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    US assists Italian hosts prior to Afghanistan deployment

    US assists Italian hosts prior to Afghanistan deployment

    Photo By Sgt. A.M. LaVey | U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Charles Burrow, an operations sergeant major with the 173rd...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. A.M. LaVey 

    173rd Airborne Brigade

    AOSTA, Italy—Paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade travelled to the Italian army’s mountain warfare training center and school in the Aosta Valley, Oct. 14-15 in order to train Italian troops scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan.

    The training, classes in military-to-military advising, counterinsurgency, and the Military Decision Making Process, were requested by the Italian army in order to help to prepare the Alpini, troops trained in specialized mountain warfare, for their upcoming role advising the Afghanistan National Army as part of Operation Resolute Support.

    “The operation in Afghanistan is still joint and [the Italian forces] will need to be able cooperate with U.S. and international forces,” said Italian Sgt. Maj. Luca Bertozzo, the 173rd’s senior enlisted liaison officer. “The planning procedures being used in Afghanistan are the U.S. Army’s, so the school, which we’ve had a relationship with for years, asked the brigade to provide the instructors so that their [deployers] will be absolutely ready when they go downrange.”

    The NATO-led Operation Resolute Support is designed to assist the Afghan security forces after the International Security Assistance Force combat mission has ended and Afghan forces assume responsible for their country’s security.

    During a speech to the Italian parliament earlier this year, the Italian defense minister, Mario Mauro, said the Italians will be limiting their engagement to training and educational activities, so most of the training focused on building relationships with the ANA and covered topics like best practiced and cultural sensitivities.

    “We have some experience advising and assisting in Afghanistan, but the world is changing every day,” said Italian 1st Sgt. Bruno Fernaro, who attended the course.

    The instructors added to the training by providing real-life experiences, best practices and lessons learned from their previous deployments.

    “This training ensures that our planning processes are similar and that we can work together anytime in the future,” said Sgt. Maj. Charles Burrow, the chief instructor and an operations sergeant major with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. “I am excited to be here and to share this information.”

    The doctrinal classes were tailored to the Italian audience, with the instructors opening the floor for questions and discussions, and providing additional materials for more in-depth study.

    “Advising is a learning process and it takes time to learn and understand,” said Italian Lt. Col. Antonio Barone, the deploying detachment’s commander. “For some people this is quite new, but [the instructors] made things easy to follow, by explaining and providing slides.”

    The Italians weren’t the only ones benefiting from the classes.

    This type of military to military training adds value to the U.S.-Italian partnership, said Sgt. 1st Class Lamont Barber, the assistant instructor and the brigade’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear noncommissioned officer-in-charge. “It’s good to see our host nation take an interest in our forces’ abilities as they prepare for their upcoming deployment.”

    The Alpini are scheduled to deploy to western Afghanistan early next year.

    The 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vicenza, Italy, is the Army Contingency Response Force in Europe, capable of projecting forces to conduct the full range of military operation across the U.S., European, Central and Africa Command areas of responsibility.



    Date Taken: 10.15.2014
    Date Posted: 10.16.2014 11:03
    Story ID: 145190
    Location: AOSTA, IT 

    Web Views: 400
    Downloads: 1