Story and photos by Maj. Karla S. Owen
10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Public Affairs Office
MOUNT CRESTED BUTTE – Standing up a new battalion is a complicated mission, but starting training while having less than half the personnel assigned is a challenge.
The 4th Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Carson, is scheduled for activation August however, the unit began equipping and organizing this past summer. With just under 25 percent assigned strength, the unit headed to the Rocky Mountains Jan. 25, to conduct cold weather and mountain warfare training and begin the essential team-building process that is necessary with any new team or unit.
At the beginning of the training in Crested Butte, the support Soldiers and Green Berets were arranged into groups, based upon their abilities. By the end of the week each group was capable of conducting movement over snow-covered terrain as well as any seasoned Soldier. Training also focused on cold-weather planning considerations and survival tasks.
Not only did the Soldiers learn new or build on old skills, they built esprit de corps, testing their knowledge and competence while working side-by-side to gain experience from the most seasoned members of the regiment.
One senior Green Beret, when asked by a Crested Butte community member what they were doing there, explained they were “not only building on the basics of mountain warfare, but, more importantly, as with any new unit, we are getting to know our organization and build the cohesiveness that we will need in future missions.”
During the final days of training, members of the battalion also touched on the basics of avalanche training, receiving instruction from the experts of the Combat Environmental Detachment, United States Army Special Forces Command (A).
Members of the unit practiced the critical skill of searching for avalanche victims using a beacon system and the detailed procedures for recovery as well as how to survive in a cold-weather environment.
Training culminated with a night movement that tested all that the Soldiers had learned over the eight-day training.
“This was a highly successful event for 4th Battalion and allowed us to reach an important milestone in the activation process,” said Maj. Guillaume Beaurpere, 4th Bn., 10th SFG (A), provisional battalion commander. “Thanks to the great support of the Crested Butte community, we were able to build good initial unit cohesion and use this training as a precedent for future collective events.”