Initial Combat Experience Yields Positive Feedback for Land Warrior

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Initial Combat Experience Yields Positive Feedback for Land Warrior
Soldiers of the 2nd Infantry Division's 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, were the first to take Land Warrior and Mounted Warrior systems into combat. During the training and evaluation at their home base, soldiers were critical about some of the system's performance but after using them in combat they indicated the system is working better in actual combat situations than it did in testing.

Sgt. Daniel Garza, RECON Platoon Squad Leader who was also interviewed from the field, was a skeptic when training with Land Warrior last summer. But after six weeks in combat with Land Warrior, he said, "If given the choice, I would not go outside the wire without it." Sgt. Garza talked about using the Land Warrior system during a recent raid: "I was able to see where both my squads were, and we were able to see where the target vehicles were." He said one of his complaints during initial testing was about the weight of the system, about 10 pounds in a typical configuration. He said that he has "done a 180 in terms of how I feel about the system." Enhanced situational awareness is a payoff that more than offsets the increased load. About the weight, he said, "After a while, you don't even notice it."

Land Warrior addresses issues of confusion in close combat situations and allows team leaders to see the locations of other dismounted Soldiers and leaders as well as the enemy. Capt. Mike Williams, Company A commander reaffirmed this role has been fulfilled in combat "It provides a sense of comfort in reducing the fratricide potential... Everyone knows where everyone else is on the battlefield and everyone knows where everyone else's direct fire is." Capt. Williams said the system has proven "extremely reliable" in combat situations, adding that it has held up in Iraq's extreme heat and desert terrain.


 


 

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