Kentucky NG Soldiers prepare to train Jordanian Army
February 22, 2013
CAMP SHELBY, Miss -- After several weeks of training at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, more than 170 Kentucky National Guard Soldiers say they are ready to deploy to Jordan to train members of the Jordanian Army.
The Soldiers, part of 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery spent their mobilization training focusing not only on their survival skills, but on their trainer-mentor skills. Trainer mentors assigned to First Army Division East's 177th Armored Brigade ensured the NG Soldiers are ready for their upcoming tour.
"I see a challenge ahead for all of us," said Staff Sgt. Kenneth Johnson, a 1-623rd platoon leader, a native of Burkesville, Ky. "This is a mission where we are training Soldiers of a different culture."
This will be Johnson's second deployment. He first deployed to Iraq in 2005.
"This mission will be no-less challenging than my last deployment," said Johnson. "We are looking forward to going."
Validation for deployment for the 1- 623rd required the completion of warrior task training lanes.
"The 1- 623rd FA did a lot of rehearsals on their own to make sure that they were squared away before taking on the task of mentoring," said Sgt 1st Class Christopher A. Kimble, trainer mentor for Bravo Battery, 2nd Battalion, 410th Field Artillery 177th Armored Brigade, First Army Division East. "Overall, they did extremely well."
The final cumulative training exercises included entry checkpoint, mounted convoy, urban terrain and tower guard operations. During countless simulated distractions common in modern-day battle, the 1-623rd FA trained role players acting as Jordanian Soldiers on all details of the operation.
"What is significant is to understand the Jordanian culture," said Kimble. "Although a partnership mission, the Soldiers are still in the Middle East and should maintain situational awareness."
"I believe the 1st and 623rd FA has a good grasp on this from their training here," he said.
The 1-623rd FA is a unit mobilized under 1st Army Division East and will be the second National Guard unit to deploy for this partnership mission.