• Sgt. 1st Class Mark Mitchell, right, NCO in charge of setting up the division's field site, explains the process of building the tent structure during the unit's command post exercise.

    10th Mountain Division readies for deployments

    Sgt. 1st Class Mark Mitchell, right, NCO in charge of setting up the division's field site, explains the process of building the tent structure during the unit's command post exercise.

  • Pvt. Bryce Hill, infantryman assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (LI), strikes a tent stake at Fort Drum's Sexton Field. Hill and other HHBN Soldiers prepare for the unit's command post exercise.

    10th Mountain Division readies for deployments

    Pvt. Bryce Hill, infantryman assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (LI), strikes a tent stake at Fort Drum's Sexton Field. Hill and other HHBN Soldiers prepare for the unit's command post exercise.

FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- The 10th Mountain Division takes pride in a rich history of multiple combat deployments, since it first entered the North Apennine Mountains of Italy against German forces in WWII. Since that time, the Mountain forces have deployed to multiple conflicts, including Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

"We have in fact been the tip of the spear on anyone intending to do harm to the United States," said Maj. Gen. Mark A. Milley, Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) commander. "To follow the 10th Mountain Division since 1985 is to visit every crisis spot that America has been involved in."

To make sure his headquarters can deploy quickly anywhere in the world, Milley ordered a command post exercise.

"It's an important part of the process," said Sgt. 1st Class Mark Mitchell, NCO in charge of setting up the division's field site. "It's a big learning curve for everyone here with all of the turn over we've had this summer."

Mitchell and about 30 Soldiers from various sections, assigned to the division staff, convoyed in military vehicles to Sexton Field from the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion motor pool Tuesday. This was the second time the unit conducted this sort of training during the last month.

"We actually did this about three weeks ago," Mitchell said. "It's a learning process for all of us; that's why it's good to be out here with the Soldiers."

Once Mitchell and his team built the actual structure, consisting of three large tents for current operations and special staff, the team installed power distribution and the major battle systems the same way they would on a real deployment.

"I like to stay with the basics," the 18-year veteran said. "Once people see why we function this way and how it all comes together, I think it will look impressive."

Preparing for deployments is a common theme for 10th Mountain Division Soldiers. The 2nd Brigade Combat Team recently deployed to the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif., to prepare for a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan, where Soldiers will serve as a Security Force Assistance Brigade.

The 1st Brigade Combat Team returned from NTC last week after a 30-day rotation, and the 10th Sustainment Brigade is presently redeploying its Soldiers from Afghanistan.

The division headquarters is not scheduled for deployment, but the reality is the unit can find itself anywhere in the world on short notice.

Page last updated Thu September 27th, 2012 at 10:15