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CONTACT: Lt. Col. Paul Fanning (518) 786-4581
FOR RELEASE: Friday, Nov 30, 2007

GUARD TROOPS SLATED FOR DECEMBER TRAINING

Additional Training Essential for January Mobilization

More than 1400 members of the New York National Guard’s 27th Brigade Combat Team will be conducting an additional week of training at Fort Drum, NY in preparation for federal active duty in early 2008. The troops from across the state will move to the North Country post on Friday 30 November for an intense week of training that will end for most on Saturday 8 December. This will be the third Pre-Mobilization training period scheduled for 27th Brigade Soldiers since the unit was identified last spring for overseas deployment for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The 27th completed an initial three-week training period in June. Following the completion of a second three-week Annual Training period in October, National Guard leaders determined that additional training was essential for the success of the mission and the safety of deploying troops headed to the combat zone. “The 27th Brigade is being called up under the provisions of a new National Guard mobilization model designed to reduce the total time a Guard Soldier spends away from home on federal active duty. We are the very first Guard unit going through this program,” said Colonel Brian K. Balfe, commander of the 27th Brigade Combat Team. “Part of the arrangement to keeping our total active duty period to just one-year is the requirement for each Soldier to complete and be validated through a series of training requirements before Active Duty begins,” he said. “This additional week of training in December is necessary and is tied to the new way of doing business for future deployments as well as lessons learned from previous deployments and on-the-ground experience in theater.” The Department of the Army implemented the new program of reduced periods of post-mobilization training for mobilizing Guard units in early 2007. This program is being developed and executed for the first time with New York’s 27th BCT. The late-notice need for an additional week of training is mostly attributed to the development of a new program. The 27th BCT is deploying under a special task force configuration and not under its normal structure in New York. As a result, there have been many transfers of personnel over the spring, summer and fall into the 27th and alignments of teams from other commands in the New York National Guard. Many Soldiers that have been undergoing special training at military bases around the country since spring have missed the previous training periods at Fort Drum. Another factor in the need for an additional week of training stems from Army lessons learned in theater. This has lead to expanded training requirements for units deploying to Afghanistan and training scheduled for the 27th during post-mobilization activities at Fort Bragg, NC requires it to arrive with a higher completed-training profile. “Clearly, an additional week of training for Citizen Soldiers in December will impact families and employers at a most inconvenient time,” said Col. Balfe. “That said, I ask once more for their understanding and support because our focus is on the mission the nation has given us and our Soldier’s safety. We simply need to ensure that our units and our Soldiers have the training they absolutely need to be successful in combat.” The Department of Defense announced on 1 August the planned deployment of more than 1,700 members of the New York Army National Guard’s Syracuse-based Headquarters, 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and sub elements in 2008 for service in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. More than 230 troops have already called up in the fall for this mission. The 27th will take command in 2008 of Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix VII, with the continuing mission of training, mentoring and supporting the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police. The task force will include Soldiers from the New York City and Hudson Valley areas, the Capital District, the North Country and Central and Western New York. More than 6,000 members of the New York Army National Guard have been called to federal active duty for service mostly in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2003. Over the last year, the New York National Guard has responded to several weather emergencies in New York, including a blizzard in February in Central New York, a Nor ’Easter in the Hudson Valley in April and wash outs in the Catskills in June. In addition, New York National Guard troops continue to support New York’s civil authorities by helping to protect Grand Central and Penn Stations in Manhattan, Kennedy and LaGuardia Airports in Queens and the state’s four nuclear power sites.
© NYS DMNA Press Release:GUARD TROOPS SLATED FOR DECEMBER TRAINING
URL: http://dmna.ny.gov/pressroom/?id=1196430240
Page Last Modified: Nov 30, 2007