Readiness Key to Greywolf’s Upcoming Korea Rotation
FORT HOOD, Texas -- The Soldiers of the Greywolf Brigade, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, returned from the National Training Center in early February and went straight to work getting their combat platforms and vehicles reset and their Soldiers ready for their next mission—a rotation to Korea in support of the 2nd Infantry Division.
Over the past two months the Brigade has completed annual services on all vehicles and conducted multiple training exercises including small arms ranges, driver’s training and gunnery. At the same time the Soldiers are completing the necessary requirements to get the brigade ready for deployment to include cultural training and medical readiness.
According to Col. Kevin Capra, the brigade’s commander, getting the unit ready for any type of rotation is a significant process that encompassed almost 12 months.
“I think it is extremely important because one, it’s team building and two, it’s repetitions,” Capra said. “We build excellence through repetition and when we are able to do multiple iterations of a training event. So, the more repetitions we get, the more we integrate new Soldiers into the team, the more effective we will be as a team.”
The Brigade finished the last of its large-scale training this past week, when tank and Bradley Fighting Vehicle crews from across the brigade solidified their readiness through crew-level qualification. The intent behind the gunnery was to get new crews who hadn’t fired together, out on the range and qualified prior to loading vehicles on trains to be transported to the port.
"This keeps us capable and trained and ready to go onto the Korean Peninsula and provide the 2nd Infantry Division and the Republic of Korea Army a capable force," the brigade’s Command Sgt. Maj. Ryan Mclane said. "The relationship we have with the Republic of Korea is really the cornerstone of the ROK- U.S. alliance, and it helps maintain the stability in Northeast Asia."
This rotation marks the first time for the Greywolf Brigade to deploy to Korea in its entirety since they were on the DMZ with the 1st Cavalry Division in 1963. Since then the brigade has done a few exercises on the peninsula and in 2014, the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment became the Army’s first battalion to rotate to Korea in support of the mission there.
“I think [the rotation] not only helps out the Korean people, but our Soldiers as well. We get to see a different culture, and we learn how other armies fight,” Capra said. “It’s an incredible opportunity to have a strategic mission as a tactical-level organization.”
According to 1st Sgt. Dennis Nalls, D Co., 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, the Soldiers have been working hard preparing themselves for the rotation and what to expect in the Republic of Korea.
“We work on specific things related to the deployment and to the culture so that when our Soldiers arrive they have a better understanding of the culture,” Nalls said. “This helps them to interact better and to also avoid perhaps causing an incident by unintentionally offending our hosts.”
But, readiness doesn’t start and end with the Soldier. The brigade has been working hard to stand-up its Home Station Mission Command and prepare families for the nine-month rotation.
“We have an incredible family and Soldier readiness group that is robust and extremely well run,” Capra said. “They do an excellent job of integrating new Soldiers and new families into the unit. I believe there is no better place than Fort Hood and the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team to be a part of for this deployment.”
The brigade will begin loading vehicles shortly for the long trip to South Korea and then take some well-deserved time with their families before their summer deployment.
"This is an incredible opportunity that we are excited about, we are ready, we are lethal, we are a resilient armored brigade combat team and we are going to represent the 1st Cavalry Division and the United States of America proudly," Capra said.
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