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    Georgia Guard’s 1-54th SFAB Conducts Team Assessment at Fort Benning, Ga.

    Dust Off

    Photo By Maj. William Carraway | With a Georgia Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk inbound, Soldiers of the 1st...... read more read more



    Story by Maj. William Carraway 

    Georgia National Guard

    As Georgia citizens sought shelter from the gripping cold that seized the state from November 11 to 15, 2019, Georgia’s Citizen Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 54th Security Forces Assistance Brigade set out into sub-freezing temperatures for extended field training at Fort Benning. Dubbed Operation Greenhorn, the training tested the Soldiers mettle, skills and will to perform as part of a small team of combat advisors in an austere environment.

    The 10 Soldiers who embarked on the training are the first team constituted by the 1-54th SFAB. All have passed a rigorous two-day selection process at Fort Bragg and all are considered experts in their military occupation specialty. Seven different MOS are represented in the team including infantry, military police, signal, medical and explosive ordnance disposal. While each Soldier brought their own individual skills to the field, the intent of the operation was to fuse these skills with the combat patrol skills necessary to ensure team survivability.

    Upon arriving at their unit headquarters on Fort Benning, the Soldiers conducted training classes in fieldcraft, patrolling, land navigation and casualty evaluation and treatment before putting the skills to practice in rehearsed actions. Following a day of preparation, the Soldiers received their operations order which called for them move by foot into disputed territory, conduct area reconnaissance and be prepared to work with host nation forces.

    The next morning, just after dawn, the team began a six-mile approach march to the training area with full rucksacks and weapon systems. Reaching the training area, the team maneuvered through thick woods and understory using compass and pace count as their primary navigation methods to conduct link up with host nation forces. Nearing the objective, the team’s lead scout observed a simulated casualty where the link up was to occur. The team successfully detected an ambush and maneuvered to suppress the enemy, secured the objective and evaluated the casualty. The team quickly rendered aid and extracted the casualty to a casualty evacuation point to complete the first training scenario.

    The team was next tasked with the mission of carrying “resupply” to a nearby village. The resupply consisted of 80 pounds of water, a wooden pole and two tires. The purpose of the exercise was to evaluate how the team analyzed and solved the problem of transporting heavy and bulky items over rough terrain while maintaining security and avoiding detection.

    As the day and miles passed by, the team completed several successive missions. The Soldiers performed reconnaissance, negotiated meetings with simulated host-nation civilians and maintained communications with higher command apprising them of conditions on the ground. Responding to a simulated IED strike, the team evaluated two casualties and requested medical evacuation. A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter of the Ga. ARNG’s Company C, 1-111th Aviation Regiment responded, and the team quickly established a hasty helicopter landing zone, communicate with the incoming helicopter and moved the casualty to the HLZ for extraction. The Soldiers then practiced requesting nine-line medical evacuation with the Ga. ARNG aviators as the helicopter made multiple passes to pick up the aid and litter teams.

    The training events of November 13 concluded with a two-mile movement and establishment of a patrol base. The following day, the team completed a series of missions in which new Soldiers rotated into team leader positions and were confronted with an increasingly powerful enemy military force. Over the two days, the Soldiers covered 25 miles in full gear.

    At the conclusion of their field problems, the Soldiers reviewed the lessons learned, and evaluated their own performance while receiving input from assessors. Each successive team will face a similar field trial while this team will move on to train additional mission essential tasks they will be expected to perform overseas.

    The 54th SFAB is comprised of National Guard Soldiers from Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Texas. Georgia’s 1-54th SFAB consists of a headquarters company and companies A, B and C and was organized in September 2018. The mission of the SFAB is to advise and assist host nations in the defense against external threats.



    Date Taken: 11.15.2019
    Date Posted: 11.15.2019 19:12
    Story ID: 351938
    Location: FORT BENNING, GA, US 
    Hometown: COLUMBUS, GA, US

    Web Views: 732
    Downloads: 2