CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait — The Greywolf Brigade spent the last two weeks embracing international interoperability during their nine-month deployment to Kuwait.
Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, served as the opposing force during training exercise Eagle Resolve.
“Eagle Resolve is a joint training exercise with Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and American forces,” said Capt. David Hale, commander of Company B “Battle,” 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment. “Bravo Company is tasked to defend key nodes and infrastructure to disrupt Kuwaiti special operations elements in our area of operations.”
While Gulf Cooperation Council elements were inserted into various scenarios — like clearing buildings, rescuing hostages and retaking key infrastructure — the soldiers of Battle Company played the role of bad guys, firing blanks at allied forces.
As two helicopters landed on a farm in the Kuwaiti desert, a cloud of dust kicked up from rotating blades provided cover for the swarm of international special operations troops that poured out. The bevy of uniformed personnel immediately took up an offensive position alongside two mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles as they made their way toward their objective with weapons drawn.
Meanwhile, the soldiers held their ground and defended their territory against the approaching assault.
“We’ve done numerous partnership missions with the Kuwaiti forces where we worked to integrate with them and kind of see how they do their thing,” said Staff Sgt. Andy Anderson, platoon sergeant assigned to Company B.
In the midst of retaking the farm, the Gulf Cooperation Council forces were able to exercise an array of skills, from clearing rooms to combat casualty care to detainee operations, all while working together seamlessly.
In a vehicle board, search and seizure scenario, two waves of GCC forces were inserted onto an oil tanker. The first wave rappelled in from helicopters; the second approached via speedboat right up to the side of the vessel and mounted the stairs, all with weapons at the ready.
They shot, moved and communicated as they made their way from room to room, detaining the opposition forces and rescuing hostages.
In a scenario located in a warehouse complex in Subhan Army Base, teams of GCC elements rolled into the complex in MRAP vehicles while other teams poured through an opening in the fence, stacked up alongside the warehouses, tossed M84 stun grenades into the open doors, waited for them to detonate, then cleared each warehouse.
Once they set up a perimeter, more teams rolled up in black SUVs, sirens blaring, to the final objective of the scenario — a row of trailers at the back of the complex. Again the GCC forces worked together to clear the final buildings, neutralizing the threats and conducting detainee operations.
Along with special operations forces from the GCC, U.S. Marines, Navy and Air Force played roles in the execution of the scenarios; a collaborative effort in more ways than one.
“We’ve been able to work with the United States Air Force, U.S. Marines, the Navy, as well as the Army’s special (operations) forces units, so it’s a great experience that a lot of my tankers have not had the chance to do,” Hale said. “It’s also a chance for my tankers to get some experience in dismounted operations. Essentially, a lot of the dismounted tactics that we use translate over to the mounted world, so we’re actually able to teach mounted tactics dismounted. It’s been a great learning experience from the top down. I think all of us are taking a lot from this.”