TRAINING FOR THE SANDBOX
Direct Action Resource Center (DARC) in Arkansas has polished the professionalism of another team of troopers.
200 more soldiers from the U.S. Army will deploy to the sandbox properly trained in urban warfare, combat breaching, casualty care under fire, tactical casualty management, advanced marksmanship, and asymmetric combat leadership. The same men also participated in a multi-track comprehensive training program customized to their specific needs. This advanced training fell under the Warfighter Focus Program’s Warrior Training Alliance, and it all happened at one place—the Direct Action Resource Center.
Richard Mason, a 13-year veteran Green Beret, founded DARC in North Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1996, exclusively to conduct tactical urban training. Since its founding, DARC has been training U.S. Government and U.S. and international special operations personnel in a myriad of tactical, operational and strategic-related disciplines. Some call it training, while others call it going to combat early. But everybody agrees on one thing: DARC prepares warriors to go down range, close with the enemy, and get the job done.
DARC’s management team handpicks the training cadre from former Tier-1 and Tier-2 operators, who must pass a stringent selection process. From that cadre, DARC assembles a team of professionals equipped with a full spectrum of qualifications needed to meet and exceed any training requirements. DARC believes in the experiential teaching methodology. DARC is not classroom/lecture centric—fully 95 percent of all of courses are participatory. Every instructor is a subject matter expert in his field, with years of real world experience.
In addition to a wide variety of casualty and life-saving medical training for combat medics and doctors, DARC offers both firearms and tactical training courses, including tactical and advanced tactical pistol, carbine, shotgun, parachute, urban warfare and vehicle operator training.
DARC-1 and DARC-2 are located in Arkansas, near Little Rock. DARC-3 is located in Washington state, and DARC-4 is located in California. DARC-4 is sited on terrain very similar to that found in Iraq and Afghanistan. These facilities offer state-of-the-art shoot houses, live-fire urban training facilities, and firing ranges. The training facilities include a DC-9, school bus, and city bus.
For over a month, a team of 200 soldiers selected from an active component U.S. Army brigade combat team trained at the center in Little Rock, Arkansas, in preparation for their next deployment. These photos highlight some of their training.