Green Sands: The Evolution of Counter-UAS Training

By Sgt. Raquel BirkMarch 8, 2024

First Army Observer, Coach/Trainers with the 174th Infantry Brigade provide guidance to members of 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey Army National Guard, during a Mission Readiness Exercise designed to apply Green Sands training knowledge and pre-deployment readiness at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico Feb. 24. Unmanned aerial system attacks are an emerging threat United States Army Central seeks to counter in its two-part Green Sands training initiative. Green Sands “CONUS,” or Continental United States, held stateside here Feb. 9- Mar. 5, builds the foundation of Base Defense Operation Centers. The second phase of BDOC crew training, Green Sands “Heavy,” is held at the ARCENT Training and Readiness Center overseas to prepare crews for Relief in Place/Transfer of Authority at their various outstations in Iraq and Syria.
1 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – First Army Observer, Coach/Trainers with the 174th Infantry Brigade provide guidance to members of 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey Army National Guard, during a Mission Readiness Exercise designed to apply Green Sands training knowledge and pre-deployment readiness at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico Feb. 24. Unmanned aerial system attacks are an emerging threat United States Army Central seeks to counter in its two-part Green Sands training initiative. Green Sands “CONUS,” or Continental United States, held stateside here Feb. 9- Mar. 5, builds the foundation of Base Defense Operation Centers. The second phase of BDOC crew training, Green Sands “Heavy,” is held at the ARCENT Training and Readiness Center overseas to prepare crews for Relief in Place/Transfer of Authority at their various outstations in Iraq and Syria. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Raquel Birk) VIEW ORIGINAL
Members of the 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey Army National Guard, participate in a Mission Readiness Exercise with 5 th Armored Brigade and 174th Infantry Brigade, First Army Observer, Coach/Trainers at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico Feb. 24 to test their Green Sands training knowledge on counter unmanned aerial system systems training prior to assuming the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve force protection mission in Iraq and Syria, Spring 2024.
2 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Members of the 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey Army National Guard, participate in a Mission Readiness Exercise with 5 th Armored Brigade and 174th Infantry Brigade, First Army Observer, Coach/Trainers at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico Feb. 24 to test their Green Sands training knowledge on counter unmanned aerial system systems training prior to assuming the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve force protection mission in Iraq and Syria, Spring 2024. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Raquel Birk) VIEW ORIGINAL
Green Sands training instructors with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), currently responsible for force protection throughout the CJTF-OIR region, provided the course instruction, relaying theater-specific lessons learned, best practices, successful counter-unmanned aerial system integration techniques, and quick action drills to better equip the 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team transitioning into the region. Air space coordination, investigations process, and datalinks, were taught by 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command subject matter experts.
3 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Green Sands training instructors with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), currently responsible for force protection throughout the CJTF-OIR region, provided the course instruction, relaying theater-specific lessons learned, best practices, successful counter-unmanned aerial system integration techniques, and quick action drills to better equip the 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team transitioning into the region. Air space coordination, investigations process, and datalinks, were taught by 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command subject matter experts. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Raquel Birk) VIEW ORIGINAL
Soldiers with 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey Army National Guard, receive Base Defense Operation Center counter unmanned aerial systems training from Capt. Niccolo A. Iacovelli, Green Sands training instructor and infantryman with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), during Green Sands “CONUS,” or Continental United States at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico Feb. 19 to prepare BDOC crews for Relief in Place/Transfer of Authority at their various outstations in Iraq and Syria. 

In a Green Sands first, subject matter experts with the 2nd BCT, 10th MTN DIV (LI) currently responsible for force protection throughout the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve region, provided the course instruction, relaying theater-specific lessons learned, best practices, successful counter-UAS integration techniques, and quick action drills to better equip the 44th IBCT transitioning into the region.
4 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers with 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey Army National Guard, receive Base Defense Operation Center counter unmanned aerial systems training from Capt. Niccolo A. Iacovelli, Green Sands training instructor and infantryman with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), during Green Sands “CONUS,” or Continental United States at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico Feb. 19 to prepare BDOC crews for Relief in Place/Transfer of Authority at their various outstations in Iraq and Syria.

In a Green Sands first, subject matter experts with the 2nd BCT, 10th MTN DIV (LI) currently responsible for force protection throughout the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve region, provided the course instruction, relaying theater-specific lessons learned, best practices, successful counter-UAS integration techniques, and quick action drills to better equip the 44th IBCT transitioning into the region. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Raquel Birk)
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Soldiers with 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey Army National Guard, receive Base Defense Operation Center counter unmanned aerial systems training from 1st Lt. Adrian Garlant, Green Sands training instructor and infantryman with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), during Green Sands “CONUS,” or Continental United States at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico Feb. 19 to prepare BDOC crews for Relief in Place/Transfer of Authority at their various outstations in Iraq and Syria. 

In a Green Sands first, subject matter experts with the 2nd BCT, 10th MTN DIV (LI) currently responsible for force protection throughout the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve region, provided the course instruction, relaying theater-specific lessons learned, best practices, successful counter-UAS integration techniques, and quick action drills to better equip the 44th IBCT transitioning into the region.
5 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers with 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey Army National Guard, receive Base Defense Operation Center counter unmanned aerial systems training from 1st Lt. Adrian Garlant, Green Sands training instructor and infantryman with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), during Green Sands “CONUS,” or Continental United States at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico Feb. 19 to prepare BDOC crews for Relief in Place/Transfer of Authority at their various outstations in Iraq and Syria.

In a Green Sands first, subject matter experts with the 2nd BCT, 10th MTN DIV (LI) currently responsible for force protection throughout the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve region, provided the course instruction, relaying theater-specific lessons learned, best practices, successful counter-UAS integration techniques, and quick action drills to better equip the 44th IBCT transitioning into the region. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Raquel Birk)
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Maj. Gen. William A. Ryan III, First Army Division West commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Vincent Simonetti, DIVWEST senior enlisted advisor, speak with members of the U.S. Army Central Green Sands training team to facilitate collaboration on the best way forward improving and sustaining counter unmanned aerial systems training at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico Feb. 15. Green Sands “CONUS,” or Continental United States, held stateside here Feb. 9- Mar. 5, builds the foundation of Base Defense Operation Centers. The second phase of BDOC crew training, Green Sands “Heavy,” is held at the ARCENT Training and Readiness Center overseas to prepare crews for Relief in Place/Transfer of Authority at their various outstations in Iraq and Syria. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Maj. Reese, ARCENT protection)
6 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Maj. Gen. William A. Ryan III, First Army Division West commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Vincent Simonetti, DIVWEST senior enlisted advisor, speak with members of the U.S. Army Central Green Sands training team to facilitate collaboration on the best way forward improving and sustaining counter unmanned aerial systems training at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico Feb. 15. Green Sands “CONUS,” or Continental United States, held stateside here Feb. 9- Mar. 5, builds the foundation of Base Defense Operation Centers. The second phase of BDOC crew training, Green Sands “Heavy,” is held at the ARCENT Training and Readiness Center overseas to prepare crews for Relief in Place/Transfer of Authority at their various outstations in Iraq and Syria. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Maj. Reese, ARCENT protection) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fleet Master Chief Derrick Walters, senior enlisted leader, U.S. Central Command, spoke with Green Sands training students on the importance of counter unmanned aerial system training and recognized instructors at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico Feb. 19. UAS attacks are an emerging threat United States Army Central seeks to counter in its two-part Green Sands training initiative. Green Sands “CONUS,” or Continental United States, held stateside here Feb. 9- Mar. 5, builds the foundation of Base Defense Operation Centers. The second phase of BDOC crew training, Green Sands “Heavy,” is held at the ARCENT Training and Readiness Center overseas to prepare crews for Relief in Place/Transfer of Authority at their various outstations in Iraq and Syria. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Maj. Reese, U.S. Army Central G36 protection)
7 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Fleet Master Chief Derrick Walters, senior enlisted leader, U.S. Central Command, spoke with Green Sands training students on the importance of counter unmanned aerial system training and recognized instructors at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico Feb. 19. UAS attacks are an emerging threat United States Army Central seeks to counter in its two-part Green Sands training initiative. Green Sands “CONUS,” or Continental United States, held stateside here Feb. 9- Mar. 5, builds the foundation of Base Defense Operation Centers. The second phase of BDOC crew training, Green Sands “Heavy,” is held at the ARCENT Training and Readiness Center overseas to prepare crews for Relief in Place/Transfer of Authority at their various outstations in Iraq and Syria. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Maj. Reese, U.S. Army Central G36 protection) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Raquel Birk) VIEW ORIGINAL
Members of the U.S. Army Central Green Sands training team gather at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico Feb. 19. Unmanned aerial system attacks are an emerging threat United States Army Central seeks to counter in its two-part Green Sands training initiative. Green Sands “CONUS,” or Continental United States, held stateside here Feb. 9- Mar. 5, builds the foundation of Base Defense Operation Centers. The second phase of BDOC crew training, Green Sands “Heavy,” is held at the ARCENT Training and Readiness Center overseas to prepare crews for Relief in Place/Transfer of Authority at their various outstations in Iraq and Syria.
8 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Members of the U.S. Army Central Green Sands training team gather at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico Feb. 19. Unmanned aerial system attacks are an emerging threat United States Army Central seeks to counter in its two-part Green Sands training initiative. Green Sands “CONUS,” or Continental United States, held stateside here Feb. 9- Mar. 5, builds the foundation of Base Defense Operation Centers. The second phase of BDOC crew training, Green Sands “Heavy,” is held at the ARCENT Training and Readiness Center overseas to prepare crews for Relief in Place/Transfer of Authority at their various outstations in Iraq and Syria. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Raquel Birk) VIEW ORIGINAL
Capt. David A. Sanders, counter-unmanned aerial system attacks operations planner with U.S. Army Central, leads a class on Base Defense Operation Center capabilities during Green Sands Continental United States Feb. 19. UAS attacks are an emerging threat United States Army Central seeks to counter in its two-part Green Sands training initiative. Green Sands “CONUS,” held Feb. 9- Mar. 5, at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico, builds the foundation of Base Defense Operations, and Green Sands “Heavy,” the next phase of training for held at the ARCENT Training and Readiness Center, prepares crews for Relief in Place/Transfer of Authority at their various outstations in Iraq and Syria.
9 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Capt. David A. Sanders, counter-unmanned aerial system attacks operations planner with U.S. Army Central, leads a class on Base Defense Operation Center capabilities during Green Sands Continental United States Feb. 19. UAS attacks are an emerging threat United States Army Central seeks to counter in its two-part Green Sands training initiative. Green Sands “CONUS,” held Feb. 9- Mar. 5, at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico, builds the foundation of Base Defense Operations, and Green Sands “Heavy,” the next phase of training for held at the ARCENT Training and Readiness Center, prepares crews for Relief in Place/Transfer of Authority at their various outstations in Iraq and Syria. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Raquel Birk) VIEW ORIGINAL
The 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Base Defense Operations Center crews observed a mobile-low, slow, small, unmanned aircraft integrated defeat system live-fire to instill confidence in kinetic systems capable of shooting down one-way UAS attacks during pre-deployment Green Sands training Continental United States at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico March 4. Unmanned aerial system attacks are an emerging threat United States Army Central seeks to counter in its two-part Green Sands training initiative. The first part, Green Sands “CONUS,” held stateside Feb. 9- Mar. 5, builds the foundation of Base Defense Operations, and the second part, Green Sands “Heavy,” is a final rehearsal held subsequently overseas.
10 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Base Defense Operations Center crews observed a mobile-low, slow, small, unmanned aircraft integrated defeat system live-fire to instill confidence in kinetic systems capable of shooting down one-way UAS attacks during pre-deployment Green Sands training Continental United States at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico March 4. Unmanned aerial system attacks are an emerging threat United States Army Central seeks to counter in its two-part Green Sands training initiative. The first part, Green Sands “CONUS,” held stateside Feb. 9- Mar. 5, builds the foundation of Base Defense Operations, and the second part, Green Sands “Heavy,” is a final rehearsal held subsequently overseas. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Raquel Birk) VIEW ORIGINAL
Lt. Col. Samuel A. Arnett, G36 "protection" operations officer, and Capt. Angela M. Wilker, air defense officer, both Green Sands training instructors with U.S. Army Central teach a class on Base Defense Operation Center roles and responsibilities to members of the 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey Army National Guard during Green Sands “CONUS,” or Continental United States Feb. 19. Unmanned aerial system attacks are an emerging threat United States Army Central seeks to counter in its two-part Green Sands training initiative. The first part, Green Sands “CONUS,” held at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico Feb. 9- Mar. 5, builds the foundation of Base Defense Operations, and the second part, Green Sands “Heavy,” is a final rehearsal held subsequently overseas. The 44th IBCT will complete both iterations of training prior to assuming the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve force protection mission in Iraq and Syria, Spring 2024.
11 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Lt. Col. Samuel A. Arnett, G36 "protection" operations officer, and Capt. Angela M. Wilker, air defense officer, both Green Sands training instructors with U.S. Army Central teach a class on Base Defense Operation Center roles and responsibilities to members of the 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey Army National Guard during Green Sands “CONUS,” or Continental United States Feb. 19. Unmanned aerial system attacks are an emerging threat United States Army Central seeks to counter in its two-part Green Sands training initiative. The first part, Green Sands “CONUS,” held at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico Feb. 9- Mar. 5, builds the foundation of Base Defense Operations, and the second part, Green Sands “Heavy,” is a final rehearsal held subsequently overseas. The 44th IBCT will complete both iterations of training prior to assuming the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve force protection mission in Iraq and Syria, Spring 2024. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Raquel Birk) VIEW ORIGINAL
The 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Base Defense Operations Center crews observed a mobile-low, slow, small, unmanned aircraft integrated defeat system live-fire to instill confidence in kinetic systems capable of shooting down one-way UAS attacks during pre-deployment Green Sands training Continental United States at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico March 4. Unmanned aerial system attacks are an emerging threat United States Army Central seeks to counter in its two-part Green Sands training initiative. The first part, Green Sands “CONUS,” held stateside Feb. 9- Mar. 5, builds the foundation of Base Defense Operations, and the second part, Green Sands “Heavy,” is a final rehearsal held subsequently overseas.
12 / 12 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Base Defense Operations Center crews observed a mobile-low, slow, small, unmanned aircraft integrated defeat system live-fire to instill confidence in kinetic systems capable of shooting down one-way UAS attacks during pre-deployment Green Sands training Continental United States at McGregor Range Complex, New Mexico March 4. Unmanned aerial system attacks are an emerging threat United States Army Central seeks to counter in its two-part Green Sands training initiative. The first part, Green Sands “CONUS,” held stateside Feb. 9- Mar. 5, builds the foundation of Base Defense Operations, and the second part, Green Sands “Heavy,” is a final rehearsal held subsequently overseas. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Raquel Birk) VIEW ORIGINAL

MCGREGOR RANGE COMPLEX, New Mexico – Unmanned aerial system attacks are an emerging threat United States Army Central seeks to counter in its two-part Green Sands training initiative. Green Sands “CONUS,” or Continental United States, held stateside here Feb. 9- Mar. 5, builds the foundation of Base Defense Operation Centers. The second phase of BDOC crew training, Green Sands “Heavy,” is held at the ARCENT Training and Readiness Center overseas to prepare crews for Relief in Place/Transfer of Authority at their various outstations in Iraq and Syria.

“Enemy UAS threaten our Soldiers, service members and our partners in the CENTCOM AOR [United States Central Command area of responsibility],” said Lt. Gen Patrick D. Frank, USARCENT commanding general. “For the last nine months, USARCENT has implemented CENTCOM’s Green Sands Counter-UAS training initiative by preparing Base Defense Operations Centers throughout the theater through dynamic threat UAS scenarios, multiple iterations, and live fire training.”

The 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 42nd Infantry Division, New Jersey Army National Guard, will complete both iterations of training prior to assuming the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve force protection mission in Iraq and Syria, Spring 2024.

“Green Sands is required training that increases BDOC crew proficiency and confidence to quickly eliminate enemy UASs,” Frank added.

In a Green Sands first, subject matter experts with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), currently responsible for force protection throughout the CJTF-OIR region, provided the course instruction, relaying theater-specific lessons learned, best practices, successful counter-UAS integration techniques, and quick action drills to better equip the 44th IBCT transitioning into the region.

"The evolution of CUAS is extremely fast and the threat we face is real," said Col. Scott Wence, commander of 2nd BCT, 10th MTN DIV (LI) and Task Force Guardian. "Continuous transformation is critical as we find ourselves in contact. Right now, we can execute, develop, and test new capabilities in a real environment against a real enemy. As our team captures lessons learned, in addition to our wins on the battlefield, it only helps future deploying organizations increase their own capabilities-even before they arrive in theater."

In addition to completing Green Sands training, the 44th IBCT is also completing its post mobilization training with 5th Armored Brigade and 174th Infantry Brigade, First Army Observer, Coach/Trainers. This is accomplished through a series of validations culminating in a Mission Readiness Exercise.

“The 5th AR BDE employs every available asset and subject matter expert to ensure that 44th IBCT Soldiers are ready to counter current and emerging threats in theater,” said Col. Johnny Sutton, 5th AR BDE commander. “Pre-deployment exercises give mobilized Soldiers confidence in their systems, tactics, and procedures needed for combat readiness.

First Army OC/Ts serve as mobilization, readiness and training guides to Reserve and National Guard units based on their knowledge, experience, expertise, and certification process. Green Sands leverages the knowledge of diverse experts to provide a collective learning experience.

“Green Sands provides some of the finest warfighting advisors from USARCENT; First Army; 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, and 10th Mountain Division with the mutual goal of Total Force Readiness, enabling Reserve Component formations to achieve Headquarters Department of the Army-directed readiness goals and deliver a trained and ready 44th IBCT for their upcoming deployment,” Sutton added. “Building readiness and lethality to fight and win in combat requires partnership, trust, and realistic training across the Active and Reserve components to fight shoulder-to-shoulder.”

Green Sands training, originally held for the first-time last year at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, incorporates CUAS into BDOCs through classroom instruction, command post exercises in a BDOC, and a CUAS virtual live fire.

“Green Sands training integrates CUAS capabilities within the BDOC and ensures personnel understand the threat, capabilities, and technology,” said Lt. Col. Samuel A. Arnett, G36 protection operations officer, USARCENT. “We also instruct Battle Captains and noncommissioned officers on the importance of leading and developing their BDOC teams to bridge the gap between doctrine and theater-specific counter-UAS standard operating procedures.”

The training begins with an introduction to BDOC crew roles and responsibilities.

“Soldiers watch a video of an engagement inside a BDOC that demonstrates the steps every member of the BDOC team takes to neutralize a threat,” Arnett added. “This provides incoming BDOC crews an opportunity to understand their duty position.”

Green Sands also addresses air space coordination, investigations process, and datalinks, taught by 32nd AAMDC experts.

“Building a foundation of understanding on well-versed tactical data links, specifically Link 16, is critical to the ever-changing battlefield” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Taryn Wigal, air and missile defense systems integrator with 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 32nd AAMDC. “Link 16 is a military tactical data link network which enables real-time communication between military aircraft, ships, and ground forces, allowing them to exchange their tactical picture in near-real time. Interoperability will be the measure of success versus failure. With Soldier lives on the line, we cannot leave it to chance.”

On day two and three, the students are separated into smaller groups where they receive Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control and Correlated Defense System of Systems Simulation hands-on training, allowing instructors to test the students’ ability to recognize enemy and friendly assets and actively engage.

“We train on the latest in CUAS capabilities, such as the FAAD C-2 and CDS3, to orient Soldiers with BDOC systems designed to allow the operator to identify, classify, and engage, one-way attack UAS threats,” said 1st Lt. Adrian Garlant, Green Sands training instructor and infantryman with 2nd BCT, 10th MTN DIV (LI). “We applied classroom instruction to theater-specific scenarios that replicate air attacks, emulating current enemy tactics, techniques, and procedures to allow for battle drill rehearsals and refinement of processes.”

The 44th IBCT BDOC crews observed a mobile-low, slow, small, unmanned aircraft integrated defeat system live-fire to instill confidence in kinetic systems capable of shooting down one-way UAS attacks.

“The tactics, techniques, and procedures we are seeing our enemies employ in the Combined Joint Operation Area are changing every day,” said Capt. Niccolo A. Iacovelli, Green Sands training instructor and infantryman with 2nd BCT, 10th MTN DIV (LI). “Integrating trainers from units forward deployed to CJTF-OIR enables Green Sands training to advance CUAS knowledge and develop formalized framework, or battle drills, for the incoming units based on our standard operating procedures and hard-learned lessons throughout CJTF-OIR.”

Green Sands training remains ever evolving to combat emerging threats across the modern battlefield.

“The rapid technology proliferation and increased employment of UAS on the battlefield make cross training and multidomain operations paramount,” said Capt. Angela M. Wilker, USARCENT air defense officer and Green Sands instructor. “The prevalent use of drone warfare by adversaries has driven home the value in training on handheld and highly mobile air defense. BDOC is MOS [military occupational specialty]-immaterial, meaning, it’s not specific to an air defender to be able to employ CUAS systems. Green Sands establishes that baseline of training for Soldiers as they prepare to enter theater and facilitate integration of CUAS systems.”

Once complete with pre-deployment training and Green Sands Conus, the 44th IBCT BDOC crews will further test their CUAS knowledge at Green Sands Heavy overseas.

“Green Sands Heavy is a four-day FS-LIDS [fixed site - low, slow, small, unmanned aircraft system integrated defeat system] engagement with the U.S. Air Force, focusing on the de-confliction of airspace, and multiple repetitions of demanding CUAS scenarios,” said Arnett. “The FS-LIDS uses the AN/TPQ-50 counter-fire radar and electro-optic cameras to detect and track small UAVs. Targets can be engaged using an electronic warfare system or Coyote interceptors.”

Green Sands offers mobile, adaptable training to enhance war-fighting capabilities that are not always readily available to all components.

“National Guard and Reserve units have different constraints from Active-Duty units, so it is vital that we train together to mitigate the recent drone trends in the CJTF-OIR region,” said Arnett. “We strive to share our materials with HQDA, Joint Counter-UAS University, and other units to facilitate collaboration on the best way forward improving and sustaining CUAS training.”

Outside of Green Sands training offered by ARCENT and CENTCOM, the Joint Counter Small UAS University at Fort Sill offers a two-week operator’s course focusing on the operations of the Joint C-sUAS Office evaluated C-sUAS systems.

Arnett added that the inaugural Green Sands CONUS training was beneficial for all involved and ensured the 44th IBCT BDOC crews were more prepared to face emerging threats in theater.

“As we conclude our Green Sands CONUS training, it’s evident that the skills honed here are indispensable,” said Lt. Col. Omar Minott, 44th IBCT deputy commanding officer. “Recent drone attacks underscore the critical need for this training. By mastering counter-drone techniques, we not only protect ourselves, but also ensure readiness for future threats. Together, we mitigate risks and safeguard our service members’ safety and mission success."