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Idaho Guard begins California training

The Idaho Army National Guard’s 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team (CBCT) has now mobilized to the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

The team is participating in its largest deployment since 2015 to participate in a large-scale exercise. The CBCT is comprised of more than 3,000 soldiers including 1,800 from 137 Idaho communities and 1,200 serving in battalions from Montana, Nevada, and Oregon Army National Guards.

“The National Training Center provides some of the most realistic training the Army has to offer,” said 116th CBCT commander Col. Scott Sheridan. “This gives us the opportunity to exercise our warfighting functions in a way we can’t anywhere else. 116th CBCT Soldiers have trained extensively over the past four years and are ready to demonstrate their tactical and technical proficiencies in an austere environment.”

Through simulated combat operations, the soldiers will have opportunity to train against a “near-peer” force provided by the U.S. Army’s 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. They will also live-fire major weapon platforms, including the M1A1/A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank, the M2A3/M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and the M58 Mine Clearing Line Charge.

The California training center, at roughly the size of Rhode Island, is one of the Army’s largest combat training centers.

Soldiers from eight addition states, Puerto Rico, and three U.S. Army Reserve units will also participate. In addition, the Idaho Air National Guard’s 124th Fighter Wing will provide close air support using A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft.

The 116th CBCT last attended the NTC in 2015. The training rotation is the brigade’s capstone training event in its four-year training cycle before the unit is available to complete a real-world mission in 2020.

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