In previous episodes of the Urban Warfare Project Podcast, host John Spencer has spoken to leaders from the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, and the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, about the urban operations training units undergo during rotations at each location. This episode features a conversation with Nicholas Marchuk, the special operations forces training and testing development lead at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, located near Butlerville, Indiana, which serves as the US Army’s most unique and complex urban training environment.
Unlike the urban training sites at the combat training centers, Muscatatuck is not a mock city, but real urban terrain that was given to the Army to conduct training for urban operations. Mr. Marchuk explains how the site is unique in its features, including everything from a five-story hospital, jail, and water plant to complete urban pattern-of-life features like a closed cell phone and cyber network that allows for the training of multi-domain operations. During the discussion, he also describes how the site’s realism teaches soldiers lessons they might not get from a replicated urban area.
Image credit: Sgt. Patrick Kirby, US Army