Spotted lately on the net:
“CLAY NATIONAL GUARD CENTER, Marietta, Ga., June 30, 2011– Four Soldiers from Calhoun’s 1st Squadron, 108th Cavalry, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, conducted an urban operations seminar in early May with two ranger brigades of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) in Beirut, Lebanon. Their assignment: engage the LAF in a “train the trainer” atmosphere, and teach them U.S. tactics in Military Movement in an Urban Environment.
That mission, according to American military and government officials, was a success, and even exceeded the expectations of Army Central Command (ARCENT) and the Office of Defense Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon.
Seminars such as these for the LAF are essential to the security and stability of the region and the protection of its borders, says ARCENT representative Sgt. 1st Class Jack Colburn.
After observing the Georgia Soldiers at work, Colburn said, “Working with the Lebanese Armed Forces has been a great experience. They, as representatives of the Georgia Army Guard, are extremely professional; I take my hat off to them.”
Forming the 108th “Urban Ops Team” were 1st Lt. Elijah Carroll, its officer-in-charge; staff sergeants Marcus Edwards and Scott McElroy; and Spc. Aaron Crow. Among the classes the team put together were:
- Covering individual and team movement on urban terrain
- Weapons handling and safety
- Close quarters combat drills
- Entering and clearing a room
- Building and personnel search techniques
Based on each Soldier’s experiences and training, these and all the subjects chosen, were easy for the team to teach, Crow explains.
“The instruction was derived from my training experiences – for example – and my previous deployment to Afghanistan,” he said. “The same was true for all of us.”
He pointed to McElroy – who is a member of the Cherokee County SWAT team, served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and – in the past – helped train the Venezuelan army – as another example of the kind of experience he and his teammates brought to the “Lebanese training table.”
After arriving in Beirut, the team held its first seminar from May 9 to 13 with the 1st LAF Ranger Brigade, and its second seminar from May 16 to 20 with the 7th LAF Ranger Brigade.
Edwards, one of the primary instructors who has deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan, spoke highly of the LAF.
“The Lebanese were extremely motivated to learn the material presented, and they took to the instruction quite well,” he said. “As Citizen-Soldiers, we train hard and prepare well for what we do, and so does the LAF. I wish we could have stayed longer than we did and shown them evenmore.”
First Lt. Ahmad Cha’aban Hassan of the 1st LAF Rangers agreed with Edwards’ statement.
“The material they presented fits well into our role and mission,” Hassan explained. “All of the instructors were excellent. They proved repeatedly to be the experts in their fields we hoped they would be. Now, we would like to learn more than the basics, especially how to operate at the platoon and company level.”
Overall, Urban Ops trained six LAF ranger officers and 60 noncommissioned officers and enlisted Soldiers. Carroll says the relationship between his team and their students is one that will last for quite a long time, and that he believes it will help improve relations between their two countries.
“The opportunity to train others outside our own forces is something most of us have done, at one time or another,” he said. “Should that opportunity ever present its self again, you can be sure we’re ready to demonstrate just how well-suited the Guard is for supporting this type of mission.”
For more photos, check out the 1-108th’s Facebook page! “
Sources and more photos:
Flickr Georgia National Guard’s photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ganatlguard/
Georgia Guardsman : http://gadod.net/index.php/component/content/article/42-rokstories/445
Georgia National Guard Facebook page : http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.221374424547820.64058.173299616021968