RUKLA, Lithuania - "How do you take six dudes and make them disappear?"
This was the question that was posed and answered by Marine Sgt. Hunter Carmichael Nov. 1 during the surface and sub-surface site construction class held in the Lithuanian woods during day seven of the Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leader's Course.
Carmichael is one of the instructors brought here from Fort Benning, Ga. to teach the course, which is being hosted by 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, and features Paratroopers from their unit, as well as soldiers from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia.
"You can either dig a hole or build a bush," said Carmichael as he cut down pine trees to build his bush.
To build a bush, which is also known as surface site construction, the candidates build up an area to hide in that blends into the area around them.
"You want to purposely build up a hiding area around you that enables you to see out, but someone else not to see in, or see you," he said.
To construct a sub-surface site, the candidates dug a hole in the ground.
"You have to find a place to dig where you can still see your objective," said 2nd Lt. Noah Gosswiller, a RSLC instructor from the 173rd Airborne Brigade. "The hole needs to be at least wide enough to fit three people and their ruck sacks in it and deep enough to lay down. However, I recommend digging the hole deep enough to sit in."
Gosswiller said it normally takes about seven to eight hours to properly construct and camouflage a sub-surface site.
Once the hole was dug and the dirt had been carted away, the candidates began to camouflage the hole with brush, dirt and a tarp to make sure it blended into the ground. However, they had to make sure they could still see out and get out of their hiding place.
Later on in the course, the candidates will learn survival training, contingency planning, and target acquisition before beginning their graded patrols. The course will finish on Nov. 19.
Paratroopers from 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade are in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland training with their NATO partners as part of Atlantic Resolve,a U.S. led effort being conducted in Eastern Europe to demonstrate U.S. commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region.
U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned in its 51 country area of responsibility to advance American strategic interests in Europe and Eurasia. The relationships we build during more than 1,000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships and enhance global security.