A nearly month-long live exercise at Fort Riley concluded Thursday with a large battle for control of a town. Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, and Apache attack helicopters were all utilized as a force of about 3,000 soldiers tried to take a town defended by about 600 soldiers. This battle was a part of the Danger Focus II live exercise.
Captain Brian Kossler told KSAL News at the scene that though they were not using live ammunition, it was a real fight. He said “for instance, the tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles use a complex laser tag system to determine who’s in and who’s out, if your vehicle gets hit, there will be a voice in your radio that goes right into your ear that will tell you the status of your vehicle.”
Kosser says there was a story line accompanying the battle. The fictitious country of Atropia was in fear of being invaded by the fictitious country of Denovia and requested help. About 600 soldiers were trying to defend a town from a force of about 3,000.
Kosser concluded that “whoever seizes and takes their objective wins.”
Acting Senior Commander of the 1st Infantry Division Brigadier General Patrick Frank was at the battle. He told KSAL News that it was the final day of 21 days in the field. General Frank said it takes an “immense amount of planning” to pull off an exercise this large and in-depth.
The Danger Focus II live exercise was designed to prepare Fort Riley soldiers for an upcoming rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.
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