Wranglers Get WET in Desert Training
Story and Photos by Sgt. John D. Ortiz
4th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait — Call signs, check points, traveling northbound on the southbound lane and hitting rush hour at 3 a.m. are common for all combat logistics patrols and convoy escort teams for the Fort Hood based 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).
For the first-time traveler on a convoy, the mission is anything but ordinary, but for the seasoned veteran, the mission is routine chaos.
To move the newcomer to the status of veteran, the Wrangler Brigade has developed Wrangler Enhancement Training or WET for short.
“WET training is removing a convoy package off the road to refresh, refocus, and reorient them to the mission to keep their skill sets high,” said Master Sgt. Robert Adams, the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the training.
The idea for this training started last year, but was difficult to implement due to mission requirements. When the final plan was adopted at the end of December 2008, the coordination of almost two months began; scheduling ranges, classrooms, and billeting for the participants.
“This is the first iteration of the WET training,” said Adams. “This is the culmination and planning of the last six weeks.”
Another senior noncommissioned officer who took part in the training was Command Sgt. Maj. Rachel Fails, in charge of the Brigade Effects Cell and who will take over WET training.
“This is good training for the Soldiers involved,” said Fails. “We will use this to get them off the roads and bad habits, and to train the convoy team with the gun trucks to increase cohesion and their skills.”
“We have refresher training with all the combat systems that the unit uses, combatives, and allows the Soldiers to revisit training they have not received since arriving in-country more than six months ago,” she said.
With everything in place, all that was needed were motivated Soldiers.
“Its been a good experience overall and I’m appreciative of the fact the brigade came up with the program,” said Sgt. Rich Pecaoco, a gun truck driver with the 1498th Transportation Company with the California National Guard.
“It’s a good refresher course with lots of good training, especially with combatives, since the last time we did it was at our mobilization site at Camp Roberts in California.” said Pecaoco.
“It give us a break from the road, but I’m anxious already to get back out there running missions, this is fun, but I have more fun on the road,” he said.
Though this was the first group to go through the training, the training team has more in store for future rotations.
“We probably have four or five more iterations, which will evolve to more collective and mounted training to get groups more engaged in the operation, which will lead to an overall better training experience,” said Adams.
The most important event of the training is the after action review.
“We are taking all the lessons learned through each groups after action review to improve on the collective group experience of each successive group,” he said.
UDARI RANGE COMPLEX, Kuwait — Soldiers with the 1498 Transportation Company, a California National Guard and participants in the Wrangler Enhancement Training check their zero on targets during the weapons familiarization portion of the training. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. John D. Ortiz)
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait — Soldiers get a refresher training on the Blue Force Tracker during Wrangler Enhancement Training. The purpose of the training is to remove a convoy package off the road to refresh, refocus and reorient them to their mission to keep their skill sets high. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. John D. Ortiz)