FORT POLK, La. -- The Soldiers of the 162nd Infantry Brigade are gearing up to train combat advisors at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk by the end of August, but they have already started training advisors across the Army.

Select personnel from C Company, 1st Battalion, 353rd Infantry Regiment, traveled to Fort Riley, Kan., July 10 to assist the 162nd Infantry Brigade Directorate of Cultural Influence and Counter Insurgency and the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division DCC in preparation for the 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division's Modular Brigade for Security Force Assistance (MB-SFA) Phase A training.

"This training is critical to the continued success of the combat advisor mission," said Lt. Col. David M. Wood, commander, 1st Bn, 353rd Inf Reg. "In addition to training combat advisors at Fort Polk, we will train advisors organic to brigades deploying to support Operation Iraqi Freedom."

MB-SFA Phase A advisor training consists of 10 days classroom instruction and eight leader engagement scenarios. Soldiers from the Tiger Brigade conducted full dress rehearsals using roleplayers for leader engagements.
"Leader engagements are vital for combat advisors," Wood said. "This training will teach deploying combat advisors to interact with their counterparts, how to properly use their linguists and the cultural nuances that will occur when interacting with their Iraqi or Afghan host nation security forces."

From July 17-26, 16 1st Bde, 82 Abn Div lieutenant colonels and majors received cultural awareness classes, advisor techniques and language training.
During the afternoon, advisors practiced their skills with leader engagement scenarios designed to reinforce the information they received during class.

Working with 1st Bde, 1st Inf Div provided the Soldiers of both C Co, 1st Bn, 353rd Inf Reg and the 162 Inf Bde DCC insight and familiarization of the MB-SFA mobile training team concept and helped prepare the 162nd to assume the mission post 1st Bde, 82nd Abn Div training. The 162nd DCC and C Co, 1st Bn, 353 Inf Reg, will take the lead for MB-SFA training Saturday, providing Phase A instruction to 4th Brigade, 1st Inf Div.