Special Forces Instructor schools Red Storm Entertainment


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice
Anyone who has played the Ghost Recon franchise, and there are millions of gamers who have, knows that the experience mixes entertaining gameplay with realistic future scenarios, equipment and weapons. To ensure the authenticity of this near-future warfare, developer Red Storm Entertainment has worked with Andy Brittenham, Active Duty Special Forces Instructor, United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Ft Bragg, NC.

"My involvement with Ghost Recon first began as it did with many, as a gamer," said Brittenham. "I came on board with Red Storm at the end of Ghost Recon 2 and was able to provide contributions to Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon® 2 Summit Strike and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter™. The majority of my work has been to infuse the series with the correct operational methodology as well as providing non-classified imagery, equipment recommendations, and nomenclatures."

Brittenham said that Red Storm's idea is to offer their development team the feeling of a combat situation from the Operator's perspective. These elements range from the language used on the team to the command relationships in a Special Forces group and their deployed elements. Brittenham has also helped to insure the accuracy of the units utilized in the game and the authenticity of their respective combat roles.
"Despite its importance, at the heart of the technology is the warrior that is enormously skilled, highly trained, and unwilling to lose. It is the soldier that drives the technology rather than the other way around."

Brittenham is a Sergeant First Class in the United States Army. He's served his entire career of 18 years in the Special Forces. He joined up in 1982 and arrived at the 5th Special Forces Group in 1983. After a five-year break, he returned to the Army and Special Forces in 1998. Brittenham's assignments included the 5th Special Forces Group, 10th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Operations Command, a SF SMU (Special Mission Unit), and United States Army JFK Special Welfare Center. His training included the Special Forces Qualification Course, Airborne School, the Military Freefall Course (HALO School), Special Operations Combat Diver School, Special Operations Combat Diver Supervisor, Advanced Special Operations Techniques, Operations and Intelligence Course, and Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat. This is the experience and training that allows him to provide vital assistance during the development of the Ghost Recon games. '

Real Military Tactics
"Prior to deployment to Iraq, my ODA actually spent time practicing CQB by utilizing Raven Shield when appropriate range facilities were not available," said Brittenham. "It increased the absorption of operational techniques for less experienced members."

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter will reveal much of the operations of Special Forces to the public. Of course, there are some elements of Special Forces that must always be shrouded in mystery. According to Brittenham, some mystery is essential to maintain operational security.

"The game allows the player to witness the amazing dedication and relentless drive possessed by a SOF operator," said Brittenham. "Through a virtual environment, the gamer is able to experience a taste of the teamwork that allows SOF operations to succeed in the face of overwhelming odds. For some, it may be the spark that ignites the desire to join the ranks of a very elite group of warriors."

Brittenham said the authenticity department at Red Storm Entertainment has been very careful to observe technology trends as they relate to the evolution of the battlefield. The team has coordinated with numerous defense contractors to gain an insight into the growing technologies that will be implemented in the next decade as well as observing the improvisational habits of the individual soldier.

"Such improvisations are out of necessity-the mother of invention," said Brittenham. "This allows a fairly accurate take on the future battlespace as portrayed in Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter."

Future Combat
Technology is playing a major role on the modern battlefield, and that's a trend that will continue with new advances. Brittenham said that the C2 node is incredibly important to success on the modern battlefield.It not only allows commanders to direct deployed troops, but also in allows them to support those troops with the most up-to-date intelligence in the form of data, imagery, and live feeds.

"Hand-in-hand with this idea is the interconnectivity between the warrior on the field and various combat support platforms such as aircraft and friendly ground units," added Brittenham. "Despite the importance of the technology, at the heart is still the warrior; enormously skilled, highly trained, and unwilling to lose. It is the soldier that drives the technology rather than the other way around."

An Army of One
Brittenham believes that advances in technology will follow a two-pronged approach. First will be the evolution at the troop level. This will come in the form of adaptive camouflage, reactive personal body armor, and a more intelligent personal weapons system. He said that total integration of personal equipment is one of the keys to success on tomorrow's battlefield. At the same time, the integration of that individual warrior into his team and into higher command will come in the form of advanced interconnectivity that binds the individual with the overall battle force.

"This allows even large operations to adapt to the fluidity of battle and related changes dictated by evolving intelligence and combat situational matters," said Brittenham.

Technology will also continue to play a major role off the battlefield. While there is no substitute for hands-on training, Brittenham knows that the inclusion of digital training (via videogames and virtual simulations) can accelerate the learning that occurs during those live sessions. It can prepare the individual through familiarity with techniques as well as allow the refinement of operational methods.

"It maximizes the available training time," said Brittenham. "Digital training can also provide an immersive planning tool for the conduct of actual operations by utilizing realistically reproduced terrain, weather, light data and equipment. A real-world operation could have its chance of success vastly enhanced by digital rehearsal."

The U.S. Army does not sponsor or endorse Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter.