Fort Drum Soldiers Test How Quickly They Can Deploy

Fort Drum Soldiers Test How Quickly They Can Deploy

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Soldiers at Fort Drum deploy routinely with plenty of advance notice and time to plan.

This week, they're changing it up, as the installation does an emergency deployment readiness exercise - training to deploy at a moment's notice.

"The unique thing about this is it's rapid. We got a phone call a couple of days ago - this is what we're doing. We need to treat this like it's real life to basically test our systems and basically test ourselves," said Major Jim Hubbard, 2nd Brigade Combat Team logistics officer.

So that means packing bags, medical screenings, inspecting vehicles and getting all the equipment ready to be loaded up on a train to eventually be put on a boat in Philadelphia.

The exercise is tied to a rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, Louisiana. That's where soldiers are headed.

"We are taking this opportunity to see how fast we can get out the door, how rapidly we can get down there to conduct our training which will mimic how quickly we could get out the door for named operations," said Hubbard.

The exercise tests the division's ability to be ready now - a concept the 10th Mountain Division emphasizes. And being ready now means learning from the training.

"Make sure we annotate and understand any sort of limiting factors or systems or processes that we should continue to train and continue to improve so we can be ready now,"  said Lt. Col. Keith Benedict, Battalion Commander for 2nd Battalion 14th Infantry.

It's another example of an exercise that will make Fort Drum ready today and relevant tomorrow.

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