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The swift evolution of urban training
Over the past two years, the Army has dramatically altered urban training at JRTC to prepare soldiers for the complexities of the counterinsurgency in Iraq.
The number of mock villages in the base's expanse of woods and swamps has been increased from four to 18, while 200 Arabic-speaking role players impersonating Iraqi tribesmen, police, and civilians have replaced many of the Louisiana locals.
"Before, the role players were all local guys with Southern accents who would say 'You ran over my goat'; now you go into a Kurdish village, and the mayor is from northern Iraq," says Barbero.