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THURSDAY, JULY 31, 2014  02:35:29 PM

III Corps Soldiers train with NATO counterparts

Email   Print   Share By Staff Sgt. Daniel Wallace, III Corps Public Affairs
December 13, 2012 | News
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Austrian Army Lt. Col. Andreas Loschek, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Cell night shift chief of operations, Lt. Col. Paul Reese A Co., HHB, III Corps IJC CJOC director and Col. Kevin Anderson, I Marine Expeditionary Force IJC CJOC director, talk about the daily operations inside the CJOC at Grafenwoehr, Germany Dec. 4. Staff Sgt. Daniel Wallace, III Corps Public Affairs
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany - Soldiers from Fort Hood received a chance to work with service members from NATO nations here during training exercise Unified Endeavor 13-1 to prepare for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan in 2013.

The exercise, which began Nov. 27 and concludes Friday, offered Fort Hood troops a chance to get to know more than just the business side of their allied counterparts.

Sgt. 1st Class Sanae Hutchinson, the Joint Fires Cell noncommissioned officer-in-charge from Company A, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, III Corps, was one of the Soldiers who got a chance to build a close relationship with one of his NATO working counterparts.

“Right now, I am working with Soldiers from Italy and Germany,” Hutchinson said. “At first with Soldiers from different countries you’re kind of intimidated and you don’t know what to expect from each other. For us, on the initial meet and greet we were open to the fact that we were going to be working together and we were open to the rank differences.”

Thirty six-year-old Hutchinson said that getting to come and participate in the exercise helps Soldiers in many ways.

“The benefit of it is that we get to learn each other’s cultures and customs,” he said. “It helps us to know that we can work cohesively together for a year.”

Hutchinson said that while there are many benefits to working together, there are still things that Soldiers must keep in mind.

“The language barrier is one thing that you have to be mindful of,” he said. “You have to remember to not use so many United States specific Army terms and acronyms. You have to use full words and not any American slag. Things that we would normally know we must remember they might not know.”

While miles of land and water normally separate these Soldiers, a comedic attitude helps to bring them close together.

“The easiest thing that brings us together is that we all have

a great sense of humor,” Hutchinson said. “We’re all here together and we might as well have fun.”

While the Soldiers here are benefiting from the relationship with their international partners, Hutchinson said that the U.S. military, as a whole, benefits as well.

“I am sure from things you see in the news a lot of people may have a bad stigma about us, but when they work with us they get to see we are just like them,” Hutchinson said. “We’re just another person and another human being that wants to do good and make a difference.”

Someone who has been to the USA many times to attend various Army schools and courses, Hungarian Army Sgt. Maj. Laszlo Nagy, the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps combined joint operations center sergeant major, said he feels there are some benefits American and NATO service members can get from working with each other before deploying.

“One of the benefits is we get to know each other,” Nagy said. “As you know, we (the NRDC service members) are going to deploy in January, which is two months before the III Corps Soldiers. So this gives us time to get to know each other by face, by rank and by position.”

Nagy knows that coming from separate nations and lives there are a few things American service members and their NATO allies must be mindful about each other.

“For a few days I have been discussing this subject with the American sergeant majors,” Nagy said. “What we need to understand is that working in a NATO environment is not the same as working in a pure American military environment. We do things differently and maybe our leadership style is different. Also, everyone on both sides needs to have a cultural understanding of each other.”

While training and living with NATO allies during the training exercise will allow some to gain new friends, Nagy said this will also benefit the mission in a couple of different areas.

“I think that once we are on the same sheet of music, it gives us a better chance to work smoothly,” Nagy said. “I think the flow of information should be much faster and easier once we get to know each other.”

“Personally for me, it’s been amazing,” Nagy said. “I’ve been to drill sergeant’s school, ranger school, the sergeant majors academy and several other courses that the U.S. Army has to offer. I’ve been there three times and spent more than two years in America. For me personally, I am really used to your system and your leadership.”
 
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