Air Cav. Soldiers arrive in Kuwait
May 8, 2009
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - The sand kicks up in the air with every step and the sun doesn't just shine, it glares.
The Kuwaiti weather warmly welcomes Soldiers from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division.
The majority of the 1st Air Cav. Bde. Soldiers arrived here and are already working through training - both routine and difficult, said Col. Douglas Gabram, from Cleveland, Ohio, commander of the "Warriors."
"Now we're on the ground at Beuhring and ... the focus is individual training for the Soldiers, some specialized training for certain units and the environmental training - which is the main effort," said Gabram.
Environmental training, or more commonly known as dust landing, is where pilots and crew chiefs work together to land an aircraft in swirling dust and sand with limited to zero visibility.
The air crews have to perform this task during daylight hours and at night, said Gabram.
Training is an integral part of a successful unit, that's why Gabram stresses that the Warriors are a team.
"I think it's important that the preparation we put in revolve around standards, discipline and teamwork," he said. "It's been obvious thus far ... that all five battalions are working as a team."
With the training in Kuwait not quite complete, Gabram is already looking to what's to come in Iraq - his primary mission.
"The first thing we've got to do is a successful relief-in-place with 4th [Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division]," said Gabram. "Then, we'll look forward to coming in very aggressive with air/ground integrations with the [brigade combat teams] within [Multi-National Division - Baghdad]."
Command Sgt. Maj. Glen Vela, the command sergeant major for the 1st Air Cav. Bde., has positive expectations for his troopers and the year ahead.
"I think [the Soldiers] are going to do outstanding because of all the training we've done in preparation for this," Vela said. "I feel that we trained harder for this deployment than last deployment."
However, the Warriors will be in Kuwait for nearly two more weeks.
"The Kuwait experience is not an easy one; people don't enjoy it," Vela added. "There's a lot of mandatory training that we have to get through, but we've got to do it safely and to the standard."