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February 7, 2014

NTC provides realistic training for Special Forces

Soldiers from 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group glide through the air above the National Training Center during a combined arms training exercise here, Nov. 1.

The mission of the National Training Center is to provide tough, realistic joint and combined arms training, focused at the brigade combat team level and below. But NTC is not limited to training just Army battalions and brigades. Army Special Forces units, Marine special operations command units and Air Force fixed wing units frequently use NTC’s training area to conduct realistic training.

Recently, A Company, 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, conducted a company-level training event, here, Nov. 1-4.

“The beauty about NTC is – any weapon system Special Operations Forces have can be used here,” said Lt. Col. Antonio Garcia, the SOF plans chief for Operations Group, here.

“The live-fire areas give great freedom of maneuver to conduct a variety of scenarios, dictated by the unit, and that’s difficult to replicate anywhere else,” Garcia said.

During the unit’s training, the 19th SFG ran small arms ranges, machine gun ranges, demolitions ranges, sniper ranges and a mortar range. In addition, the unit conducted a company proficiency static line airborne jump, a high altitude high opening jump, and a raid on one of NTC’s mock villages.

“I’ve been to the 29 Palms training area, the Joint Readiness Training Center and here at the NTC,” said Sgt. 1st Class Russell Hiatt, SOF plans non-commissioned officer in charge. “The infrastructure for close-quarter battle here at NTC is, hands down, one of the greatest I’ve seen.”

According to Garcia, the 19th SFG benefitted by training, here, because the environment offered can be used to replicate areas troops are currently operating in and potential locations of future threats.

A Soldier from 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group jumps out of CH-47 Chinook helicopter above the National Training Center during a combined arms training exercise here, Nov. 1, 2013.

As NTC strives to meet the training needs of each training unit, it is also necessary the unit looks forward to future requirements, such as unconventional warfare (UW).

“Special Forces is gearing much of their training on UW, so here at NTC and in Operations Group Special Operational Forces plans cell, we are trying to develop some UW lanes,” Garica said. “This way, our Special Forces can come here and receive UW training in addition to the training they are already conducting.”

While conventional warfare reduces an opponent’s military capability, unconventional warfare achieves military victory through acquiescence, capitulation or clandestine support for one side of an existing conflict.

According to Garcia, the addition of UW lanes will broaden the spectrum of training the NTC has to offer and make this training area even more attractive to military units coming here to train.




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