U.S. Army Conducts Military Occupation Drill in Small Town Wisconsin

DVIDS – by Staff Sgt. Amanda Smolinski

U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborn)

ASHWAUBENON, Wis.—As the Humvees rolled slowly through the city’s streets, children waved and others stopped to watch as soldiers dismounted their vehicles to meet with civil authorities and assess the local infrastructure.

For three days in August, 22 Civil Affairs soldiers of the 432nd Civil Affairs Battalions, Charlie and Delta Companies, traveled in their High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, or “Humvees,” 37 miles north of their headquarters here to the small town of Gillett.  

Once there, they began conducting a realistic training exercise. Other soldiers assigned to the headquarters element remained behind at the unit’s location to operate the tactical operations center.

Teams used the Oconto County Fairgrounds as their forward operating base to conduct assessments on some of the surrounding municipalities while also meeting with local key leaders.

Although the population of Gillett is only 1,303, the city offers services that one would find in larger cities.

The city has garbage and recycling pickup, police and fire departments, parks, schools, a dentist, doctor office, chiropractor, and optometrist offices and other small businesses and essential services.

“We chose the city of Gillett for the first time this year because of the size, demographics and municipalities offered within the city and surrounding area,” said Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Leon, Delta Company first sergeant and noncommissioned officer in charge of the Civil Military Operations Center. “It replicates what we may find in an overseas environment,” he added.

Civil Affairs soldiers are the commander’s link to civil authorities when operating overseas. These \soldiers have specialties in many areas of the government and can assist the host nation’s government to help meet the people’s needs and maintain a viable civil administration.

This training and interaction with local authorities, such as the Gillett Police chief, fire chief and mayor, allows the soldiers to conduct assessments and sharpen their skills by putting into practice what they know.

“Everyone has skill sets outside of the Army that bring value to the team,” said Spc. Nathaniel Buss, Delta Company Civil Affairs Operator. “I am in college as a criminal justice major, because of the knowledge I have gained from that education, and while overseas, I can use that to help people, like a police chief, gather available resources and increase their capabilities,” he said.

During the assessments, the soldiers gathered information and learned about the infrastructure of the area, the leader’s role in the municipality, and their personality from hobbies, interests and religion, to daily activities.

While the leaders they met with were chosen in advance, the items they discussed in their assessments were not scripted, which is how civil affairs teams would operate while deployed.

The 432nd has been conducting realistic training exercises in similar surrounding cities for the last eight years. There are plans to come back to Gillett for future exercises.

“I hope everyone got the same feeling I got to be able to see you train,” said Irene Drake, the mayor of Gillett. “I hope that some of the teen-tweens got to see you doing things. I feel it’s important for them to see you out and about, it could impact their future. It’s different then just talking to a recruiter,” she said.

“We hope that you can come back to Gillett and have a muffin at OJ’s or coffee at the Cracked Cup on the way up north,” said Drake. “It’s important for us to support our troops, and say thank you for serving our Country,” she added.

It has been more than 17 months since the unit returned home from their last deployment overseas to Afghanistan. With no plans for a future deployment, the soldiers are taking this time to focus on sharpening and refining their civil affairs skills.

“I was on the last deployment and now that I’m back, there are a lot of soldiers who are on this type of a field exercise for the first time, so it’s great to pass the knowledge I have along…plus it was great to refresh the assessment skills and meet with key leaders, “ said Buss.

Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/news/111804/small-town-provides-big-training-value#.UgoZVZLVCSp#ixzz2bqdwNkNt

4 thoughts on “U.S. Army Conducts Military Occupation Drill in Small Town Wisconsin

  1. They’re getting ready. You should too.

    “It replicates what we may find in an overseas environment” — as if we didn’t have a hundred bases in overseas environments. I’m surprised our troops even remember where America is.

    “I hope everyone got the same feeling I got to be able to see you train,” said Irene Drake, the mayor of Gillett.

    Sounds to me like Irene Drake dreams about being gang-banged.

    1. Hey JR, the town of Gillett is 10 minutes from my son’s house in the Green Bay area. It looks like they want small town America to get accustomed to troops in the streets. This s*#t’s gettin’ way to close to home.

  2. ““We hope that you can come back to Gillett and have a muffin at OJ’s or coffee at the Cracked Cup on the way up north,” said Drake. “It’s important for us to support our troops, and say thank you for serving our Country,” she added.”

    Oh go blow it out your ass, Drake. I can’t wait to see how they support you in their FEMA camps.

    ““I was on the last deployment and now that I’m back, there are a lot of soldiers who are on this type of a field exercise for the first time, so it’s great to pass the knowledge I have along…plus it was great to refresh the assessment skills and meet with key leaders, “ said Buss.”

    Great to refresh assessment skills and meet with key leaders? Hey Buss, haven’t you heard of this thing called a MILITARY BASE? It’s where you are supposed to train and assess your skills, NOT on the streets! Where the hell is your head at, you dumbass? Doing drills in public is basically telling the enemy what your tactics are. Doing it in secret on the base, makes you hide your tactics and make you look more superior and covert to the enemy. NOT the other way around! But of course, a dumbass like yourself wouldn’t understand that now, would you? Military Sheeple.

  3. Great to refresh assessment skills and meet with key leaders?
    TRANSLATION: We are identifying key leaders. With this intel we can track and monitor said leaders. We are also looking for hostile looks on the faces of local radicals for the same reasons.

    Gentlemen, I doubt I’ll see my next birthday before its open hostilities!

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