Special Forces Descend on Camp Atterbury
(May 20, 2011)
CAMP ATTERBURY JOINT MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ind. (5/17/2011) — They
wear different uniforms, a hodgepodge of patterns. Some are in Army
Combat Uniforms — the gray-green digital pattern that is the current
wear of the Army, others wore the older Battle Dress uniform that was
phased out of service. They addressed each other by first name as
opposed to rank and last name. While to some this informality would
indicate a lack of discipline, to the soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 19th
Special Forces Group it is just how business is done.|
A soldier with 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group covers the rearguard as his team moves out after a break during a foot patrol while training at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind., May 12,
2011. The foot patrol, while a basic infantry task, is just one of several tasks these highly trained Soldiers have to maintain in addition to advanced skills, often traveling through the most inhospitable route possible.
The Ohio National Guard unit was at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver
Training Center, Ind., last week for a quarterly training exercise.
Where as a typical National Guard unit will have a two-day
drill weekend, the 2nd-19th SFG consolidates their drill days into a
number of week-long drills, said the acting commander.
allows us to get out here and do more in one drill period than we
would using the conventional drill schedule,” he said. “This also
works out for our team members that live a significant distance
During their training at Camp Atterbury, the Special
soldiers performed airborne drops from 12,500 feet and 5,000 feet.
They also qualified with their individual weapons systems and
reflexive fire ranges.
One of the tasks scheduled during their training was conducting foot
patrols in the wilderness.|
“We want to get back to the woods,”
said the acting commander. “There has been a lot of focus on urban
operations, but that is one facet of what we do. So we're out here doing
basic combat foot patrol. We travel by the hardest route possible simply
because no one would expect anyone to be there and that gives us the
element of surprise.”
The patrol started like any other mission:
with pre-combat checks and inspections, ensuring all team members had
all their mission essential gear. During the course of the patrol, the
squad-sized unit would refine their techniques of movement and
communicating through hand signals.
“What we are also doing is
collecting as much ‘intel' about our surroundings,” said the acting
commander. “When we stop we're looking, listening and smelling, using
all our senses to check an area.”
While the concept of walking a
foot patrol may seem mundane for these highly trained Soldiers, without
the basics you can't do the high-speed things, said the team training
“You can't do advanced operations until
you master the basics. As an Operational Detachment Alpha, it's
important for us to ensure everyone of the team has the foundation of
the basics. We do a lot of sustainment training. We still have to
maintain proficiency in skill level three, four and five since we're all
non-commissioned officers,” said the team training non-commissioned
officer. “We hit the ground running when we got here with three military
free fall operations, two drops at 12,500 feet and one at 5,000 feet.
There are so many facets and aspects to our training and the credentials
we have to maintain; airborne proficiency is just one of them,” he
The soldiers said Camp Atterbury gives the 2nd-19th SFG a
good location for their training.
“We come here about 4 – 5 times
a year,” said the training non-commissioned officer. “We're a relatively
local unit. The amenities here at Camp Atterbury give us a lot of
opportunities to train, whether is areas for patrolling to ranges or the
airfield. The staff here is very helpful and makes our training easier
Article and photo by Army SSgt. David Bruce
Camp Atterbury Public Affairs
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