The National Training Center at Fort Irwin is located outside Barstow, Calif., at the end of a 31-mile-long road in the Mojave Desert.

Fort Irwin, which is about the size of Rhode Island, encompasses more than 642,000 acres of training area and is surrounded by the San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains in the east and the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the west. Elevations within the area can reach up to 10,000 feet in some ranges.

The terrain and climate alone offer tough conditions for rotating units, similar to what they might experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. Beyond those conditions, the NTC provides tough, realistic, joint and combined arms training in interagency, intergovernmental and multinational venues across the full spectrum of conflict in order to prepare brigade combat teams for combat.

Locations at NTC replicate in-country experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are 12 towns, seven cave complexes and eight forward operating bases. There are also 1,500 role players from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment who are the opposing force or OPFOR, 245 civilian role players, 250 Iraqi-American role players, 50 insurgents and 250 vehicles all supported by Raytheon and the WTA team.


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