Army brigade combat teams are tasked to rotate through the National Training Center in order to train for combat. During this current rotation, 17-09, members of the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) are training with the Second Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, exercising special operations interoperability with conventional forces.
The two often work side-by-side during contingency operations, but this exercise provides training to further coordinate and synchronize effects. Although special forces has a broader mission set than direct action and special reconnaissance, its ability to integrate unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, combatting terrorism, and counter-proliferation is assisting the 2nd Stryker Brigade during this training rotation.
NTC 17-09 is a continuation of an ongoing relationship between the 1st SFG (A), the 7th Infantry Division and the 2nd Stryker Brigade. The two units began planning for the training in March, and Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 1st SFG (A) supported the 7th Infantry Divisions and its subordinate Stryker brigades in June at Yakima Training Center, Wa.
"Having this ongoing relationship with the Stryker Brigade definitely helped our training," said. Capt. Matthew, a team leader in Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st SFG (A). "It really helped logistically, especially because we knew when we got on the ground the brigade was going to provide our food and ammunition. Additionally, we already knew the key people to talk to and to coordinate with."
The 1st SFG (A) is integrating a Special Operations Forces Liaison Element (SOFLE) with the 2nd Stryker Brigade to brief its brigade command on what special operations forces are doing on the battlefield and how the special operators can assist the conventional forces in mission accomplishment. The SOFLE is also liaising back to the company to ensure the special operators know what the conventional forces were doing, and how the special operations forces can help.
During the training rotation, the 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) commanding general, Maj. Gen. Fran Beaudette visited the 1st SFG (A) Soldiers to evaluate the NTC's new unconventional warfare lane. "You guys are doing great work and we like what we're seeing," he said. "It's great that you're training alongside your conventional counterparts."
Editor's note: Due to the mission of Special Forces Soldiers, some members of the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) prefer not to use their full names.