Story by Spc. Kimberly Gonzalez
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Green Berets with 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Critical Skills Operators from United States Marine Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) and Soldiers from 4th Infantry Division came together to conduct a joint training exercise on July 17-20, 2023.
“This training was a target of opportunity between the Critical Threat Advisory Company (CTAC) stationed at Fort Carson and two Marine Special Operations Teams that were training on Fort Carson,” said a 10th SFG(A) team sergeant who is also the CTAC troop sergeant major. “We jumped at the opportunity to train with our MARSOC brothers.”
The exercise was progressive in nature, starting with the joint assault force utilizing aerial Lift and Fire assets in a familiar Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) setting against a near-peer enemy.
The training involved a challenging force-on-force scenario, placing a combined CTAC/MARSOC assault force against the Opposing Force (OPFOR) which consisted of 4th ID Soldiers partnered with experienced Green Berets acting as OPFOR SOF Advisors. The OPFOR Soldiers started out equipped with the same weapons as the CTAC and MARSOC. As the training progressed the OPFOR became better equipped, while the joint assault force became further constrained in regards to assets available.
“The overarching intent for the scenario was to test MARSOC and CTAC forces with a near 1:1 engagement ratio against a better-equipped peer force in a prepared defense, without air to ground; quite possibly the worst-case scenario,” said the team sergeant. “We wanted to really test ourselves and see where the point of failure could occur during all phases of an operation.”
The troop sergeant major let it be known that during their training, CTAC and MARSOC faced a distinctive challenge due to incompatibilities in their communication systems. Further commenting that ‘you would think SOCOM units would have the same gear or at least be compatible but that was not the case.’
“Both units took something away from watching each other’s planning process in a time-constrained and deliberate fashion,” said the team sergeant.
Together, the CTAC and MARSOC teams gained knowledge on different tactics that can be applied in future missions along with increasing interoperability within the Special Operations community.
“This joint training exercise was possible with the help of Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat Detachment support from behind the scenes of the exercise, as well as 4th Infantry Division Soldiers and Green Berets from 10th SFG who put up a great fight as OPFOR,” said the CTAC troop sergeant major.