News: Multinationals train together to maintain mission readiness
Story by Sgt. Samantha Stoffregen
CAMP NOVO SELO, Kosovo – Kosovo Forces must be prepared to react to any threat to a safe and secure Kosovo at a moment’s notice. To ensure Multinational Battle Group-East is ready to respond to a potential threat anywhere in Kosovo, soldiers from the Forward Command Post conducted air-mobile crowd and riot control training at Camp Novo Selo, July 22.
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Eugenio Mendoza, a native of Fort Washington, Md., and the 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment Operations sergeant major, helped to oversee the training as soldiers from the French coy went through the training lanes.
"The reason we are doing this is trying to get [everyone] used to riding the helicopters and maneuvering them into an area that has an ongoing riot," Mendoza said. "Also, we're trying to alleviate time from riding in vehicles. Helicopters are faster, so we're getting [soldiers] used to that."
The training started out with soldiers reviewing the procedures for loading and unloading a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with all of the CRC equipment. The second phase consisted of the soldiers loading onto two Black Hawks with all of their CRC equipment and flying to a second staging area where they quickly unloaded the aircraft and moved to respond to a civil disturbance that was beginning to escalate.
French army Capt. Gudet De La Conbe, the executive officer for the French coy at Camp Novo Selo, said he enjoyed the day's training and felt it was very useful.
"It was good because my soldiers concentrated and the American instructors were good," Conbe said. "Everybody understood what we needed to do for the mission."
Conbe added that this type of training is very interesting because it gives them the opportunity to compare tactics, techniques and procedures with their multinational partners. Together, they are able to determine how to work together best accomplish the mission.
Mendoza also felt the day's training went very well.
"They [French soldiers] came into the CRC lane not aggressive at all, which is definitely what they should do because not all demonstrations start out aggressive," Mendoza said. "The French demonstrated today their escalation of force and moving their escalation of force to a higher level. I was pretty impressed how they handled it."
For KFOR soldiers, maintaining their skills and building positive relationships with their multinational partners is key to a successful mission. Mendoza believed the day’s training helped towards strengthening those relationships.
"We try to develop some kind of camaraderie with them," Mendoza said. "Let them know that we are in the same fight. We like working with them. It’s a lot of fun."