Thousands of our neighbors are heading overseas soon, back to Iraq. So Third Infantry Division soldiers are training especially hard to get ready. We don't want to say this is as real as it gets, but these soldiers are preparing for any possible situation they may come face to face with while in Iraq.
Don't let the word exercise fool you. Soldiers are taking their training mission very seriously, knowing one day they might have to use what they are learning in the battlefield now.
"We have gathered 12 months of information and put it in a computer database," said Maj. Gen. William Webster.
Intelligence officers gather information, anticipating the movements of the enemy team in the ongoing wargame, and drawing up battle plans to combat enemy operations.
"In the old days, we had stable enemies, like North Korea and the Soviet Union, but these days we have very unpredictable enemies," said Gen. Webster.
All the scenarios in the exercises represent situations that US soldiers already in Iraq face every day.
"We're always ready in a continuous process of training, getting ready to do anything our commander-in-chief might need us to do," said Maj. Raul Benitez.
"It is much more important that we ensure we have a wide array of capabilities to use against enemies," added Gen. Webster.
As far as when the Third Infantry will be deployed to Iraq, the general says it will probably be sometime after the first of the year.