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Posted: May 12, 2017 1:19 p.m.
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Division staff defends base, prepares for deployment


Spc. Adivas Booker, gunner, and Pfc. Nicholas Fitch, assistant gunner, both mortarman with 3-15 Inf., 2IBCT, 3rd ID, kneel after firing an 81 mm mortar during the 3rd ID Headquarters Battalion’s base defense live-fire exercise April 27 at Fort Stewart. The mortar platoon provided fire support to division staff who were preparing for an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan which is slated for this summer.

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 3rd Infantry Division Headquarters staff conducted a base defense live-fire exercise April 24 – 28 at Fort Stewart, in preparation for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Rapid fire from a 50-caliber Browning machine gun signaled the troops to leave the forward command post and fire at targets with M4 carbines and other crew-serve automatic weapon systems.

Simultaneously, 3rd ID Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion Soldiers called for mortar fire from 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd ID, and air support from 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd ID.

As Soldiers assigned to a division headquarters element, much time goes into managing those who fight in 3rd ID, said Lt. Col. Alex Lovasz, DHHB commander. Oftentimes in a deployed environment they work within multiple layers of security, but that does not forego their requirement to maintain the ability to accurately engage and destroy the enemy.

“Yes, we will have outer security provided to us, but you’re never better defended than by yourself,” Lovasz said.

Following the live-fire, a medical evacuation team sprung into action to render care to a notionally-injured Soldier. After identifying and treating his injuries, the team of four carried the Soldier on a litter to a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter.

“A lot of the Soldiers out here have not done anything like that before,” said Capt. Andrew Caley, company commander with DHHB.

Additionally, establishing the forward command post allowed the division’s communications staff to test their systems and processes prior to deploying with the equipment.

“It’s really good practice for our signal Soldiers here on Stewart to be able to establish a network and plug in our [Command Posts of the Future] and information systems,” Caley said.

Approximately 200 3rd ID Soldiers are slated to deploy this summer to replace 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters as U.S. Forces-Afghanistan's National Support Element.

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