U.S. Special Forces train Red Flag Rescue at Camp Navajo
Soldiers assigned to 7th Group Special Forces are taking part in Red Flag Rescue, the largest air combat training exercise in the world which involves multiple air platforms from all branches and components of U.S. Service, as well as foreign militaries, exercising together in the most realistic training conditions the military can provide without being in actual combat. Over the course of three weeks, members of 7th Special Forces Group harnessed air power from the U.S. Air Force and Navy to complete rapid infiltration and exfiltration, airdrop resupply, air insertion, and rescue missions.
Leadership from 7th Group at all levels said the training was outstanding and provided some of the best opportunities imaginable to prepare for combat. Lt. Col. Patrick Toohey, Commander of 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, said this type of training is imperative to allow his Soldiers the opportunity to train together on collective tasks that are essential to the success of any deployed mission.
“Red Flag gives us the opportunity to work with joint and interagency partners to address all of our mission essential tasks. Each part of the exercise builds on each other and gives us a chance to nest our training with our partners,” Toohey said. “This is part of our combat pipeline. It gives us the chance to be fully focused on our mission.”
Chief Warrant Officer 4, Jose Villarreal, senior Warrant Officer for 3rd Battalion, agreed with Toohey. He also said the support of the Arizona National Guard and facilities offered by Camp Navajo were superb for the type of training 7th Group needed to conduct with Red Flag.
“Navajo provides isolated, off-the-grid opportunities,” Villarreal said. “The terrain, the altitude, the flexibility – all helped us tailor our training to exactly what we need.”
Back in the rented white SUV, Jon continues driving down old Route 66 …read more
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