Robin Sage ends June excercise

By: By William R. Toler - Editor

ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County residents should be able to sleep without the sounds of helicopters circling above their home late at night.

Wednesday night was the final big event of the Robin Sage exercises by Special Forces candidates from Fort Bragg and the soldiers were set to return to base on Thursday, according to Janice Burton of the public affairs office for the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

Several residents took to Facebook to complain — and worry — about low-flying aircraft shaking their homes around midnight earlier this week.

Robin Sage is the final test for candidates’ Special Forces Qualification Course training, according to a press release.

The most recent exercise began June 9. A previous test was held Jan. 27-Feb. 8.

In the exercise, the candidates work with local volunteers who act as insurgents to overthrow the government of the fictional Pineland, according to Burton.

“… Special Forces candidates and Robin Sage role-players not only conduct training missions such as controlled assaults and key-leader engagements, but also live, eat and sleep in these civilian areas,” read a press release issued last month.

Pineland encompasses an 19-county region surrounding Fort Bragg including Alamance, Anson, Cabarrus, Chatham, Cumberland, Davidson, Davie, Guilford, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Richmond, Robeson, Rowan, Scotland, Stanly and Union counties.

Burton said the Pineland area is a “patriotic place where (the people) not only support our troops, but train our troops.”

Some families have been role players for multiple generations, Burton said. The family of a Robbins-base potter has been involved with Robin Sage for four generations, she added.

One role player from Seagrove remarked that she had “been dying gloriously on the field of battle for 16 years for the cause,” according to Burton.

“She gets shot every time,” Burton said. “There’s a raid and she dies.”

Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 or [email protected]

By William R. Toler