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    Colorado Army National Guardsmen support Operation Enduring Freedom

    Colorado Army National Guardsmen support Operation Enduring Freedom

    Photo By Ismael Ortega | A Soldier assigned to 169th Field Artillery Brigade, Colorado Army National Guard,...... read more read more

    FORT BLISS, TX, UNITED STATES

    01.19.2017

    Story by Ismael Ortega 

    Mobilization and Deployment, DPTMS Fort Bliss

    Today’s artillery features guns, cannons, mortars and other large projectile weapons capable of delivering indirect fire far beyond the scope of regular infantry. To coordinate the interlocking fields of each weapon system, the position of troops on the ground and the aircraft in the sky, the 169th Field Artillery Brigade, Colorado Army National Guard, will serve as the force field artillery headquarters for U.S. Central Command, with their secondary mission bringing theater security cooperation.

    “Our mission is very strategic because we’ll be working with our allies in that region, educating them on their equipment, working together to find out what their needs are and coming up with the best practices,” said 1st Sgt. Deborah Manzanares, first sergeant, 169th FA Bde. “(Our job) is critical because we play a liaison role with those countries.”

    The 169th FA Bde. departed from the Silas L. Copeland Arrival/Departure Airfield Control Group here Dec. 22, 2016, after completing training with the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security for the nine-month mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

    “When we started filling the slots about a year ago, we focused in
    Colorado to bring some new people to our team, so it’s been great working together during our pre-mobilization and post-mobilization training to bring everybody together,” said Manzanares. “That’s the one unique thing. When you bring different people with different expertise together to deploy, you find out your strength and weakness and just leverage those and build your team.”

    In 2006, the 169th FA Bde. supported Operation Iraqi Freedom with different mission parameters. To meet the needs of this new mission, the 169th FA Bde. prepared for months to ensure their Soldiers became proficient in basic warfighting skills and operating a command group by starting their training in their home state.

    With the combined training from Colorado and Fort Bliss, the command element operated at the brigade level, coordinating artillery fires throughout the area of operations while their radar section detected enemy fire and positions.

    “We have to be capable to do our job. We have to be mentally fit, physically fit and emotionally fit. But really what’s most important is that we insure Soldiers know how to do their job,” said Lt. Col. Seamus Doyle, commander, 169th FA Bde. “So in the course of the train up, we did a lot of additional school house training events in the year leading up to us getting mobilized.”

    Many will be deploying for the first time and are excited to get mission underway.

    “To effectively prosecute fires and serve as the force field headquarters … we customized the training to be specific for what we’re going to be doing in country,” said Doyle. “I think it was good for morale because people were specifically trained on the types of things there were going to be doing.”

    For guidance, the Soldiers have been asking their mentors about what to expect, what gear to bring and what to ask for when it came to care packages.

    “I am just so honored to take these guys downrange,” said Manzanares. “I’m super excited just to watch everybody grow and come back safely.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 01.19.2017
    Date Posted: 01.20.2017 12:41
    Story ID: 220790
    Location: FORT BLISS, TX, US 
    Hometown: DENVER, CO, US
    Hometown: FORT BLISS, TX, US
    Hometown: FORT BLISS, NM, US

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