From 2-5 April 2021 Cadets from the Fight Eagles and Bulldog Army ROTC Battalions deployed out to Camp Seven Mile, Washington to conduct Phase 2 of Operation Agile Leader (OAL). The two battalions are composed of Cadets from Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, Whitworth University, and Washington State University-Spokane College of Nursing. OAL was developed by U.S. Army Cadet Command to train senior Cadets on skills that were traditionally trained at Advanced Camp at Fort Knox, Kentucky that was cancelled last summer due to the pandemic. This skills are instead trained at the regional level with combined FTX’s with nearby ROTC programs. Operation Agile Leader is the top priority this year for the U.S. Army Cadet Command. Phase 1 of OAL was completed back in October 2020 and Phase II completes the remainder of the training tasks the Cadets missed by not attending Advanced Camp.
On the first day of the FTX the Fighting Eagles Cadets had a very early 4:45 AM formation at Cadet Hall to draw equipment and gear. The Cadets then boarded buses at 5:30 AM to first go to Gonzaga University to draw weapons before one group departed to Camp Seven Mile and another to the Medical Lake Range.
The The tasks for the Cadets at the range was to zero their M4 rifle and then qualify using the Army’s new marksmanship standards. After the Cadets qualified they then had to attend Call For Fire Training (CFFT). During this training the Cadets learned how to call in artillery fire on an enemy’s position. After attending the training they than had to pass a practical exercise by calling in fire using a terrain model.
Back at Camp Seven Mile the group of Cadets there conducted day land navigation training. Each Cadet had to look for three points spread out over an extremely large wooded and hilly area. The Cadets had to successfully find 2 of the 3 points within the allotted time in order to pass the course.
Following the completion of the day land navigation course the Cadets that afternoon conducted grenade familiarization training. During the training the Cadets learned how to hold, arm, and throw training hand grenades.
Following the completion of this training the Cadets then conducted a buddy team fire and maneuver course. During the course two Cadets would bound forward and fire their blanks at simulated enemies. At the end of the course each Cadet then had to throw a hand grenade simulator at a bunker to try and destroy it.
After completing this training the Cadets then moved into night land navigation. During this training the Cadets had to find 2 points in the hilly and wooded terrain in complete darkness. This is always the most challenging test for land navigation and the Cadets received great training on this course to prepare them for upcoming Advanced Camp training.
Easter Sunday occurred during the OAL FTX. Gonzaga University was able to support those who recognize Easter with a field service. Father Dan Mai traveled out to Camp Seven Mile and set up a field ministry in the middle of the forest for Cadets to participate. We appreciate Father Mai for supporting the Cadets during the OAL FTX.
Platoon STX Lanes
For Days 3 & 4 the Cadets moved into the Platoon Situational Training Exercise (STX) lanes of the OAL FTX. During these two days the Cadets were divided up into three platoons and had to conduct platoon level recon, ambush, attack, movement-to-contact, and defense lanes. MS-IV Cadets that needed to complete their OAL requirements and MS-III Cadets attending Advanced Camp this summer filled into the key leadership positions. The training in these leadership positions provided all them valuable experience for future training.
Following the completion of Platoon STX lanes training the Cadets then reassembled at the major holding area to begin weapons cleaning. Cleaning weapons is an important recovery activity after any FTX since the weapons are turned in to the Washington National Guard.
After completing weapons cleaning, the Cadets then tore down the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) tents and prepped their gear for movement. They then walked with their gear to the loading up point to take buses back to their respective universities.
Overall the OAL #2 FTX was a fantastic training event for the Cadets that participated from all four universities. Congratulations to all our MS-IV Cadets that received their Advanced Camp credit to commission as Army officers this year. Additionally the FTX provided great training for all the MS-III Cadets that are heading off to Advanced Camp this summer. Great job by all the Cadets involved who are clearly better prepare to succeed in ROTC than before the FTX. Eagle Strong!
Note: You can view and download many more pictures from the FTX on our EWU Army ROTC Flickr page.