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
Because “blood free” applications of strategy are not always possible, Special Operations Forces soldiers tend to be heavily armed and often modify their weapons in ways the regular Army doesn’t. Staff Sergeant Dennis Corey told me that the SOF Humvees carry additional fuel and water for long deployments and have special weapons mounts. “A mobile can of whoop-ass,” he called the SOF Humvee. It can carry M-240 and M-2 machine guns, MK-19 grenade launchers and AT-4 anti-tank missiles.
Individual soldiers in the twelve-man A teams carry M-9 sidearms, M-4 carbines or handguns and assault rifles from Heckler & Koch or SigSauer. This amounts to a substantial amount of weaponry for a mere twelve-man team. While all this hardware is crucial, Corey stressed that the first truth of Special Operations Forces is that “humans are more important than hardware.” I heard this more than once on my embed.
(Photo: Bryan William Jones)
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