FORT HOOD, Texas - The 4th Brigade Combat Team's Special Troops Battalion conducted convoy live-fire training to familiarize the unit's non-combat arms Soldiers with convoys and battle drills.

While most of the Cobra Brigade's battalions are combat arms units, this battalion, nicknamed the "Spartan Battalion", is filled with Soldiers in communication and military intelligence career fields, who regularly train in small but specialized groups, not in the open fields of Fort Hood.

"The Special Troops Battalion Soldiers are great at doing their specialized jobs and creating the backbone of this brigade," said Maj. Lou Morales, the battalion's training and operations officer-in-charge. "But we need to stress the duality of our jobs."

He explained that the STB's personnel are both specialized technicians and Soldiers at the same time. The combination leads to accomplishing the mission safely and effectively, he said.

The teams left the battalion motor pool first with blank rounds to fire to practice dealing with simulated enemies and situations. After working through several scenarios, the convoy reached the live-fire range, performed a dry run and then received fresh ammo for the live-fire portion of the training.

"This is good training because I'll be doing this as well as doing my mechanic job," said Pfc. Gabriel Hatches, a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to the Spartan Battalion's headquarters company.

Hatches and the rest of the brigade have one more major training event to complete; a trip to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., that runs from mid-March to mid-April.

The brigade is scheduled to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom this summer.