FORT DRUM, N.Y. –
The Army Reserve, 444th Mobility Augmentation Company (MAC) under the 302nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, combined efforts with the active Army’s 10th Mountain Division to provide challenging opposition for deployment-style experience here during “2021 Mountain Peak” this month.
According to Fort Drum Public Affairs, Mountain Peak is a “world-class training exercise and is designed to “evaluate subordinate units and prepare them for real-world combat missions.” The 444th reinforced the 10th’s personnel to man three intricate objectives, each with individual background and landscape details to make the training as realistic as possible.
Despite the icy 30-degree temperature, the 444th dug and shaped fighting positions in two well-constructed town sets and a supply depot, all surrounded by Konstantina wire - a dangerous obstacle designed to deter and prevent enemy land movement.
First Lieutenant Arik Lesperance, 444th MAC Commander, stated that his Soldiers were more than ready for the challenge the training exercise demanded. Reinforcing Soldier fundamentals early is their guide to success.
“We had time to spool up on sound basic Soldier skills and practice some of our Engineer tasks that we will be using after having the mission,” he said.
Despite their preparation, Lesperance wanted more of his unit’s tracked vehicles involved in the event.
“I’d like to see a few more of our (tracked vehicles) out,” he said. “It would have been nice to have our own organic equipment. Bring the 113s out for troop transport, they'd be a lot quicker. Have the (50-caliber weapons) mounted. That’s one thing I would like to see here.”
First Lt. Andrew Lindskoog, a 444th MAC Platoon Leader, explained that, even without extra vehicles, the 444th set up formidable measures to deter, disrupt and disorient the training units, giving them multiple challenges to overcome.
“We have multiple berms set up (in 360-degrees) around the lane and two vehicles for fighting positions,” said Lindskoog. “We have four crew-serve weapon fighting positions also.” The team dug concealing trenches for the larger weapons as an added element of surprise.
Overall, the attacking units will greatly out-number the 444th’s opposing efforts, but the personnel involved agree on the exercise’s intention - world-class, realistic training.
The 444th Soldiers will continue to support its active-duty brethren at Mountain Peak until its anticipated conclusion Nov. 12, 2021.