The IED Games
Soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, (Fort Hood, Texas) take part in complex war games during training before they deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan at the U.S. Army’s National Training Center at Fort Irwin in the Mojave Desert. Soldiers receive the most realistic training possible for defeating IEDs (improvised explosive devices), roadside bombs, vehicle bombs and even terrorists laden with suicide vests. Currently IEDs are the number one killer of US troops in Iraq. The center is attacking the IED threat using a balance of intelligence, training and technology. Because the enemy is so adaptable in using these devices, the techniques designed to counter the IED threat have to be adaptable. Fort Irwin is the Armys premier training center. Set in the Mojave desert, it covers over 1,000 square miles between Las Vegas and Death Valley, where summer temperatures reach well into triple digits. To help give a more realistic experience, Iraqi nationals play the part of terrorists, victims, police and military during the role playing for weeks at a time during training in ‘mock’ Iraqi cities such as Medina Wasl and Medina Jabal.
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