First Army prepares the 56th SBCT for Combat

Monday January 26, 2009

What is it?

The 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT), Pennsylvania Army National Guard, is the Army's only reserve-component Stryker Brigade. It was mobilized in September 2008 to conduct full-spectrum operations in Iraq. Currently, Reserve units can only be mobilized up to 12 months, making the 56th maximized at their training time with the assistance of First Army at multiple sites across the country, including Camp Shelby, Miss., and the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, La.

How did the Army prepare the 56th?

The complexity and scope of the training required by the 56th was beyond the capability of any single training support brigade. The 56th was assisted by a "team of teams" of active, reserve and civilian organizations assembled by First Army and led by the 157th Infantry Brigade. The 157th is one of First Army's 16 training support brigades (TSBs) that trains and validates Army National Guard and reserve units for deployment. To successfully prepare them for their historic mission, the training team incorporated five brigade-level units, four installations, a division staff and numerous contractors.

A critical element of this effort was the partnership and support provided by the 4th SBCT, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash., who provided numerous combat counterparts from battalion commanders and command sergeants major to squad leaders. These Soldiers and leaders recently returned from Iraq and had current combat experience that reinforced the expertise unique to First Army units which was established specifically for the 56th - the 1-307th Training Support Battalion (Stryker). The 1-307th, located in Pennsylvania, has been providing assistance since the 56th was reorganized in 2004.

The 157th received additional augmentation from many other TSBs, particularly the 177th Armored Brigade, Camp Shelby, Miss., and the 72nd Field Artillery Brigade, Fort Dix, N.J., and the First Army Division East staff. Other support came from 15 different agencies for intelligence specific training; the 4th Brigade, 75th Training Division that supported a progressive series of staff training exercises; and numerous contractors with expertise in the cutting-edge technology available to all of the Army's Stryker brigades.

Why is this important to the Army?

Such combined training teams routinely assembled by First Army ensures every reserve-component unit, such as the 56th, has the essential skills and procedures needed to successfully conduct operations on today's complex battlefield.


First Army Web site

Pennsylvania Army National Guard


- 2008 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2008 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates

- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace

- Army Public Affairs Portal

- Stories of Valor

- Speaker's Toolkit

- Information Papers with " 2008 Army Posture Statement"


The Army Community Relations Calendar

Blogger's Roundtable



  • Former chief recalls Army Family Action Plan (ARNews)
  • History: Battle of the Bulge ends: 25 January 1945 (ARNews)
  • Enlisted man gets burial once reserved for officers (NPR)
  • Commentary - Good NCOs: You know them when you see them (ARNews)
  • Army Antiterrorism Conference to focus on awareness, 'tempering the weapon' (ARNews)
  • Uniting families separated by deployment (ARNews)
  • GI burned in Iraq hopes to continue Army career (MSA)


  • Logistics of a faster Iraq exit (CSM)
  • Iraqis skeptical about politicians ahead of vote (LAT)
  • Afghan roadside bombs hit record in 2008 (USA)
  • Obstacles are many for U.S. in Afghanistan (KC)
  • Biden expects more U.S. casualties in Afghanistan (LAT)


  • The Army Field Manual (Time)
  • Some worried about detainee transfer to Iraq (USA)
  • Defense department, VA smooth path to benefits for severely wounded (ARNews)
  • Opinion: Troubled minds and Purple Hearts (NYT)
  • Opinion: Counting the walking wounded (NYT)
  • New Orleans unit gains new distinction (NOLA)


  • Iraq's leader pushes for election gains (IHT | Article)
  • Israeli PM in war crimes pledge (BBC | Article)
  • Hamas offers $52m handouts to help hardest-hit Gazans (GRD | Article)
  • Pakistan calls on U.S. to end attacks (AJ | Article)
  • British commandos capture Taliban post (TO | Article)


  • Do you see me? (SP)
  • Planting the seeds of stability (SM)
  • Obscurity blankets certain anti-torture moves (AT)
  • Army throws native WWII vets under the bus (RS)
  • NFL makes amends (SP)


Sports at a glance

Cardinals pay tributeto Pat Tillman even if NFL does not

Subscribe to STAND-TO! to learn about the U.S. Army initiatives.


2009: Year of the NCO

January 2009: National Eye Care Month

Jan. 25, 2009: End of Battle of the Bulge


"I joined the Army to travel and set a foundation for life. I've grown a lot being deployed, as a Soldier, and a leader, and a team player."

- Spc. Jeremiah "Super Rob" Robinson, Pompano Beach, Fla. native and a systems administrator for 4th Sqdrn., 9th Cav. Regt

Why we serve: 4-9 Cav. Regt. Soldiers continue family tradition with combat deployment

Stand-To! Archive

Most Recent Focus Topics


STAND-TO! is an information paper-based web platform that supports the U.S. Army’s strategic communication objectives.

The information papers -- written, approved and submitted by the Army agencies -- provide a broad, objective view of the Army’s current operations, doctrine and programs. The "Today’s Focus" topics highlight Army Staff initiatives and support Army wide strategic-level issues.

All published editions are sent to subscribers via email and archived daily in the STAND-TO! Archives.

STAND-TO! falls under the management of the Online and Social Media Division (OSMD) in the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs (OCPA).

Subscribe to STAND-TO! to learn about the U.S. Army initiatives.