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National Guard sharpens tactical skills at Fort Fisher

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FORT FISHER, NC (WWAY) -- National Guard troops are putting their skills to work at Fort Fisher this week.

The simulated war exercise helps the military brush up on skills and apply their knowledge in real-life situations.

"It's a war simulation," Col. Randy Powell, a brigade commander, said. "A big, big video game if you will"

The simulation takes more than two years to plan. Now soldiers are putting their tactical skills to work planning and executing operations for realistic scenarios.

"We strive to replicate as closely as possible that environment that they would experience if they deploy the brigade or the battalion and squadrons to some location in the united states or anywhere in the world," operations instructor Col. David Imhof said.

Not only does the training test a soldier's tactical skills, it tests his ability to respond to natural disasters.

"It also makes us very effective when it comes to performing state active duty missions," Col. Powell said. "For example, the coming snow storm, or hurricanes, or going up north into New York for floods, or down south in Katrina."

Col. Imhof says this real-life video game is better than any book.

"Tthey can read the doctrine. They can read the tactics, techniques and procedures. But now they have a great opportunity to apply that in this operation," he said.

There are no right or wrong answers, but the goal is the same: to protect citizens in the most efficient way possible.

Col. Powell says skills can become rusty after years away from all the action. He says this is one way to sharpen techniques and improve efficiency.

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