• August 20, 2014

Fort Hood unit learns cultural diversity, sharpens skills

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Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 4:30 am

HOHENFELS, Germany — Cultural awareness plays a pertinent role in the training of a regionally-aligned force, the significance being that soldiers sent into a particular region are ahead of the game.

When language and culture become second nature to the aligned units, operations and planning improve and this becomes a significant increase to their abilities.

It’s not just about nations working together. It’s about soldiers from those various nations working together on the ground that will really make a difference. In the future, NATO forces will engage and this partnership can provide options to those who create policy, said Col. John DiGiambattista, commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

Soldiers from the brigade are training at the Joint Multinational Training Command in Hohenfels and Grafenwoehr Training Areas as their mission as the Army unit regionally aligned to the region.

“A very important aspect of this training is that deploying overseas gives us the practical experience of planning and implementing the necessary plan for a real world deployment,” said Capt. David Picard of the brigade’s 91st Brigade Engineer Battalion.

Picard has fought side-by-side with many of the NATO partners in Afghanistan and says that training with them now is just a reinforcement that they are all in this together.

“Training with our allies and NATO partners and conducting operations in the European theater has a very important impact, we are finding they are just as committed to the same goals as we are. We wear different uniforms and speak different languages but many of our tactical tasks and standard operating procedures are the same,” Picard said.

Train together

The mission is a great chance for 15 countries to come together to train for future operations.

“The benefits of training with the partner countries here is learning how they operate and showing them how we operate and doing that together,” said Sgt. Preston Laybon. “Creating that partnership where two or more people come together to achieve a common goal or in this case, multiple countries.”

Soldiers from 1st Brigade are part of more than 4,000 troops participating in Combined Resolve II, a U.S. led, multinational exercise in Germany which ended Tuesday.

While Fort Hood has training areas where soldiers can learn, exercises like this allow the troops the unique chance to train alongside allied nations.

“This is a phenomenal opportunity to employ many parts of my brigade throughout the NATO exercise,” DiGiambattista said. “This training allows us to work with other nations to build cultural awareness, understanding and interoperability.”

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