The US Massachusetts Army National Guard has completed Patriot Crucible 2019, a two-week field exercise designed to train and evaluate combat support units.

Patriot Crucible 2019 was conducted between 27 July and 8 August at Camp Edwards, which is the Army portion of Joint Base Cape Cod.

The military exercise marks the first time in decades the US military has used combat simulations at the Cape Cod military training grounds. The personnel used pyrotechnics, smoke, CS gas and tracer rounds.

Camp Edwards has manoeuvre space, weapon ranges and simulation centres.

Camp Edwards Plans and Training Officer Army major Alexander McDonough said: “There are enough facilities here to support an exercise of this size.”

The exercise focused on training army logistics and support units from across the north-east.

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It prepared them to participate in combat operations against a near-peer enemy equipped with artillery, helicopters and trained troops.

Patriot Crucible 2019 involved more than 800 soldiers from the Massachusetts and New Jersey Army National Guard.

US Army 1st Army (East) officer captain Kyunghun Woo said: “Overall, this exercise, from what I see, is well planned. This is set up to allow us to evaluate their mission essential task list.”

During the exercise, soldiers had to defend themselves from enemy attacks.

The exercise also involved tasks related to other critical aspects of military campaigns, including establishing field fuelling points, enemy detention centres and mobile mess halls, all under austere conditions.

Massachusetts National Guard planning officer major Robert Mulhern said: “For units to replicate the hybrid threat, it is very difficult with the resources they have internally. So what we’ve done is try to combine those resources as a state and as a region and put them into an exercise.”

Observer controllers used illumination flares, artillery simulators and smoke grenades for enhanced realism in the training.