Poplar Bluff troops prepare for Afghanistan

NEVADA, MO (KFVS) - We hear about being "Army Strong" but what does that really mean?  KFVS spent the weekend with troops at Camp Clark in Nevada, Missouri to find out the answer.

The soldiers training with the Missouri National Guard at Camp Clark in Nevada, Missouri treat their training like the real thing.

"The training is based on the scenarios going on overseas," said Sgt. Michael Medlock.

"It's about the same, really. Other than not having actual enemy out here that we're looking for, but the training is really realistic," said Sgt. Michael Bradley.

The mission this morning is to set up a vehicle checkpoint, but it's not smooth sailing out to the site.

"We're going to conduct a near ambush on the convoy patrol," said Sgt. Jeffrey Sletten.

"Most of the stuff they're going to see. Stuff that's going to be hit and miss. They're going to pop at you and run, no direct fire," he said.

The convoy makes it through the ambush quickly to set up the checkpoint, and when our vehicle pulls up, I'm treated no different than anyone else.

They search the vehicle for IEDs and other explosives.  They look for IEDs because Humvees are common targets for explosives.

Before 2005, 17 percent of all soldiers killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan were the result of Humvee rollover. Now, thanks to training simulators , that number has been reduced to 2 percent.

And the Humvee training isn't the only thing that's changed.

"We have contact overseas, and we get daily information to upgrade our training based on what's happening over there," said Sgt. Lloyd Kelly.  "It's an every day event. There's changing methods for IEDs, and we continually upgrade our training here to meet those needs."

As their deployment day approaches, the soldiers realize the danger they will face, but approach it like anyone else approaches a job they love.

"We're all getting anxious. We're excited. We're getting close to the end of training here, and we're all getting excited and ready to go," said Medlock.

The soldiers serving in the 205th Military Police Battalion will have a send off ceremony in Poplar Bluff on March 11.

Check out this slideshow of the soldier training in action at Camp Clark.

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