Sparing no asset, realistic training preps Fort Riley soldiers for combat

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FORT RILEY, Kan. (WIBW)-- Over 5,000 soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division are deployed around the globe. Each of those units were tested before they deployed to ensure mission readiness.

Seven battalions of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division on Fort Riley wrapped up a month long exercise called Danger Focus II.

Division staff and Department of Defense civilians spent roughly five months planning the exercise which coordinated more than 3,500 soldiers, over 140 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 80 tanks and helicopters.

The large maneuver exercise was held on 77,000 acres of prairie land on Fort Riley.

The final exercise was a “border incursion scenario” in which the fictitious country of Atropia was invaded by the Danovians.

“The US Forces, played by 2nd Brigade soldiers, is assisting on behalf of the ‘Atropian government’ to push the ’Danovians’ back into their country,” said Cpt. Brian Kossler,1st Infantry Division battle captain.

According to Kossler, the Danovians are a fictitious group used as the enemy of the U.S. in training for 30 years.

One battalion of the brigade played the Donovian role,, and assuming the position of opposing force, were vastly outnumbered by friendly forces.

“At this point it’s the main battle where 2nd brigade is going against ‘the enemy’ which is basically one of their own battalions set up as an enemy,” said Sgt. Maj. James Milhorn,1st Infantry Division, G3 Sergeant Major.

Using simulation training aides called MILES gear, which stands for Multiple Integrated Engagement System, the soldiers are provided with accurate, real-time battle simulation according to a 1st Infantry Division media press release.

“Realistic, tough training is what ensures that we can win the Nation’s wars and bring America’s sons and daughters back home,” said Milhorn.

Danger Focus II is a replicated template of the scenarios 2nd Brigade soldiers will face at the National Training Center in California this spring.

The National Training Center at Fort Irwin is the final testing ground for military units before deploying to combat zones across the globe.

“We want to ensure that when we send a brigade out to the training centers, that they’re as successful as possible and we’re building proficiency inside their formation,” said Brig. Gen. Patrick Murphy, deputy commander of the 1st Infantry Division.