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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Admiral Fallon Tours U.S. Army Central Facilities in Kuwait

17 May 2007
By Sgt. Thomas L. Day
Desert Voice Staff Writer

KUWAIT - Adm. William Fallon, in his first visit to U.S. compounds in Kuwait as the new commander for U.S. Central Command, toured the Camp Buehring Training Village Sunday and met with commanders who oversee training of most U.S. forces prior to entering Iraq.

Fallon was met at Camp Buehring by Lt. Gen. R. Steven Whitcomb, the Third Army/USARCENT commanding general – Fallon’s top Army officer. Whitcomb and his assistant commander, Maj. Gen. Dennis Hardy, escorted the 42-year Navy officer through a simulated urban combat course, first aid training with a deploying unit, and the humvee Egress Assistance Trainer (HEAT) before flying to Third Army/USARCENT headquarters at Camp Arifjan.

The CENTCOM commander was direct when speaking with Soldiers deploying to Iraq. “You are the last of the big plus ups,” he told the troops. Fallon told the Soldiers that he would be relying on their work to “stabilize” some of the hottest regions of Iraq.

Troops train at Camp Buehring for 10 to 15 days before crossing into Iraq. The training is geared toward building upon training already completed at their duty station. The urban combat training facilities, which also include a video-screen simulator where Soldiers are tested on targeting in a virtual environment, prepare troops for the “complexities” of the Iraq theater, Hardy explained.

Fallon also got to see a demonstration of new counter-improvised explosive device technology at the Camp Buehring Training Village. His tour of the village spanned about an hour before flying to Camp Arifjan. There, Third Army/USARCENT had a display of new up-armored vehicles, which Fallon toured before joining Hardy and his wife, Mary Fallon, for religious services with troops.

Photo: U.S. Central Command commander Adm. William J. Fallon (right) greets Pfc. Christopher Webber, heavy equipment operator, 96th Transportation Company, May 14, during a visit to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Houston F. White, Jr.)

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