The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, the “Bulldog” Brigade, is continuing their preparations for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. The brigade recently completed another hurdle on the road to war, by engaging in the second largest home-station training event in the history of Fort Bliss.
With the completion of Iron Focus, the Bulldog Brigade is now preparing for its coming rotation to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. The planning process for the rotation has not been easy; NTC has had to rewrite the script and redesign their training to accommodate the brigade. What makes this rotation unique is the brigade’s mission is focused on training of Afghan forces, instead of a more direct or kinetic role of going after the insurgent forces.
“We need to be ready for the mission at hand of training and preparing the Afghan forces to provide security for their country. The better trained we are at conducting this mission, the better we will be able to train the Afghan forces, and this will lead to a better a more secure Afghanistan,” said Sgt. Patrick Doran, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs noncommissioned officer-in-charge.
While the brigade has completed its home-station exercise, there are still many tasks to complete, before and after, its NTC rotation. They are currently conducting new equipment training and new equipment fielding initiative, consisting of the Soldiers receiving not only new equipment never used by the Soldiers in the brigade and training on that equipment.
In the coming days and weeks, the brigade will complete the rapid fielding initiative, where Soldiers will receive all of the necessary individual equipment needed for deployment. The “Bulldogs” will then receive their Multi-Cam uniforms, packs, body armor and a new helmet with a built-in sensor to detect blast related data. This data will be used to assist medical professionals with diagnosing traumatic brain injuries and ensure the Soldiers are better taken care of when they return stateside.
Third Brigade is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan to take on the role of a security force assistance brigade. SFABs were created in November 2012 to provide both security forces assistance teams, which have been operating in Afghanistan for several years, and a higher headquarters to coordinate their efforts.