|By Staff Sgt. Lynette Hoke, 1st Brigade Combat Team,
34th Infantry Division Public Affairs
The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division (1st, 34th), an Army
National Guard unit from Minnesota, is ramping up for a deployment in
support of Operation New Dawn in Kuwait.
Soldiers from the 1st Brigade
Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division examine an improvised
explosive device model during a situational training exercise at
Fort McCoy. (Photo by
Minnesota Army National Guard)
Approximately 2,300 Soldiers are at Fort McCoy participating in a
variety of events and required training tasks, which will prepare them
for their mission to Kuwait.
From being proficient with tasks in the field, such as manning an entry
control point, first aid, convoy security and vehicle and personnel
searches, the Citizen-Soldiers of the 1st, 34th are getting adjusted to
the challenges the next year may bring.
“For the average person here, the physical, professional and personal
adjustments from going from citizen to Soldier have been demanding,”
said Sgt. 1st Class Donald Klick, Senior Paralegal Noncommissioned
Officer, 1st, 34th Headquarters Company.
“The ability to focus on the mission here has helped with the adjustment
of becoming an active-duty Soldier.”
The upcoming culminating training event will be challenging and it also
will involve the coordination of the entire brigade.
From the infantrymen to the human resource specialists, the exercise
will task everyone in the brigade to work together.
“The exercise will give the 1st, 34th an insight to the operations
downrange,” said Sgt. Sigfredo Guzman, Intelligence sergeant, 197th
Fires Brigade out of New Hampshire who is currently serving a tour in
the area of operations the Red Bulls will go to.
“It helps them understand and experience what obstacles and pitfalls
they may face and how to work around them.”
The exercise will give the Soldiers within the tactical operations
centers real-world scenarios that they will have to troubleshoot with
the different companies and battalions within the brigade.
“Operations can fail without clear and concise communication,” said
Guzman. “This exercise can provide a location to work out all the issues
with communicating throughout the different echelons of the brigade.”
The Soldiers of the 1st, 34th soon will wrap up their training and
deploy for a yearlong tour in Kuwait. All the Soldiers of the 1st, 34th
are expected to return early next summer.
More stories and photos about the Soldiers of the 1st, 34th are
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(See related story.)