Playas: Soldiers Training In Simulated Afghanistan
“We were very pleased to have had the opportunity to tour the Playas Training and
New Mexico Tech purchased an abandoned company town in 2004, complete with more than 250 homes, a community center, bank, restaurant and bowling alley, day care center and several other buildings. The purchase was completed with $5 million of Department of Homeland Security funding after then-owner Phelps Dodge Mining Co. put the property up sale.
The facility includes several zones for urban combat, drug interdiction and border security training programs, complete with state-of-the-art surveillance and monitoring equipment.
Daily praised the Playas decision-makers for their productivity and talent: Dr. John L. Meason, Director of Energetic Materials Research and
“It is humbling to arrive at Playas – a remote location in the Bootheel of New Mexico – and be on the ground to witness firsthand how our university contributes to preparing our troops for deployment in Afghanistan,” Daily said. “When you step into the Afghan village and urban marketplace, we all had a sense of really being there. It’s true-to-life, down to the bricks, mortar, small urban shops, goats and donkeys.
The Afghan village training exercise is set up at Playas to give the military personnel an immersion experience into the culture, language, threatening situations and life challenges they will face in
“The sort of experience our soldiers get in Playas is invaluable,”
The training is designed to build their judgment, skills, trust and confidence, Kwame said. During a live-action drill, the
“I was thoroughly fascinated by the whole Playas experience,” Regent Jerry Armijo said. “I came away very impressed with the integrity and the innovation we are using at this training facility. From what I can tell, it’s an exact replica for
Reality-based training prepares
Daily said, “After seeing the Afghan village and marketplace, and now understanding the Playas training process with its immense technological capabilities, I think all board members are confident that the time spent at Playas will be invaluable to our troops.”
The Playas Training and
“As a Board of Regents, we are pleased that, with EMRTC and PTRC, New Mexico Tech can bring together world-class facilities, technologies and experts to deliver training and research to further the national security agenda at a very critical time in U.S. history,” Daily said. “We feel a great sense of patriotic duty and respect in this regard.”
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By Thomas Guengerich/