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US Army Special Forces soldiers competed in the Mint 400 off-road race near Las Vegas in March.
The Green Berets took advantage of the race to show off their purpose-built 1.1 Land Mobility Vehicle.
Green Beret mobility teams use GMV 1.1s for long-range ground operations, often behind enemy lines.
A small team of US Army Green Berets recently made a rare appearance in one of America’s most prestigious off-road races.
Green Beret mobility teams from the 5th Special Forces Group participate in the Mint 400 off-road race in early March, using their unique special ops vehicles and highlighting a little-known insertion method used by Green Berets.
Started in 1968, the Mint 400 race has been called “America’s oldest and most prestigious off-road race”. The Green Berets drove their specially designed 1.1 Land Mobility Vehicle, covering 200 miles of the 400 mile course in nine hours, reaching speeds of up to 50 mph.
The Mint 400 “really offers the best place in a short time to really stress the vehicle,” the driver of the lead vehicle, identified only as a special forces major, said in a press release.
“Outside of an actual deployment, you won’t be able to simulate the level of intensity, the lack of time, and the whole team working with support personnel in anything other than the Mint 400,” Major said.
Green Berets from the 5th Special Forces Group took part in the race in 2020, driving equipped GMV 1.1s for two 100-mile laps of the 400-mile course. They spent most of that time helping other drivers by towing them when they got stuck or needed repairs, earning the Green Berets an honorary finishing award.
The 5th Special Forces Group must have strong ground mobility capabilities as its area of operations – the Middle East and Southwest Asia – includes vast expanses of desert and open terrain.
“We have these vehicles loaded as we would have them for combat and we were excited to push their limits and see what they are capable of,” said a Green Beret officer in charge of a mobility team, identified only as the Captain Eric. in a press release after the 2020 race.
“These vehicles are not built as race vehicles, they are not built for speed, but we are looking to push the limits with them,” added Eric.
The GMV 1.1s involved in this year’s race were not equipped like those that raced in 2020, but they still impressed the spectators.
“I think it’s shocking to a lot of fans when you tell them, ‘This comes straight out of practice and it comes back into practice,'” the Special Forces Major said in the statement.
Green Beret mobility teams
Manufactured by General Dynamics, the Ground Mobile Vehicle 1.1 was designed for special operations forces – it has a top speed of 73 mph, an operational range of over 400 miles and the ability to climb surfaces with a 60 grade gradient. %.
The vehicle can be transported on an MH-47 Chinook helicopter and can carry up to seven commandos. The vehicle’s modular design allows operators to tailor its configuration and cargo to their mission requirements, and it can be armed with anything from a Mark 19 grenade launcher to a GAU-19 caliber Gatling gun .50.
Special Forces mobility teams use vehicles like the Ground Mobile Vehicle 1.1 to carry out their specialty: long-range ground operations, often behind enemy lines. A typical mobility team consists of four vehicles each carrying three operators.
The 5th Special Forces Group is one of seven such groups – five from the active duty Army and two from the National Guard. Each group has four battalions and each battalion has three companies.
Companies are made up of six Special Forces Operational Detachment Alphas, or ODAs, which form the basic tactical element of the Army Special Forces Regiment.
The ODAs are made up of 12 Green Berets who specialize in unconventional warfare, direct action, special reconnaissance, and foreign homeland defense – the training of foreign troops – among other missions.
Although the Green Berets on these teams follow the same pipeline, they specialize in different methods of insertion, depending on their team: military freefall parachuting, combat diving, mountain warfare, and mobility.
Typically, of the six teams in a Green Beret company, one will be a military free fall team and the other a combat diver team. The rest will be made up of mobility, mountain or non-specialized teams, also known as ODA “Ruck” backpacks that each member must work to fight.
Insider understands that Green Berets who don’t want to go through military skydiving school or the combat diver qualification course in order to join those respective teams are instead assigned to a mobility team.
Specialized Mobility Teams predate US Army Special Forces, which were officially formed in 1952. During World War II, the famous British Special Air Service and the lesser known Long Range Desert Group used unarmored trucks and American-made jeeps to conduct raids and ambushes behind Axis lines in North Africa.
Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a veteran of the Hellenic Army (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ) and a graduate of Johns Hopkins University.
Read the original article on Business Insider
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