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    Army National Guard Brigade Prepares for their First Mountain Storm

    Army National Guard Brigade Prepares for their First Mountain Storm

    Photo By Sgt. Sheila Holifield | Soldiers with the 168th Engineer Brigade from Vicksburg, Miss. participated in the...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Sheila Holifield 

    First Army

    By Sgt. Sheila Holifield
    First Army Division East

    CAMP SHELBY, Miss – Approximately 2,500 Soldiers from ten different states will deploy to Afghanistan in a few weeks.

    The 168th Engineer Brigade, of Vicksburg, and its supporting units are conducting mobilization training here at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center. They will soon deploy and conduct combat engineer missions that will include route clearance patrols.

    While overseas, they will be responsible for an area about the size of South Carolina.

    Upon arrival in theater, the brigade will initially support the 101st Airborne Division. Next, they will support the 82nd Airborne Division on their (168th) final half as the brigade maintains freedom of movement throughout Afghanistan.

    "We will be supporting them in a very large battle space which is very hostile, very demanding and which has very little infrastructure," said Brig. Gen. Earnest L. Harrington Jr., commander of the 168th Engineer Brigade.

    In an effort to help build the country's infrastructure, the brigade will be involved in many construction projects.

    "We will be building forward operating bases, airfields, runways, bridges and bypasses," said Harrington.

    "The training has allowed our Soldiers to work together as we mesh our cultures and identify talents in every area," said Harrington.

    Over 60 percent of Soldiers within the 168th have experienced prior deployments, which Harrington said, "gives them great sense of awareness about the general environment overseas."

    "With the situation overseas changing so rapidly, I tell them their experience is good for a while," said Harrington. "This is especially true with our current mission; we are going into an entirely different environment, one we have never experienced before."

    Harrington said the training at CSJFTC has given them the opportunity to see the various skills each Soldier can bring to the table.

    "It is an exciting time to be an engineer and leader going into the theater we are going into because everyone is going to have a chance to run with the ball," he said.

    "We must conduct ourselves professionally," he said. "It can be as simple as heading down the road and not pointing your weapon at people, or having your uniform on and looking confident but not looking arrogant."

    He said the main thing they would like to accomplish is to bring everyone home safely.

    "I tell my Soldiers all the time that success follows survival," said Harrington.



    Date Taken: 01.20.2009
    Date Posted: 01.20.2009 12:20
    Story ID: 29058
    Location: US

    Web Views: 375
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