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Robin Sage exercises start Sept. 18 in Rowan, surrounding area

This month, Special Forces candidates will participate in the Robin Sage training exercise, held within 15 North Carolina counties as the final test of their Special Forces Qualification Course training.

Between Sept. 18 and Oct. 2, students will participate in this exercise before graduating the course and moving on to their first assignments in the Army’s Special Forces community. Robin Sage is a two-week culmination exercise. The participants are students at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, based out of Fort Bragg.

The exercise’s notional country of Pineland encompasses Rowan, Alamance, Anson, Cabarrus, Chatham, Davidson, Guilford, Hoke, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Richmond, Scotland, Stanly and Union counties. Throughout the exercise, Special Forces candidates and Robin Sage role-players not only conduct training missions such as controlled assaults and key-leader engagements, but also live, eat and sleep in these civilian areas.

All Robin Sage movements and events have been coordinated with public safety officials throughout and within the towns and counties hosting the training. Residents may hear blank gunfire and see occasional flares. Controls are in place to ensure there is no risk to persons or property. Residents with concerns should contact local law enforcement officials, who will immediately contact exercise control officials.

With the help of civilian authorities and local citizens, Robin Sage has been conducted since 1974.

For the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, safety is always the command’s top priority during all training events. The following measures have been implemented:

Formal written notification to the chiefs of law enforcement agencies in the affected counties, with a follow-up visit from a unit representative.

All civilian and non-student military participants are briefed on procedures to follow if there is contact with law enforcement officials.

Students will only wear civilian clothes if the situation warrants, as determined by the instructors, and will wear a distinctive brown armband during these instances.

Training areas and vehicles used during exercises are clearly labeled.

Military service members from units across Fort Bragg will also support the exercise. These military members act as realistic opposing forces and guerrilla freedom fighters, also known as Pineland’s resistance movement. These troops play a critical role in the training exercise. To add realism to the exercise, civilian volunteers throughout the state act as role-players. Participation by these volunteers is crucial to the success of this training, and past trainees attest to the realism they add to the exercise.

Robin Sage is the U.S. military’s premiere unconventional warfare exercise and the final test of over a year’s worth of training for aspiring Special Forces soldiers. Candidates are placed in an environment of political instability characterized by armed conflict, forcing soldiers to analyze and solve problems to meet the challenges of this “real-world” training.

Questions concerning the exercise should be referred to the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School Public Affairs Office at 910-396-9394, or by e-mail at pao_swcs@soc.mil.

In the event of an emergency, contact your local law enforcement agency.

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