FORT IRWIN, CA — The ongoing war in Ukraine is showing us why our military is constantly training to defend the nation and its allies.
That’s why the 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood traveled to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California to test their skills on a massive scale.
The NTC creates a one-of-a-kind environment to test the U.S. Army’s strength and skill, according to Shade Munday, command sergeant major, 1st Cavalry Division.
”This is the best classroom in the world right here. We're in the desert of National Training Center. We have more enablers out here, we bring all the forces out here, to replicate modern combat," said Munday.
Thousands of soldiers from the 1st Cav are battling it out against a well-trained opposing force dedicated to pushing the troops to the limit.
”They through everything at them," said CSM Munday. "We’re doing live fires, we’re doing defense, they have the resources here that most installations don’t have. They're supported by civilians and other corporations to really bring realistic training.”
Not only are they getting the chance to show the Army what they are made of, but they’re also getting the chance to show the nation what they can do.
”It’s really important to show the general public what the 1st Cavalry Division does, why we come to a place like the National Training Center," said MAJ Marcellus Simmons, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs. "Essentially, we get everything we need here to defend the nation whenever we’re called upon.”
1st Cav is roving their massive capabilities in the vast California desert that is NTC.
”Out here at NTC, we’re able to maneuver, we have wide-open spaces that really allow us to get out there and maneuver versus Fort Hood or other installations,” said CSM Munday.
NTC doesn’t just push the equipment to the brink, it puts the soldiers in a realistic combat situation complete with sleep deprivation and constant relocation.
”I knew what it was going to be going into it but I would say, the junior soldiers probably didn’t understand that fully," said 1LT Elisabeth Quinn, 1st lieutenant 8th engineer battalion. "So now, I think this gave them a little taste of what they signed up for.”
1LT Quinn and the rest of the 1st Cavalry Division are proving they have what it takes to defend the nation.