TWIN FALLS — Soldiers from the Idaho Army National Guard’s 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team of Twin Falls are preparing for deployment to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., for a large-scale 29-day training exercise May 24 to June 21.
“The National Training Center offers the most realistic training the Army has to offer,” 116th CBCT commander Col. Scott Sheridan said in a statement. “This exercise gives us the opportunity to execute our war-fighting 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.”
At nearly the size of Rhode Island, the NTC is one of the Army’s largest combat training centers which allows the brigade to train simultaneously against a simulated near-peer opposing force. The 116th CBCT is comprised of nearly 3,700 soldiers including 2,000 soldiers from 137 Idaho communities and 1,700 soldiers serving in battalions from Montana, Nevada and Oregon.
Army National Guard units from eight additional states and Puerto Rico, along with four U.S. Army Reserve units, will join forces with the 116th during the rotation to complete the brigade’s combat power. In addition, the Idaho Air National Guard’s 124th Fighter Wing will provide close air support using A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft during the 116th’s simulated combat operations.
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.