News: Ironhorse conducts joint-exercise with Kuwaiti, Emirate leaders
Story by Sgt. John Couffer
VIP HILL, Kuwait – Plumes of sand were cast in the air caused by the rotor-wash of a military helicopter that slowly descended in order to land, it’s cargo; senior military leaders of the Kuwaiti and United Arab Emirate Armies.
Military leaders of the Kuwaiti and Emirate armies took time to observe a combined-joint exercise hosted by leaders and soldiers of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division and a squadron of the Air Force, May 7.
Hosting such an exercise is an opportunity for members of the Gulf Cooperation Council to come together and observe American military capabilities.
“The GCC is a series of countries along the Persian Gulf [and] also along the peninsula. They include: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the Emirates, Oman and Kuwait, and is for the defense of the peninsula,” said Little Rock, Ark., native, Maj. Scott Shaw, an operations officer assigned to the Ironhorse Brigade.
The exercise is an example of how nations come together to promote regional security, military-to-military engagements and to show how these nations support one another for regional cohesiveness.
“It’s pretty cool to see a group of countries come together for their own defense. We as partners inside of a defense coalition [are] able to help out the Gulf Cooperation Council alliance along to their defensive goals,” Shaw said.
Shaw said that the leaders of the Kuwaiti and Emirate armies were able to observe the Ironhorse Brigade’s precision artillery.
“There is a need to have precision artillery, it supports target discrimination. We’re able to hit, very precisely, targets of military significance that are threatening our friends,” Shaw said.
Hosting exercises like these can send a strong message, not only to regional partners, but also to the American public.
“I think it sends a message that we have strong allies in this region, that we are here to help in our national goals, to help this region with its regional goals or these nations with their national goals. It’s about showing we have partners and friends inside these countries,” Shaw said.
Shaw also said that the Ironhorse Brigade’s mission of bolstering regional partnerships and strengthening the overall security of the region is of vital importance.
“There are dangerous enemies to the peace that’s in this region that want to do Americans harm, that want to do their neighbors harm. The [Ironhorse] Brigade is helping bolster the security of Kuwait and the entire region,” Shaw said.
Throughout history, people in this region of the world have been at war for a long time and for various reasons, but U.S. forces are here because they were invited.
“The Kuwaitis have invited us here, graciously, and we’ll be here. Frankly, they have been doing fine without us, but they asked us to stay and we are here as their partner,” Shaw said.
One leader, whose role in the exercise was of vital importance, had more to offer.
“We have a very strong Army and the armies of this region are very strong and we can strengthen them by doing these types of partnered engagements,” said Honea Path, S.C., native, Lt. Col. Edmond Brown, the commander of the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment of the Ironhorse Brigade, whose soldiers facilitated a portion of the exercise.
Brown also said that partnerships evolve over time.
According to Brown, partnerships develop when countries start working together, as one, toward a common goal. From these working partnerships come friendships. Then, as a byproduct of partnership and friendship, countries realize that nations are committed to their mutual goals like regional security and support. Trust is then established because of the type of exercise that the Ironhorse Brigade held, creating a momentum that can be carried forward.
“The Ironhorse Brigade has taken the lead in these types of robust partnerships. Whether we are in Iraq or in Kuwait, we have led the way wherever we have gone, and I’m proud to be part of an organization that takes personal relationships so seriously,” Brown said.
For security purposes, it is a well known fact that there is safety in numbers.
“In getting the militaries together, from different nations, helps them see each other and helps them form a more solid alliance. There are enemies on this side of the world, and the more countries we can band together [through engagements like these] the more secure the world is going to be,” Shaw concluded.