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First Army providing deployment training
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CAMP SHELBY, Miss. — Several hundred soldiers of the 188th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East, from Fort Stewart and Fort Gillem are currently providing theater-focused training here for the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, from the Tennessee National Guard, as it prepares to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.   
The 188th in coordination with its partners, the 177th Armor Brigade, First Army Division East, the 4/75th Training Division and the Camp Shelby Installation, have built a training platform for the 278th ACR and its 3,000 citizen soldiers.
“Our objective is to provide a theater focused culminating training event for Col. Jeffrey H. Holmes, commander of the 278th ACR, and his soldiers in the conditions and scenarios his formation will likely encounter in Iraq,” said Col. Robert A. Warburg, commander of the 188th. “We measure our success in the operational relevance of our training platform, which is confirmed through continuous feedback from the 278th ACR once deployed to Iraq.”  
The training will include three mission readiness exercises for the 278th ACR’s regimental headquarters and its five squadrons. These exercises will replicate the scenarios the 278th ACR will encounter in Iraq.
“The relationship between our two units has grown stronger as we have progressed from the pre-deployment phase through our post mobilization,” said Col. Franklin McCauley, 278th ACR deputy commanding officer. “The post mobilization training provided by the 188th Infantry Brigade has allowed us to validate our individual and collective soldier skills as well as our regimental tactical operations center and battle drills.”
This is not the 278th ACR’s first deployment. In 2004, they deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. About 60 percent of the soldiers have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan already.
The 188th IB, along with the other training support brigades in First Army Division East, provides and facilitates theater-focused training for deploying National Guard and Reserve formations. Based out of Fort Stewart, the 188th has been training deploying National Guard and Reserve units for Iraq deployments continuously since 2003.      

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