MILITARY MATTERS: Fort Benning Battalion Tests Skills Before South America Deployment

MILITARY MATTERS: Fort Benning Battalion Tests Skills Before South America Deployment

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Testing their communication and war-fighting skills on Fort Benning, the Security Forces Assistance Brigade or 1st S-FAB is getting ready for a deployment later this year to South America, to help more foreign partners.

“Since the whole organization has come back from Africa, we are resetting our teams and we are starting our training progression for the next mission and that starts with training individual skills,” team leader MAJ Andrew Murphree said.

SSG Dafante Stapleton, from 1st SFAB on Fort Benning, said “What we’re doing is setting up a mission support site and going through our communications system.”

This 2-day event was called Frontier Stakes, with teams working through 6 different stations, getting honest feedback on strengths, weaknesses, and a variety of skills like counter-IED techniques.

“We must be able to shoot, move, communicate, and medicate,” SFC Jeremy Sewell said.

“Medical...you’re always against the clock, so you gotta train, so you have to train at proficiency continuously,” CSM Christopher Williams, from 1st SFAB on Fort Benning, said.

Combat medics and the rest of the team go through real-world scenarios of what they may see overseas, like a car wreck with traumatic injuries.

CSM Williams added, “Each one of these mannequins out here, all mechanical and they can move, so pretty high tech, so they interact just like a human, so I think it builds confidence.”

“I feel more confident going into theater and doing a mission because we have been doing that training,” SSG Sarah Escarcega, SFAB Intelligence Advisor, said.

“Some of the countries we go into, this might be their first look or interaction with an American,” Captain Quinton Thompson.

“The advising teams are made up of mature and experienced soldiers that have volunteered to do this mission,” LTC Isaac Rademacher, 2nd Bn 1st SFAB Battalion Commander, told News Leader 9. “One of the challenging dynamics of the SFAB mission is that these 12-person teams will deploy to a country potentially alone.”

This is due to the 1st S-FAB’s advising role outside the U.S. does not include the typical support and logistics help from the Department of Defense. And that’s why each member of the team is a specialist in different areas, but they learn it all.

“That’s why we harp on soldiers being cross-trained, everyone kinda knowing more than their primary job,” CAPT Thompson said.

“We are able to be rapidly deployable to really anywhere in the world,” MAJ Murphree said.

They’re fast and multi-functional, some even comparing them to swiss army knives.

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