US Army, May 23, 2014 - HOHENFELS, Germany by Sgt Bethany McMeans - U.S. and Austrian Soldiers jumped out of Army UH-60 Black Hawks and Austrian helicopters to begin an air assault mission to attack and defend an operating base during Combined Resolve II.
This was just the beginning of the training exercise for the 1st Battalion, 182nd Infantry Regiment, Massachusetts National Guard, and Soldiers of the Austrian Armed Forces.
“Everyone’s excited to be here and working with multinational forces,” said 1st Lt. Benjamin Welch, of Charlie Company, 182nd Infantry Regiment.
Combined Resolve II is a U.S. Army Europe-directed multinational exercise at the Joint Multinational Training Command’s Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels Training Areas, May 15 – June 30, 2014. The exercise includes more than 4,000 participants and will train the U.S. Army’s European Rotational Force alongside allies and partners from 14 European countries.
The training provided the U.S. and Austrian troops with an opportunity to become a smart, adaptable and capable unified unit.
“There’s always challenges because you obviously have your language barrier and they [NATO and partner-nation forces] operate on a slightly different standard,” said Welch.
Staff Sgt. David Duhart, of Charlie Company, agreed by saying, “This [training] broadens your views on how other armies and other cultures handle situations.”
Combined Resolve II helps to develop technical and tactical interoperability among U.S., NATO and partner-nation forces which was displayed when Austrian and U.S. aircraft dropped the Soldiers off at the beginning of the mission, and when the Austrians provided communications to call in air and other types of support during the mock battle.
“It’s quite awesome working with other countries because you learn so much,” said Sgt. Robert Krassnig, of the Austrian forces.
Krassnig added that the need for training events such as the one they did are essential because of the uncertainty of situations in today’s world; and, when the time comes, all of the forces will have to work together to accomplish the mission.
Although there are differences between the different countries that are participating in the Combined Resolve II exercise, the more training the forces do together, the more beneficial.
Cpl. Daniel Rothedeutsch of the Austrian forces reinforced that benefit of this training by mentioning the language barrier during the training improves over time as the various countries spend more time with each other.