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Leader training prepares Soldiers culturally for deployment

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By SGT. JUSTIN SILVERS
3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs
The 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Soldiers continued to prepare for their upcoming deployment, attending a series of presentations from the Leader Development and Education for Sustained Peace Program, March 11, at Fort Knox.
Afghanistan-bound Soldiers attended lectures at Haszard Auditorium, while those slated for Kuwait were briefed at the Mission Command Training Center.
“The LDESP mission is to provide a cultural, regional and socio-political framework that sets the stage for leaders to understand, visualize, describe, and assess the operational variables in regions and countries of interest,” explained Dodge Billingsley, a fellow at the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies at Brigham Young University, who has worked for the LDESP since 2005.
“We provide this training for all deploying units, because we want all Soldiers to be as prepared as possible when they go downrange.”
While most of the Soldiers present had deployed before, this was the first LDESP for Pfc. Brooks Haynie, who joined 3rd ESC last April.
“They put out some good information about Kuwait and the countries surrounding it, and about their culture and Islam.”
Haynie thinks he was already pretty well informed.
“There is a lot of information out there, if you’re willing to go find it.
Billingsley agreed that Soldiers today are much more knowledgeable than in years past.
“Soldiers are smarter now going into combat zones than they’ve ever been. I knew a Soldier who got sent to Vietnam in 1968. He told me the only cultural training he got prior to arrival was how not to get (sexually transmitted diseases). Compared to then, it’s night and day.”