|Soldiers from the 181st Infantry Brigade continue to
support training requirements for deploying units off post, while
meeting their unit training requirements and supporting selected
installation training at Fort McCoy. The unit conducted mobilization
training at Fort McCoy, a mission that ended in December with the
reorganization of the mobilization mission training sites.
Noncommissioned officers from 1st
Battalion, 310th Infantry conduct familiarization training on
the M2 .50-caliber machine gun at a Fort McCoy range.
Col. Rick Angeli, 181st commander, said although providing
post-mobilization training to overseas deployment expeditionary forces
(DEF) remains the unit’s training priority, the focus is shifting to
developing and providing training for contingency expeditionary force
units not identified for overseas deployment.
“The mission still will focus on training National Guard and Reserve
Soldiers,” Angeli said. “All that will really change is where we conduct
the training. We are now what you would call a ‘remote training
brigade;’ we can export our training capability anywhere within the
Continental United States.”
Angeli said the 181st’s deployment mission will change as the Army has
transitioned from its Iraq mission to its Afghanistan mission from one
of providing combat troops to providing security forces assistance teams
SFATs, which are similar to a military transition team and the services
it would provide, are used to provide Soldiers, who are subject-matter
experts, to support specific needs for training, administrative,
logistics, and, in some instances, intelligence, to meet both military
and governmental requirements.
A select team of personnel was chosen from the 181st to support this
mission in Afghanistan, he said. This team is scheduled to train at Fort
Lewis, Wash., and then receive advanced training at Fort Polk, La.,
After the mission is completed, the Soldiers will return to train other
Soldiers, including reserve-component troops, about the mission, and
also share their knowledge throughout the First Army command, he said.
The 181st will continue to support mobilization training at the enduring
Mobilization Training Centers within the First Army’s area of
responsibility throughout the transition of the deployment requirements,
When the 181st Soldiers are at Fort McCoy, they will continuously refine
their skills to provide first-class training support, Angeli said. The
181st includes two active-duty battalions, the 1st of the 310th
Infantry, and the 3rd of the 340th.
Reserve-component organizations aligned with the 181st include the 1st
Battalion, 338th Regiment, Training Support (Combat Support/Combat
Services Support); the 2nd Battalion, 411th Infantry Regiment; the 1st
Battalion, 340th Infantry Regiment, Training Support (Combat
Support/Combat Services Support), and the 3rd Battalion, 335th Infantry
Regiment, Training Support (Combat Support/Combat Services Support).
In addition to conducting its own training at Fort McCoy, the 181st will
provide observer-controller-trainers to support two Combat Support
Training Exercises and a Warrior Exercise at the installation this
Angeli said the unit also has been tasked to provide the same type of
support to those exercises in 2013.
“I’m a very strong advocate of training at Fort McCoy,” Angeli said. “We
have all the assets and resources any battalion-sized unit would need to
train here. And, if units train here, we can support their training more
economically because we don’t have to pay travel expenses.”
Soldiers from the 181st also will support training for a Georgia Army
National Guard Infantry Combat Team at Camp Ripley, Minn., and for DEF
training at Forts Bliss and Hood in Texas this year.