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14 Navy | Summer 2017 OFFICER AFFAIRS Army Prepares Sailors for "Sand-Duty" S ince the events of 2001, over 6,500 active and Reserve Sailors have been tapped for non-traditional, non-naval expeditionary missions to locations all over the world. For those destined for Iraq, Djibouti, Afghanistan or Guantanamo, the Navy has come to rely on the combat training expertise of the U.S. Army to prepare Sailors for the rigors of land- based warfare. Many travel to Fort Dix and other locales. Others, like myself, end up at the Navy Individual Augmentee Combat Training Center (NIACT) at Camp McCrady, on Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC. Having recently been tapped for my second deploy- ment, I returned to NIACT for another round of training. I had heard that the course was recently refined and condensed. What I discovered was that even with a number of efficiency modifica- tions, to include reducing the number of training days, all of the requirements were completely covered with no reduction in quality. Within two days of arrival, we had headed to supply where, three sea bags later, we were issued a camelback, helmet, vest with plates, knee and elbow pads, three sets of eye protection, two packs, sleeping bag, mosquito net and the cold weather "marshmallow suit," just to name a few. Everyone received an M9 pistol and an M4 rifle for training, but less than a third, depending on their final destination, actually deployed with them. roughout the two-week course, the instructors ensured that barring any medical emergency, everyone passed each instruction module, including rifle and pistol qualifications, vehicle rollover training, land navigation, first aid, communication, and improvised explosive device detection, all culminating in a final day of convoy. anks to the dedication of the instruc- tors, everyone passed weapons qualification and the course, and we all took away a few notes to pass on to those following in the months ahead. Amongst them were to bring along a few comfort items. Should you find yourself tapped for NIACT, purchasing a good pair of tactical style gloves (black, green or coyote) that cover your fingers for shooting, bug spray, and a multitool or knife is an easy way to make training more enjoyable. While the summer days at NIACT may have been long, hot and miserable, the instructors got the job done, and we all came away with friendships that will last long aer our deployments have ended. Kimberly A. Brubeck is a Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and is AUSN's National Vice President for Officer Affairs. COURTESY KIMBERLY A. BRUBECK; HM3 DANIEL JONES After two weeks of intensive predeployment training at the Navy Individual Augmentee Combat Training (NIACT) course at the McCrady training center in Fort Jackson, SC, Sailors memorialize their time together, before departing to multiple assignments across the globe.

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