Warriors hone their ‘sixth sense’ thru ASAT

| April 5, 2013 | 0 Comments
Soldiers of the 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, participate in awareness exercises while role-playing as part of the ASAT, March 21. (Photo by Staff Sgt. James Fitzgerald, Advanced Situational Awareness Training program)

Soldiers of the 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, participate in awareness exercises while role-playing as part of the ASAT, March 21. (Photo by Staff Sgt. James Fitzgerald, Advanced Situational Awareness Training program)

Sgt. Daniel Johnson
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Soldiers of the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, “Warriors,” 25th Infantry Division, trained with the Advanced Situational Awareness Training team, from Fort Benning, Ga., here, March 21, in an effort to improve their “sixth sense” on the battlefield.

ASAT training focuses on the human element present in a battle space by defining a baseline for a given area and teaching Soldiers how to recognize the anomalies that result in the sixth-sense feeling that tells them something is wrong.

“Once they are able to identify these anomalies, it allows them to be proactive and predictive in their responses, making them much more effective in the battle space,” said Staff Sgt. James Fitzgerald, an instructor for the ASAT program.

Soldiers discuss how anomalies in their surroundings can help them identify possible threats. (Photo by Staff Sgt. James Fitzgerald, Advanced Situational Awareness Training program)

Soldiers discuss how anomalies in their surroundings can help them identify possible threats. (Photo by Staff Sgt. James Fitzgerald, Advanced Situational Awareness Training program)

“This skill set helps us see who is, for a lack of a better term, acting shifty,” added Staff Sgt. Canaan Wiseman, infantryman, 1st Battalion, 21st Inf. Regiment, 2nd SBCT. “It’s all about establishing a baseline in your area and identifying what is outside of that baseline.”

The science behind this training is advanced, involving research into brain chemical responses and which area of the brain is being used.

“We explain the limitations and capabilities of their brain the same way we would explain a weapons system,” said Fitzgerald. “The Soldier is the most important weapon in the battle space.”

The knowledge gained in the training translates to abilities that can be used by Soldiers to make them better sensors on the ground.

“This training provides a toolset of advanced critical thinking, problem solving and sense making,” Fitzgerald said. “It is capable of being effective in any given battle space, because human behavior is a constant.”

“This training relates directly to every Soldier being a sensor,” Wiseman said. “It doesn’t matter who senses something is wrong; they should never have a problem saying, ‘Hey, Sarge, something is off,’ even if they can’t quantify it.”

According to Wiseman, the combined effect of our five senses, processed subconsciously, produce a chemical reaction in the brain when it senses something does not align with the normal environment.

Soldiers role-play as part of ASAT awareness exercises. (Photo by Staff Sgt. James Fitzgerald, Advanced Situational Awareness Training program)

Soldiers role-play as part of ASAT awareness exercises. (Photo by Staff Sgt. James Fitzgerald, Advanced Situational Awareness Training program)

“You might not consciously notice the lack of children playing or the sounds of the metal shop missing, but your mind picks up on this and gives you that feeling that something is wrong,” he explained.

“There is no such thing as a sixth sense,” added Fitzgerald. “We give the Soldiers the science behind these feelings and are able to articulate what it is in the environment that is triggering it.”

This training is a valuable asset for any Soldier, as it increases the ability to make critical decisions with more information.

“I feel this course should be taught from the lowest ranking Soldier to the highest general officer,” Fitzgerald said. “If it is a human problem, it deserves a human solution.”

Ensuring that Soldiers have every available tool, whether the latest optic for their weapon system or the latest training for their mind, is critical in ensuring mission success.

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Category: Exercises, News, Training

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