ALICANTE, Spain — Green Berets with the U.S. Army’s 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) concluded a nearly two-month joint combined exchange training — known as JCET — with members of the Spanish Army’s Grupo Especial de Operaciones near Alicante.

The U.S. and Spanish special operations forces practiced a wide variety of skills during this exercise, including training in long-range marksmanship, crew-served weapons familiarization, mission planning, close-quarter battle, breaching operations, military operations in urban terrain, rappelling and other critical combat and unconventional warfare skills.

U.S. Special Forces conduct JCETs with foreign militaries and partner agencies in their home countries. “JCETs facilitate shared understanding and awareness of capabilities and readiness,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Bowman, U.S. Special Operations Command Europe’s special operations liaison officer to Spain. “More importantly, they allow for both country’s units to build bonds and relationships, which are invaluable, particularly in times of crisis.”

Conducting JCETs with traditional U.S. allies like Spain is important to U.S. Special Operations Forces. “Spain is a very capable NATO ally with diverse, yet shared interests around the globe. It is critical that both countries collaborate wherever possible, given the high probability that we’ll be asked to work together in a future scenario,” Bowman said.

This JCET built upon past training and exercises for the Green Berets of 10th SFG (A). “This two-month JCET was extremely successful – not only did we increase our own tactical capabilities, but we also improved our interoperability and integration with our Spanish Army SOF peers,” said a U.S. Army special forces detachment commander directly involved in the training. “My Spanish counterpart and I integrated our teams to the maximum extent possible… this afforded both detachments the opportunity to develop our mission planning skills, mobility capabilities, and combined special reconnaissance and direct action tactics, techniques, and procedures.”

Both the Green Berets and the GOE gained valuable experience and increased their interoperability according to the detachment commander. JCETs continue to provide unique training opportunities for both U.S. forces and their multinational counterparts.

By CPT Jonathan Leigh

Photos by SSG Jacob Dunlap

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