To prepare for the rigors of combat in Iraq, Afghanistan, East Africa and other conflict zones, the U.S. Special Forces visit the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, for several weeks of hyper-realistic training. Bryan William Jones paid a visit to see the training first-hand.
by BRYAN WILLIAM JONES
Staff Sergeant Dennis Corey, a visual information planner for a 3rd Special Forces Group Alpha team, gave me some background info on how Special Operations Forces soldiers are trained and organized. Once U.S. Army SOF soldiers are selected and trained, they join one of three battalions each composed of three companies, Alpha, Bravo and Charlie. Companies include six teams with twelve men apiece. Each of these detachments functions as a self-contained group. They can move quickly by a variety of methods and are trained to solve difficult problems individually and through close teamwork.
I found the members of the 3rd SFG to be intelligent, careful and precise in their thoughts, actions and words. I was surprised at the diversity of operations they undertake. While I have long been familiar with some of the special reconnaissance roles of Special Forces soldiers, they have a variety of other roles, including counter-proliferation operations in support of diplomatic and arms-control efforts. They train and advise foreign armies and participate in humanitarian ops. Even de-mining operations fall under this bailiwick.
Next up, psyops.
(Photo: Bryan William Jones)