The Army Special Forces Command is starting a new qualifying test for 106 potential Green Berets who practice infiltrating a fictional nation.
The Robin Sage exercise begins Saturday and runs through Jan. 22 across 15 counties in largely rural central North Carolina. Soldiers will be operating in Alamance, Anson, Cabarrus, Chatham, Davidson, Guilford, Hoke, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Richmond, Rowan, Scotland, Stanly and Union counties.
The student-soldiers will practice infiltrating the country of "Pineland" in the exercise designed to give realistic training in unconventional warfare.
The Army says some residents may hear blank gunfire and see occasional flares.
Robin Sage has been conducted for nearly 50 years.