By Sgt. Terry Rajsombath, 110th Public Affairs Detachment
Members of A Co 1-182nd Infantry Regiment trained alongside Portuguese, Romanian, Lithuanian and Spanish Soldiers during Exercise ORION 19 in Santa Margarida Military Camp (CMSM) in Portugal from Nov. 21, through Nov. 29, 2019.
“Exercise ORION is the largest exercise conducted by the Portuguese Army,” said Capt. Timothy O’Leary, the company commander of A Co 1-182nd INF Reg. “It’s an annual operation the Portuguese Army conducts in order to culminate their training.”
Within the nine days of training, Soldiers of the 182nd conducted weapons familiarization, check point security, mounted and dismounted patrols with a focus on crisis response.
“The main training of Exercise ORION was a field training exercise said,” O’Leary. “It was a battalion size task force that integrated all of the s shops (staff shops), foreign nation partners and their line companies.”
Exercise Orion has been conducted for many years, allowing Soldiers from the lowest rank to senior leadership respond to real world scenarios within the framework of combined support.
“Cross training was probably my favorite part of the training,” said Spc. Jessie Kingman, an infantryman with the 182nd. “They had us go into small villages and conduct patrols alongside Soldiers from the other countries.”
Sergeant Patrick Johns, an infantryman with the 182nd said that OPFOR (opposing force) Soldiers were placed into villages, testing the Soldiers response to threats within a real world settings.
“It was kinda cool that they took all of their actual exercises into actual communities,” said Johns. “One of our exercises was nearby a freeway, outside our usual training environments.”
Kingman said that he and members of his unit were able to spend several days visiting the city of Lisbon.
“It was fantastic to be able to see the culture and enjoy it,” said Kingman. “Being able to see the culture was one of the highlights of the trip. It was really really nice.”