U.S. Commandos, Police Chased Fake Terrorists in South Carolina
Security forces staged mock raids and other scenarios in state capitol
In May, U.S. Army and Air Force special operators trained with South Carolina’s National Guard and local police in the capitol Columbia. Domestic exercises involving commandos and other security forces have been increasing in recent years—or at least are becoming more visible.
The ground combat branch’s Special Operations Command coordinated the three-day event, nicknamed Objective Indigo. The primary goal was to train helicopter crews from the elite 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.
The other participants got “unique tactical training,” according to U.S. Army SOC. Objective Indigo involved a number of different scenarios that focused on different skills.
On day one, MH-47 helos from the 160th flew commandos and Guardsmen to mock terrorist hideouts. These raids mimicked the kind of missions American troops could expect to perform in Afghanistan.
These soldiers practiced recon missions. The next day, other ground forces attacked another militant safe house. Patrolling and gathering intel are important missions for both regular troops and special forces.
On the last day, some of the commandos honed their ability to avoid capture while other troops hunted them. So-called “survival, evasion, resistance and escape” skills are vital for any personnel who might get stuck behind enemy lines.
AH-64 Apache gunships, UH-72 Lakota scouts—seen in the picture above—and UH-60 Black Hawk transports from the South Carolina Army National Guard also participated in the exercise. F-16 fighter jets from the state’s Air National Guard flew top cover during the event.
Objective Indigo is hardly the first domestic training exercise to bring together commandos and local authorities. In early 2013, similar events took place in Texas and Florida.
Exercises like Objective Indigo allow various units to get specialized training at a “low cost,” according to the official USASOC press release. The command did not respond to requests to explain how these events are cheaper than any alternatives.
However, municipal buildings in American cities could be a bargain when compared to building entire fake communities. A single exercise involving various units would also be more economical than each of them holding their own training events.
Unfortunately, commandos and heavily armed police running around American cities also invites many conspiracy theories. The theories are only helped along by the feds’ failures to alert the locals.
But American commandos have a long history of training outside of formal military bases in the U.S. Since 1974, Army Special Forces trainees must practice special tactics in North Carolina communities around Fort Bragg before they can get their coveted green berets.
Objective Indigo is unlikely to be the last of these domestic training events.