cadets from 1st Regt. setup the radios they will be using during the Field Training Exercise portion of Advanced Camp June 9, 2019, at Fort Knox, Ky. The FTX is arguably the most important event during CST, as it gives Cadets a chance to use all of their prior training during a single event. | Photo by Makayla Holder, CST Public Affairs
The Cadets had to be consistent and cooperative when forming tactics together. Since everyone comes from different backgrounds and universities, they had multiple ideas of how to accomplish certain tasks.
Diana Pacheco, a Campbell University student, discussed the importance of communicating before heading to the actual tactical environment of FTX.
“It’s more organizational and it helps everyone kind of know what they’re doing once we go in there, so that we can run our missions more fluently,” she said. “Everyone knows where they’re going, what they’re doing, what to say. We’ve agreed on different hand signals, different ways to run the mission.”
The Cadets of 1st Regiment will soon begin the first “phase” of FTX by setting up a patrol base in the woods of Fort Knox, Kentucky. They will continue this part of training, called Wolverine, with the aid of their Cadre for a few nights. Then, they will proceed with the more difficult phases of FTX in the coming weeks.