Operation Fall Classic Underway at Camp Blanding
2500 troops from the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team are at Camp Blanding preparing for war. It's the first time an entire brigade from Florida will be deployed for combat since World War II and it's the largest single deployment of Florida National Guard units.
"This is about the biggest I've ever seen the army do so far," said Staff Sgt. John Martel of the 142nd Fires Brigade. "They're doing urban combat training, and individual movement training and react to fire and all you're basic warrior skills. So they really pulled out all the stops in giving them the best training possible."
Operation Fall Classic started at the beginning of October. On Thursday, soldiers went through weapons training as well as patrol drills involving scenarios they may face in combat.
For some soldiers it will be their first time fighting overseas, but for others it will be a return trip. Soldiers said the combination has helped tremendously during their time at Camp Blanding.
"A little nervous, but I'm also excited," said Spc. Charles Fiers. "I got a good squad, good team, and it's a great company."
The soldiers will continue training at Camp Blanding until the end of the month. They'll then continue training at Fort Hood in Texas before their deployment to Kuwait and Iraq in January.
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