'First-of-its-kind' training: 2 brigades head from Camp Shelby to Fort Bliss
From staff reports Published 3:01 p.m. CT March 10, 2018
The Mississippi National Guard’s 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team and First Army’s 177th Armored Brigade practice remobilization training at Camp Shelby on Monday. The 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team will travel to Fort Bliss, Texas afterwards to continue their training. Susan Broadbridge/Hattiesburg American
William Chamberlin, an unmanned aircraft systems repairer assigned to 150th Engineer Battalion, 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team, pulls security at an Entry Control Point at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center.
(Photo: Staff Sgt. Michael Williams/U.S. Army National Guard)
Two Mississippi-based brigades are heading to Fort Bliss, Texas, to train with each other in a first-of-its-kind exercise.
First Army’s 177th Armored Brigade from Camp Shelby will advise and assist the Mississippi National Guard’s 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team out of Tupelo.
“The 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team will be the first Army National Guard Armored Brigade Combat Team to train and deploy prepared for decisive action operations that include operating all along the continuum of conflict,” said Col.
Jack Vantress, 177th Armored Brigade commander, in an email. “The 155th has been working toward this end for over three years, and over the next three months, we in the 177th are honored to advise and assist them as they make final preparations for their upcoming deployment.”
Col. Jack Vantress
(Photo: Special to the American)
The number of soldiers, the large-scale exercises and the closeness of the two brigades make this training mission unique.
Most recently, the two brigades have been training at Camp Shelby in preparation for their move to Fort Bliss.
“Both our formations totaling near 4,300 soldiers have been working together to plan and execute training that will prepare them for deployment,” Vantress said.
The entirety of the 177th, with augmentation from First Army Division East, is assembling at Fort Bliss and will partner with the 155th for nearly 90 days.
“This is not a normal event,” Vantress said. “It is a first-of-its-kind to insure the 155th is as prepared as can be to deploy on a contingency mission.”
The 155th is preparing for an upcoming deployment to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
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Fort Bliss was chosen for the training because it is the only suitable installation, Vantress said.
“We are conducting the training at Fort Bliss due to the size of the training requirement,” he said. “Fort Bliss is one of only a few installations in the United States that can train an Armored Brigade Combat Team with its vast expanse of training areas as well as the necessary number and sizes of live fire ranges for tanks and artillery.
“The environment also replicates the environment the 155th will deploy to and conduct their operations.”
Vantress said the two brigades have been living and working together at Camp Shelby for some time.
“Partnering with the 155th is special for our brigade because they are the hometown partners,” Vantress said. “Our brigade partners with units across seven primary states and two territories, so the opportunity to work with a partner that we are very close to and live amongst is exciting.”
Vantress said the soldiers of the 177th are technical experts with years of deployment experience.
After assisting the 155th, they will return to serve other Army National Guard and Army Reserve partners for the foreseeable future.
“Our reserve force is more important now than it ever was to generate a force capable of deterring our nation’s enemies, and if called upon, defeating our adversaries to protect the American people and our way of life,” Vantress said.
177th Armored Brigade: @177th_BDE_CDR
155th Armored Brigade Combat Team: @155ABCT
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- ^ https://www.facebook.com/177ARBde/?ref=br_rs (www.facebook.com)
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