Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Beavers of War
At 0530 the engine of the duce and a half grumbled as it sped down the road. In the back cadets fidgeted in anticipation of the fight to come, Operation Beaver Thunder had begun. In the hills at Camp Adair the first Field Leadership Exercise (FLX) was about to take place. The FLX, which consisted of training in the morning and a mock deployment/war in the afternoon, was the result of months of hard work and planning. Before the mock deployment cadets were given briefings similar to those that they would have to undergo before a real deployment on active duty.
Upon the arrival at Camp Adair the cadets of Detachment 685 began the training phase of the exercise. Here they learned the value of communication and small unit tactics. With Lindsey and Jason the use of hand signals and code words was explained and demonstrated. Small unit tactics and the proper high and low crawl techniques were taught by Justin, and an exercise involving camouflage was run by Brett.
After training cadets marched to the location of the mock war, where they sat down to enjoy a surprise filled and “delicious” bunch of Meals Ready to Eat or MREs. Each MRE was packed with nutritious options designed to keep an Airman running for the day. Their meals finished, the two teams, Red team and Blue team, divided themselves into fire teams and planned their strategy. At 1130 the horn blew signaling the start of the war and the cadets, armed with paintball guns, charged forth.
The objective of each team was to capture specific points and raise their flag. If that team could hold the position and prevent the opposing team from raising their flag until the bottom or top of the hour then they were awarded one point, although one flag in front of each teams’ base camp was worth three points. The next couple of hours were filled with cadets running, crawling, and shouting as fire teams clashed against one another. Utilizing their newly learned skills both teams were able to capture critical points and push back the other in vicious fire fights.
1500 marked the end of the exercise and out of the sweat, mud and paint the Red team emerged victorious. Now tired and muddy, the cadets loaded up into the duce and a half and drove home to the McAlexander Fieldhouse where a delicious BBQ awaited them. Overall Operation Beaver Thunder was a huge success and helped greatly in expanding the knowledge base of the General Military Cadets.