The 39th, Making FOBs Secure

CAMP SHELBY, MISSISSIPPI (KAIT) - In a war zone, security is a primary function of every soldier.

One of the main functions the 39th will serve overseas is serving as base security for forward operating bases.

which includes a lot of base defense, pulling security around a forward operating base in Iraq.

inside camp Shelby is camp Slayer a cement walled replica of a forward operating base or FOB. There are many of these scattered throughout Iraq.

As you enter the camp your first stop will be a painstakingly detailed vehicle and passenger search that can take over an hour. This is one of the security duties the 39th is training for.

The towers dot the walls or access the walls of the compound. The personnel in these towers may be the first contact between military and civilian personnel. Take for example this Iraqi woman, portrayed by role player Brenda Flanders. She needs a doctor for her sick child.

As compelling as this drama seems the soldiers need to heed the advice of veteran soldier, Specialist Kendall Wood.

"Maintain 360, keep your head on a swivel and basically monitor everything, no detail is to little to ignore."

Good advice since this lady with a baby may not be all she appears to be.

Brenda Flanders, Role Player, "My purpose, my goal is to help prepare these guys for what they are going to face when they get over there and they have to deal with civilians that have different issues and problems and how they are going to react."

Seems easy enough, but again heed more advice from SSgt. Rodney Ford.  "What if this happens, what if that happens, you've got to take what you've already experienced and put it back of your mind and open your mind for new ideas as well."

So even though she plays a woman with a sick baby Flanders had an ulterior motive.

Flanders, "Yes, my intention was to kill at least ten. We want to go in numbers so we try to kill at least 10 of the army guys."

Base personnel responded to the request for aid but something wasn't quite right. As per their training and real world requirements, the woman was searched and a weapon found. Flanders says this doesn't happen very often.

Flanders, "I usually get a chance to kill 10, 12 (simulated) of them but this time I couldn't do that. They were on their mission and they did a wonderful job."

Being responsive to situations and also being culturally responsible, for example knowing that in that part of the world only a woman could search another woman. It's all part of the ongoing training that the 39th is taking.

Training that will soon keep themselves and other soldiers depending on them, safe.