HOHENFELS, Germany — The 1st Armored Division has stepped into the final phase of the division’s reintegration after returning from Iraq in July 2004.

The division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team is currently at Hohenfels, training in counterinsurgency and combat skills, according to Col. Ralph Baker, brigade commander.

The 1st AD’s Division Artillery and 1st Brigade Combat Team will go through similar training after 2nd Brigade’s is complete.

“We’ll spend the first two-thirds of the training focusing on counterinsurgency skills, and the remaining one-third on major combat skills,” Baker said.

During the combat portion, scenarios will relate to the types of things the division will likely see when it returns to Iraq later this year or early in 2006, Baker said.

Normally, this type of retraining exercise would focus only on the combat skills that soldiers haven’t used during months of reintegration and block leave, said Lt. Col. James Danna, brigade executive officer.

“This has been designed to take advantage of the expertise of the large numbers of senior staff still with the division,” Danna said.

“There are lots of things they learned during the deployment that they can use to train our new people.”

In preparation for the training at the Combat Maneuver Training Center, which started Feb. 26, leaders of 2nd Brigade began gathering intelligence about the role-playing enemy months before, Baker said.

“Twelve weeks ago we began getting intelligence from [the training center] and started [figuring out] who the enemy is and who the weapons dealers are,” Baker said.

During the training, members of 7th Army Training Command act as insurgents on whom the intelligence is based.

The exercise also gives the brigade another chance to train on special personal computer software and on the intelligence system that it put together while deployed to Iraq.

“This is a computer system with digital imagery that allows us to look at the fight on the ground,” Baker said. “We cobbled it together in Iraq, and now [at the training center] we have been able to train on it to its fullest extent.”

Baker said the 7th ATC staff helped design the type of training exercise the brigade, and ultimately the 1st AD needed.

“CMTC has taken the lead in the Army for having the foresight to understand the prominent role that human intelligence plays in the global war on terrorism,” Baker said, adding that much of the division’s intelligence while deployed came from local Iraqi informants.

“It has been very encouraging to see CMTC embrace the needs of the 1st Armored Division so rapidly and facilitate the training objectives that we have while we are here.”

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