CAMP SHELBY, Miss. - Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Douglas L. Carver, chief of chaplains for the U.S. Army, visited the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team during mobilization training at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center to check on their Unit Ministry Teams prior to deployment.

Chaplain Carver was impressed by both the spirit shone by the UMTs in the 116th and by the training and mentorship provided by the training units, the 188th Infantry Brigade, the 177th Armor Brigade and the 158th Infantry Brigade.

During part of his trip Carver oversaw one of the 116th's chaplain-oriented training lanes. The chaplain's mission on the lane was speak through an interpreter to the village elder, portrayed by a foreign language speaking role-player, about the issues caused by an integrated male/female school in his village.

Chaplain (1st Lt.) Brian Daum, from Belgrade, Mont., listened to the elder and assessed the needs of the village, while his assistant, Sgt. Russell Smith, from East Helena, Mont., facilitated the meeting by providing security to his chaplain while also remaining in contact with the rest of their Soldiers. During their meeting there was a disturbance in the village. Smith observed the situation, made the call that it was time to go, and the UMT smoothly exited the village.

After the exercise, Carver commended the team for doing a good job during the exercise, commenting Daum's situational awareness noting that it didn't seem like this was the first time he had performed this type of mission.

"They have done their homework, and I have no doubt that 116th will perform well on their mission," said Carver. "It speaks to the caliber of the Soldiers and their training, as well as that of the Soldiers preparing them to deploy. The coaching and mentoring I have observed from the 188th has just been outstanding."

"This is my first visit to Camp Shelby, and I am impressed with the realistic training provided by training units," said Carver. "There is no doubt in my mind that it is just as professional as the training they would receive at NTC (National Training Center) or JRTC (Joint Readiness Training Center)."

The 188th Infantry Brigade, along with the other training support brigades in First Army Division East, provides and facilitates theater-focused training for deploying National Guard and Reserve formations. Based out of Fort Stewart, the 188th has been training deploying National Guard and Reserve units for Iraq deployments continuously since 2003.

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