Deputy Commanding General of FORSCOM visits NTC

Lt. Gen. Quintas poses with a newly reenlisted Blackhorse Trooper on Fritz Field, Fort Irwin, Calif., on Feb. 2, 2020. (U.S. Army photo by PV2 Sayvon Johnson, 11ACR Public Affairs)
Lt. Gen. Quintas leads Blackhorse Troopers on a lap around Fritz Field, Fort Irwin, Calif., on Feb. 2, 2020.
(U.S. Army photo by PV2 Sayvon Johnson, 11ACR Public Affairs)

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Leopoldo A. Quintas, Jr., Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command, visited the National Training Center and Fort Irwin, Calif. during the tail end of Rotation 20-04’s Training Days. During this scheduled visit, Lt. Gen. Quintas observed a drill in the training environment, engaged in physical training with Blackhorse Troopers, and reenlisted Troopers.

During the early hours of Feb. 19, 2020, Lt. Gen. Quintas took the opportunity to observe his old command, the 3rd Infantry Division, conduct a live-fire breach exercise. Lt. Gen. Quintas, a proud ‘Dogface’ Soldier, has a distinguished service history with the 3rd Infantry Division. He commissioned into its 3rd Battalion as a 2nd Lt., served as the Division’s Chief of Staff from July 2011 to August 2013, and finally accepted the role of 3ID’s Commanding General from May 2017 to June 2019. This time provided Quintas a moment to reminisce of his time in 3rd ID and see how they have progressed in their training since his command.

A Blackhorse Trooper lifts a LMTV tire on Fritz Field, Fort Irwin, Calif., Feb. 2, 2020.
(U.S. Army photo by PFC Gower Liu, 11ACR Public Affairs)

On Feb. 20, 2020, Quintas participated in morning Physical Training with Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. The grueling circuit set up on Fritz Field, Fort Irwin, consisted of 9 different stations: a 120-pound sled drag, 65-pound standing overhead press, kettle bell carry, t-pushups, hex bar deadlift, kettle bell swings, tire flips with LMTV tires, air squats with a 10-pound medicine ball, and burpees. Each station lasted two minutes and the Soldiers ran a lap around the field between stations, with no time to rest. Four of these exercises directly appear on the Army’s new fitness test, the Army Combat Fitness Test, which is a much better indicator of physical combat readiness than the Army Physical Fitness Test.

Directly after the crossfit regime, Quintas presided over the reenlistment ceremony for two Soldiers: Staff Sgt. Baldos, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, and Staff Sgt. Tampus, 58th Combat Engineer Company, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Lt. Gen. Quintas took the time and effort to learn and talk about their history and how they came to serve with the Regiment before reaffirming their loyalty to the Constitution.

As part of his visit, the general proceeded on an aerial tour of the Western Expansion Area. The National Training Center has been attempting to expand its Southern Corridor toward the Superior Valley for over a decade, but efforts have stalled against resistance from groups representing the desert tortoise. Since 2000, the Army has allocated over $77 million on research to translocate desert tortoises, studies on desert tortoise ecology and habitat, and purchasing and improving land.

During his brief visit to the National Training Center, Quintas ensured that the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment had the means, was physically ready, and mentally supported to continue to carry out the mission. We are grateful for his support and will fight to remain undefeated in the National Training Center.