Country music artist Mark Wills filmed an episode of “Inside the Base” on August 1-2 in Fort Irwin, Calif.
The 10-episode reality-doc series follows country music artists having “a day in the life” at various US military bases.
Rebecca Abrahams, executive producer of “Inside the Base,” called the show “a labor of love.”
“I wanted to produce a series that would support American military efforts and this is my way of showing my patriotism by highlighting what men and women are doing here at various military bases,” Abrahams said.
While filming, Wills trained with Fort Irwin soldiers, including winners of the installation’s Best Quad competition and the winner of the U.S. Army’s Best Medic competition, and learned to fire several systems from weapons, provide basic medical care to a victim, and clear a building.
Captain Pierce Watson, commander of A Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, guided Wills through the training and said the experience was different from what he expected.
“Meeting the camera crew before execution day took a lot of nerves away,” Watson said. “By the time Mark arrived we were all very comfortable with the production team and I think that gave Mark a more realistic view of the soldiers.”
The training ended with an event that combined all the things Wills learned.
Running through the streets of Ujen, a town within the National Training Center’s training area, Wills and his team of soldiers cleared buildings in search of a simulated enemy.
“I didn’t know it was going to be this intense,” Wills said of the experience. “Most of the time when you practice there’s a certain amount of ‘oh, it’s just practice’…but today was a completely different experience than I’ve had anywhere else. “
Abrahams said they chose to film in Fort Irwin because it’s “incredibly special.”
“I felt that the American population needed to understand that this is a training center where … different battalions go through before heading into desert conflict areas and that’s about as real as possible, so I think that absolutely needs to be emphasized,” she said.
According to Abrahams, musical performers help draw an audience to the show and serve as a conduit for viewers to better understand military life.
“[The music artists] bring the viewer ‘Inside the Base’ to show what the men and women do at the different bases, and I’ve always said the base and the troops are the stars,” Abrahams said. “…and if it casts a wider net in terms of recruiting efforts because somebody is following Mark Wills or some other artist that’s featured on the show, and they see what they’re doing, maybe Maybe he’ll consider a career in the US Armed Forces…if that happens, then we’ve done our job.
Watson, a native of Portsmouth, Ohio, said showing training at Fort Irwin and NTC is an important mission.
“It’s important for the rest of the country to see what the military is doing to prepare its sons and daughters for the first fight in the next war,” Watson said. “Americans should see what their taxes are going to and who it affects.”
Wills said he agreed to be on the show and visit Fort Irwin because after making great friends with soldiers he met while touring Iraq and Afghanistan with the USO, he wanted to meet a new generation of soldiers.
“Most of the young men and women who were the [opposing force] or on my team today, they weren’t even alive when 9/11 happened,” Wills said. “I had a team full of kids who can’t even drink legally, and it was kind of an eye-opening experience.”
Although he always had a respect for the military with members of his family, including his father and grandfather, the experience gave Wills an even greater respect, he said.
“These young men and women who are here today, they are just as dedicated to protecting our freedom and fighting for our country as my generation and the generation before me and the generation before that,” Wills said.
Respect for the military is one of Abrahams’ goals for the show, she said.
“My goal is for people to watch ‘Inside the Base’ and find a new respect for those who serve and to remember that we are all Americans and that the soldiers featured on bases are protecting our rights,” Abrahams said.
“Inside the Base” is scheduled to air on Circle TV Network on October 1 at 9:30 p.m. CST, with the Fort Irwin episode airing November 26, 2022.
|Date posted:||09.07.2022 15:36|
|Location:||FORT IRWIN, California, USA|
|Hometown:||PORTSMOUTH, OH, USA|
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