You may be seeing more activity by military units on South Sound freeways and in local seaport terminals this week, unrelated to the earlier described major airlift exercise that has kept skies filled with aircraft the past 10 days.
America’s First Corps (I Corps) based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord is sending about 5,000 soldiers of 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team and their war-fighting equipment to a California training site.
The short-notice Joint Readiness Exercise will validate the unit’s ability to rapidly move materiel and personnel by land, air and sea, which is critical to I Corps’ ability to meet combatant commander requirements around the world.
JBLM’s close proximity to a number of sea ports on Puget Sound, combined with its joint airlift capabilities at McChord Field, make the base a premier power projection platform to send troops and equipment to any contingency.
The Stryker Brigade has been training for its turn at National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., for several months and just completed a major tune-up exercise in June at Yakima Training Center. However, the change for how and when the brigade would deploy south was only communicated to I Corps and JBLM last week, giving the soldiers and civilians there just a few days’ time to react.
Once at the National Training Center, 2-2 SBCT will conduct a month-long training exercise testing its combat readiness for decisive action against a near-peer opponent.