Robin Sage Exercise Starts Saturday
The year's second group of prospective Special Forces soldiers will begin the Special Forces Qualification Course culmination exercise Saturday, which runs through Feb. 27, across central North Carolina.
The exercise, called Robin Sage, is conducted in or near Alamance, Anson, Cabarrus, Chatham, Davidson, Guilford, Hoke, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Richmond, Rowan, Scotland, Stanly and Union counties.
Residents may hear blank gunfire and see occasional flares, neither of which poses risk to persons or property, according to a news release from Fort Bragg. Residents who encounter a problem should contact local law-enforcement officials, who will immediately contact exercise control officials.
Robin Sage is conducted eight times annually and has been effectively training students for more than 50 years by the 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne). Robin Sage is designed to provide realistic training in unconventional warfare tactics and techniques. It is the final test of skills learned over the past 12-15 months in the Special Forces Qualification Course.
During the exercise, 8,500 square miles of central North Carolina becomes the Republic of Pineland. More than 1,000 people consisting of instructors, students, volunteers, civilian authorities and the residents from the area participate. Local residents portray natives and auxiliary forces, while additional service members role-play opposing and guerrilla forces to depict a realistic unconventional warfare environment.
Realism in Robin Sage is of high importance considering after the course and graduation students are assigned to operational detachments which are active all over the world, the Army said. Past trainees have come back attesting to the realism they add to the exercise.
Safety is the No. 1 priority for this exercise and the following safety measures have been implemented:
n Formal written notification is given to the chiefs of the law-enforcement agencies in the affected counties, with a follow-up visit from a unit representative.
n All civilian and nonstudent military participants are briefed on procedures to follow if there is contact with law-enforcement officials.
n Personnel role-playing as Pineland law-enforcement officers wear distinctive hats and armbands.
n Students are instructed and tested on the exercise's rules of engagement. This includes procedures to follow if there is contact with law enforcement personnel during the exercise.
n Students will wear only civilian clothes if the tactical situation warrants, as determined by the instructors and will wear a distinctive armband.
Robin Sage had its beginnings in 1952, when Col. Aaron Bank noticed the need for "real-world" training for prospective Special Forces soldiers. Originally, Robin Sage was known as the Cherokee Trail and Gobbler's Woods, and the first exercise was played out in the Chattahoochee National Forest of Georgia.
As the exercise expanded, it moved to the Pigsah and Uwharrie National Forests in North Carolina.
The name changed to Robin Sage when moved closer to Robbins and to pay tribute to a former Army Col. Jerry Sage, a World War II veteran and OSS officer who taught unconventional war tactics.
Officials at U.S. Army JFK Special Warfare Training Group said they appreciate the consideration the residents of North Carolina extend to the soldiers participating in the exercise.
Questions concerning the exercise should be referred to the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School Public Affairs Office at 396-8390 or 396-9394 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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