Students from Edgewood High School got a taste of real soldiering during a training exercise at Forward Operating Base Wolverine May 20. The training was held under the guidance of the 61st Ordnance Brigade, which shares a Partners in Education partnership with the school.

The students were given a taste of what Soldiers deployed to Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom experience at the FOB which is styled the same as those found in Iraq and Afghanistan. They got to engage insurgents with simulated weapons, test their marksmanship skills and play paintball-based warfare games, ending their day with a tug-of-war with the brigade Soldiers. Posing as \'Arab' protestors, Advanced Individual Training Soldiers from the U.S. Army Ordnance Mechanical Maintenance School met the two buses carrying 96 students and teachers at the entrance to the FOB.
The protestors blocked the road, carried signs and chanted anti-American slogans until a Route Clearance Team overwhelmed the protestors and 'insurgents' who were lurking inside the wood line.
The day included realistic sounds, including the "Call to Prayer" every 45 minutes, weapons training on simulators, shoot drills, crew-served weapons overview and training and IED lane training. The students ate lunch with Advanced Individual Training Soldiers who participated and the day ended with a friendly tug-of-war between the students and Wolverine Soldiers.

The students also trained with small arms weapons in the EST-2000 Virtual Range, an indoor range that provides different scenarios from open-road convoys and IED attacks to small arms fire in urban areas. A computer tests both accuracy and judgment.

Students who participated in the training on the simulated weapons said they enjoyed themselves.

"This was fun," said Kyle Arnold, 18. With a brother and father in the Marines, Arnold said he plans to join the military as well. "I'm looking forward to it," he said.

Stevon Roberts, 15, added that the training gave him a new perspective.

"It helped me understand more about what they're going through over there," he said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16