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353rd CACOM soldiers take part opening day ceremony Sgt. Gregory Williams

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jeffrey Cantor, the co-director for exercise Shared Resilience 13 with the 353rd Civil Affairs Command, provides comments during the opening day ceremony in Pepelishte, Macedonia, May 28, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Gregory Williams/Released)

PEPELISHTE, Macedonia – Soldiers with the 353rd Civil Affairs Command took part in the opening ceremony held here on Tuesday for exercise Shared Resilience 13. The soldiers will be working as instructors and observe and control managers for more than 300 participants during the exercise.

Exercise Shared Resilience 13 is designed to bring together medical professionals from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia, and U.S. forces in order to enhance interagency coordination.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Cantor, a co-director for exercise Shared Resilience, said he has taken part in several multinational ceremonies, but this one was special because of his Soldiers.

“It made me very proud to see my soldiers out there because I love our unit and it put a smile on my face,” Cantor said. “All the ceremonies I’ve done in the past have been similar, but this is my first time being the co director and giving a speech, which was humbling.”

Staff Sgt. Alberto Torres, a civil affairs non-commissioned officer with the 353rd, said he has been to Macedonia before during another medical exercise and he’s excited to have the opportunity to work once again with multi national forces.

“I have made many friends in the past and it’s good to see that people are still interested in the medical field,” Torres said. “It’s even better to see how confident other forces get when they see us because they know the training they’re getting is legitimate.”

Torres said that he felt proud to be a soldier when the announcer acknowledged the U.S. forces formation as each participating nation was called out.

After the ceremony, soldiers talked with their multinational counterparts and greeted each other with smiles and hand shakes. As the field emptied out, most of the participants showed that they’re willing to learn from one another in order to achieve the same goals.

“It’s important to remember that’s it’s not just about one person and one fight, but it’s about a unified action of approach and that’s what I hope all of these individuals learn during this exercise,” Cantor said. “I hope our unit will provide the Macedonians and other nations the skill sets needed to handle any disaster they may encounter.”


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Public Domain Mark
This work, 353rd CACOM soldiers take part opening day ceremony, by SGT Gregory Williams, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:05.30.2013

Date Posted:05.30.2013 10:59

Location:MK

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  • During exercise Shared Resilience 13 participants are given the opportunity to attend multiple Interagency cooperation classes. One of the instructors for SR-13 took on the challenge of teaching the power of preparation and unity.   

“The most important part of the training is to get everyone from all different agencies to work together,” Capt. Carlstein Lutchmedial, an exercise Shared Resilience 13 instructor with the 353rd Civil Affairs Command, said. “This seems to be the biggest issue here because some agencies don’t want to relinquish authority. We want to imprint in the class’s mind that this is a team effort and not necessarily an agency effort.”
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During a recent trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art here, Hollywood came to life as more than 40 Soldiers with the 353rd Civil Affairs Command learned how to become modern day guardians of history.

“Preserving history is not only important for any society but also in the wrong hands artifacts can be used to fund terrorism,” said Staff Sgt. Martin Sierra, a civil affairs noncommissioned officer with the 353rd. “They can be used as leverage in negotiations and extortion, the failure to safeguard and secure these items can cost lives and place the lives of both Soldiers and civilians in jeopardy.”

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