Troop surge hits Fort Bliss for training
Ashley M. Alameda, DoMaD PAO:
An abundance of service members have migrated to Fort Bliss from all over the country. Since Feb. 1, more than 1,500 Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen have arrived to El Paso to start their mobilization process and conduct pre-deployment training.
Approximately 15 units, mostly Army National Guard, have arrived to El Paso from the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arizona, South Dakota and Tennessee. Recently, the Air Force Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force, “Prime Beef,” mobilized a group of 173 Airmen and the US Navy Personnel Service Detachment shipped seven Sailors to our desert area.
The majority of these units are military police and engineers, who train in all areas of their branch at McGregor Range, N.M., before deploying to Afghanistan, Kuwait or Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Training for these units, provided by 5th Armored Brigade and 402nd Field Artillery Brigade, lasts about six weeks and consists of skills required for deployment, such as convoy operations, land navigation, weapons ranges, cultural awareness and first aid. The Directorate of Mobilization and Deployment handles the administrative, logistical and medical needs of the training unit to ensure its full readiness to complete its mission.
Last fiscal year, Fort Bliss hosted 13,789 service members for mobilization and has projected this year’s numbers to be close to the same. That figure does not include the units that return from deployment to process their demobilization, which doubles the numbers. Fort Bliss is one of four Joint Mobilization Sites in the country and served more than 20,000 military personnel in 2012.
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