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                  took place on 3 OCT 1993. During the mission, enemy forces were able to shoot down two Black Hawk Helicopters, which led to several recovery efforts and resulted in 18 U.S. killed in action. Using this historical context, 4-39 IN integrates aspects of the Battle of Mogadishu into the FORGE. Trainees execute the POI tasks of: ethical dilemma, mass casualty, and a battle march and shoot during limited visibility using the Battle of Mogadishu as a contextual scenario.
Operation Gothic Serpent begins for the Trainees when they are given an Operation Order (OPORD) by their platoon leader on day two
of the FORGE before departing from the Urban Assault Course. The situation and concept are briefed to Trainee leadership along with their initial mission. After the OPORD is briefed, cadre walk the Trainees through several rehearsals and tasks that include: route planning, crossing danger areas, executing an ambush, building contingencies
and MEDEVAC planning. The Trainees are given
a detailed OPORD brief, which allows them to experience troop leading procedures (TLPs) and apply it to the mission. Trainees are not held to
any standard for mission planning, but rather we want them to apply critical thinking as an essential task. The scenario gives Trainees a relatable, real- life experience of conducting an operation with multiple decision points. Trainees will have to work together as a team to successfully execute their tasks, while incorporating what was learned during BCT.
The Battle, March and Shoot is the major event of Operation Gothic Serpent as Trainees are tasked with moving heavy equipment as part of a logistics resupply and then conducting a hasty ambush.
The “legacy” way to do this was to have Trainees line up into two lines of a 16-man front to shoot while others are waiting, just like any other range during the day. This was valuable training time wasted. SSG (DS) Justin McGarvey clearly states, “nothing about that is tactical and it becomes
very [monotonous] when training a company size element.”
Changes to improve the Battle, March and Shoot include the tactical movement across a Linear Danger Area (LDA). The trainees also set
in their ambush with all of their equipment, under darkness, relying on each Trainee’s knowledge
of the plan and hand signals. Additionally, the withdrawal is also conducted under darkness, with various safety mechanisms put in place by cadre
to include a white light at the clearing barrel. Each one of these tasks are great inputs to a tactical scenario that allows Cadre members to enhance the quality of training, while offering the possibility of increased individual performance. After withdrawal, Trainees establish their own platoon Objective Rally Point (ORP), ensure accountability, make modifications to their movement plan and then move to their next point.
The next event during Operation Gothic Serpent is the ethical dilemma and mass casualty exercise. Trainees are given two different choices: A) Take
a shorter route to their new base of operations
or B) Take the longer route. Details are given to
the Trainees that indicate the shorter route has
a higher probability for an attack, but decreases
Effective Training
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