By Capt. Scott KuhnJanuary 24, 2018
CAMP SHELBY, Miss.-The 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team "Greywolf", 1st Cavalry Division continued building upon their Army Total Force partnership with the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team "Dixie Thunder", Mississippi National Guard during a lessons learned brief at Camp Shelby, Mississippi Jan. 16.
Greywolf recently completed a successful nine-month rotation to Kuwait in support of Operation Spartan Shield, the same mission that the 155th ABCT is preparing to assume later this year. This briefing gave the battalion commanders, and some key staff from 3ABCT, the opportunity to share relevant lessons with their counterparts.
The mission that Greywolf performed was, according to the brigade's commander, Col. John Woodward, unlike any that he had been on. The brigade provided support to coalition forces in the fight against ISIS, conducted theater security cooperation exercises in six different countries and sustained readiness.
"Today's event highlights the importance of the relationship past just training together, but into the operational arena. It brings a new group of leaders together, focused on 3/1 CAV's recent deployment and preparing 155 ABCT's formation for its future deployment for OSS," said 155th ABCT commander, Col. Doug Ferguson. "The ability to not only gain a first-hand perspective of the mission from the leadership of the brigade, but to also have the opportunity for counterparts to engage one-on-one has helped us immensely as we prepare for our upcoming training and deployment."
The briefing included an overview of the task organization of the Greywolf Brigade's forces during the deployment, lessons learned in the areas of mission command, intelligence and logistics, and opportunities for the 155th ABCT to ask questions.
"I think our biggest take away is understanding the complexity of the operational environment in the CENTCOM area of operations," said Ferguson. "We were able to see how Greywolf was able to successfully integrate Theater Security Cooperation exercises and combat support missions while maintaining readiness through focused training events."
Since the alignment under the Army's Total Force Program in 2014, the two brigades have successfully worked together on numerous occasions, but this marks the first time for an event such as this.
"This relationship has been going on for some time, and what we've done is try to build upon that relationship. They've provided Soldiers to support our rotation at NTC (National Training Center) before we deployed. We will also support their upcoming MIBT (Multi-Echelon Integrated Brigade Training) at Fort Bliss (Texas) later this spring. So, this is another way we continue to sustain and build readiness together," Woodward said.
Once the 155th deploys, Greywolf plans to maintain contact and provide support and advice based on their experience any way that they can said Woodward, which is one of the reasons why he believes this partnership has been successful.
"One, we are both ABCTs so it just makes sense," he said. "Secondly, and it's probably the most important thing, the foundation of this partnership is based on relationships. We've known them for a long time, they're comfortable with us, and we're comfortable with them. If they have a problem they just pick up the phone and call us. If we need enablers to help us with our training we can always reach out to them."