News: 7th ID builds relationship with new Philippine army commanding general
Story by Sgt. Daniel Schroeder
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Soldiers from the 7th Infantry Division welcomed the commanding general of the Philippine army to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, July 2.
During a stop on his visit to the U.S., Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri visited JBLM to learn about potential training opportunities with 7th Infantry Division and I Corps units.
Iriberri is the 56th commanding general of the Philippine army and is visiting U.S. installations on the invitation of U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno.
Iriberri and 7th Infantry Division leaders discussed the realignment of units throughout the Pacific region and how it will affect the partnership between the two nations.
“The opportunity today to have Lt. Gen. Iriberri is phenomenal,” said Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell, commanding general, 7th Infantry Division. “It gives us the opportunity to strengthen an existing partnership, identify the gaps between our armies and where we can work together to close those gaps.”
During a briefing, Iriberri inquired about the capabilities and upcoming restructuring of the brigades within 7th Infantry Division and I Corps and how they will impact the mission in the Asia-Pacific region.
Following a series of briefings, Iriberri toured an equipment display showing the multiple variations and capabilities of the division’s signature Stryker vehicles. He then experienced riding in a Stryker while on a road test.
Before departing the division headquarters, Iriberri expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to visit with the Soldiers and experience the Strykers first-hand.
After leaving the division headquarters, Iriberri traveled to the Mission Training Complex to learn about the virtual training capabilities at JBLM.
The MTC highlighted the areas of training and development of unit leaders, exercises and global networks, the area of operation immersion program, and combined arms training. Training uses live, virtual, constructive, and gaming “blended” techniques.
Iriberri’s goals during his U.S. visit, that also included stops at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Washington, District of Columbia, include upgrading Philippine army capabilities, enhancing joint and combined operational capabilities and upgrading training systems and facilities.
Iriberri, who has trained with U.S. Soldiers as recently as this past May during Exercise Balikatan 2014, said working with other armed forces would enhance the Philippine army’s joint and combined operational capabilities.
Iriberri wrapped up his visit to JBLM with a meeting with Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza, I Corps commanding general, about the Corps' perspective, focus and realignment in the Pacific.