Local soldiers complete training exercise at Army’s Joint Readiness Training Center


Region – Members of a task force with the New York Army National Guard’s 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team successfully completed the rigors of a force-on-force training exercise July 29 at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk Louisiana. Soldiers were expected to be deployed home by Aug. 5.

The troops, with more than 5,000 participants from more than 30 states across the country, spent nearly a month of training which included deployment and staging at Fort Polk followed by more than 10 days of offensive and defensive missions in the post maneuver areas against a real opposing force.

The maneuver training is designed to challenge all the components of the maneuver brigade, including infantry, artillery and aviation operations, engineering and reconnaissance tasks, logistics and resupply and medical support and personnel replacements.

The brigade task force included the entire New York Army National Guard brigade combat team, along with supporting elements that included additional infantry units from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.

Local soldiers from the Massachusetts Army National Guard included Specialist Amanda Lopes, from Hudson, of the 272nd Chemical Company; Private 1st Class Daniel Lynch, from Northborough, Specialist Mario Rivera, from Hudson, and Specialist Ryan Walsh, from Westborough, all of the Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 182nd Infantry Regiment; Private 1st Class Jason Silva, from Westborough, of the Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 182nd Infantry Regiment; Sergeant Shawn Cutroni, from Marlborough, of the Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 182nd Infantry Regiment; 1st Lieutenant Derek McGill, from Westborough, and Captain Christopher Ziegler, from Marlborough, of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 182nd Infantry Regiment.

The Joint Readiness Training Center allows Army units to conduct combat training in a realistic environment which features a well-trained opposing force, civilian role-players on the battlefield, high-tech systems which monitor the action, and observer-controllers to evaluate unit actions.

JRTC is one of the Army’s three combat training centers at which brigade-sized units can conduct realistic training against an opposing force. JRTC specializes in light infantry warfare and operations.

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