Russian Combat Brigade the U.S. Army Keeps for Training

Russian Combat Brigade: US Army vehicles were modeled after Russian vehicles for desert war games. Deep in the California desert, the US military has been training for World War III for decades. At Fort Irwin National Training Center, outside Barstow, Calif., the military has created a vast training field — complete with a mock enemy army — to run U.S. forces through a full routine of nonstop war games.

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Fort Irvine is one of the largest military bases in the United States. Over 1,000 square miles of desert, it became home to the National Training Center (NTC) in 1979. For nearly forty years, active duty Army and National Guard forces from across the country have rotated through NTC for realistic war games.

The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, an active duty combat unit, serves as the Permanent Opponent Force, or OPFOR. The American regiment’s alter ego is the 60th Guards Motorized Rifle Division. Highly trained, it also operates American vehicles that are visually modified to resemble Russian, or Russian-equipped, forces. These are known as OSVs or OPFOR Surrogate Vehicles. Often the conversion consists of little more than creatively applied fiberglass sheeting.

Here are some OSVs, which show the lengths the US military will go to to get the look just right.



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