Exercise Maple Guardian

What is it'

The National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, Calif. is currently facilitating a coalition partner rotation training for a Canadian Army Brigade. Exercise Maple Guardian, which began in January, is in preparation for the Canadian Forces deployment to Afghanistan this spring.

What the NTC has done'

While the motto of the NTC is "Train the Force," few realize that it's not just U.S. Army Basic Combat Trainings (BCT) that train at the NTC. Integrated into each rotation are elements of every organization that the BCT will work with in the area of responsibility (AOR). This includes: Special Operations Forces, Navy SEAL Teams, U.S. Marine Corps units, Air Force CAS, State Department and other DoD organization and our coalition partners.

The 3700 Canadian soldiers of Maple Guardian represent the first time the NTC has hosted a brigade size element from a coalition partner for a full training rotation. Their spring deployment along with the weather conditions at their very own Canadian Maneuver Training Center (CMTC) resulted in an extended training period at Fort Irwin.

While typical U.S. BCT's spend 14 days training in the "Box," the Canadian forces will spend 39 days in the "Box" preparing for deployment. With an emphasis on COIN, the Canadian Forces are also taking full advantage of the expertise that can't be found elsewhere. Organizations such as the Army Center of Excellence (ACOE), Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), as well as the coaching and mentoring provided by the Operations Group and the world-class OPFOR of the 11th ACR.

Why is it important to the Army'

Exercise Maple Guardian is a cooperative venture between the U.S. and Canadian forces and demonstrates the adaptive nature of the NTC, the commitment of our Canadian partners in the war in Afghanistan, and the professionalism of the CMTC and NTC staffs who are working together for a successful exercise.

What has the Army planned for the future'

Every rotation at the NTC has a joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational complexion to infuse a joint and expeditionary mindset in our Soldiers. This along with its climate, terrain, AOR replication, cultural awareness and unfettered training ensures that the NTC offers a one-of-a-kind training capability for the DoD.


U.S. Army's National Training Center

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