National Guardsmen take off for summer drill Monday

By: 
Kate Wehlann, Staff Writer

Around 50 National Guardsmen, the C-Troop 1-152 Cavalry Squadron, flew out of the field next to the Salem National Guard armory Monday, off to train at Camp Atterbury for the next week and a half.

The squadron commander, Captain Shane Sites said Guardsmen typically do individual training, IDT, once a month for two or three days, and then a longer training in the summers.

“We have different training opportunities throughout the year,” he said. “There’s different advaced schools we can go to — airborne, air assault, mountain warfare, pathfinder training.”

While at Camp Atterbury, Sites said his squadron will do live fire training with rifles and machine guns, along with a hand grenade range. They will take part in situational training exercises. There will also be a special recruiting event on Saturday, June 9, at Camp Atterbury.

Sites said the National Guard is offering $20,000 sign-on bonuses for new recruits and, at the event, there will be displays of vehicles, weaponry and aircraft, along with a rapel tower, weapons trainer simulators and an obstacle course.

To attend the recruiting event, contact Staff Sergeant Tyson Shields, recruiter and career counselor, via email at tyson.c.shields.mil@mail.mil or by phone at 812-801-6168.

Corporal Austin Baker, Richmond, has been with the National Guard for six years.

“My father was in the service and I felt it was my duty to follow in his footsteps,” he said.

This is his fifth training exercise of this magnitude.

“I’m hoping this will be a chance for a great connection with all my guys and we’ll learn more about what we need to work on and get refreshers for,” he said.

Like Baker, Specialist Brayan Maldonado has a family history with the military.

“I felt like I had to serve,” he said. “My uncle and grandfather were in the military.”

He has been with the National Guard five years as of Sunday, June 3. He’s also taken part in five of the longer training exercises.

“I’m hoping to improve my leadership skills and bond with my guys a little more,” he said.

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