Army News Service by Paul Morando
April 24, 2001
Special Forces train in New York City
In an effort to tactically train in one of the world's largest cities, soldiers from the U.S. Army's
7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) came this month to Fort Hamilton, located in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Military Police soldiers from Fort Hamilton took part in the training as role-players in the urban-environment exercise,
which is standard training for the Special Forces troops based at Ft. Bragg, N.C.
The training mission at Fort Hamilton was two-fold: to reinforce training in Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat by using a realistic metropolitan environment and to provide the MPs of Fort Hamilton an authentic look into the world of urban warfare.
"Fort Hamilton is providing a special training venue for us and its very rare to find people to support this type of training," said a soldier from the 7th SFG.
The 7th SFG usually works with constructed MOUT sites for Military Operations in Urban Terrain, but the soldiers said they appreciated the opportunity to train in a realistic setting.
"It's a higher level for us to come out and hone our skills in the real world instead at a controlled training site," said a 7th SFG soldier. "We draw our people from all over the United States and working in an urban environment allows us to deal with the cultural and linguistic diversity as well as the urban terrain."
The difficulty of working in an urban environment, is figuring out who the enemy is and keeping an eye out for civilians and non-combatants, according to a spokesman for the 7th Special Forces unit,
The exercise began with a meeting of the soldiers on the roof of a high-rise where they geared up and loaded their weapons. For practical and operational purposes, Special Forces units use M-4 carbines, which are shorter, stronger versions of the M16/A2 rifle. The M-4s are modified with "Simunition" kits to fire 9mm paint bullets providing realism during training. Team members and role-players wear goggles during the whole exercise for safety.
Positioned on the roof, the 7th SFG unit 'stacked up' and slowly made their way down to the apartment where the criminals were hiding out.
The main objective was to take down the assailants in any way possible with minimal damage and loss of life. The seven soldiers charged through the door where tense fighting took place and successfully completed their mission.
Sgt. Tim Morgan, a Fort Hamilton MP, said the Special Forces team worked fast in bringing him and his fellow role-players down. "I got a good insight on how a mission like this is carried out," Morgan said. "They knew where the targets were-who's to the left and right. It was definitely good training for us."
"Fort Hamilton has everything you need for an urban theatre," said a soldier from the Special Forces team. "A city environment is hard to recreate and most Army posts cannot provide such a training site."
The 7th SFG is one of seven Special Forces groups -- five active-duty and two National Guard units. Each group is regionally oriented and culturally attuned, officials said. They added that on any given day, it's possible for 800 Special Forces soldiers to deploy into approximately 40 different countries around the world conducting unconventional operations in support of American security.
(Editor's note: Paul Morando is a member of the Fort Hamilton public affairs office.)
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