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Minnesota National Guard
Crazy Horse Closes the Loop on Deployment Tasks

Sauk Centre-based Company C, 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor (Co C, 1-194 CAB), call sign "Crazy Horse," began their Annual Training period at Camp Ripley on May 8, 2011�  This 64-man tank company has grown and changed very much in the last year�  The unit has doubled in size for the upcoming deployment to include a mix of men and women�  The company now consists of armor crewman, medics, mortarmen, mechanics and many other military occupational specialties� 

Based in Kuwait, Crazy Horse will play an important role in the final drawdown of US forces in Iraq Crazy Horse has known for some time they would be heading back to Iraq " their last overseas deployment was during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005�  Cpt John Hobot, the commander of Crazy Horse was a platoon leader in the unit during their historic 22-month deployment from 2005-2007�  Cpt Hobot has experience in preparing Soldiers to succeed in combat

"Our Soldiers have been gearing up for this deployment for more than a year," said Hobot�  "We have received some of the best training the Army has to offer to prepare us for the mission we are about to undertake" � 

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Before departure, familiarization and qualifications on weapons and equipment is being completed to maintain Soldier readiness�  The citizen-Soldiers showed up to Camp Ripley and immediately drew weapons to prepare for their gunnery skills testing which took place throughout the week

Each Soldier must harness the knowledge to successfully clear, disassemble, assemble, functions check and load their weapon " an important component to master, especially in a combat situation

The M4, M249, M240B and the 50 caliber machine guns were hauled out to ranges for qualification�  Targets as close as 100 meters and up to 1,500 meters popped up for the Soldiers to engage and destroy� 

The company did a superb job of having their men and women exceed the standard by qualifying 27 Soldiers on the M2 50 caliber automatic machine gun�  Four Soldiers qualified Expert, 13 Sharpshooter and 10 Marksman�  Twenty-eight Soldiers qualified on the M249 squad automatic machine gun to include 20 Expert, 4 First Class and 4 Second Class The unit did not stop there as they qualified 61 Soldiers on the M240B automatic machine gun�  Twenty of these Soldiers qualified Expert, 24 First Class and 17 Second Class on the M240B� 

"We had a few minor problems with some targets not coming up during the night fire portion of the qualification," said 1st Sgt Timothy Flahave�  "Crazy Horse did not waiver though; they were able to maintain composure and qualify when they knew they had a challenge ahead, I'm proud of them"

Along with crew-served weapons qualification, the company tested and passed 130 Soldiers on initial driver's training of the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle� 

Preventative maintenance checks and services (PMCS) is an extremely important aspect of preparing for a mission�  Each Soldier must understand and grasp the duties of each crewmember in their vehicle and be able to carry out their position auspiciously

"The most important thing to a Soldier on the battle field is his weapon," said Flahave, "but in a combat situation where the weapon can malfunction and is incapable of assisting in the fight " the vehicle may need to evade and get to a safe and secure area�  This is why PMCS is a must on all vehicles, weapons and equipment"

Land navigation, fire evacuation and casualty evacuation drills, mine resistant ambush protected training, company intelligence support team, tactical sight exploitation, preliminary marksmanship instruction, and call for fire were conducted by the end of the first week� 

Crazy Horse will finish up their annual training on May 22 and prepare for their departure ceremony to be held on May 25 in Sauk Centre, MN�  Upon completion of the ceremony, Soldiers will say goodbye to their friends and family and head to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin for a couple months before they begin their year-long mission of assisting with the US drawdown in Iraq

Story and photos by Spc Zachary Mangas
C Co, 1-194 AR (CAB) Unit Public Affairs Representative
15 May, 2011






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