Mississippi Soldiers Begin Training At Camp Shelby - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/26/04

Mississippi Soldiers Begin Training At Camp Shelby

The Company "C" Battalion of the 155th Infantry begins training Thursday morning at Camp Shelby. Many of the soldiers say they were overwhelmed by the show of support they saw as they left Hiller Park yesterday headed for Camp Shelby.

The troops say they signed up to do a job, and no matter how dangerous the task, they plan to follow through. Roll call began at around 1600 hours Wednesday. And even though these troops had arrived at Camp Shelby only moments before, they were focused on the task ahead.

"I just want to get some good training and be able to get what I need to protect my life and the soldiers around me, so that we can go and relieve the guys that are on duty so we can all come back home safe," said specialist Christopher Johnson of Hattiesburg.

And that's the ultimate goal of these few hundred Mississippi soldiers. They are here to train for whatever mission is needed overseas.

"We can expect to do convoy training, we will do mount which is urban terrain training, cultural awareness of the Middle East region. We still don't know where we're going to go. We will have leaders training which will be conducting operations, giving operation orders. We'll have first aid, common soldiers skills, driver's training, you name it. This is almost like a basic training to get us prepared for that theater," said Captain Drew Robertson.

And according to these soldiers, preparation is the key to success, and there is no room for uncertainty.

"You hear a lot of things in the media and you just have to know what your job is and know what your duties are and just carry on," said Sgt. DeWayne Jones of Magee.

"I tell you, I'm humbled every time I look at these soldiers. I'm blown away. Motivated, moving with a purpose under difficult circumstances. Some of these soldiers have very little time to prepare and they have arose to the occasion. They understand what the mission is and we're gonna go and do our mission and come on home," said Captain Robertson.

The soldiers attended a few meetings Wednesday evening as sort of an orientation period. 

By: Karla Redditte

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