FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Roughly 4,000 Fort Wainwright soldiers will be traveling to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin in California for training this month. From the frigid temperatures of Fairbanks, Alaska to the desert of Southern California, thousands of Fort Wainwright soldiers will be putting their skills to the test, training in combat like situations.
Col. Matthew Brown is the Commander for the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team for the 25th Infantry Division. For his soldiers, this training is the most realistic replicated combat training that soldiers get in the U.S. Army.
This will be the second year Sergeant 1st Class Ralph Boyd has participated in NTC and after six deployments, he agreed on the realness of the training.
"It's a good experience because it gets you as close to the real thing as you can. I've deployed six times in the past, so it kind of gets you some association to what kind of environments and issues you're going to run into,” Boyd said.
All three infantry battalions, as well as, the field artillery battalion, the engineering battalion and the sustainment battalion from Fort Wainwright will be training at NTC during this time, but they won't be alone.
“We will swell to a force of just over 6,000 soldiers, airmen and Marines from both the United States and Japan. Our brigade's ability to fit as part of a larger joint and multinational force is a huge part of why we're going to Southern California to conduct this operation," Brown added.
Soldiers will begin travel to NTC the week of January 7 and will conduct training until March.