FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. - Thousands of U.S. Army Reserve soldiers from across the nation assembled at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., to practice their skills in a multiweek exercise this month.

The event, Warrior Exercise 91 13-01, allows soldiers to live in a deployment environment and conduct full-scale training missions - with real-world challenges included.

U.S. Army Col. Cosme C. Torres, commander of the 210th Regional Support Group from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, who also serves as the base defense commander for the exercise, described it as an important experience for young soldiers.

"I've seen young, professional, well-educated and, of course, disciplined soldiers," said Torres. "What we need them to gain from this training is experience to prepare them for mobilization."

The exercise, which simulates nation-building necessities that can follow large-scale combat operations, runs 24 hours a day in the camps where the soldiers live and run missions.

The troops handle base defense operations throughout the exercise, running convoys across the post to meet with role-playing nationals and reacting to emergency situations or enemy assaults when they occur.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Derek Q. Adams of Romulus, Mich., a movement control supervisor with the 858th Movement Control Team, previously deployed to Iraq. He hopes his people will learn from the exercise.

"I'd like to gain a feel for how my soldiers will react in different scenarios," Adams said. "The similarity in this training gives them a good idea on how things operate."

Units have traveled from across the country, Alabama to Arizona and farther, to take part in this exercise.

Torres described his unit's mission as providing life support to the various camps and thousands of troops expected to live in the field throughout the month.

The exercise also provides practical experience for soldiers who have support jobs in the U.S. Army such as cooks, water services and firefighters.

"We have firefighters training with range control because the area has been known to have wildfires," said Torres.

U.S. Army Capt. Joseph A. Mount of Bay City, Mich., the unit administrator for the 858th Movement Control Team, feels that the exercise will help him improve as a leader.

"I can help young soldiers to understand what is going on because I can explain it after being here and seeing step by step what all goes into building and sustaining this type of environment," he said.