3rd Brigade ships out to California for training - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

3rd Brigade ships out to California for training

Fort Benning 3rd Brigade troops shipped out and headed for an intense training camp in the deserts of California.

Twenty-year-old Specialist Brendan Wiandt is anxious while packing his bags. This will be his first trip to the National Training Center. It is 2,100 miles away from home In Fort Irwin, California. Third Brigade veterans and first timers are shipping out of Fort Benning on four flights Friday.

"We're all just really excited, it's like the Disney Land of the Army," says Specialist Wiandt.

Close to 1,000 soldiers have it all packed up and ready to go for training that will focus on pre 9/11 war tactics. That is force on force, tank on tank simulations that will closely mimic what it's like to be deployed.

Brendan says he even more excited about learning some actual combat skills.

"I'm definitely [excited about] the force on force training [and] reacting to actual attack."

For the last 10 years, training has focused on national building activities like the ones you see in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now the soldiers say it's time to get back to traditional business, learning what it's like to be under attack using tanks, different chemicals, and other war equipment.

Unlike Brendan, Major Patrick Douglas has been to training 4 times. He says the task ahead is an intense challenge. "Extremely, this probably will be the most challenging and intense training they have, probably second to combat operation," said Douglas.

However, Brendan says he's up for the challenge. "I love to get out, get in the field, and actually train. That's what I joined forces for. It's great to be getting able to go out and do that."

3,000 troops will train at the national training center for about a month.

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