FORT BENNNING, Ga. – Most Soldiers assigned to 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade have deployment experience, but it is important that they do not become complacent and stay up to date on enemy tactics through continued Army training.
Soldiers of 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment, 1st SFAB, studied the components of improvised explosive devices, homemade explosives and biometrics to heighten their situational awareness Oct. 19, 2017, at Lee Field on Fort Benning, Georgia, in preparation for future missions.
The Soldiers learned how to recognize IEDs and indications that an enemy is making IEDs and HMEs from Tony Raines, a counter improvised explosive device trainer with U.S. Army Forces Command.
“Today is all about IED, HME and biometric awareness and reinforcing some of the things they already know,” Raines said.
Raines went over the history of IEDs and notorious attacks which have occurred on American soil.
“Too often we think about IEDs and homemade explosives just in theater, but we have to worry about that here,” Raines said.
Raines highlighted events which involve everyday products and devices to create disaster amongst American citizens. He discussed the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995, by Timothy McVeigh, a former U.S. Soldier who used fertilizer to construct his HME, and the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013, by Dzhokhar Tsarvnaev, who set off two HMEs using pressure cookers, as examples.
“It’s here in the U.S.; these things are taking place in our backyard,” Raines said. “Keep abreast of what’s going on in the world.”
Staff Sgt. Hector Soto, 1-38 Cav, 1st SFAB, said that although the training was a refresher of what he learned before joining the 1st SFAB, he found each component valuable and important to learn.
“I think everything (in the training) as a whole is important; all the components piece together to be able to see the big picture,” Soto said.
Soto said since his deployment to Afghanistan in 2012, he may have forgotten some key points concerning IED, HME and biometrics.
“I think we all do it when we are out of the deployment cycle for a while; we’re used to training back in the rear where the IED threat isn’t real but that’s why (training) like this is important before you start getting back on to a deployment cycle – to get your mind right for it,” Soto said.
The training is in line with the SFAB’s mission to train, advise, assist, accompany and enable allied and partner security forces because it’s possible they could encounter IEDs and HMEs during a joint mission.
“Everything we’re talking about are things we’ve seen in theater before or probably could encounter again in theater,” Raines said.
For information about volunteering for 1st SFAB, Soldiers should contact their branch manager.