CAMP SHELBY, Miss. — The North Carolina Army National Guard’s 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT) has started to arrive at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center (CSJFTC).
The 30th HBCT, headquartered in Clinton, N.C., “is one of seven Army National Guard Fires Brigades that has been tapped for rotations in support of the Global War on Terrorism,” stated a military news release.
The unit will make the ninth brigade size element to train at CSJFTC since it became a mobilization site in 2004.
Approximately 4,000 men and women of the North Carolina Army National Guard make up the brigade and are comprised of different units throughout the state of N.C. and W.Va.
The brigade, also known as “Old Hickory,” is part of more than 20,000 Army National Guardsmen that are preparing for deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2009.
This is not the 30th HBCT’s first deployment. The brigade returned from a year in Iraq in 2005.
During their last deployment, they trained Iraqi troops, conducted security missions, and even built several schools for local Iraqi communities.
Before they received word that they might be called up once more, the brigade made arrangements to conduct their Annual Training at CSJFTC in the summer of 2008, in order to conduct some of the pre-mobilization training that is required for a unit before mobilization.
Now that they are here, they must complete specialized mobilization training and be validated before the start of their “boots-on-ground” time in country.
But before their training begins, they must complete a series of administrative steps known as Soldier Readiness Processing (SRP), which provides medical clearance for deployment, financial paperwork and legal counseling. Once that is complete, they must receive their Rapid Fielding Initiative (RFI) Issue which consists of everything from boots, gloves, and sunglasses to improved helmets and protective gear.
After receiving their RFI gear, then the brigade will head out to conduct lane exercises, counter Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) training, crew-served weapon familiarization and qualification, individual weapon qualification and language classes.
During their mobilization training cycle, they will utilize the sprawling 360,000 acre training area for their mobilization training, along side many other units from around the country.