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Long Knives restore, refit for Iraq

Nov 16, 2009

By Sgt. 1st Class Damian Steptore, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas - The 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division "Long Knives" received word of a future deployment to Iraq less than a month ago, but the brigade has been focused on preparing for such news since returning from Iraq in the summer of 2010.

Col. Brian Winski, brigade commander, recently took command of the Long Knife unit Aug. 6., but has quickly become familiar with its Soldiers.

"The ranks of the Long Knife brigade are filled with tough, discipline and seasoned veterans who will perform exceptionally well on this mission," said Winski during a recent interview. "We have a comprehensive training plan on the way now that will ensure our Soldiers are fully prepared for tasks that awaits them in Iraq."

The training plan Winski spoke of involves both individual and collective training at Fort Hood, and next May at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La.

But before Soldiers are able to train, the unit must receive new equipment, and return old equipment that is either obsolete or no longer serviceable during a process the Army refers to as 'Reset.'

"They are receiving the latest and greatest," said Rufus Pruitt, a Regional Manager of the United State Army Material Agency (USAMA). "Items they didn't have before from the last time were fielded, along with modernized items."

One item, according to Pruitt, is the Vertex digital medical ex-ray system, which replaced the Orex system. The new version of the system allows medical personnel in Iraq to obtain a more precise picture of injuries and ailments.

"These supplies will be used for training and for deployment," he said. "And the support here from the 4th Brigade has been excellent."

The upcoming deployment will be much enhanced by the latest equipment upgrades, according to Staff Sgt. Mark Fare, from Stanton, Mich. "It's a lot better quality than what we had before," he said. "They (Soldiers) can actually save it (ex-ray) to a CD, or e-mail it back to the states now."

The (Re-set) process not only provides the Long Knife brigade with the latest equipment upgrades, but also saves the Army time but cutting out the middle man.

"They make it a lot easier on us, because before we used to have to order this stuff through the hospitals, so this saves us a lot of time, added Fare."

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