Spc. Adam Bartkowicz, an M1 Abrams tank system maintainer for D Company, 1st Squadron, 94th Cavalry Regiment, tightens the track of an M88 Recovery Vehicle during the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division's rotation at Fort Irwin, California's National Training Center. The checking and tightening of track is part of the unit's daily preventative maintenance checks and services completed on all vehicles to ensure they are fully mission capable before entering "the box."

"The box," is short for the sandbox, a region of the National Training Center where the US Army tests battle tactics and the readiness of American troops within a 90-day period before their deployment to real combat zones.

While at NTC, Soldiers undergo tough, realistic Unified Land Operations with other participants to prepare brigade combat teams and other units for combat. The 996-square-mile facility provides armored brigades the ability to fully deploy all assets in a training exercise against an opposition force.