Army Provides Venue for Multinational SOF Training

U.S. special ops soldier seeks cover at Grafenwoehr Training Area
A U.S. soldier assigned to 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) runs for cover during a live fire exercise at the 7th Army Training Command, Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Nov. 8, 2019. (Gertrud Zach/U.S. Army)

What does a commander do when the unit has a mission in Afghanistan, and it is partnering with nations more than 6,000 miles away?

The 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), also called 10th SFG(A), of Fort Carson, Colorado, met Special Forces units from four European nations at Grafenwoehr Training Area, April 16-28, to prepare for an upcoming mission in Afghanistan.

"It's very unique that a U.S.-based 10th Special Forces Group battalion can come to Grafenwoehr Training Area from stateside to meet with their European partners for their culminating training exercise prior to deploying to Afghanistan for operations," said Col. Adam A. Loveless, the chief of training at the Joint Multinational Training Command, or JMTC, at Grafenwoehr, Germany. "The JMTC is the U.S. Army's only overseas training command; both U.S. and multinational soldiers are better trained and better acquainted with the mission, tactics and techniques before reporting downrange in Afghanistan because they work, bunk, eat, and train together here first. That's why our location here in central Europe is critical."

The JMTC regularly hosts mission rehearsal exercises and unit training with U.S. service members, multinational and NATO partners from Europe, Asia and Africa.

During the training, 10th SFG(A) and their multinational teams breached and cleared buildings, found targets and destroyed caches while also training on common tactics, such as casualty evacuation procedures and treating medical wounds.

"It's realistic training. It's effective and unique to link up with our European partner nations," a U.S Special Forces team member said. "We become more culturally and tactically aware, and we're training with more than one partner nation."

He said it was cost effective to meet in Europe. He doubted the soldiers from all four nations could have participated in the training if it had been conducted anywhere else.

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