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102nd Security Forces defenders conduct MOUT training

Staff Sgt. Adam Sassone familiarizes Defenders with key areas of the MOUT village and concept of operations for the Traffic Control Point exercise. (National Guard photo by Staff. Sgt. Johnny Grullon/Released)

Staff Sgt. Adam Sassone familiarizes Defenders with key areas of the MOUT village and concept of operations for the Traffic Control Point exercise. (National Guard photo by Staff. Sgt. Johnny Grullon/Released)

102nd Security Forces Defenders conduct Traffic Control Point operations.  TSgt Rich Conners & TSgt Paul Stewart provide additional instructions. (National Guard photo by Staff. Sgt. Johnny Grullon/Released)

102nd Security Forces Defenders conduct Traffic Control Point operations. TSgt Rich Conners & TSgt Paul Stewart provide additional instructions. (National Guard photo by Staff. Sgt. Johnny Grullon/Released)

OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. -- On October 30, 2011 the 102nd Security Forces Defenders sharpen and reinforce their skills at the "Military Operations in Urban Terrain" exercise at the Camp Edwards Army National Guard Training Site Calero MOUT training area on Connery Ave. during the November UTA. The training area is designed to look and feel like "Anytown, Iraq."

Defenders were challenged on several areas but none harsher than the weather. Despite the difficult weather conditions, Defenders had to deal with irritated "Contractors", curious "local nationals" as well as "insurgents" trying to infiltrate their Traffic Control Point (TCP) with Vehicle Borne IEDs as well as concealed weapons.

Defenders also worked on improving communications skills, small unit and squad tactics, close quarters combat skills, as well as searching vehicles and personal searches, equally important learning to operate in a constantly changing battle space.

The instructors remarked on the rapid improvement of Defenders in adapting to the changing dynamics of the battle space. This is a critical element in the non-linear battle spaces we face today. Adapting Security Forces methodology from ECP (Entry Control Point) to TCP operations is not as easy as it sounds. Situational awareness, always important, becomes absolutely critical in a Traffic Control Point. The input of all members is as integral to survivability of the team, as the team leaders. All members must adapt simultaneously, without direct orders, but through a synergistic approach to managing each situation. Planning, preparation, training and above all communication, are the keys to a successful mission and most importantly, survivability.

No training exercise is complete without conducting an After Action/ Lessons Learned session which was headed by the MA Army National Guard Instructors. This was conducted in an open forum in which all members are encouraged to share ideas to enhance future training exercises.