Peter McKelvy of Potomac, Md., gets instruction on firearms and body armor from Special Forces 1st Sgt. John Russell, during a demonstration at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.

U. S. Army Special Forces Command's Green Berets displayed the weaponry, communications, intelligence, medicine and unconventional training they use in overseas military missions training. The modular demonstrations were a part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's official approval of the Special Force's wearing of the green beret. The anniversary commemoration also included a wreath laying at the JFK grave at Arlington National Cemetery and a luncheon at the Fort Myer Officers Club.

On hand to answer questions and display firepower, the Operational Detachment-Alpha, also known as the ODA, A Team, displayed the technological side of warfare as well as how Soldiers encounter terrain and geographic challenges during missions.

"What we're trying to do is [show] the people coming in [for the JFK Memorial] how to understand what the Special Forces is," said Capt. Kite Faulkner, Detachment Commander ODA 3331. "We're the only Special Forces element out there, and we do have a lot of capabilities and capacities that other elements don't have. We're trying to portray those capabilities and capacities, and we're trying to put that word out."

Those capabilities and capacities on display included top-notch computers, weaponry, specialized terrain gear and body armor that aid Special Forces with intelligence and engineering as well as scuba, mountaineering and sniper infiltration during deployments or overseas missions.

The computers on display, called tough books, are designed to be durable, portable and long-lasting. The battery-operated laptops can easily be used for reconnaissance missions to send photos and data. Also on display at the Special Forces modular demonstration were tools and gear that Green Berets use when on an offensive. Portable body armor displayed showed 21st Century diversity with velcro and carabiners (hooks), which serve as extra pairs of hands. On a displayed piece of upper torso armor, Velcro compartments and sleeves contained a firearm as well as 9 mm and M4 carbine magazines. "What Special Forces and Army Special Forces bring to the table is that we are trained in unconventional warfare," Faulkner said of the Green Berets. "We work downrange in austere conditions. What [civilians] are surprised with [during these demonstrations] are the professionalism and the experiences that each [Soldier] has."

Page last updated Wed November 30th, 2011 at 00:00