California Guardsmen Train For Kosovo Deployment
May 18, 2013
By Sgt. Sheila Holifield
First Army Division Public Affairs
CAMP SHELBY, Miss. - Nearly 100 California Guardsmen are preparing for their deployment to Kosovo in the spring of 2009 where they will be the Kosovo Forces 11 Quick Reaction Force in country.
Members of the 1-185th Combined Arms Battalion from Bakersfield, Calif. arrived here to train with their M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
"Over 50 percent of our Soldiers have prior deployment experience to a combat zone doing this type of mission, so we know what to expect," said Capt. Michael Riley, commander of Alpha Company, 1-185th.
Riley said their prior deployment experiences will be able to help them interact with the local populace.
"We understand cultural sensitivity, and no matter where you are being deployed to, that is important," said Riley.
Although not new to the deployed environment, Riley said this particular mission will be challenging in its own way.
"Our focus is to help our Soldiers understand current battlefield parameters and adhering to their current standards," said Riley. "It's not easy for an Infantry Soldier to transition out of that mode and into a more "friendly" role, and still be able to transition right back to being an Infantryman," said Riley.
Upon their arrival to Camp Shelby in late November, the Soldiers focused on Bradley Gunnery training.
"It's just like qualifying with an individual weapon but we also have to qualify as a crew," said Riley.
The Bradley Table 12 Live Fire was successful, and Riley said that 100 percent of his Soldiers qualified which met their expectations.
In mid December, the 1-185th will travel to Camp Atterbury, Ind. where they will continue their mobilization training for the Kosovo deployment.