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Even Hurricane Sandy can't stop mobilization training

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With tight training windows to complete all necessary mobilization validation requirements, First Army trainers cannot allow weather to affect mission accomplishment. Despite Hurricane Sandy knocking out power lines and causing trees to block roadways, the 174th Infantry Brigade, Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst, N.J., restarted mobilization training less than 36 hours after the storm.

The ability to train anywhere, anytime and the unit's flexibility allowed the Patriot Brigade's Trainer/Mentors to quickly rearrange their training prior the storm and then quickly pick back up. the professional trainer mentors have mobile training assets and lane kits that enable them to train to standard in most any conditions.

"We packed up our training aids, course books, and relocated," said Sgt. Juan Villacis, Combat Lifesaver trainer/menor. "It's not the building or having power; it is the practical exercises that really train these men and women for what's in store, and we can do that anywhere, anytime."

Generators kicked in, powering many significant locations on post throughout the majority of Monday and Tuesday. The brigade headquarters served as a contingency training area for mobilization briefings and classes that must be completed to meet scheduled unit departures.

Traditional power was restored in many locations as soon as Tuesday afternoon while some housing areas and harder hit vicinities went without power as long as Friday morning. Still a few roadways remain black due to debris clean-up efforts and a handful of buildings remain without power.

Article by Capt. Antonia T. Greene-Edwards, 174th Infantry Brigade