By Spc. Andrew Ingram
1st Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait — “Raider” Brigade troops and Kuwaiti army soldiers demonstrated their heavy ordnance capabilities with mortars, artillery, tanks and other armored vehicles, collaborating to identify and destroy simulated enemy targets, during Operation Desert Centurion, May 20-21.
“During this exercise we demonstrated our ability to conduct combined operations,” said Maj. Jonathan Bender, plans officer, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. “We developed a better shared understanding of unit tactics, techniques and procedures, to enable future planning and operations.”
By working hand in hand with Kuwaiti forces, the Raider Brigade Soldiers gained a better understanding of their partners’ capabilities, and the importance of consistent lines of communication, said Bender.
“These units demonstrated the ability to conduct combined planning and operations,” he said. “This will lead to stronger bonds between these two forces, and greater interoperability during operations.”
The exercise integrated Soldiers from the company level up to brigade staff to identify targets, request fire support, analyze the target location and execute direct and indirect fire missions.
Working in a partnership role motivated the Raider troops to surpass the standard at every opportunity during the exercise, said Pfc. Scott McColl, fire support specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st ABCT.
“It was very interesting to see how the Kuwaitis operate in the field,” McColl said. “Some of their tactics and procedures are similar to ours, but I think learning each others’ differences are what will make us stronger as a whole.”
By conducting field exercises with the Kuwaiti forces, U.S. troops build the trust and respect necessary for continued, long-term partnerships, said Staff Sgt. Mathew Crane, battalion targeting noncommissioned officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment.
“Missions like this help us better understand how they operate, and helps them understand how we do business,” Crane said. “We’ve done a pretty good job integrating with each other; their executive officer is sitting right next to ours, and their intelligence soldiers are working with our intelligence Soldiers, so we are learning a different way of operating even as we strengthen our own skills.”
Soldiers of the Raider Brigade will continue working with Kuwaiti forces for the duration of their deployment to strengthen the nations’ partnership and enhance regional security.