TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – A former combat soldier will share insights into training and leadership – things he learned in the field – at a presentation in February at the Fine Arts Auditorium on the College of Southern Idaho campus.

Combat veteran Keni Thomas will speak 6 p.m. on Feb. 10. The title of his presentation will be “Train as You Fight, Fight as You Train.” The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Twin Falls-based Kapstone Container Corp. in partnership with the CSI Workforce Training Center and Southern Idaho Manufacturing Safety and Health Association.

According to information from the college:

Thomas was part of an elite special operations squad called Task Force Ranger. Their mission was to find and capture Mohammad Farrah Aidid, a criminal warlord in Mogadishu, Somalia.

The resulting 18-hour firefight in which Thomas and his fellow soldiers distinguished themselves would later be documented in the highly successful book and movie ‘Blackhawk Down.’ Nineteen Americans died and 78 were wounded in the battle.

Thomas’s message tells the story of how each person in the team fought to bring each other home and that without their training and leadership, many more lives would have been lost. ‘You are only as good as your preparation,’ he stresses to his audiences around the country.

Thomas, who lives in Nashville, is an award-winning songwriter who currently is pursuing a career in country music. He tours regularly to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.