FORT HOOD, Texas-Soldiers assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, prepared for their month-long field exercise at the Division Rapid Reaction Field (DRRF) and rail operations center, June 2.

Troops ensured their tactical vehicles were staged and ready for transport at the DRRF site; then they moved the vehicles to the railhead where they will be loaded on a train and transported to the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, La.

"It's important to ensure the brigade's vehicles are loaded on these rail cars safely," said Capt. Dale Dareing, of Valley View, Texas, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, the officer in charge of the brigade's rail operations. "I'm here to help our Soldiers understand how to safely load and guide these vehicles where they need to be."

Shipping the vehicles being to Fort Polk is an important part of the brigade's Culminating Training Event, as this prepares the unit to complete its mission during the upcoming deployment to Iraq this fall.

Sgt. Jeremy Norton, a cavalry scout from Clarksville, Tenn., assigned to the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, assisted with vehicle movement and believes this is a key part of being successful during JRTC. The combat veteran who is currently preparing to embark on his third deployment in four years believes this training rotation will give him the opportunity to further mentor his troops on their tactical vehicles.

"Conducting operations like this can't do anything but help us in the long run," said Norton. "You can never be too prepared before a deployment."

The troops will continue gearing up for their 30-day brigade level field exercise by shipping the rest of their tactical vehicles and equipment this week.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16