Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, is a saying that has been echoed countless times on countless ranges throughout the military.
The saying is a testament to the importance of fundamentals of basic marksmanship, a steady position, consistent aim, steady breathing, and a controlled squeeze of the trigger, the mastery of which is hard won and quickly lost.
This is no less true for the Special Forces Soldiers of 1st Special Forces Group who are currently participating in the Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat course here.
SFAUC encompasses techniques used on urban or complex terrain, including advanced marksmanship, integrated assault skills and detailed planning and is a regular training event, keeping SF Soldiers at a baseline for more advanced training.
Right now we run it before every pre-mission training cycle for units deploying downrange, said Maj. Bryan Moffatt, commander of the 1st SFGs Operations Detachment, whose members put together the course.
Its also a recurring requirement for special forces Soldiers to go through a SFAUC, he said.
The course itself is based off a program of instruction from U.S. Army Special Forces Command and while it has small variations, each iteration contains the same required training events.
Its a pretty standardized program of instruction that weve spent a lot of time refining, Moffatt said. Right now were doing six to eight weeks, eight days of combat marksmanship, about four weeks of close quarters battle and one week of full-mission-profile raids on single structures, multiple structures and compounds on JBLM.
The combat marksmanship portion begins with eight days at the range preparing for the eventual stress evaluation and the transition into close quarters battle.
We changed the combat marksmanship program of instruction, extending it by two days, Moffatt said. We cover the fundamentals of marksmanship with the pistol and rifle, get people using the fundamentals safely, and able to move being in close proximity to other people using their weapons, so they develop a tolerance for that stress.
At the end of the initial marksmanship portion, there is a stress evaluation test that includes sprinting, shooting in several different positions, and other stimuli to mimic conditions overseas and to prepare them for the Close Quarters Battle portion of the course.
The purpose of the stress evaluation is to get peoples heart rates up and challenge them cardiovascularly, Moffatt said. If they dont pass that, theyre not ready for Close Quarters Battle.
The final stage of SFAUC is the full-mission profile event, beginning from planning to the execution of a particular mission set. The concluding event brings everyone together, including the leadership of the company.
Everybody should be involved; thats the goal of the scenario, said Moffatt. We add the scenario, we also add helicopters, well add in other medical training in conjunction with the raids.
They start at one person entering one room to multiple teams enter multiple structures, he continued. Its a collective training event for a Special Forces company.
The OPSDET will continue to run the SFAUC for Special Forces companies deploying and later this year will travel to Okinawa, Japan, to run the course for the Groups 1st Battalion stationed there.
Special Forces Soldiers train continuously, periodically returning to their basic competencies to maintain a solid foundation for more advanced requirements of their missions.
They are at a baseline, they understand the fundamental techniques, but it doesnt mean theyre done training, Moffatt said. You have to start at the basics.