Lindsey trains in Mojave Desert

Published 1:56 pm Friday, June 10, 2011

Army Spec. Marvin J. Lindsey, Alpha Company, 4-6 Infantry, 4th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas, recently attended training at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin to prepare for the conditions he will live and work in during his upcoming deployment to the Middle East. (photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Griffin)

by Staff Sgt. Christopher Holmes, Ft Irwin NTC

Every year, thousands of military men and women deploy to the Middle East, where they live and work under austere conditions in some of the most remote areas of the world. All of this while being on a continuous lookout for whatever attack an enemy force may make.

Members of the 1st Armored Division from Fort Bliss put an engine back into a Bradley armored fighting vehicle after replacing the transmission. The team spent two weeks at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., working and living in austere conditions to prepare for an upcoming deployment to the Middle East. (photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Griffin)

The son of a Landrum man and woman recently experienced a glimpse of what life over there will be like when he spent a month at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. For two weeks of his time there he lived and worked in tents while under a constant threat of simulated attacks.

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Army Spec. Marvin J. Lindsey, son of Marvin J. Lindsey Jr. and Deborah F. Hutchins, both of Landrum, was in the Mojave Desert with other members of his unit to receive some of the most advanced and realistic training the military has to offer.

A large portion of Fort Irwin’s more than 642,000 acres has been transformed to simulate conditions similar to what soldiers will experience while deployed. There are base camps and forward operating bases spread throughout the area about the size of the state of Rhode Island. There are also mock towns and villages housing military trainers and civilian role players to give Lindsey and other members of his brigade a feeling of actually being deployed.

Lindsey is an infantryman assigned to Alpha Company, 4-6 Infantry Battalion, 4th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas.

“I am here getting realistic combat training to get ready for my deployment,” said Lindsey.

To add to the realism, entire villages have been constructed to simulate situations soldiers will face in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, and in places, role players, many Iraqi Americans, inhabit the villages during the two week training objective.

“I think that this environment is pretty similar to Iraq. The villages and people add to the reality,” said Lindsey.

The live fire exercises, route clearing courses, bare living conditions, simulated mortar attacks and convoy training are designed to prepare Lindsey and his fellow soldiers for the challenges they may face in their upcoming deployment.

“The most challenging part of the training is the hardly getting any sleep and working long hours,” said Lindsey.

Training before deployments helps to ensure troops are aware of the latest tactics the enemy is using and to help them prepare for just about any situation they may find themselves in.

“I think that I will be extremely well prepared for my deployment when I leave here,” said Lindsey, who has completed three years of military service.

While the National Training Center is harsh in its Spartan environment and extreme temperatures that can sizzle to more than 120 degrees in the summer, it is the perfect training ground for soldiers like Lindsey who may face similar conditions during the months ahead in Iraq or Afghanistan.

For more photos, check out the photo gallery.