Even though it's been about two weeks since the final wave of Sledgehammer soldiers deployed overseas, the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team has yet to march into Iraq and onto the rustic Forward Operating Bases that it will call home for the next year.
That's because the approximately 3,600-person brigade from Fort Benning has a bit more training to do while at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.
In Kuwait, the brigade has been conducting a series of training events while also getting acclimated to the dry heat and time zone change of the Middle East.
"The training schedule allowed little flexibility for soldiers to have trouble acclimating," said Staff Sgt. Natalie Hedrick with 3rd HBCT, 3rd ID public affairs. "Troops hit the ground running, training, in some cases, from morning to night on various events. Medical simulation, vehicle roll-over simulation and counter improvised explosive device awareness were a few amongst the extensive list of classes available to brigade soldiers and leaders alike."
Camp Buehring is the final time the 3rd HBCT as a whole will train before moving north into Iraq. Soldiers spent 30 days training at Fort Benning during Hammer Focus and then another 30 days at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Ca. In Kuwait, the focus has been on individual and platoon level training whereas events during Hammer Focus and at the NTC concentrated on the brigade as a whole. The 3rd HBCT soldiers will spend the next approximately 365 days advising and assisting the Iraqi security forces so they will be able to secure Iraq with minimal outside help, Hedrick said.