I think this is more much ado about nothing involving a local National Guard unit. I've done stuff like this myself ten years ago when I was in the
Guard even before 9-11. Most Guard armories even in rural and semi rural areas, are at best a few acres most of that used for the armory itself and
the motor pool. Seems like I've noticed lots of armories are near some type of municipal property, airport, or other acreage so as long as the unit
is a good neighbor they can extend the area they have to train in while at home station a bit.
There were a couple of things I was curious about though. So I spent less than 30 seconds finding this.
2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry
of particular note
There are five major units in the 2-136 CAB: Headquarters and Headquarters Company in Moorhead and Fergus Falls; A Company in Bemidji and Detroit
Lakes; B Company in Crookston and Thief River Falls
I was wondering what the hell a CAB was and now I know. It stands for Combined Arms Battalion. Now I know. The fact that B company is in both
Crookston and Thief River Falls tells me that it's a split unit probably with half at each place. I'm pretty confident that this is simply the local
unit making the most out of it's training time. It costs almost nothing to train like this and it's actually a hell of a lot better than say sitting
in a classroom in the Armory. Five mile tactical road march or 3 hours worth of sexual harassment, alcohol abuse prevention, or other social
engineering BS. I'll take the road march, even in the Georgia heat.
It's really pretty simple you get a list of points and put a different soldier in charge of getting to each point. Use only a map and compass.
Glancing at her briefly one Soldier responded, “Just training Ma’am. Joining up with another patrol at the rally point.” Not accepting this
as a reasonable answer to her inquiry, Magge went on, “Oh, ok. What are you training on the streets of town for exactly?” At that the young
soldier replied, “To be honest ma’am, I don’t know.”
Sounds to me like they are just practicing a light patrol. I see everyone posting about full battle gear. I don't see that either. The only pieces of
full battle gear I see are Helmet, Rifle, load bearing gear, and the photo is to blurry to tell if they have their armor on or not. Missing from full
battle rattle are: Gas mask, camel back (modern replacement for canteen), night vision gear, squad radio, crew served weapons, combat lifesaver kits,
and MOPP gear. I've done similar training with almost all the above on civilian roads (admittedly not as residential as the pic). I bet that the
location that this was taken at was less than 2 miles from the local armory.
We have a thread like this around this time almost every year. Someone takes a picture of some Guardsmen doing something Guard units have been doing
forever, and assigns nefarious motives for it. Most of the Guard does most of it's serious training between May and August. There are plenty of
folks who bitch about Guard units being weekend warriors and when I was active duty we really looked down on them, but I was pleasantly surprised in
the Guard unit I joined after active duty. There are plenty of opportunities to waste a Guardsman's time and a taxpayer's money I know very well,
but getting the guys geared up drawing weapons and sending them out on a couple of mile walk is both cheap and if done properly can teach some folks
things that might save their life sometime. It's a lot better to learn that someone in your squad can't read a map worth a crap two miles from your
armory than it is two miles from a FOB in Afghanistan somewhere.