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Special Report

In U.S. Mojave Desert, Afghan and Iraqi 'Villages'

Fort Irwin, a U.S. Army base, is situated in California's Mojave Desert. The sweeping desert complex is home to the National Training Center, where thousands of soldiers have been sent for special combat exercises before being deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, or elsewhere. The center includes two mock villages, Medina Jabal and Medina Wasl, that are meant to simulate Afghan and Iraqi urban environments. Jabal and Wasl are used to recreate real-life war scenarios, with soldiers often playing the roles of local villagers or learning how to respond to rocket attacks, suicide bombings, and combat injuries.

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