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Soldiers from 36th Signal Battalion carry a casualty to a pick-up point that has been marked with a red smoke grenade during 1st Signal Brigade’s quarterly live-fire exercise at Warrior Base.

Soldiers from 36th Signal Battalion carry a casualty to a pick-up point that has been marked with a red smoke grenade during 1st Signal Brigade’s quarterly live-fire exercise at Warrior Base. (Jimmy Norris / S&S)

Soldiers from 36th Signal Battalion carry a casualty to a pick-up point that has been marked with a red smoke grenade during 1st Signal Brigade’s quarterly live-fire exercise at Warrior Base.

Soldiers from 36th Signal Battalion carry a casualty to a pick-up point that has been marked with a red smoke grenade during 1st Signal Brigade’s quarterly live-fire exercise at Warrior Base. (Jimmy Norris / S&S)

Staff Sgt. Matthew Seabert, 36th Signal Battalion, uses a radio to relay information about his convoy.

Staff Sgt. Matthew Seabert, 36th Signal Battalion, uses a radio to relay information about his convoy. (Jimmy Norris / S&S)

Sgt. James Luster, 36th Signal Battalion, shouts to relay information to his fellow soldiers after their convoy is attacked during the live-fire exercise at Warrior Base.

Sgt. James Luster, 36th Signal Battalion, shouts to relay information to his fellow soldiers after their convoy is attacked during the live-fire exercise at Warrior Base. (Jimmy Norris / S&S)

Maj. Dane Tynes, 1st Signal Brigade, qualifies with a handgun during his brigade’s quarterly live-fire exercise at Warrior Base.

Maj. Dane Tynes, 1st Signal Brigade, qualifies with a handgun during his brigade’s quarterly live-fire exercise at Warrior Base. (Jimmy Norris / S&S)

Soldiers from the 36th Signal Battalion dismount from their vehicle after their convoy is attacked during the live-fire exercise at Warrior Base.

Soldiers from the 36th Signal Battalion dismount from their vehicle after their convoy is attacked during the live-fire exercise at Warrior Base. (Jimmy Norris / S&S)

WARRIOR BASE, South Korea — A shrill whistle followed by thunderous explosion sounded just to the left of the road.

The 1st Signal Brigade soldiers scrambled from vehicle doors and into defensive positions. Sergeants shouted instructions while combat life-savers grabbed the wounded and prepared them for evacuation, marking their locations with colored smoke.

Through all of it, observer/controllers walked amid the soldiers Wedenesday to the pop of blank ammunition making corrections.

“Remember to keep your weapon up,” one said.

“Echo that information down the line,” said another.

Almost 300 soldiers from the brigade are spending eight days at Warrior Base honing combat skills that ranged from how to properly don protective equipment to managing live-fire convoy scenarios.

According to brigade operations officer Lt. Col. Lee Hilgartner, the training came as a welcome change for most of the participants.

“We’re communications enablers. When other units get to train, we’re setting up their communications,” he said. “This is [a] great opportunity for the soldiers to do things soldiers like to do — blow stuff up.”

The quarterly exercise kicked off last Sunday and will continue through this Sunday.

While officially called a convoy live-fire exercise, participants also trained in reacting to chemical attacks, first aid and map reading.

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