2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group training at Camp

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Author’s Note – Due the sensitive nature of the mission that Special Forces Soldiers undertake, the names of the individuals have been withheld at the request of the unit.

CAMP ATTERBURY JOINT MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ind. – They wear different uniforms, a hodgepodge of patterns. Some are in Army Combat Uniforms – the gray-green digital pattern that is the current wear of the Army, others wore the older Battle Dress uniform that was phased out of service. They addressed each other by first name as opposed to rank and last name. While to some this informality would indicate a lack of discipline, to the Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group it is just how business is done.

Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group check their parachutes prior to a military freefall drop at Camp Atterbury joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind.
Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group check their parachutes prior to a military freefall drop at Camp Atterbury joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind. The Special Forces unit was at Camp Atterbury for a weeklong training exercise. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Matt Scotten, Camp Atterbury Public Affairs)

The Ohio National Guard unit was at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind., last week for a quarterly training exercise.

Where as a typical National Guard unit will have a two-day drill weekend, the 2nd-19th SFG consolidates their drill days into a number of week-long drills, said the acting commander. ; “This allows us to get out here and do more in one drill period than we would using the conventional drill schedule,” he said. “This also works out for our team members that live a significant distance away.”

Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group descend to earth after jumping out of a CH 47 Chinook helicopter.
Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group descend to earth after jumping out of a CH47 Chinook helicopter at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind. The airborne operation is just one of many tasks the 2nd-19th SFG must perform to maintain their credentials and accreditation. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Matt Scotten, Camp Atterbury Public Affairs)

During their training at Camp Atterbury, the Special Forces Soldiers performed airborne drops from 12,500 feet and 5,000 feet. They also qualified with their individual weapons systems and reflexive fire ranges.

One of the tasks scheduled during their training was conducting foot patrols in the wilderness.

Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group provide security along likely avenues of approach the rest of their team can cross a trail during a foot patrol while training at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind.
Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group provide security along likely avenues of approach the rest of their team can cross a trail during a foot patrol while training at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind. The 2nd19th SFG were recently at Camp Atterbury for a week-long drill period. (Photo by Staff Sgt. David Bruce, Camp Atterbury Public Affairs)

“We want to get back to the woods,” said the acting commander. “There has been a lot of focus on urban operations, but that is one facet of what we do. So we’re out here doing basic combat foot patrol. We travel by the hardest route possible simply because no one would expect anyone to be there and that gives us the element of surprise.”

A Soldier with 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group provides security for his team during a foot patrol while training at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind.
A Soldier with 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group provides security for his team during a foot patrol while training at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind. The foot patrol, while a basic infantry task, is just one of several tasks these highly trained Soldiers have to maintain in addition to advanced skills, often traveling through the most inhospitable route possible. (Photo by Staff Sgt. David Bruce, Camp Atterbury Public Affairs)

The patrol started like any other mission: with pre-combat checks and inspections, ensuring all team members had all their mission essential gear. During the course of the patrol, the squad-sized unit would refine their techniques of movement and communicating through hand signals.

“What we are also doing is collecting as much ‘intel’ about our surroundings,” said the acting commander. “When we stop we’re looking, listening and smelling, using all our senses to check an area.”

A Soldier with 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group covers the rearguard as his team moves out after a break during a foot patrol while training at Camp Atterbury.
A Soldier with 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group covers the rearguard as his team moves out after a break during a foot patrol while training at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind. The foot patrol, while a basic infantry task, is just one of several tasks these highly trained Soldiers have to maintain in addition to advanced skills, often traveling through the most inhospitable route possible. (Photo by Staff Sgt. David Bruce, Camp Atterbury Public Affairs)

While the concept of walking a foot patrol may seem mundane for these highly trained Soldiers, without the basics you can’t do the high-speed things, said the team training noncommissioned officer.

“You can’t do advanced operations until you master the basics. As an Operational Detachment Alpha, it’s important for us to ensure everyone of the team has the foundation of the basics. We do a lot of sustainment training. We still have to maintain proficiency in skill level three, four and five since we’re all noncommissioned officers,” said the team training noncommissioned officer. “We hit the ground running when we got here with three military free fall operations, two drops at 12,500 feet and one at 5,000 feet. There are so many facets and aspects to our training and the credentials we have to maintain; airborne proficiency is just one of them,” he added.

Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group check their course with compasses during a foot patrol while training at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind.
Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group check their course with compasses during a foot patrol while training at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind. Despite the advent of GPS navigational technology, which these Soldiers do utilize, the lensatic compass remains the most reliable tool for land navigation, batteries and satellites not required. (Photo by Staff Sgt. David Bruce, Camp Atterbury Public Affairs)

The Soldiers said Camp Atterbury gives the 2nd-19th SFG a good location for their training.

“We come here about 4 – 5 times a year,” said the training noncommissioned officer. “We’re a relatively local unit. The amenities here at Camp Atterbury give us a lot of opportunities to train, whether is areas for patrolling to ranges or the airfield. The staff here is very helpful and makes our training easier to accomplish.”

A Soldier with 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group descends to earth after jumping out of a CH 47 Chinook helicopter at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind.
A Soldier with 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group descends to earth after jumping out of a CH47 Chinook helicopter at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind. The airborne operation is just one of many tasks the 2nd-19th SFG must perform to maintain their credentials and accreditation. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Matt Scotten, Camp Atterbury Public Affairs)

By Staff Sgt. David Bruce

Military Friends of NewsBlaze originated these stories, sending them directly to us from Iraq, some from Afghanistan and some in the USA.