Hooked - (Stacia Naquin)
Updated: 10/11/2013 - I'm SO CLOSE to being able to do a pull-up. So my trainer introduced something new into my training.
They can announce their presence in an instant:
"It's a rush," said SSG Matthew Villalpando.
Operating the Paladin Howitzer is also all business.
"It's a lot of work, but that's why we're kings of battle," said Villalpando.
Even kings need practice, which is what these 3rd BCT soldiers are doing it in the relative comforts of home.
"You want to be as good as you can before you deploy so you have to be in that mindset," said 1LT Ryan Chlebek.
That means everything is drilled to precision while the battle is still thousands of miles away:
The action of loading a 94 pound shell while taking firing data by computer from commanders and pulling the trigger.
"You get drills down so there's nothing questionable when you get out there and they call down for fire missions, everyone knows what to do," said SGT Leonard Servin.
The shots these soldiers are taking are not the real thing.
Training will last a few more days, but their mission will last more than a year in the unpredictable theater of battle and getting it right here makes all the difference when these soldiers have to act overseas.
"I feel confident that we're ready to do what we have to do," Villalpando said.
3rd BCT soldiers will be heading back to Iraq before the end of the year.
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