By Staff Sgt. Christopher Holmes
Fort Irwin NTC
Every year, thousands of military men and women deploy to the Middle East where they live and work under austere conditions in some of the most remote areas of the world.
All of this while, they are on a continuous lookout for whatever attack an enemy force may make.
The son of a Madras man recently experienced a glimpse of what life over there will be like when he spent a month at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.
For two weeks of his time there, he lived and worked in tents while under a constant threat of simulated attacks.
Army Spec. Cory L. Worley, son of Jeff Worley of Madras, was in the Mojave Desert with other members of his unit to receive some of the most advanced and realistic training the military has to offer.
A large portion of Fort Irwin's more than 642,000 acres has been transformed to simulate conditions similar to what soldiers will experience while deployed.
There are base camps and forward-operating bases spread throughout the area about the size of the state of Rhode Island. There are also mock towns and villages housing military trainers and civilian role players to give Worley and other members of his brigade a feeling of actually being deployed.
Worley is a chemical equipment repair specialist assigned to the 4th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas.
"I am here getting training on how to guard entry control points," said the 2008 graduate of Madras High School.
To add to the realism, entire villages have been constructed to simulate situations soldiers will face in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, and in places, role players, many Iraqi Americans, inhabit the villages during the two week training objective.
"I don't know how much like Iraq this training environment is because this is my first deployment," said Worley.
The live fire exercises, route clearing courses, bare living conditions, simulated mortar attacks and convoy training are designed to prepare Worley and his fellow soldiers for the challenges they may face in their upcoming deployment.
"The most challenging part of this training is not letting the enemy win," said Worley.
Training before deployments helps to ensure troops are aware of the latest tactics the enemy is using, and to help them prepare for just about any situation they may find themselves in.
"I think that I will be pretty prepared for my deployment when I leave here," said Worley, who has completed three years of military service.
While the National Training Center is harsh in its Spartan environment and extreme temperatures that can sizzle to more than 120 degrees in the summer, it is the perfect training ground for soldiers like Worley who may face similar conditions during the months ahead in Iraq or Afghanistan.