Task Force Eagle prepares for key exercise
by Maj. A. A. Puryear
Soldiers from Virginias 29th Infantry Division are in final preparation to return to Europe for the third time in eighty-three years to help ensure peace in a troubled region.
The Fort Belvoir-based light infantry division will be in command of Task Force Eagle for rotation SFOR 10. Task Force Eagle is the stabilization force in place in Bosnia to help enforce the Dayton Peace Accords.
Task Force Eagle will deploy to Fort Polk, La., to conduct a Mission Rehearsal Exercise from June 2 to 20. This exercise is designed to simulate the conditions the soldiers will face when they are actually deployed to Bosnia.
While the 29th is not the first National Guard division to command Task Force Eagle, this rotation will have the largest percentage of National Guard Forces. According to Maj. Eric Barr, deputy operations officer for Task Force Eagle, approximately two-thirds of SFOR-10 will be from the reserve components. That is a flip from SFOR-8, which was commanded by the 49th Armored Division from Texas.
Barr said that Task Force Eagle will be pulling soldiers from 16 different states, as well as four reserve component commands and the active force as well.
The MRE will give the soldiers a chance to practice such diverse missions as reconnaissance and security patrols, inspection of weapons facilities, reaction to civilian riots, clearing of minefields, surrender of a known criminal, and securing an abandoned weapons facility, Barr said.