July 9, 1998

29th Infantry Division Conducts Huge Exercise at Fort Pickett

FORT BELVOIR -- One of the largest National Guard training exercises ever held in Virginia takes place in July at Fort Pickett. Operation CHINDIT will demonstrate the capabilities of a National Guard division, Army and Air Force Reserve units from several east coast states, plus members of the armed forces of Great Britain and Estonia.

The 29th Infantry Division (Light), which is made up of many units located throughout Virginia and four other states, will comprise Operation CHINDITs largest troop component.

The exercise simulates a Caribbean Island scenario requiring a U.S. invasion. Units within the Division will mobilize and deploy from home stations to several Initial Staging Bases (ISBs). On order, the Division will deploy "into country."

Once "in country," each maneuver unit will move through a 72-hour "Box" designed to offer combat situations that are challenging and meaningful. The division's 1st Brigade (VA) will enter the box on Jul. 15. The 3rd Brigade (MD) will enter the box on Jul. 17. Upon completion of combat operations, each unit will re-deploy to facilitate sustainment training at one of several Annual Training sites at Forts Pickett and A.P. Hill.

Operation CHINDIT will demonstrate the Division's war fighting capabilities. Combat arms units will orient individual and collective training at the squad and platoon levels. Battle staffs at each level will incorporate the Battlefield Operating Systems into plans and operations.

The end state of Annual Training 1998 will be that each of the maneuver brigades receives opportunities to enhance their ability to function effectively at the rifle squad and platoon level.

A Media Center will be in operation in Building 2406 at Fort Pickett on Jul. 13 and media may attend the training from Jul. 15-18. However, media representatives are invited to observe the training at any time throughout the division's annual training period of Jul. 13-26.

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Editorís Note: Directions to Fort Pickett:

From Petersburg take I-85 south to U.S. 460, go west approximately 30 miles to the Fort Pickett exit (U.S. BUS 460). Follow Military Road through the post. Take a RIGHT on West Parade and Bldg 2406 is on W. Parade about a 1/4 mile past the PX. Check out the Divisionís Website at http://29thinfantrydivision.com