JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Soldiers from the 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team received notice to deploy to the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.
"An Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise was initiated (Aug. 13) at about 1:30 a.m.," said Lt. Col. Scott Siegfried, the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment commander. "It was initiated to test our capability to alert, recall, and prepare to deploy under emergency conditions."
The battalion-sized element known as "Task Force Regulars" is scheduled to begin heading to the NTC later this week to supplement the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division from Fort Riley, Kansas.
"The EDRE is part of an effort to test our ability to conduct an expeditionary deployment with no prior notice," said Capt. Joshua Webster, an assistant operations officer with the 5th Bn., 20th Inf. Reg. "By stressing our systems, we will find out what systems within our unit are not ready and which ones are ready. This is helpful because our unit will get stronger as it finds where its weaknesses are."
The exercise simulates possible scenarios the task force may have when deploying, when units could be added to an organization to accomplish a mission.
"We are going to assist and augment 1st ABCT," Siegfried added. "We will be another maneuver battalion to assist in the way of dismounted troops and Stryker-mounted troops in a decisive action environment."
According to Siegfried, the organization's Soldiers are extremely excited for this opportunity to test their systems in one of the most challenging training centers in the Army.
"This exercise will also allow us to see how well we can collaborate and cross talk with 1/1 ABCT," Webster said. "We will be integrating our Stryker unit with an armored unit. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out."
However, this organization will not be the only organization tested.
"This is also a test of the installation's capability to support the deployment of this unit under emergency conditions," Siegfried said. "Now we are preparing our equipment and personnel to deploy using the power projection platform of Joint Base Lewis-McChord."
They will be conducting rail, simulated seaport, and airport operations to test their rapid deployment ability, Siegfried noted.
"We need to have the attitude to be ready to fight at any time," Siegfried concluded. "That is what our Army is all about: being able to protect our nation's interests in whatever timeline that is required of us. At the shortest notice, we have to be ready to deploy to wherever the Army needs us. Right now the Army needs us at the NTC."
For additional information, please contact the 7th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office at (253) 477-5746 or (253) 477-0173.