More than 700 soldiers of the New York Army National Guard's 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team will load aircraft and depart from Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh on Tuesday for a major unit training exercise at Fort Polk, La. The troops will participate in a Joint Readiness Training Center exercise to conduct a force-on-force battle.
The flight is scheduled to depart Tuesday and will include members of Company C, 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry, based at Camp Smith, near Peekskill.
The deployment to Louisana comes at the same time that the state is under FBI watch and travel advisories for potential riots as reported in the Daily Voice.
The Joint Readiness Training Center allows Army units to conduct combat training in a realistic environment that features a well-trained opposing force, civilian role players on the battlefield, high-tech systems that monitor the action, and observer-controllers to evaluate unit actions. JRTC is one of the Army's three combat training centers at which brigade-sized units can conduct realistic training against an opposing force.
JRTC specializes in light infantry warfare and operations. For soldiers, it is considered the Super Bowl of Army training. The 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team last trained at JRTC in 2001. Soldiers will be moving to Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station in western New York, Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, outside Syracuse, and Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh to board charter flights for Alexandria International Airport in Louisiana to deploy the entire brigade. The exercise will continue until the end of July before the troops redeploy home.
The 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team has deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq multiple times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Brigade soldiers also responded to Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and Tropical Storms Irene and Lee in 2011.