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Camp Ripley sets the stage for major training exercise

CAMP RIPLEY - Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, are taking part in a mass training exercise integrated with the Army's eXportable Combat Training Capabilities from May 15 through Aug. 18.

A combat engineer of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion rushes from cover to begin the breaching process of a wire obstacle during platoon evaluation lanes on Camp Ripley May 21, 2015.
A combat engineer of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion rushes from cover to begin the breaching process of a wire obstacle during platoon evaluation lanes on Camp Ripley May 21, 2015.

CAMP RIPLEY - Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, are taking part in a mass training exercise integrated with the Army's eXportable Combat Training Capabilities from May 15 through Aug. 18.

"The exercises organized by First Army are to help prepare units for rotations at major training centers to ensure mission readiness," said Capt. Brett Farniok, projects officer at Camp Ripley.

The eXportable Combat Training Capabilities, or XCTC, program provides soldiers with an experience similar to real-life missions. XCTC is a command and control as well as a field-training instrument designed to certify proficiencies in specific tasks.

According to a spokesman for the program, "XCTC provides an experience similar to a Combat Training Center to Guard Soldiers at home station minimizing the cost and time away from home and employment."

The program brings full training resource packages to National Guard and active duty bases around the country, allowing units to train on their schedule, close to home. Training lanes are customized to meet the unit commander's objectives for maneuver, support and sustainment.

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"Lanes are created by the unit, but include input from observer/controllers such as myself," said Sgt. 1st Class Ty Vance of First Army. "It's all based on the mission requirements and may include calling for artillery, movement to contact, reconnaissance, vehicle recovery, or breaching an obstacle," he added.

Camp Ripley, being the largest training area in the Midwest, is hosting the program and providing support for units transitioning through the 53,000 acre facility throughout the summer.

"Camp Ripley Training Center staff works directly with individual units and Exercise Support Command personnel to ensure that our facilities, resources and ranges are available for training," said Maj. Joseph Sanganoo, operations officer for Camp Ripley.

The National Guard Bureau orchestrates the XCTC program in conjunction with Stanford Research Institute - International, giving soldiers true-to-life simulations to enhance their training. Training aids include scenario role players who act as civilians and foreign nationals in the deployment area.

"We are prepared to address resource needs necessary to meet the XCTC training requirements meeting Camp Ripley's mission of providing the best support, facilities, and resources enabling customers to train in a realistic environment," added Sanganoo.

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Related Topics: CAMP RIPLEY
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