U.S. Army Special Forces train to fight domestic ‘freedom fighters’ in fictitious Pineland, N.C.

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Robin sage training

People in North Carolina who hear gunfire and see paramilitary types running around should not assume “it is starting.”

It’s only a realistic guerrilla war that will be staged across two dozen North Carolina counties at the end of January, the U.S. Army has announced. Interestingly, the exercise will see trainee soldiers battling seasoned “freedom fighters.”

The risky “unconventional warfare exercise,” which in 2002 led to one soldier’s death and the wounding of another when a Moore County sheriff’s deputy mistook the training for criminal activity, will be held from Jan. 22 to Feb. 4 on private land, reports the Charlotte News & Observer.

It will include the sound of gunfire and flares, said the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School in a news release.

“Residents with concerns should contact local law enforcement officials, who will immediately contact exercise control officials. … For the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, safety is always the command’s top priority during all training events.”

Named Robin Sage, the exercise serves as the final test for Special Forces Qualification Course training. It puts candidates in a politically unstable country known as Pineland, where they take on seasoned service members from Fort Bragg as well as specially trained civilians, officials said. The setting is “characterized by armed conflict,” forcing the students to solve problems in a real world setting, the center says. “These military members act as realistic opposing forces and guerrilla freedom fighters, also known as Pineland resistance movement,” the center said.

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