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Iron Brigade prepares for NIE 13.1

October 16, 2012

By Sgt. Vincent Byrd

FORT BLISS, Texas (Oct. 16, 2012) - Soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division are gearing up for the Army's upcoming Network Integration Evaluation 13.1.

NIE 13.1 will take place from mid-October through mid-November and will be conducted by more than 3,300 Soldiers of the 2nd BCT, 1st AD.

NIE is a semi-annual, Soldier-led evaluation with the purpose of validating and evaluating equipment and systems, while emphasizing mission readiness and training.

Special Troops Battalion, 2nd BCT, 1st AD conducted a vehicle 'rodeo' which allows leaders to perform the pre-combat checks and pre-combat inspections needed before deploying to the field.

"The purpose for the rodeo is for the mechanics to come and check out the vehicles to make sure that everything's working," said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Stacher, 2nd BCT information security non-commissioned officer in charge. "The next step is to top off the vehicle with fuel," he said.

Although preparation for the NIE involves almost everyone in the brigade, some sections have considerably more responsibility than others.

The Headquarters, Headquarters Company, STB, 2nd BCT, 1st AD, supply room, along with the vehicle rodeo, have the responsibility of logistics in preparation for NIE, with tasks such as issuing uniforms, Meals-Ready-to-Eat for every section, tables and chairs, and any other supplies that might be needed throughout the evaluation.

Logistics is a very important part of NIE; without basic supplies the mission will not be a success, said Spc. Rokhaya Eugene, supply clerk, HHC BDE, 2nd BCT, 1st AD.

"We have to pack our vehicle with the highly important items first because our containers arrive a few days later," said Eugene.

The STB, 2nd BCT, 1st AD is not the only unit conducting layouts for the upcoming NIE; 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment is also performing their PCCs and PCIs in order to ensure that all Soldiers are prepared for the five-week field problem.

Another important part of NIE is the network and communications capabilities.

The communications and automations section, or S-6, provides net connectivity to ensure successful tests and evaluation during NIE.

"Without network connectivity, the system will not work," said Sgt. 1st Class Sonton Lunnermon, brigade network automations noncommissioned officer in charge. "It's like having a cell phone without the towers," he said.

"Training personnel as a unit and conducting layouts is important before heading to NIE," said 1st Lt. Alan Sanchez, platoon leader, Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment.

Ultimately, this increase in the preparation of the battalions and the overall brigade will ensure that this and every subsequent NIE will be successful.

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