Special Forces Engineer’s Annual Training
Article and Photos by Staff Sgt. James Johnson
Members of the Maryland Army National Guard’s B Co., 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group honed their skills during a three-day training event as part of their annual training at the North Atlantic Trade School in Baltimore, Maryland, from July 7-9 2021.
These Soldiers from B Co., focused on their individual practices, by conducting hands-on training and reviewing the fundamentals of carpentry, plumbing, electrical, and generator maintenance.
“Training exercises like these help us maintain proficiency for all of the tasks that we are responsible for when we are downrange, or back in a garrison environment,” said a staff sergeant in B Co. special forces engineer, “It’s extremely important that we keep these skills sharp.”
The hands-on training is the first in-person training since the shutdown in March of 2020, which caused North Atlantic Trade School to move its curriculum online and set up an online learning management system.
“We have been doing all of the jobs we would be expected to do in our field,” said a sergeant first class in B Co. special forces engineer. “This training mirrors the 18C [Special Forces Engineer] course and the instructors create an environment that emulates our requirements when we go down range.”
Seventy percent of the instructors at NATS have prior military experience.
“Providing the training back to active members of the military is a humbling experience.” said Matthew Man, NATS director of education. “To be able to do that for those who are protecting us in this country is rewarding.”
The partnership provides training in military-related construction fields, teaching building codes, building concepts, and trade accepted practices in the civilian world and industry.
“I am excited that this [is growing] into a long lasting partnership,” said Mann. “[I am] looking forward to our students [seeing] some of the things that the National Guard does and for them to understand that there’s other opportunities out there.”