Pfc. Khristina Shows assigned to 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Mississippi National Guard covers a casualty during mass casualty training exercise near Fort Bliss, Texas, March 17, 2020.  Training medics was an essential task in preparation for an upcoming deployment to Europe.
1 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Pfc. Khristina Shows assigned to 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Mississippi National Guard covers a casualty during mass casualty training exercise near Fort Bliss, Texas, March 17, 2020. Training medics was an essential task in preparation for an upcoming deployment to Europe. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Timothy Gray) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. 1st Class Darren Thomas (right), medical observer, coach/ trainer assigned to 2nd Battalion, 362 Field Artillery Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West observes Soldiers’ reaction to indirect fire during a culminating training exercise near Fort Bliss, Texas, March 17, 2020.  2-362 FA trained and  validated 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Mississippi National Guard in preparation for an upcoming deployment.
2 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. 1st Class Darren Thomas (right), medical observer, coach/ trainer assigned to 2nd Battalion, 362 Field Artillery Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West observes Soldiers’ reaction to indirect fire during a culminating training exercise near Fort Bliss, Texas, March 17, 2020. 2-362 FA trained and validated 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Mississippi National Guard in preparation for an upcoming deployment. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Timothy Gray) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. 1st Class Darren Thomas (right), medical observer, coach/ trainer assigned to 2nd Battalion, 362 Field Artillery Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West observes during a mass casualty exercise near Fort Bliss, Texas, March 17, 2020.  2-362 FA trained and validated 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Mississippi National Guard in preparation for an upcoming deployment.
3 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. 1st Class Darren Thomas (right), medical observer, coach/ trainer assigned to 2nd Battalion, 362 Field Artillery Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West observes during a mass casualty exercise near Fort Bliss, Texas, March 17, 2020. 2-362 FA trained and validated 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Mississippi National Guard in preparation for an upcoming deployment. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Timothy Gray) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. 1st Class Darren Thomas (center), medical observer, coach/ trainer assigned to 2nd Battalion, 362 Field Artillery Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West observes Pfc. Khristina Shows (left) and Pfc. Henry Jackson (center, low), medics assigned to B Battery, 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Mississippi National Guard treating patients during a mass casualty exercise near Fort Bliss, Texas, March 17, 2020.
4 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. 1st Class Darren Thomas (center), medical observer, coach/ trainer assigned to 2nd Battalion, 362 Field Artillery Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West observes Pfc. Khristina Shows (left) and Pfc. Henry Jackson (center, low), medics assigned to B Battery, 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Mississippi National Guard treating patients during a mass casualty exercise near Fort Bliss, Texas, March 17, 2020. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Timothy Gray) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. 1st Class Darren Thomas (right), medical observer, coach/ trainer assigned to 2nd Battalion, 362 Field Artillery Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West observes Pfc. Khristina Shows (left) and Pfc. Henry Jackson (bottom), medics assigned to B Battery, 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Mississippi National Guard treating patients during a mass casualty exercise near Fort Bliss, Texas, March 17, 2020.
5 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. 1st Class Darren Thomas (right), medical observer, coach/ trainer assigned to 2nd Battalion, 362 Field Artillery Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West observes Pfc. Khristina Shows (left) and Pfc. Henry Jackson (bottom), medics assigned to B Battery, 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Mississippi National Guard treating patients during a mass casualty exercise near Fort Bliss, Texas, March 17, 2020. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Timothy Gray) VIEW ORIGINAL
Pfc. Khristina Shows, a medic assigned to B Battery, 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Mississippi National Guard treats a patient during a mass casualty exercise near Fort Bliss, Texas, March 17, 2020.  1-204 ADA participated in a culminating training exercise in preparation for an upcoming deployment to Europe.
6 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Pfc. Khristina Shows, a medic assigned to B Battery, 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Mississippi National Guard treats a patient during a mass casualty exercise near Fort Bliss, Texas, March 17, 2020. 1-204 ADA participated in a culminating training exercise in preparation for an upcoming deployment to Europe. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Timothy Gray) VIEW ORIGINAL
Pfc. Khristina Shows, a medic assigned to B Battery, 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Mississippi National Guard treats a patient during a mass casualty exercise near Fort Bliss, Texas, March 17, 2020.  1-204 ADA participated in a culminating training exercise in preparation for an upcoming deployment to Europe.
7 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Pfc. Khristina Shows, a medic assigned to B Battery, 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Mississippi National Guard treats a patient during a mass casualty exercise near Fort Bliss, Texas, March 17, 2020. 1-204 ADA participated in a culminating training exercise in preparation for an upcoming deployment to Europe. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Timothy Gray) VIEW ORIGINAL
An Avenger Air Defense System from 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Mississippi National Guard fires a Stinger air-to-ground missile during a Live Fire Exercise at Oro Grande Range Complex March 24, 2020.
8 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – An Avenger Air Defense System from 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Mississippi National Guard fires a Stinger air-to-ground missile during a Live Fire Exercise at Oro Grande Range Complex March 24, 2020. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
An Avenger Air Defense System from 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Mississippi National Guard fires a Stinger air-to-ground missile during a Live Fire Exercise at Oro Grande Range Complex March 24, 2020.
9 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – An Avenger Air Defense System from 1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Mississippi National Guard fires a Stinger air-to-ground missile during a Live Fire Exercise at Oro Grande Range Complex March 24, 2020. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT BLISS, TEXAS – For some units, preparing for deployment can be a daunting task, especially when differences in Soldiers’ backgrounds and experiences are common.

1st Battalion, 204th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Mississippi National Guard used their culminating training exercise at Fort Bliss, Texas as an opportunity to stand on a common ground and approach its upcoming deployment with a refined mission focus.

Like all National Guard units, 1-204 ADA gathers one weekend a month for battle assembly and two weeks a year for annual training. It makes sense that units use that condensed time to focus on the core tasks to complete the assigned mission.

Capt. Michael Maberry, commander of Bravo Battery, 1-204 ADA, Mississippi National Guard says that his unit saw an opportunity to adopt a frame of mind that would help his Soldiers get the job done.

“We got to get out of that more garrison mindset and into a more field mindset; A real ADA mission mindset,” Maberry said. “It’s bringing us back to what ADA should be.”

To help refine that mindset, 2nd Battalion, 362 Field Artillery Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West used the post-mobilization training and validation process to simultaneously bolster skills specific to air defense and emphasize the importance of other tasks.

Sgt. 1st Class Bernard Carr, a field artillery fire support NCO and observer, coach/ trainer assigned to Task Force Kodiak, 2-362 FA, says that field artillery and air defense artillery are not the same.

“You’d think they’d be the same because their artillery, but there’s a lot of differences between the two,” Carr said.

Because of those differences, Task Force Kodiak partnered with a sister brigade from First Army Division East that specializes in air defense tactics and training to ensure 1-204 ADA rehearsed the most up-to-date tactics and procedures. Carr said guest trainers were as helpful for Task Force Kodiak as for 1-204 ADA.

“It’s also a benefit to us,” Carr said. “We get to pick their brains about what [air defenders] do, the types of systems they use and the types of training that they conduct.”

To this point in his command, Maberry said his battery has participated in several smaller scale events during monthly battle assemblies and annual training.

“This is definitely the biggest scale [exercise] we’ve done so far,” Maberry said.

The end result of the collaboration of Task Force Kodiak, guest OC/Ts, and 1-204 ADA Soldiers is that the Mississippi National Guard unit is ready to execute its mission as part of this nation’s total force concept.