FORT STEWART, Ga. -- In order for a Soldier to be ready for combat, he or she must not only be physically able to do the job, the Soldier must also be mentally prepared.

Spartan Soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division stepped up their training schedule within the last month in preparation for their upcoming deployment.

Intense schedules in firing and qualifying on weapons, combat ground fighting skills, road marching, and land navigation serve as a few of the heightened training 2nd BCT has undergone in order to prepare both mentally and physically for another deployment.

Second BCT Soldiers took their training to a higher level March 27 at Firing Point 13, conducting a fire point mission with joint operations where they trained on call for fire and indirect fire.

One Soldier who attended the training and works as a fire support specialist said that the training gave him a good idea of what to expect in combat.

"The training was really serious," said Spc. Michael McDonald, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd BCT. "We simulated using observational points to find enemies and then, called in the enemies' grids to artillery once we spotted them." McDonald is on the brigade's combat observation laser team.

"We trained well into the wee hours of the morning; up at 2 a.m., maneuvering so we would not be seen by the enemy and calling for fire when necessary," he added.

The Soldiers also commented that being able to train with fellow 2nd BCT Soldiers outside of their respective battalion made the entire experience more realistic.

"I had a good time at the training; I learned a lot," said Pvt. Samuel Candler, HHC, 2nd BCT, 3rd ID. "I am much more comfortable with my comrades throughout the brigade as well as the equipment I will be using down range. The experience definitely got me closer to where I should be as far as combat-readiness."

Candler also said he enjoyed the iterations and scenarios when the Air Force and Marine fire-fighters who participated in the training event dropped simulated 500 pound bombs on the targets.
"That was most exciting part of the entire experience," Candler said. "This was really some high-speed training."

Troops got a needed boost of confidence from the training, according to Capt. Arturo Flores, Troop A, 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd BCT commander.

"The Soldiers out here trained hard, and the results are well worth it. They seem more confident, and I also saw them step up their roles as leaders out here as well," said Flores. "This is just what we need as we get ready for another deployment."