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February 3, 2011 at 2:29pm

JBLM hosts Warrior Forge Planning Conference 2011

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - More than 300 Soldiers and civilians from across the nation have gathered this week at Joint Base Lewis-McChord for the Warrior Forge Planning Conference.

Operation Warrior Forge is the largest annual Army training in the United States. It is required for all Army ROTC Cadets to attend the course before becoming commissioned officers in the U.S. Army.

"Planning never stops for an event this size, but this is a single point of time where all the components can come together to understand the mission and set the conditions for the successful execution of the event in June," said Joel Manning, chief of plans for Warrior Forge.

During the 59 days of Warrior Forge, Joint Base Lewis-McChord will play host to more than 6,700 Cadets and more than 3,500 support personnel.

Cadets will begin arriving in mid-June for their 29-day training cycle, with the final Cadets leaving in early August.

They will be tested and assessed throughout their time on the ground here by vigorous physical and mental challenges that are designed to help them become future Army leaders.

"The biggest obstacle is in themselves and understanding that their fears can prevent them from performing at their best," Sgt. Maj. Gary Fortunato said. "It's our job to help them overcome that." Fortunato is a seasoned-veteran of 12 summers at Warrior Forge, spending the last six as the non-commissioned officer in charge of the water confidence course.

Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald, commanding general of U.S. Army Cadet Command, spoke Tuesday to planning conference attendees.

"We owe it to these Cadets to be a first-class organization," he said. "This is the foundation of their training. This is our opportunity to show them what ‘right' looks like."

As the start of Warrior Forge 2011 gets closer, family, friends, Cadets and cadre will be able to follow the progress of the LDAC attendees through social media. The Warrior Forge 2011 Facebook page and the Twitter feed at @warriorforge will launch in early March.

Filed under: Army News, ROTC, Fort Lewis,

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How do we sign up???

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