Col. Julio Acosta - Commander, 53rd IBCT
Command Sgt. Maj. Jasen Pask - CSM, 53rd IBCT
Year in Review - 2019
The 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) had an exceptional year supporting the State of Florida and our nation. The 53rd IBCT provided trained and equipped Soldiers and units to support civil authorities in disaster response while improving its posture to support the federal mission to mobilize and deploy for combat operations.
The year began and ended for the 53rd IBCT similar to years prior by closing out relief effort missions following Hurricane Michael in October 2018 and preparing for the relief effort for Hurricane Dorian in September 2019.
The brigade tested its combat capabilities during their annual training period with approximately 4,500 Soldiers in attendance, conducting a three-week Exportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC) exercise in Camp Shelby, Mississippi. The XCTC brigade-level field training exercise certified the unit’s proficiencies in coordination with meeting their readiness year objectives. The brigade honed its combat lethality by conducting 60 live-fire exercises at the platoon level and seven at the company level, firing all weapons systems from Soldier individual weapons, crew-served weapons, mounted machine gun gunnery and mortars, to 105mm and 155mm field artillery. Soldiers in the brigade took part in 75 company and 490 platoon-level situational training exercise lanes focused on mission essential tasks such as attack and defense, movement to contact, area and zone reconnaissance, security screen, emplacing obstacles, building individual and vehicle fighting positions, tactical resupply, vehicle recovery and mass casualty response. The conclusion of XCTC validated and improved the overall readiness posture of the organization.
The 2nd Battalion, 54th Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) in Pinellas Park deployed to the Dominican Republic in support of Operation Tradewinds to train with U.S. Southern Command elements and Regional Security System forces of the Eastern Caribbean on stability operations, advanced rifle marksmanship, and close quarters combat. Operation Tradewinds was the first execution of a Theater Security Cooperation event for the SFAB enterprise.
The 53rd IBCT distinguished itself as the premier National Guard IBCT capable of conducting full spectrum operations in joint and interagency environments and remains committed to serving Florida’s citizens, ready to meet the nation’s call.