December 27, 2003

"The way you train is the way you will fight."

If you are wondering how (or if) our soldiers are being trained for deployment to Iraq, you will find this article, National Guard at War at Home to Prepare for Real Thing in Iraq, as fascinating as I did.

...One thing is certain: The newly minted soldiers are being given a vivid taste of what they will face in Iraq during their five months of training. The drill at Fort Drum, which is being replicated at bases across the country, required six weeks of preparation and battle scenes worthy of a Steven Spielberg film.

More than 100 Iraqis were flown in from Dearborn, Mich., to play the angry villagers of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's birthplace. The call to prayer blasted from a makeshift mosque, and there were even angry signs � as in Iraqi cities � hanging from the walls. To complete the simulation, real Red Cross workers and soldiers dressed as journalists milled about, getting in the soldiers' way at every opportunity.

If not for the snow, the fir trees and the fact that the temperature hovers around 15 degrees, the scene might almost have been mistaken for central Iraq...

- - - - - - - -

....On the drill's third day, things got tougher. There was still no water in Tikrit, and when Captain Heintz and some of his men drove back to the village, a full-scale riot broke out. The soldiers tried unsuccessfully to keep them at bay, and watched helplessly as one middle-aged woman, her face shrouded in a cotton kaffiyeh, got into two of the Humvees and made off with about $20,000 of military equipment.

Then came the suicide bomber, smiling deceptively in the simulation, and the loud bang....

via Cori Dauber.

Posted by John Weidner at December 27, 2003 10:03 PM
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