Military members know very well that if you aren’t deployed to a war zone, you’re likely training for one.
Soldiers deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan (and elsewhere) in year-long stints, while the other services typically go for six to seven months. But soon after troops return and celebrate their homecoming, they often have to get ready for next time.
It’s all the nature of their constantly changing ‘workplace’ — some soldiers get off active duty while brand new ones check in, enemy tactics change, and new techniques need to be learned.
It’s called predeployment training, where they hone their skills and learn a few new ones, so they can be ready for whatever happens downrange.
For soldiers that mainly operate in vehicles like the Humvee, they'll put them through heavy use stateside ...
But many soldiers and Marines do 'mini-deployments' to training areas before they head to Afghanistan or Iraq.
At the Marines' 29 Palms Training centre, the conditions for units rotating through is pretty spartan.
But they won't stay in the huts very often. Instead, they'll patrol the desert areas, and sleep outside for days at a time.
With the rugged terrain of Afghanistan ahead, some will train under similar mountain conditions in Bridgeport, Calif.
The biggest threat for deployed troops is improvised explosives. The bombs can be made out of just about anything.
They usually spend a fair amount of time in a classroom learning language, culture, and rules of engagement.
... Away from home ranging between a few months to over a year, depending on the military branch and destination.
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