News: 3rd Brigade paratroopers receive training on BETSS-C
Story by Spc. Terrance Payton
FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Paratroopers with 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division have been conducting surveillance training here this week provided by a company named CACI on a system called Base Expeditionary Targeting Surveillance Systems – Combined, better known as BETSS-C.
The BETSS-C consists of four systems, which include the Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment, Cerberus, Force Protection Suite, and Rapid Deployment Integrated Surveillance System.
CACI provides five mobile training teams, which consist of a team leader and a primary instructor on each system. They travel all over the United States to provide BETSS-C training to active duty, National Guard and Reserve soldiers.
“We are based out of Fayetteville and this is something that Fort Bragg needs to take advantage of,” said Sammie Sax III, a team leader for one of the BETSS-C soldier training teams. “The training is of no cost to the units. All they need to provide is the training area and the soldiers.”
The company, who has been training these systems for the past three years, also has two mobile training facilities that are equipped with 10 simulation stations that provide students with hands-on training in a classroom environment.
“It’s optimum to train 10 soldiers per class because it gives them more hands-on training,” said Sax. “We can train up to 20 soldiers per class if we place two soldiers at each training station.”
Students can receive training and become proficient on all four of the systems that make up BETSS-C in as little as 15 days, but training can be broken down into smaller sessions and tailored to fit the specific needs of each unit.
“The training is excellent,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Vinicombe, a student from Company A, 82nd Brigade Support Battalion. “I learned that early detection is crucial in security and will help tremendously with forward operating base security.”
The BETSS-C system provides soldiers with force protection, reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, counter-IED, and counter-insurgent capabilities. It also provides 360-degree day and night and long range to short range coverage.
“Too many times they wait to give us this training right before we deploy,” said Vinicombe. “It’s good to have this training now.”
Sax said that they would like to train soldiers 90 days before deployment. The purpose is to train Soldiers who will be deploying to be able to operate the BETSS-C family of systems prior to getting into country.
“This training is very beneficial because we will use this equipment while deployed and units don’t know how to use it properly,” said Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Suggs of Company C, 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion. “Having learned the basic installation and operation of the Cerberus and RAID, I can provide ‘train the trainer’ for soldiers who don’t know how to use the equipment.”
Soldiers in 3rd Brigade are receiving the training now to enhance mission readiness as the nation’s Global Response Force and may be called to be deployed at any time with short notice.