Military exercises begin Saturday
With the arrival of spring usually comes another round of U.S. Army Special Forces exercises known as Robin Sage.
Despite the occasional blank gunfire and flares you may observe in the distance, there is no need to fear. The troops are friendlies.
As many as 100 Special Forces candidates will participate in the training exercise starting Saturday across 15 counties, including Davidson, Guilford and Randolph in the Triad. The Army runs the exercise as many as eight times a year. As many as 200 military service members from units across Fort Bragg will support the exercise designed to teach soldiers to infiltrate areas in small groups and train guerrilla forces to independently and effectively use tactical force to liberate the fictional country of Pineland.
Role player volunteers will wear armbands if in civilian clothes and Pineland law enforcement officers will wear distinctive blue hats and armbands. Training areas and vehicles will be labeled.
The Army has conducted Robin Sage exercises in the area since 1974. Before then, the operations had different names. All Robin Sage movements will be coordinated with public safety officers. Law enforcement officials say many complaints come from new residents who hear gunfire and explosions that can rattle windows and shake the ground. Last fall, Randolph County authorities received about six complaint calls.
• What: Training exercises for U.S. Army Special Forces.
• When: March 9-20.
• Who: Students at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School based at Fort Bragg preparing for their March 28 course graduation in Fayetteville.
• Where: As many as 15 counties, including Alamance, Davidson, Guilford and Randolph in the Triad.
• Information: U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School Public Affairs Office at (910) 396-9394.
• Emergencies: Contact local law enforcement.