Soldiers arrive on the Geronimo drop zone at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Carlos Davis)
U.S. Army Garrison Fort Polk is in beautiful west-central Louisiana and is the home of the Joint Readiness Training Center. Fort Polk’s mission is to provide installation support for power projection, combat readiness and mission execution for all tenant units as well as JRTC rotational units. The post also provides quality services and facilities, all the while optimizing resources, sustaining the environment and enhancing the overall well-being of the Fort Polk community.
In addition to training over half of the brigade combat teams that have deployed to theater, Fort Polk hosts the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division; 5th Aviation Battalion; 46th Engineer Battalion; and 519th Military Police Battalion.
MAJOR UNITS AND ORGANIZATIONS
Joint Readiness Training Center
The Joint Readiness Training Center is focused on improving unit readiness by providing highly realistic, stressful, joint and combined arms training across the full spectrum of conflict (current and future).
The JRTC is one of the Army’s three “dirt” combat training centers resourced to train infantry brigade task forces and their subordinate elements in the joint contemporary operational environment.
With great emphasis on realism, the JRTC provides rotational units with the opportunity to conduct joint operations, which emphasize contingency force missions. The JRTC training scenario is based on each participating organization’s mission-essential tasks list and many of the exercises are mission rehearsals for actual operations the organization is scheduled to conduct.
JRTC scenarios allow complete integration of Air Force and other military services as well as host-nation and civilian role players. The exercise scenarios replicate many of the unique situations and challenges a unit may face to include host national officials and citizens, insurgents and terrorists, news media coverage and nongovernmental organizations.
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division
The 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team was activated Jan. 19, 2015, at Fort Polk as one of the Army’s newly organized and designed “Units of Action.” The brigade consists of more than 4,000 soldiers assigned to various units, including three infantry battalions, a cavalry squadron, a field artillery battalion, a support battalion and a brigade engineer battalion.
The brigade is part of the 10th Mountain Division, which has performed in every major operation the Army has undertaken in the last two decades, including Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.
5th Aviation Battalion
The 5th Aviation Battalion conducts general support aviation and administrative operations in order to allow training for the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk as well as the 6th Ranger Training Battalion at Camp Rudder, Florida.
46th Engineer Battalion
The 46th Engineer Battalion was established in 1917 in the National Army as the 46th Engineers. The unit, which has been reorganized and redesignated many times over the last 100 years, has participated in campaigns in World War I, World War II, Vietnam and Southwest Asia (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq).
On order, the battalion deploys to command and control and to execute combat and general engineering in support of Army, joint and coalition forces.
519th Military Police Battalion
The 519th Military Police Battalion is one of the most decorated military police battalions on active duty today. The battalion’s mission is diverse, ranging from policing to force protection operations in support of soldiers, families, civilians and retirees in the community. The battalion’s transportation and movement control units provide daily support to the Joint Readiness Training Center training rotations and the installation for movement of equipment and personnel. The battalion also supports our nation’s overseas contingency requirements by providing trained and equipped forces to support the theater commander’s mission.