519th prepares for OEF deployment at the National Training Center
519TH MI BN Public Affairs Officer
The 519th Military Intelligence Task Force “Thunder” from Fort Bliss, Texas, is participating in a rotation in the National Training Center to prepare for an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation New Dawn.
The installation’s vast landscape, scorching heat, and real Afghan role players, all will help to improve the awareness and knowledge these Soldiers will use when the battalion deploys to Afghanistan in early 2013.
During the grueling seven days of Reception, Staging, Onward-movement and Integration, the unit prepared to head into what they call “The Box,” a highly realistic training environment.
The technical and intelligence teams went through Situational Training Exercises while the battalion’s headquarters supported the 1st Armor Division and partnered with U.S. and Afghan National Security Force security elements.
“Our relationship with 1/1 AD commanders are critical so we put our teams with the same battalions in training that they’ll support in Afghanistan,” said Lt. Col. Kevin A. McAninch, Commander of the 519th MITF.
In all, the NTC training environment – a world class facility and capability – will hone TF Thunder from the individual to the collective level.
“NTC was tough, realistic, and worth every effort we put into it. It is our Army’s premier training venue and we’re fortunate to test ourselves here in preparation for Operation Enduring Freedom,” said McAninch. “Every day we learn something about the employment of our task force while also building leaders ready for the rigors of combat. NTC was top-notch.”
The deployment to NTC was also historic.
“I’m told we’re the first MI Battalion in over five years to come through a NTC rotation,” added McAninch.