2,000 soldiers arriving at Camp Atterbury for deployment drills

About 2,000 soldiers are arriving at Camp Atterbury to participate in a full-scale drill to prepare for future deployments.

This is the busiest the military installation near Edinburgh has been in months, officials said.

Soldiers from every branch of the Armed Forces go through a special two-week training called Warfighter exercises, said Camp Atterbury spokeswoman Capt. Jessica Cates. Every soldier is required to participate once every 10 years, she said.

Camp Atterbury hosts the drill about every six months, she said.

The military installation near Edinburgh is a good location for the exercises since it has enough space to house all of the soldiers in one area, plus room in their dining hall and for multiple drills during the exercise, Cates said.

The soldiers go through a virtual battlefield scenario to test their reactions in a simulation, Cates said. Unexpected battles or circumstances could arise anytime during the two-week drill.

The goal is for soldiers to get a taste of what a battle could potentially look like, with specific tasks for every occupation within the military, she said.

Some soldiers may be working on logistics of where a battle could happen or where military officers can be safe from combat. Others may be handling logistics of computers connecting to one another or transportation for the soldiers to different bases or camps, she said.

The exercises are done through computer programs and scale models. All of their drills are classified, so the exercises are done indoors in training centers or other buildings within Camp Atterbury, Cates said.

Once soldiers go through the training, they are cleared as being ready for deployment overseas, Cates said.

In the past, Camp Atterbury has welcomed military teams from other states or Canada, Cates said.

Most recently, teams from Indianapolis went through the Warfighter exercises at Camp Atterbury in February.

This time, soldiers from Virginia are coming to Camp Atterbury for the exercises, she said.

A contractor had to hire about 100 temporary food service workers to feed the soldiers throughout their training at the military base. Camp Atterbury’s barracks, cafeteria and training centers will operate as a typical base overseas would when soldiers are deployed.

Abby Armbruster is a staff writer for The Daily Journal of Johnson County, a sister publication of The Republic.