By Capt. Kurt Van SlootenOctober 16, 2010
CAMP SHELBY, Miss. - The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team, comprised of National Guard Soldiers from Idaho, Montana and Oregon, is the next brigade scheduled to deploy to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn.
The training of Army National Guard formations is a partnership between the deploying unit - the 116th CBCT - and the Training Support Brigade from the First Army.
The 3-345th "Invictus" Combat Service Support Battalion, 188th Infantry Brigade, lead TSB for the 116th mobilization, is currently providing mobilization liaison officers for the 116th to assist and facilitate the training plan of Col. Guy E. Thomas, commander of the 116th CBCT.
"The LNO's goal is to assist in the execution of a theater-relevant, collective training plan," said Maj. Dion T. Dixon, 3-345th chief LNO. "LNOs assist the unit with coordination of training, ammunition, field rations and transportation to and from training lanes. LNOs attend training synchronization meetings to ensure the execution of the 116th CBCT Commander's Training Plan."
"We went from a tank company to a convoy security company, and the LNOs have been really helpful in getting our guys out there to meet the new requirements," said 1st Lt. Michael Sattom, 3-116th CBCT, from Ontario, Ore.
Capt. Tina Brooks, one of 3-345th's LNOs, noted that sometimes extra LNO focus is required to ensure the training needs of individual Soldiers are met. This focused LNO assistance has significantly contributed to maintaining the speed of Col. Thomas' training plan.
Lt. Col. Chris Nichols, 3-345th Battalion commander's isaid he tries to have any training issues sourced through his LNOs from start to end so any shortfalls can be provided for; and it is working well.
"I think all the training we have requested has been put through," said 1st Lt. Jamie Roscoe, also from 3-116th CBCT, from Silver Lake, Ore. "I just get on the phone and call it in and usually by the time we get back from the training lane we are on at the time it has been approved for us."
The 188th Infantry Brigade, along with the other training support brigades in First Army Division East, provides and facilitates theater-focused training for deploying National Guard and Reserve formations. Based out of Fort Stewart, the 188th has been training deploying National Guard and Reserve units for Iraq deployments continuously since 2003.