NAPLES, Italy, Jan. 19--Walking into the Naval Support Site, Naples gym early on any given morning one would most likely expect to see people on the treadmills and lifting weights. However, visitors Jan. 15-19, found the signaleers of the 2nd NATO Signal Battalion wrestling on mats and performing martial arts throws and choke-holds as part of the Battalion's week-long, Combatives-focused training effort 'Agile Fighter.'

Level III certified combatives instructor, Staff Sgt. Ashley Miller, a native of Chicago, led the class, certifying 2nd NATO Sig. Bn. Soldiers, Airmen, and Sailors in Army Level I Combatives techniques.
Participants in the class learned twenty basic combative techniques such as the arm bar, mount, guard, and rear neck choke. The techniques focused on defensive and offensive moves that can be used by a combatant to neutralize the enemy.

"Combatives is an important part of our training program here in 2NSB," said Maj. Benjamin Schneller, commander, Deployable Communications Module A, 2nd NATO Sig. Bn., who incorporated the program into a new quarterly training program for the unit. "It helps our Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen develop confidence, enhance resilience, and foster mental toughness. Our program is designed to build a sense of accomplishment that will 'bleed' over into all other aspects of our NATO mission."

In 1995 the 2nd Ranger Battalion developed the Modern Army Combative Program to train U.S. military forces to subdue and defeat enemies in hand-to-hand combat. It has since been incorporated widely into Army training and is one of the Forty Warrior Core Tasks of the Warrior Ethos initiative.

Some Mixed Martial Arts techniques are incorporated into the training, such as the rear clinch, modified seatbelt position, double under hooks, and the wall clinch. These techniques are learned and executed as mandatory for graduation of level I.

As the primary instructor of the course, Miller explained that participation in the course helps to develop confidence, personal courage, and resiliency when it comes to close hand-to-hand combat situations.