Soldiers from Idaho, Montana and Oregon train in Hattiesburg

By Karrie Leggett – email | bio

HATTIESBURG,MS (WDAM) -  The 116th brigade has been mobilized for some historic events in the Iraq War. In 2004 they were mobilized in support of Iraqi Freedom.

Now, Staff Sergeant April Davis says they are training to go back to Iraq for Operation New Dawn.

"Our brigades mission going into operation news dawn into Iraq is to provide force protection, convoy security for the us forces and the coalition in Iraq," said Davis.

Training for New Dawn at Camp Shelby is life saving training the brigade can not get at their home stations. Staff Sergeant Chris McGuire says that life saving training begins with IED's  and how to detect them.

"Pretty much what we do here is a visual IED lane. We get the latest and greatest of what they are using in theatre and we can train on that, on the enemy tactics and counter that with our own tactics. We get all the best training from the guys who have just came back and that helps us prepare for what we need to do overseas," said McGuire.

Although these soldiers have received extensive training in dealing with explosive devices, they are also protected by an advanced truck called the mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle which functions as the name protects them from mines and road-side bombs. Specialists Cody Howerton says it is also a roll-over trainer.

"It suppose to be a mine-resistant vehicle. it is suppose to be safer than a hum-v. it is a good tactical vehicle for us overseas. it is kind of awkward but it is good training, so it is good to do it now instead of the real experience," said Howerton.

These soldiers won't have to endure the real experience until November when they are expected to deploy. The brigade is expected to be back in the U.S. by September 2011.

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