Greywolf reflects on training in Middle East

1st Cavalry Divison soldiers train in the Middle East during their nine month deployment.
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Fort Hood Soldiers with the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team may be heading home, but they gained international combat experiences in the Middle East.

Greywolf took part in 12 exercises and training events with soldiers from places like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, United Arab Emirates and Egypt.  It was part of Operation Spartan Shield. It was especially a milestone for Greywolf troops as they trained in Egypt for Bright Star for the first time in eight years.

"We're both a viable ally and a visible deterrent," Lieutenant Colonel Brian McCarthy, Commander of 3-8 Cav, said.

It was the first deployment for about two-thirds of the soldiers, and for many, the first time out of the country. 

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"So it's all new to them, they have no preconceived notions to come in here," he said.

McCarthy said the theater security cooperation training keeps the peace in the region and strengthens relationships.  He said military leaders would seek out Greywolf leaders for guidance and help about combat strategies while training.

McCarthy said the U.S. military will never fight alone.

"Learning how each other works, learning to use the same signals, the same tactics, techniques and procedures just helps us when we have to go forward into harm's way and fight alongside each other," he said.

Soldiers like Staff Sergeant Mensah Dzediku got to see how medics do their job in the United Arab Emirates during Iron Union.

"They have a doctor and a nurse.  So there's only three of them that were operating while we had seven individuals," he said. "They don't have the middle personnel to go and get the casualties from the point of injury."

Sergeant First Class Michael DeJesus said it was refreshing to see another country's Army, "their unit composition and disposition mirrors ours."

McCarthy said it is also important for the soldiers to learn about the logistics of moving equipment and people between international borders.