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CG: Fort Stewart changing to meet new challenges
3rd Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo and Division CSM Jesse Andrews talk during an interview with Coastal Courier staffers Monday. - photo by Photo by Pat Watkins

Interview on video

To watch a video of the first part of the interview with MG Tony Cucolo and CSM Jesse Andrews click here.

To watch the second part of the interview with the commander and his top enlisted man click here.

Fort Stewart’s commander sees the United States facing an era of continual conflicts caused by failed states and quarrels over resources. Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo said the Third Infantry Division will grow and change to meet those challenges.
“There is going to be a need for foot soldiers — in numbers — for the next decade,” Cucolo said during a public relations stop Monday at the Coastal Courier.
Division CSM Jesse Andrews, who accompanied Cucolo, pointed out that the 3rd ID, with its Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles, had been an obvious choice for three previous deployments to Iraq. “With our heavy equipment, we were not tasked for Afghanistan,” he said. Conditions and mountain terrain limit the usefulness of armor in Afghanistan.   
However the division soon will gain a fifth brigade, which will be an infantry unit, and the fourth brigade is scheduled to convert to an infantry unit when it returns from Iraq around the end of the year.
Some Marne Division units are scheduled to start heading for Iraq in October, “but that may change,” Cucolo said. Looking beyond Iraq, Cucolo hinted at involvement in Afghanistan, pointing out that the new, lighter 3rd ID would be more effective in Afghanistan.
Cucolo said Fort Stewart would continue to be used as a training center for National Guard units, and the scale would increase as the Army centralizes training in a small number of posts.
First Army chose Fort Stewart for the mission readiness exercise for a brigade of the Indiana National Guard earlier this year, and a brigade of the Texas Guard is wrapping up its training at Fort Stewart now.
Several thousand soldiers of the Oregon National Guard’s 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team will come to Fort Stewart early next summer to prepare for a deployment involving security missions in Iraq.
Cucolo said, “Fort Stewart is a great place to train. Up in the northeast part of the fort is a magnificent area to practice convoy live fire and other security operations.”
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