Nearly 3,000 members of the North Carolina National Guard are in the middle of a massive training exercise near Death Valley, California.
The Guard's 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team has brought its tanks and hundreds more vehicles to Fort Irwin, a sprawling Army base that's used for realistic desert training.
"It's all the logistics, the food, the fuel, the maintenance activity," said Brigadier General Allen Boyette, a senior commander with the North Carolina Guard. "And then it also integrates all the war fighting functions, from military intelligence, to the tanks to the infantry into a large scale operation where the entire brigade is out in the dessert doing the missions that they've been assigned."
The exercise is a final preparation for a deployment this fall to several Middle Eastern countries.
The 30th has become a go-to unit for the Pentagon. It's been deployed three other times since 2003, including two tours in Iraq.
Training Day 10 for the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team @30thBCT at Ft. Irwin, @NTC_UPDATE. The 30th conducted an attack on an enemy stronghold. This video shows 30th and Moldovan Army @USembMoldova combat engineers preparing to breach obstacles. pic.twitter.com/DSVlWdK1v7
— NC National Guard (@NCNationalGuard) July 15, 2019