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    US, Estonia conduct combined NCOPD

    US, Estonia conduct combined NCOPD

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Steven Colvin | A picture of the Estonian National Defence College Noncommissioned Officers School is...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Steven Colvin 

    10th Press Camp Headquarters Wolfpack

    VORU, Estonia – Two dozen U.S. and Estonian noncommissioned officers with over 200 years of military experience gathered together for the first combined Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development (NCOPD) course at the Staff Sgt. And Sgt. 1st Class level at the NCO Academy in Voru, Estonia, Mar. 16-18, 2016.

    U.S. Army Iron Troop NCOs of 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, stationed out of Vilseck, Germany, had the opportunity to prepare and attend a combined NCOPD with the Estonian Army NCOs during their rotation of Atlantic Resolve.

    When the NCOs of both forces arrived at the NCO Academy on the morning of Mar. 16, they went straight to a classroom where they were greeted by Estonian Lt. Col. Madis Nomme, the Estonian chief of NCO schools.

    Lt. Col. Nomme took a few minutes to talk to the NCOs and encouraged them to work together to continue to not only build a stronger relationship between the two forces, but also to help build each other up, as well as help the lower enlisted Soldiers become the kind of leaders our Armies need them to be.

    Before Lt. Col. Nomme left, he challenged the NCOs with this quote: “Enhance the one next to you any way you can, and you both advance.”

    From that moment on, U.S. and Estonian NCOs continued to share each other’s techniques of training, educating and promoting their Soldiers.

    Estonian Master Sgt. Tonu Tuul, the operations NCO of 2nd Infantry Brigade, gave a little history brief about Lt. Julius Kuperjanov, for whom the Estonian NCO Academy was named after. Lt. Kuperjanov established 2nd Inf. Bgde. on Dec. 23, 1918, which is also the year that Estonia gained its Independence. In the name of esprit de corps, Lt. Kuperjanov chose “Skull and Bones” to be the brigade’s symbol, as it is to this day.

    “The Skull and Bones comprises the readiness to fight and the willingness to sacrifice everything, including the most precious – our life,” said Tuul. “There was a rumor that if the enemy unit heard that a unit of the same size from 2nd Inf. Bgde. was heading their way, they would begin to retreat because they knew that the spirit of Kuperjanov went before them.”

    The day continued with a tour of the NCO Academy. Iron Troop NCOs were introduced to the facilities of the campus and they were also able to see some of the training that was taking place that day.

    The following day brought the two forces back to the classroom where Sgt. 1st Class Siim Tingas, the 1st Sgt. of the Estonian Training Company, discussed the key tasks and missions of a noncommissioned officer, the NCO’s ranking structure and the roles and duties of an NCO within the Estonian Army.

    Sgt. 1st Class Raymond Robinson, an Iron Troop platoon sergeant, shared the U.S. Army’s 8-Step Training Model: Plan, Train the Trainers, Recon the Site, Issue the Order, Rehearse, Execute, Evaluate the Training, and Retrain. This technique of training is derived out of Army doctrinal publications (ADP) 7-0: Training Units and Developing Leaders.

    Sgt. 1st Class Jesse Pittman, a senior platoon sergeant for Iron Troop, discussed the Select-Train-Educate-Promote (STEP) program. The STEP program is a policy that represents the Army's investment in Soldiers' professional military education through a deliberate, continuous, and progressive process.

    Although the Estonian Army’s way of promoting their soldiers is a little different than that of the U.S. Army’s way, they were interested in our process and asked many questions regarding the STEP program.

    After a short break, the NCOs were introduced to Sgt. Major Siim Saliste, the Estonian Sgt. Major of the Defense Forces, and Sgt. Major Scott Haymaker, the U.S. European Command J 5/8 Sgt. Major, who were guest speakers at the combined NCOPD. They thanked all the NCOs for making such a great effort to put together a specialized training exercise that enhances our interoperability and relationship with our Estonian NATO allies.

    “I am glad that the U.S. Army NCOs are here,” said Estonian Sgt. Major Saliste. “I am glad we have an opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences and build our relationship.”

    U.S. and Estonian Army NCOs continued to learn from each other and build camaraderie as the NCOPD came to an end. On the last day, both forces toured the War College in Tartu where they were able to observe artifacts in the museum and learn a little more about the history of Estonia.

    It may have only been a three-day event, but it will surely be an event that will be talked about for ages to come; for not only was the joint NCOPD designed for both forces to teach and to learn from each other’s ways of training, leading, and promoting their Soldiers, but it was also designed for the leaders to build a lasting bond and friendship between the two forces.

    These activities are a part of the U.S. Army Europe-led operations of Atlantic Resolve land force assurance training taking place across Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. AR illustrates the strength of the U.S. and European strategic partnership and provides us an opportunity to contribute to it. Through the shared experience of living, working and training together we are better able to collectively communicate the shared values and vision that have been forged over the past seven decades.



    Date Taken: 03.18.2016
    Date Posted: 03.20.2016 07:28
    Story ID: 192963
    Location: VORU, TARTU, EE

    Web Views: 155
    Downloads: 0