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Area units train for Iraq war

CAMP SHELBY – Combat units training for deployment to Iraq facea number of challenging exercises they must overcome, and soldierswith the 155th Separate Armored Brigade are no different.

The 155th SAB is composed of many units from the local area,including infantry units from Brookhaven and McComb and a forwardsupport battalion based in Monticello.

Sgt. Matt Haney of Tylertown, a soldier with the Scout Platoon,1st Battalion, 198th Armor Regiment of the 155th SAB, was one ofseveral hundred soldiers throughout Mississippi learning how toconduct urban operations Wednesday at Camp Shelby.

The urban training regimen includes techniques on assaulting andclearing buildings, responding to an urban ambush of a patrol,quelling disturbances caused by protesters and a myriad of othertasks they could find themselves confronted with while deployed towar-torn Iraq.

“Each training area we go to, each day, is giving us differentscenarios and training missions that we could encounter,” Haneysaid. “I think the training here is excellent.”

Wednesday, the scout platoon was learning how to assault andclear a building of hostiles at an urban training facility built asa mock up of a small Iraqi village named Trebil. Two largetwo-story buildings loomed over a number of smaller one-storystructures.

Further hampering the soldiers’ efforts at clearing the villagewas a tunnel complex that ran beneath many of the structures and”rat holes,” small depressions in the floor that can hide one manto surprise assaulters, hidden within a few of a buildings.

The soldiers don’t use live ammunition, of course, but the useof blanks helps provide realism to the assault.

“This training will help prepare us for deployment overseas,”said Platoon Leader 1st Lt. Sean Davis of Huntsville, Ala. “Thereare a lot of urban areas there and this training gives us the basicskills we need for missions in an urban environment.”

Sgt. Chris Lawson of Wheeler agreed.

“It’s very good training,” he said. “The instructors areexcellent.”

The 155th SAB is scheduled to be deployed to Iraq around the endof the year, the soldiers said.