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Staff Sgt. John Newton trains Pvt. First Class Christian Traverson, Bravo Battery, 2/18th Field Artillery Regiment, how to properly attach chains to the rail car securing the M270A1 Multiple Launch Rocket System during Rail Load Operations.

Being ready to do any mission, anytime, anywhere is not a task that easily taken on. However, the 2nd battalion, 18th field artillery regiment, "Mission Ready Battalion", is sure that when they get the call, they will be ready.

Although 2-18 may not have a mission on the immediate horizon, they are training for one, just in case. A large piece of deployment is the preparation and deployment phase. Many Soldiers have trained for missions down range, but what may not be realized is the amount of work and preparation that goes into the actual deployment. It takes a lot of moving pieces to deploy an entire battalion worth of equipment and personnel and that is why the unit has made it a large part of their training plan.

Along with the battalions' standard Multiple Launch Rocket System training and recertification, 2-18 has been taking on quite a bit of non-standard training as well. Recently completing Rail and air load operations and convoy security training, they are preparing for Combat Lifesaver and Close Quarters Marksmanship training, making the "Mission Ready "Soldiers ready for anything.
The battalion has scheduled a training exercise in Wyoming in the spring and will be able to test their abilities to effectively deploy their unit correctly. The 60 day process before a deployment will include a trip to legal for wills and power of attorneys, the Soldier Readiness Processing site, rail load operations, trips through medical and dental , and coordination for any special circumstances.

"Many units have trained and deployed all over the world. We just want to include every part of the deployment in our training. Not only to make sure our Soldiers are ready, but their families as well." said Maj. Brian Saul, Executive Officer, 2-18 FAR, .

This type of training will not only allow the Soldiers the opportunity for realistic training, it will also allow the family members the opportunity to understand what a deployment is like and what all may be expected of them. It allows the unit to test the Family Readiness group's ability to assist the family members of the deployed Soldiers and it also tests the abilities of the rear detachment to maintain a strong command and control of the unit.

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