Distinguished visitors experience Army training during Immersion Box Tour

With an M4 carbine in his hands, Brad Fuller kicked open the door of a building housing an enemy combatant and the rest of his squad entered a building, subduing the enemy.

Fuller, a film and movie producer, along with nearly 70 leaders in education, business and entertainment from California and Las Vegas, experienced Army training Sept. 2 and 3, 2022.

Twice a year Fort Irwin hosts the Distinguished Visitor Immersion Box Tour to showcase the mission of the National Training Center and Fort Irwin to a wider audience.

“I produced a television show called ‘The Last Ship’, which was with the Navy … so I was close to a lot of the naval stuff, but I had never been exposed to what the Army has to offer,” Fuller said. “This opportunity came up and I really wanted to see this branch of the military.”

Guests on the tour flew in from Southern California and Vegas on UH-60 Black Hawks, toured the base, and rode on buses out to the training area where they fired multiple weapon systems, participated in a patrol lane, climbed on military vehicles and had the opportunity to ask questions to Brig. Gen. Curt Taylor, the commanding general of the National Training Center during a round table event.

Brad Fuller, film and television producer, learns how to clear a building Sept. 2, during the Distinguished Visitor Immersion Box Tour at Fort Irwin, Calif.

“The military to me has always felt like this amorphous, untouchable thing that I don’t see, interact [with] or know what it does, I’m just grateful that it’s there,” Fuller said. “So, this makes it feel tangible and you can kind of get an understanding for what it is and the people that comprise it because the whole place is about the people.”
The box tour gave Fuller and the other guests the opportunity to speak with Soldiers one-on-one.

“My favorite part was really just talking to the Soldiers and hearing about their lives,” Fuller said. “I think it’s an extraordinary thing to come and live here and do this day after day and by the way, it’s not a very forgiving environment, it felt like it was 180 degrees, and no one was complaining … and it’s just super impressive.”

Spec. Bryan Alamo, an infantryman with 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, taught guests, including Fuller, how to put on helmets and improved outer tactical vests, use weapons, and navigate the patrol lane.

“We [Soldiers] can share our experiences,” Alamo said. “They can have a piece from us they can take over there with their families and know what we go through.”
Alamo said some of the guests will be able to take what they learned at the event and use it in their everyday lives.

“Hollywood producers can use this experience, if they start making a film about the military,” Alamo said.

At the end of the day, many guests shared their gratitude with the Soldiers during a certificate presentation.

Leaders in education, business and entertainment from Las Vegas participate in a patrol lane Sept. 3, at Fort Irwin, Calif., during the Distinguished Visitor Immersion Box Tour.

“I was overwhelmed with an understanding that I didn’t have before of who these men and women are and how committed they are to their mission [and] how committed they are to this way of life,” Fuller said.

The installation also hosts community box tours. To sign up, visit the visitor information section of home.army.mil/irwin.

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