By Master Sgt. David Johnson, 412th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne)December 5, 2016
FORT IRWIN, Calif. --Soldiers from Delta Company, 412th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) participated in the National Training Center (NTC) rotation 17-02. The 4 The 412th is based in Columbus, Ohio.
The Mojave Desert is familiar training ground for Soldiers of the 412th.
Delta Company Soldiers focused on civil affairs (CA) collective tasks.
"We trained on internally displaced persons (IDP) and key leader engagements (KLE) with local populations," said Sgt. 1st Class Vincent Johnson, Jr., the Delta Company first sergeant.
Working with a maneuver battalion, the mobile civil affairs teams (CAT) members bring assistance in dealing with local populations.
"Helping the local commander with IDP and KLE to give an assessment is the bread and butter of what our CATs can bring to the fight," said Johnson.
However, each rotation brings different training and challenges regarding how CA will fit into the scheme of the maneuver brigade's training objectives and how it will utilize CA assets.
For rotation 17-02, the 412th became one of the first ever CA units to integrate with the Special Operations Forces (SOF) unit. The unit is part of an element of the Fifth Special Forces Group, based at Fort Campbell, Ky. assigned to the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division (1/1 AR), based at Fort Bliss, Texas.
Captain Vitaly Sherbina, operations officer with 412th, linked with the SOF unit.
"We trained on conventional, inter-dependability and inter-operational objectives," said Sherbina. "For instance, an evacuation of U.S. Embassy staff from a country when the country's security is unstable."
Sherbina and Johnson added some highlights of the NTC rotation for Delta Company.
"The 412th assisted the SOF unit's security personnel with non-lethal targeting, messaging, and information analysis," said Johnson.
"We did analysis of messages on social media involving three divergent ethnic groups in the exercise," said Sherbina.
"Our expertise greatly assisted the SOF guys," said Johnson. "We shared this information we developed with the SOF unit and passed it to our CMOC (Civil Military Operations Center)."
Information analysis and sharing of that knowledge is vital to successful CA units.
"The unit has the benefit of intense planning with all the units participating," said Maj. Sterling Morris, commander of Delta Company. "We trained with military police and other units that work with IDP, so that helped our Soldiers."
"NTC benefitted the 412th to execute collective tasks to support the battalion," said Sherbina. "Delta Company will help the battalion to train on its collective support tasks."
In typical Army fashion, the Soldiers all helped each other. From the ground up, Soldiers support Soldiers, and units support units.
"NTC helps the company, which helps the battalion. This is a perfect example of ultimate teamwork," said Sherbina.