Flash bang grenades, smoke-filled rooms and tactical movements were all part of a training exercise that partnered teams of highly trained Soldiers and law enforcement officers to test their skills at Fort Bragg, Oct. 10.
Sponsored by the North Carolina Tactical Officers Association and hosted by the Fort Bragg Special Reaction Team, this regional training gave special weapons and Tactics teams from all around eastern North Carolina the opportunity to explore their skills and capabilities.
The training allowed the teams to test their abilities to function mentally, physically and tactically in several different, life-like scenarios using the post’s sniper ranges and urban training facilities.
“It’s a bond we all have. We’ve all been in different encounters, so we know how things happen. For us to work together, not just during training, is a great career tool for us. We’re able to exchange our ideas and tactics for professional development,” said Lt. Blair “Rock” Rockwell, officer in charge, Fort Bragg SRT.
The Fort Bragg SRT coordinated the training, observed about 18 different tactical units completing the scenarios, and provided feedback for the teams to use for future training and actual real-life situations.
“We presented them with real-life types of scenarios, types of operations that SWAT officers may encounter on the job. We got them in a mind set of how to handle these situations, tested them, and after they completed the scenarios, we briefed them on how well they did and gave them other options to try in order to tune their tactics,” said Rockwell.
“The training helps you, as a tactical officer, to watch other teams and see how they do things, to not only help yourself, but kind of give your input, and let them have some things for their toolbox. Maybe by exchanging tactics they did or we did, we can all use them in a situation down the road where we would need to use it,” said Sgt. Brandon Wolfe, 42nd Military Police Company, Fort Bragg SRT, and a native of Moorefield, W.Va.
The SWAT teams negotiated different scenarios, such as a hostage situation involving an active shooter through a dark, smoke-filled room at the urban training facilities. The teams were able to work together to diffuse the situation, by executing a solution while under stress and with minimal visibility.
“Our job is not all what you see on television; it’s not like the SWAT movie. We are the last defense, if we can’t do it, nobody can do it. We have to be on our game at all times and training is no different. You train as you fight, and that’s a big key in our job,” said Wolfe.
The mission of the Fort Bragg SRT is to respond to incidents without notice, such as hostage situations, snipers, barricaded subjects, drug raids, apprehension of dangerous criminals, felony warrant service and counter-terrorism operations on the installation. The unit’s top priority is to preserve human life and restore normal activity on Fort Bragg.