Over 60 soldiers based out of Evanston and Afton in Wyoming recently traded in their setting of the relatively cool Wyoming weather to go train in the desert climate of Ft. Irwin, CA at the National Training Center. The soldiers are from Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 297th Infantry Regiment.

The National Training Center in Ft. Irwin, CA is often referred to as 'the box', thanks to its desert heat. The soldiers, along with other units from around the country, will be involved in training missions that are meant to help soldiers to be better prepared for future deployments. 1st Lt. Alyssa Brenner, commander of 1-297th spoke about the training mission taken on by the soldiers:

The NTC is known for training up companies and organizations to go and deploy...What we are doing here is supporting a division-sized movement. Our role as light infantry is to be the decisive operation, clear urban areas, and learn how to work light infantry with mechanized heavy infantry.

The units prepare for numerous situations they may go through in defending the nation. Their days often require them to wake before dawn and going on throughout the heat of the day that reaches well over 100 degrees.

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Brenner also mentioned that she thought the unit was learning a lot from the challenges they were facing and was proud of the development of the unit at all levels:

We completed an urban clearing exercise yesterday and then did it again today...From yesterday to today, we changed tactics and it paid off. We had a very good outcome today and I feel people are learning a lot.

The Wyoming unit will return home upon completion of their training and continue to build upon the valuable skills that were learned and developed during their time at Ft. Irwin in the California desert.

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