Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Roleplay simulations and the challenge of modern SBTNs

450x300_q75One of the key challenges facing militaries around the world is how to deal with adaptive, asymmetrical, hybrid adversaries who adopt cutting-edge 5th generation warfare methods to smuggle subversive literature in their clothing. During recent exercises at the Kogalniceanu Military Base in Romania, members of the US Marine Corps Black Sea Rotational Force 13  developed innovative training methods to deal with such challenges, such as the danger posed by  “shoe-borne terroristic notes” (or SBTNs, in military parlance):

The training simulates an evacuation hub where Marines participating as role players passed through an entry control point, a security station, an additional screening station and then an evacuation simulation.

“This entry control point (ECP) is a crucial point to the evacuation site,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jose Reese, the acting company first sergeant for the Logistics Combat Element, and a St. Louis, Missouri native. “These Marines and sailors encounter all types of people and have to screen them to determine they bring no threat to anyone inside the site.”

The Marines who were working inside the ECP did not know what to expect. Some role players were just normal citizens, while some had bombs, contraband and terroristic notes inside their shoes.

I think we can all sleep safer knowing the (simulated) shoes of the free world are so well guarded.

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