FORT STEWART, Ga. As 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division prepares for a pending deployment, team work is setting the stage and foundation for successful future operations in Iraq. Operation Raider Focus, an on-going, 21-day field training exercise at Fort Stewart, is an opportunity for 1st Brigade Soldiers to sharpen their skills for combat, but the training is also a prime opportunity for teamwork between the Marne Division and the 188th Infantry Brigade, a training support brigade from First Army Division East, headquartered at Fort Stewart.

"We understand the importance of 1st HBCT's preparation for their upcoming mission and we relish the opportunity to participate as observer controllers in Raider Focus," said Col. Robert A. Warburg, commander of the 188th Infantry Brigade.

"This is also a perfect opportunity to strengthen the personal and professional relationships between the 188th Infantry Brigade and our brothers-in-arms in the 3rd Infantry Division while sharpening our own capabilities as trainers," continued Col. Warburg.

As a training support brigade, the 188th Infantry Brigade plans, resources and validates post-mobilization training of National Guard and Army Reserve formations for Operation Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Kosovo Force in support of First Army Division East Army Force Generation tasks to ensure combatant commanders receive fully trained, combat-ready forces.

"It's been a blessing having a professional observer controller package from the 188th Infantry Brigade married to the internal brigade assessment teams from 3rd Infantry Division," said Lt. Col. Josh Potter, 1st HBCT stabilization and transition team chief. "The teaming has generated a better understanding of useful tactics, techniques and procedures for the upcoming deployment and has strengthened the personal relationships between the 188th Infantry Brigade and 3rd Infantry Division," said Lt. Col. Potter.

188th Infantry Brigade Observer Controllers participating in Operation Raider Focus are primarily aimed at battalion, company and platoon-level operations during battalion-level situation training exercises.

"Both 3rd Infantry Division and 188th Infantry Brigade share mutual responsibilities to train Soldiers for combat," said Capt. James Young, team chief for 2nd attalion, 306th Field Artillery Regiment, 188th Infantry Brigade.

"All Soldiers deserve well planned and demanding training, regardless of the unit's designation as Reserve, National Guard, or active component forces," continued Capt. Young.