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Soldiers from U.S. Army Garrison Hohenfels Headquarters, Headquarters Detachment undergo Military Operations on Urban Terrain training March 27.

HOHENFELS, Germany -- The Hohenfels training area Military Operations on Urban Terrain sites are usually used to train troops on their way to Iraq or Afghanistan, but March 27 it was a local crowd that tested their skills in the mock villages.

U.S. Army Garrison Hohenfels Headquarters, Headquarters Detachment and its antennae units took advantage of their location at one of the Army's best training centers when they used the MOUT sites for part of their warrior leader skills training.

Sgt. 1st Class Robert Cofield, HHD sergeant, said the training is required for Soldiers about to deploy, but has not recently been conducted for Hohenfels' garrison Soldiers.

"It hasn't been done here in a while but we wanted to do it to make sure they're at the level they should be. If they do end up going to a unit and deploying we don't want them to be behind," he said.

During the MOUT scenario, Soldiers were required to make a direct hit on the safe house of an enemy component that had taken control of the village.

Cofield said Capt. Jon Genge, garrison HHD commander and acting commander for the exercise, decided on an advanced scenario to see how much the Soldiers had absorbed from their classroom instruction.

"They had only had classes up till then. We could have done a simpler scenario but we wanted to give them a more advanced one and see where they were at. They did a good job," said Cofield.

As operations on urban terrain become more frequent, the Army is focusing more on training Soldiers on the specific skill sets required to succeed in those specialized conflicts.

Because operations in urban areas are conducted to defeat an enemy that may be mixed in with civilians, MOUT training focuses on the intricacies of dealing with a population where friends and foes are often indistinguishable.

Cofield said the HHD Soldiers trained to interact with village leaders and civilians while working to accomplish their mission.

In two months HHD Soldiers will practice these tasks again when they undergo even more rigorous MOUT training and complete advanced close quarters marksmanship training.

Page last updated Wed April 15th, 2009 at 05:24