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143rd Area Support Group

The New York National Guard headquarters in Latham assembled a Joint Staff Task Force (JSTF) to support the operation for 1999 at Griffiss and Fort Drum, and deployed in 2000 to Fort Polk. In addition to the JSTF, many other units of the New York Army National Guard participated in the exercise. Providing the BTF higher headquarters was the Division Headquarters of the 42nd Infantry in Troy while the Division's 1st Battalion 69th Infantry (Mechanized) from New York City provided the enemy, or opposing force (OPFOR). The entire task force when seen in its entirety changed the perspective of many Brigade soldiers. Infantry, tanks, artillery, aviation, and all sorts of support soldiers were on the same team.

Empire Peak began in early August 1999 as support elements from Connecticut's 143d Area Support Group worked with civilian contractors to establish the brigade's staging base at the former Griffiss Air Force Base, near Rome. By August 12th, the main body of 27th Brigade soldiers and equipment began arriving by bus, military convoys and aircraft. Once established in the intermediate staging base, the brigade immediately began to draw equipment, ammunition, and conduct rehearsals for the combat operations some 70 miles to the north.



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