News: Civil Affairs soldiers train for upcoming deployment
Story by Staff Sgt. Sharilyn Wells
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Soldiers from the 422nd Civil Affairs Battalion out of Greensboro, N.C., spent their battle assembly weekend preparing for an upcoming mission to Afghanistan, June 4 and 5.
Specialists from the National Ground Intelligence Center gave the soldiers a briefing that informed them of the country’s location, geography and history. The classified briefing also went into detail about the country’s political stance, effectiveness, its security forces, tactics, techniques and procedures as well as any other threats that the Soldier may encounter while deployed.
According to its web site, the NGIC is an organization that has “highly-skilled specialists such as physicists, chemists, computer scientists, mathematicians and engineers in diverse fields from aeronautics to robotics - along with modelers, simulation experts, and other technical specialists who evaluate the capabilities and performance data on virtually every weapons system used by a foreign ground force, including chemical and biological weapons and future weapons concepts.”
“It’s critical that our soldiers have an understanding of the operational environment they will be facing within the year,” said Maj. John Francis, the battalion’s S3, operations officer. “This training is definitely an eye opener for those soldiers who haven’t deployed before and will also fill in some gaps that others with previous deployment experience may have.”
Civil affairs units help military commanders by working with civil authorities and civilian populations in the commander’s area of operations to lessen the impact of military operations on them during peace, contingency operations and declared war.
The interactive country brief encouraged civil affairs soldiers to ask questions and relate their previous experiences into their learning. Sgt. Zachary Ansley, with a previous deployment to Iraq under his belt, asked numerous questions throughout the class to better understand the environment in which he is going to.
“[This class] gives us cultural awareness and to learn about the operational region we are going to,” explained Ansley. “I just got off active duty and know a lot of people who are currently deployed and wanted to compare some of the information to what they are going through.”
Ansley stated that the information that the intelligence analysts were giving was very important to all soldiers, especially to the younger soldiers who haven’t deployed before.
“They need to know what they are getting into because they’ve never been in an environment like that before, they need to become subject matter experts,” Ansley said. “Historically, you can read any book, but with this sort of briefing I hope to gain current knowledge on government operations, training procedures and agendas.”
The 422nd Civil Affairs Battalion is part of the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) headquartered at Fort Bragg, N.C. USACAPOC(A)’s nearly 12,000 soldiers comprise about 94 percent of the Department of Defense’s civil affair’s forces Army Reserve CA and Military Information Support Operations forces are 5 percent of the U.S Army Reserve force, but comprise 20 percent of the Army Reserve deployments. Since 94 percent of the Civil Affairs forces are in the Reserve component, these Warrior-Citizens bring to the Army team finely honed skills practiced daily in the civilian sector as judges, physicians, health inspectors, fire chiefs, police officers, and other professions.
For more information about NGIC visit www.inscom.army.mil.
And for more information on civil affairs or the command, visit www.usacapoc.army.mil.