|Kuwaiti, U.S. Soldiers Join for NBC Training|
Kuwaiti, U.S. Soldiers Join for NBC Training
By Pvt. Natalie Schlotman, Army News Service.
Camp Doha, Kuwait -- (ANS) October 31, 2001 -- Soldiers of Task Force 1-34 Armor linked up with Kuwaiti soldiers Oct. 17 for a day of coalition training at a Kuwaiti military camp outside the Kabal.
Task Force soldiers with 1st Platoon, Company A spent the day teaching Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical procedures, Mission Oriented Protective Posture levels and movement-to-contact training to Kuwaiti soldiers in the 1st Company, 153rd Tank Battalion.
Coalition training is important because it gives American and Kuwaiti soldiers a chance to share training techniques, said Capt. Todd Jackins, Task Force 1-34 Armor.
"These are the people we may have to go to war with. If our soldiers train side-by-side with the Kuwaitis, it builds confidence between the two commands," Jackins said.
"It gives the Kuwaitis a good opportunity to see how we train," he said.
Training with the Kuwaitis was an opportunity for U.S. soldiers to learn as well, officials said.
"It's a new experience to see the different culture," said Sgt. Gregory Brown, Task Force 1-34 Armor.
The training began with a traditional Kuwaiti social gathering, where soldiers shared tea and chatted.
"The Kuwaitis are very social people. They tend to start training by giving the soldiers a chance to get to know one another," Jackins said. "It's important for U.S. soldiers to participate in the socializing. A major objective of coalition training is to build rapport with the Kuwaitis, and this is one thing that allows us to do that."
After socializing, U.S. soldiers gave the Kuwaitis a class on NBC procedures. The Kuwaitis learned the different levels of MOPP, and how the Army postures itself during an NBC attack.
"We're teaching them new things; we're not trying to overturn what they've already learned," said Brown, the NBC instructor. "They tell us daily how much they appreciate us."
Kuwaiti soldiers participated in the class by demonstrating to U.S. soldiers their military's NBC training procedures.
Afterward, U.S. soldiers gave a class on how to organize a movement-to-contact exercise. The class was designed to train soldiers to gain or regain contact with enemy forces in an unfamiliar environment.
"The movement-to-contact trains soldiers to maneuver their tanks in an environment where there isn't much intelligence. They don't know what's in front of them so soldiers must practice security while searching for the enemy," Jackins said.
Kuwaitis also learned the three elements of the exercise, and how to use them. The first is a reconnaissance element called the advanced guard, which serves as an early warning for the company of danger ahead.
The second element is the main body. The main body moves behind the advanced guard and executes tactical maneuvers to destroy the enemy forces. The reserve element is the last element in the exercise formation. The reserve group, also called the trail platoon, reacts to any unforeseen circumstances and helps the main body destroy any enemy vehicles.
U.S. soldiers had to work through some difficulties during the coalition training.
"It's challenging because of the language barrier. We have to rely heavily on our translator," Jackins said. "Also, because the coordination is between two different commands, it's very informal. I have to be flexible and ready to react to anything."
Although it took some flexibility and lots of translating, U.S. and Kuwaiti soldiers were able to successfully complete the training. In addition to learning military procedures, soldiers from both nations walked away from the training with a new understanding of each other's culture.
(Editor's note: Pvt. Natalie Schlotman is a member of the 50th Public Affairs Detachment.)