The RAK SOLID Battalion remains as SOLID as ever as we prepare for a deployment to Europe following a year of tough training and strong cohesion building events. We started 2023 with the FORSCOM GREAT Inspection, which proved monumental in the Battalion’s overall score of 95.2%. RAK SOLID Soldiers received coins for excellence from BG Curtis, and Enforcer Company was presented with the XVIII Airborne Corps AAME plaque for outstanding performance.
Sappers from Akuma Company trained 90 infantrymen from across all of the 3BCT maneuver Battalions during a 4-day Rakkasans Breacher’s Academy in January; familiarizing them on the construction, emplacement, and initiation of Urban Breaching demolitions, wire obstacle breaches, minimum safe distance, and demolition calculation. Akuma and Breacher’s Light Equipment (LE) Platoons improved the 1-187 IN and 3-187 IN Battalions’ motorpools by resurfacing the gravel lots.
In March, 16 RAK SOLID Soldiers received their Expert Soldier Badges, 1 received an Expert Infantryman Badge, and 1 received an Expert Field Medic Badge. Out of the 16 ESBs, 6 were awarded True Blues.
In April, the Battalion placed first in two competitions: the Rakkasan Fuel Competition, and the 16th Annual Best Sapper Competition. Soldiers from Enforcer Company took home first place in the Rakkasan Fuel Competition while CPT Cushing and CPT Palazini brought home the 1st Place trophy from the 16th Annual US Army Best Sapper Competition. Enforcer Company was also the first company in the entire Division to successfully sling load a TRM fueler.
The Battalion held its first internal Squad Competition – SOLID Stakes. Twenty squads participated, and Akuma 2-2, led by SSG Falk, took first place. The competition included a physical fitness assessment based on Ranger and Sapper requirements, a 7-mile ruck, land navigation, a Round Robin event which included CBRN and Patrolling lanes, MOS specific tasks, and an X-mile event.
During Week of the Eagles, our RAK SOLID Soldiers took home first place in Tug of war, Eagle Fit (all female team), Best Intel, and two of the Boxing weight classes. Behind the scenes, our Engineers rebuilt the Brigade torii in time for the annual Rakkasan Reunion, and one of our LE platoons dug trenches for the Division’s Air Assault demonstration.
During OLE III, the RAK SOLID Battalion focused heavily on preparing for a series of LFXs and sling load operations. RAK 6 and RAK 7 observed Breacher Company firing a MICLIC, and awarded a few RAK SOLID Soldiers for their excellence during the final LFX iteration.
Soldiers worked relentlessly upon coming out of the field from OLE III to ensure the unit was prepared to deploy to Europe. After working for nearly 30 days straight, the Battalion met all deployment requirements and allowed for enough time to plan one final Hammer Event; a Platoon vs. Platoon competition at Fryar Stadium. Breacher Company won the Hammer for the third time in a row, and will transport it with them to Europe.