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    Congressional staff delegation visits NTC

    Congressional Staff tour Supply Support Activity

    Photo By Jason Miller | Thirteen Congressional Staff Delegates visited the National Training Center Jan....... read more read more



    Story by Jason Miller 

    Fort Irwin Public Affairs Office

    Thirteen Congressional Staff Delegates visited the National Training Center Jan. 25-26 to better understand brigade level readiness training and to observe the realistic operational environment that simulates the conditions today's U.S. Soldiers face in combat.

    The day began with an overview of the NTC and what goes into preparing brigades to combat a wide array of threats.

    "We try and add as much realism as we can to prepare brigades for any contingency they may have to face," said Brig. Gen. Jeff Broadwater, NTC commanding general. "We blend all the threat variables, whether they're facing a large near-peer threat in a country that has the same capabilities, or a smaller counter-insurgent force."

    After the briefing the group travelled by helicopter to the village of Guba, where they were split into two groups and put through a situational training exercise. Once they were issued M4 rifles and proper protective equipment, they patrolled through the town and eventually came under attack by a guerilla insurgent force.

    When the smoke cleared, the staff members travelled to the Fort Irwin cantonment and were given a tour of the 916th Support Brigade, Supply Support Activity (SSA), which supports not only the rotational training units with parts and supplies, but tenant units as well.
    Visiting the brigade's warehouse highlighted the local impact of the federal government's continuing resolution (CR).

    "We are waiting on two nuts that connect the main battle tube to the breach of a M1 Abrams tank, and by the time that we get them in August 2018, these tanks will have been down for a year," said Col. Sidney Melton, 916th Support Brigade commander. "This highlights the difference between the CR and a budget."

    According to Melton, sufficient and predictable funding is needed for the industrial base to start making specific parts that are not frequently used.

    "The continuing resolution stocks the shelves, but without a budget it's not getting after these long-lead parts, which impacts our readiness," Broadwater added.

    The delegation appreciated the opportunity to see readiness training first-hand and learn about the requirements necessary to prepare the Army for any future fight.

    "These trips are critical. These are real stories, with real people on the end, not just a piece of paper," said Colby Kuhns, legislative assistant to Congressman Paul Cook. "We want to make sure that [Soldiers] have the right equipment. We just need to make sure we fund it at the right levels."

    The delegation's visit ended after a trip to the "Dragon" bunker for a capabilities briefing and an opportunity to observe the 1st Stryker Brigade, 4th Infantry Division during a live fire exercise, which included M1 Abrams tanks and artillery fire.



    Date Taken: 02.09.2018
    Date Posted: 02.09.2018 11:18
    Story ID: 265381
    Location: FORT IRWIN, CA, US 

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