|Story & photo by Maj. Annmarie Daneker, Military
Intelligence Readiness Command, Public Affairs Office
For Army Reserve Soldiers, a 400-day order for deployment to Iraq seems
like a long time. But in reality, that time for deployment is even
longer. Reserve units deploying overseas are required to complete a
rigorous and time-consuming schedule of pre-mobilization tasks, both at
home station and at one of three Regional Training Centers throughout
Spc. Juan Allegue, left,
practices putting a tourniquet on the arm of Pvt. 2 Marc Albin
in an Improved First Aid Kit familiarization class as part of
pre-mobilization training for Alpha Company, 377th Military
Intelligence Battalion, Military Intelligence Readiness Command.
Almost 80 Soldiers with Alpha Company (A Co.), 377th Military
Intelligence Battalion, Military Intelligence Readiness Command, are
finding out just how much training is required as they finish up their
pre-mobilization training at Regional Training Center – Central (RTC-C)
at Fort McCoy.
Though the days are long, the Soldiers find the time well-spent as they
prepare for their upcoming mission.
“I know that I’m being trained properly,” said Pvt. Eric Bryn, an
imagery analyst with A Co.
“I know that any situation can happen downrange that’s unexpected, but
I’m feeling pretty confident with the people I’m deploying with,” he
Units attending training for 21 days at RTC-C spend their days in
classes and outside on the ranges and training lanes. Classroom training
includes improved first aid kit familiarization, cultural awareness, and
Soldiers also go through M16 rifle and M9 pistol weapons qualification,
convoy lanes and urban operations training. All this hard work is
designed to prepare Soldiers for whatever they might face while
Sitting beside Bryn in several classes is Spc. Juan Allegue, also an
imagery analyst, who is looking forward to moving downrange and starting
his mission. He thinks about that mission while he is training.
“What goes through my mind as I’m doing the training is what’s going to
happen once we get there … like what I’m going to be doing,” he said.
As the senior officer in A Co., Lt. Col. Reuben McCoy, the Analytical
Control Element chief, keeps an eye out for the Soldiers in the company.
“I see them starting to work together as a team,” he said, after several
hours of combatives training.
“I see the sergeants remembering and doing things sergeants are supposed
to do, and that’s good for team building,” he said.
The late deployment to Iraq is not lost on the Soldiers of A Co. They
mobilize in July … only six months before U.S. forces are scheduled to
completely leave Iraq Dec. 31, 2011, leaving a large portion of their
400 days on orders undetermined.
The Soldiers know that they could eventually be sent to another mission,
such as Afghanistan. Or they could be sent home, which is what Bryn does
“I was a bit concerned about being sent home early because I want to
deploy for as long as possible,” he said.
“I am hoping that when we pull out of Iraq then they send us somewhere
else so we can continue the mission,” he said.
“The uncertainty is big, and not knowing if we’re going to have a change
of mission after December 31st is allowing us to be flexible,” said
“We plan for the worst, and hope for the best,” he said.