Soldiers of the 6th Brigade Rise to the Challenge in Operation Heavy Metal’s Grueling Training Scenarios

Operation Heavy Metal (OHM) marked a significant milestone for the 6th Brigade of the Texas State Guard, serving as the brigade’s largest annual field training exercise and a rare brigade-wide convergence. The event provided a unique opportunity for soldiers to engage in comprehensive and challenging training scenarios, honing their skills and fostering a strong sense of unity and camaraderie. The Warrior Challenge Cup, a pivotal component of OHM, spanned three days of intensive activities, blending competition with crucial military training. This event, rooted in historical significance, draws inspiration from the Gonzales Cup, a nod to the Battle of Gonzales and the brave Texian settlers who fought in the Texas Revolution. The activities were meticulously designed to embed essential mission tasks into realistic field training scenarios, creating an environment that not only tested the soldiers’ physical and mental mettle but also reinforced the bonds formed through teamwork and shared objectives.

This year’s edition of the Warrior Challenge Cup presented a series of demanding challenges, commencing with a strenuous Warriors Challenge physical fitness and obstacle course test. Participants were then subjected to a timed daytime search and recovery land navigation course, which simulated the high-pressure scenario of locating a lost infant across a sprawling 40-acre terrain within a tight four-hour window. As night fell, the soldiers embarked on a six-hour nocturnal land navigation quest, navigating through darkness to sequentially locate seven stations, maintain radio contact with the command post, and successfully pass spontaneous tests administered at each station. The culmination of this grueling series of events was a timed 2-mile ruck march, with each participant shouldering a pack weighing 20% of their body weight. By the early hours of Sunday morning, the physical components of OHM concluded, leaving in their wake a trail of exhausted but undoubtedly stronger and more cohesive soldiers, ready to face any challenge that comes their way.

Operation Heavy Metal (OHM) is the 6th Brigade’s (Texas State Guard) biggest annual field training exercise, and one of the few Brigade -wide events we have.
The Warrior Challenge Cup, is an annual three-day event, designed to test and provide a competitive training exercise for our soldiers , incorporating a series of our Mission Essential Tasks into a series of field training scenarios. It incorporates espirit de corps, unit cohesion and the type of bonding formed in team endeavors. The Warrior Challenge Cup is an offshoot of the Gonzales Cup, named after the Battle of Gonzales, the first military engagement of the Texas Revolution. It was fought on October 2, 1835, between the rebellious Texian settlers and a detachment of Mexican Army troops.
Competition this year included: (1) a Warriors Challenge physical fitness / obstacle course test; (2) a timed daytime search and recovery land navigation course consisting of searching for a lost baby (covering 40 acres in a four hour time frame), (3) a six hour nighttime land navigation course requiring the sequential location of seven stations in the dark, using a radio to inform command post of the same, and upon confirmation of reaching the appropriate station, passing an on the spot test by a station administrator. Then after successfully completing locating all the stations, (4) engage in a timed 2-mile ruck march with a pack weighing 20% of the participant’s body weight. By 4:00 a.m. on Sunday morning the physical activity exercises of OHM concluded.
Story by SSG Cervantes 3BN 6BDE


Source: Texas State Guard

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