River Falls troops arrive at Fort BlissWisconsin National Guard troops assigned to the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team arrived in Fort Bliss, Texas during the past weekend.
Wisconsin National Guard troops assigned to the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team arrived in Fort Bliss, Texas during the past weekend. The brigade of more than 3,200 Wisconsin soldiers include River Falls-based Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry.
A news release from Lt. Colonel Tim Donovan said the soldiers left their home state as heavy snow fell and freezing temperatures prevailed. When they landed in Fort Bliss, local temperatures hovered around 70 against the dry, brown, desert landscape of El Paso, Texas.
The troops’ two-month training visit in Texas will help them acclimate to the kind of weather they’ll experience in the deserts of Iraq where they’ll carry out a 10-month mission. While in the Middle East, soldiers will likely see temperatures exceed 115 degrees.
Donovan said the troops’ first few days on base include final processing like medical screening, immunizations, record checks, financial- and legal-document review and other administrative details.
Red Arrow soldiers of the 32nd brigade also received clothing, equipment, body armor and the weapons they will carry with them at all times during the next year.
Local soldiers actually live at Camp McGregor, which is part of Fort Bliss about 15 miles northeast of El Paso, in New Mexico. In the coming two months, their training will focus sharply on their specific mission in Iraq.
Army Colonel Frank Sherman told the arriving troops during a welcome speech that their brigade brought the highest percentage of combat veterans “we’ve ever seen here.”