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    U.S. SOF develop multinational Advance Combat Leaders Course with Allied nations

    U.S. SOF develop multinational Advance Combat Leaders Course with Allied nations

    Photo By Sgt. Alexis Washburn-Jasinski | A Polish Special Operations Forces member provides security Nov. 14, 2018 in Slovakia...... read more read more

    LEST, Slovakia – In a small ceremony, U.S. Army Special Forces Soldiers assigned to 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) along with Lithuanian, Polish and Slovakian SOF graduated 22 participants from the first ever Advanced Combat Leaders Course (ACLC), Friday, Nov. 16.

    ACLC is a four-week Train-the-Trainer program based around the current U.S. Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat training and consists of two-weeks of range shooting, which was held in Poland – followed by two weeks of close-quarter battle in Slovakia.

    The purpose of this training collaboration is to train future instructors from NATO countries, and to build and strengthen the interoperability between Allied forces, develop a standard operating procedure (SOP), and enhance the expeditionary capability of all those involved.

    According to a U.S. Special Forces officer who assisted in planning the course, Polish SOF initiated the request for the course.

    “They know about the shooting courses that we have, being our SFAUC that we usually run for ourselves,” he said. “They wanted to put together some sort of course like that for their own regiment.”

    He explained that Polish SOF wanted assistance developing a course they could adopt and teach themselves year after year; a train-the-trainer program.

    “It sort of grew, we were talking about bringing in other people to get that interoperability aspect,” said the U.S. officer. “They were very welcoming to it. So, we reached out to [Lithuanian and Slovakian SOF] and asked them to send their best and brightest as far as who they want to be instructors within their own elements.”

    The U.S. Special Forces commander involved in the training stated that one of the tasks his team identified as wanting to accomplish during this course was increasing the tactical-level interoperability of these NATO SOF units to be able to shoot and move together in close spaces, a critical skill on the battlefield.

    To achieve this, planners brought in subject matter experts and trainers out of the 10th SFG(A) Special Skills Detachment. These instructors provided subject-matter expertise and decades of combined shooting experience.

    “We could have only gotten guys from other teams to come down and teach this course and it would have been just fine,” said the commander. “But the 10th Group Special Skills Detachment – they recognize the importance of getting out and helping to service these types of expertise requests.”

    Throughout the course, the U.S. SOF instructors guided the trainees through a variety of tasks and an aggressive schedule. The largest challenge they faced came from a mix of language barriers and different planes of proficiency. According to instructors, the barriers slowed down the schedule, but did not hinder the training. The instructors used teamwork and brought all the participants up to speed and helped them develop a common standard.

    The overall reaction to both the course and the instructors was received positively.

    “It’s a very good course – good experience in a multinational team and working in small units,” said a Slovakian SOF student. “The instructors are pretty cool guys. Very knowledgeable.”

    The planners agreed with the positive reception of the new course.
    “I think it’s been very positive,” added a U.S. SF senior enlisted member. “It’s been taken very positive - and with minor adjustments, additions and subtractions of certain training venues – it will move forward for future training operations.”

    While ACLC is not an official certifying system, upon graduation, all who go through the course will be recognized as “certified instructors” within their own regiments. Some will return and to lead the training the following year. The U.S. SOF instructors will continue to provide guidance in an advisory role.

    Polish SOF have taken the lead and are already planning the next ACLC and intend to expand the program and bring in more elements.

    “They are definitely taking the head, as far as they are asking us what we would need to run this,” said the U.S. Special Forces commander. “They are the ones who are doing all the backside support for it. This is sort of their trial run for when they are leading it next year.”

    In addition to increasing lethality amongst NATO SOF, the U.S. Special Forces commander stated that bringing in a variety of countries to train together also strengthened the relationships between the participating soldiers.

    “When you are able to bring all of these elements together – a Slovakian person briefing the mission to four different military elements and they are all onboard and happy to be participating – it just kind of creates those enduring relationships.”




    Date Taken: 11.16.2018
    Date Posted: 01.02.2019 04:35
    Story ID: 306047
    Location: LEST, SK

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