ROCKLAND UNIT PREPARES FOR AFGHANISTAN DEPLOYMENT

Soldiers with the Army Reserve's 668th Engineer Company from Orangeburg, N.Y., construct fighting positions at McGregor Range, N.M., during a culminating training exercise conducted by the 5th Armored Brigade's 2nd Battalion, 361st Combat Support Regiment, "Coyote," Dec. 1 The 668th Engineer Company is training for the unit's upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Dan Larsen)

More than 150 Soldiers with the Army Reserve’s 668th Engineer Company (Vertical) are showing off their construction skills here while training for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. The unit from Orangeburg, N.Y., is at Contingency Operating Location Westbrook under the watchful eyes of observer controller/trainers of the 5th Armored Brigade’s 2nd Battalion, 361st Combat Support Regiment, “Coyote.”

Earlier this month, the Reservists participated in a culminating training exercise, which units must successfully complete before deploying. The CTE requires Soldiers to apply all of the training they receive from the 5th Armored Brigade to real-world situations. At COL Westbrook, the 668th Engineers were tasked with several different construction missions, including putting up pre-engineered K-span metal buildings, constructing permanent fighting positions, and repairing roofs of buildings damaged in a recent windstorm.
“The training is valuable and realistic,” said Spc. Azizar Rahman, 668th Engineer Company. “The training is relevant to what we will be doing overseas.”
During the CTE, the engineers engaged with simulated key leaders of the “Afghan” population and conducted base defense operations. Their leadership and decision-making skills were tested by many other tactical scenarios, at least some of which were developed by Capt. Robert Winsor, an observer controller/trainer with 2nd Battalion, 361st Combat Support Regiment and officer-in-charge of the CTE.
“The 668th overcame the challenge of instructing new Soldiers on the use of the K-Span construction machine while conducting their training,” Winsor said.

Soldiers with the Army Reserve's 668th Engineer Company from Orangeburg, N.Y., measure materials to construct fighting positions at McGregor Range, N.M., during a culminating training exercise conducted by the 5th Armored Brigade's 2nd Battalion, 361st Combat Support Regiment, "Coyote," Dec. 1 The 668th Engineer Company is training for the unit's upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Dan Larsen)
The newly constructed K-span buildings on COL Westbrook will provide housing for units conducting post mobilization training.