March 08, 2001 11:00 pm

Approximately 25 Special Forces soldiers from U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne), headquartered at Fort Bragg, N.C., will travel to Eastern Oregon to conduct a training exercise to test their real-world readiness capabilities Monday through Saturday.

During this period, citizens may experience low-flying aircraft and increased military traffic on the roads in and around the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Some of these activities could occur after dark.

Every effort will be taken to minimize the impact and inconvenience of the training on the local communities, a spokesman said.

The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest was chosen for its challenging terrain and austere environment, both of which enhance the exercises realism and the readiness of the unit. Special Forces soldiers must be prepared to operate in similar environments around the world.

The training will evaluate the Special Forces soldiers abilities to conduct some of the many unconventional warfare tasks the troops are expected to be proficient in, including search and rescue.

There are only five Special Forces groups on active duty. Each group is uniquely suited to accomplish a wide variety of unconventional missions during both peace and wartime. Special Forces deploy routinely around the world and each Special Forces group is oriented to a specific regional theater of the world.

For information contact the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) PAO at 910-432-6005.