• December 11, 2016

Battalion prepares for Afghanistan deployment

Training regimen creates real life scenarios

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2012 4:30 am

FORT HOOD — To prepare for a November deployment to Afghanistan, the 81st Civil Affairs Battalion is conducting a culmination training exercise, giving soldiers hands-on experience for their mission.

The 14-day training regimen, which is near its midpoint, includes a series of scenarios all related to a central problem the four-person civil affairs team has to identify. Then soldiers must work out a solution with the local Afghan government, played by a team of trained role players with scripts for each scenario, said Maj. Seth Middleton, battalion operations officer.

“It’s very realistic,” he said. “We are trying to help the government find solutions to their own problems so after we leave they are self-sufficient.”

The mission of the battalion in Afghanistan is to talk with people in communities and local officials to make sure needs are being met or have been identified, said Lt. Col. Joshua Potter, battalion commander. Afghanistan’s ability to function on its own is an important part of the U.S. and NATO exit at the end of 2014.

About 130 soldiers will deploy later this year to five of the six regional commands. For the first time ever, the civil affairs battalion will deploy with conventional forces, meaning teams will be assigned to other brigades and move throughout the country with them. In the past, the teams have been connected to special forces.

“(Teams) are designed and specially trained in the local language, customs and courtesies,” Potter said. Each team has spent time focusing on its designated region so they are familiar before they arrive, while also training in the typical warrior tasks required of every soldier.

“When they go and meet the locals, it should not feel like the very first time they’re meeting,” Potter said. “It’s rather like meeting a friend you haven’t seen in a long time and finding out what’s going in their life.”

The 81st Civil Affairs Battalion was activated at Fort Hood a year ago under the 85th Civil Affairs Brigade. For more on its predeployment training, including medic training to support Afghan livestock, read Wednesday’s Fort Hood Herald.

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

Day 1: On the ground in South Korea with Ironhorse soldiers
Posted: February 25, 2016

After 20 hours of travel, by plane and bus, I finally made it to Camp Casey, South Korea with the remainder of Fort Hood’s 1st Brigade Combat Team soldiers. For the next several days, I will be following the mission and daily lives of Ironhorse troopers as they begin a nine-month rotation in the land of the morning calm.

more »
Day 2 in South Korea: Snowflakes and readiness
Posted: February 25, 2016

Our second day in South Korea began early. But it was not as early as for some.

more »

Ft Hood Events

Military Videos