First Brigade Soldiers Prepare for Expected Deployment - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

09/26/06

First Brigade Soldiers Prepare for Expected Deployment

Thousands of men and women of the Third Infantry could be called to Iraq yet again. Fort Stewart's First Brigade is training for a possible deployment. They're spending a month in the field,  in what looks like Iraqi villages.

First Brigade skipped the usual training mission in the Mojave Desert and the instructors from there came here to get the brigade ready to possibly deploy by the end of the year.

"When we spend a month there, we would normally spend two weeks packing up to go out there and spend two weeks afterward squaring away equipment," explained Lt. Col. Doug Crissman, commander of the Second Battalion Seventy Infantry Regiment. "With the training center bringing its assets to us, we figure we've saved about a month in our training timeline" he noted.

Those assets include instructors and Iraqi nationals who work as role players. They show the soldiers how residents could respond to their presence.

"It is extremely important to be focused on the ambassadorial aspects of the soldier," explained company commander Cpt. Thomas Frohnhoefer, "for our soldiers to be able to speak to an Iraqi with Arabic and observe the culture and ways of life is crucial".

Their job is to anger, annoy and frustrate troops. Soldiers know they have to keep their cool to know when and how to react.

"One screw up can cost lives so its extremely important," admitted Private First Class Jamie Howard after one of the simulation drills.

Soldiers know its better to learn the do's and don'ts of safety and culture here instead of making a mistake over there.

First Brigade is currently in the field at four posts in the Fort Stewart training area. They're expected to complete this training by mid October.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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