The Army Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) culminates in an unconventional warfare exercise known as Robin Sage. Robin Sage has been the concluding event of the Special Forces course for over 40 years. It is held in central North Carolina in the fictional country called "Pineland".
The Robin Sage exercise is preceded with instruction on unconventional warfare. The Special Forces students learn the components and nuances of unconventional warfare to include guerrila warfare, insurgency, sabotage and subversion. As a result of their knowledge of how to conduct unconventional warfare and provide support to insurgents Special Forces Soldiers are ideally suited to be deployed to conflicts involving counterinsurgency.
The students begin the exercise with a mission planning phase that will last several days. The students are organized into 12-man operational detachments and assigned planning and living areas where they do their mission analysis, preparation, planning and coordination. This mission analysis is commonly referred to as "isolation". They review their operations order and formulate their plans for infiltration into "Pineland", establishing contact with a resistance force, training the resistance force (or guerrillas, underground, and auxialiary), and the conduct of follow-on combat operations.
The exercise takes part over a large area of North Carolina and has the support of many of the local communities. In fact, many civilians in the exercise area play the part of guerrillas, supporters, and leaders of the resistance. The exercise area sometimes includes as many as fifteen different counties in central North Carolina.
"World's Foremost Unconventional Warfare Exercise Turns 35", Special Warfare Magazine, March - April 2009, Volume 22, Issue 2 (Adobe Acrobat pdf file). Accessed October 2011 on DVIDS publication website.
Robin Sage. by GlobalSecurity.org
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