By: Sgt. Melissa N. Lessard 504th Military Intelligence Brigade Public Affairs
(FORT HOOD, Texas, April 29, 2019)- Imagine being woken up at 3 a.m., still groggy from sleep, and being told you need to have all your bags and essential gear packed and be ready to deploy within an hour or two.
Soldiers with the 504th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade did just that on April 29 during a III Corps deployment readiness exercise. As a III Corps unit, the 504th must be ready to deploy at a moment's notice because readiness is the Army's number one priority.
"I got the call this morning and loaded up my gear and headed to the motor pool," said Spc. Apollo Nguyen with the 163rd Military Intelligence Battalion.
It took him less than an hour to report for the exercise.
Col. Deitra Trotter, the 504th EMIB commander, said that this is a culmination of a lot of training starting with individual training through platform, company, and battalion level.
504th EMIB Soldiers met at the motor pool to conduct various activities from obtaining their assigned weapons, equipment preventative maintenance checks and services, training on rules of engagement, media engagement, and more.
From there, the Ready Warriors convoyed to their final location. During the convoy they continued with their training with several simulations such as taking care of a casualty, receiving indirect fire, sending a 9-line medical evacuation request, and vehicle recovery.
Nguyen said that his last training with his battalion was very useful during this readiness exercise. He said he and his team had the knowledge to be prepared as signals intelligence professionals.
At the final location for the exercise, the III Corps evaluators inspected 504th Soldiers on various tasks such as packing, PMCS and other critical deployment processes and procedures.
"These are our junior Soldiers," said Trotter. "They are getting a chance to test their METL (mission essential task list)."
She said that the Soldiers of the 504th are also getting a chance to understand and know what it feels like to be prepared for deployment, what it feels like to deploy.