JAHRA, Kuwait – Soldiers from various nations competed against each other in an obstacle course at the Land Forces Institute, Kuwait, March 1, 2017. The United States, Kuwait, Britain, Lebanon, and Bangladesh armies all participated in the friendly competition, which acknowledged solidarity in the engineer partnerships.
“The engineer partnership we have with the Kuwaiti Army, with assistance from the British and Bangladesh armies allows us to utilize engineer machines, pushing dirt around and coming up with different designs,” said 1st Lt. Nicholas Adams, an engineer officer, with the 368th Engineer Battalion. “The more we work together, the more we increase our interoperability between our different nation’s militaries.”
Support for the partnership started a little over a year ago, said British army Warrant Officer Class Two Bryan Tullett, with the British Military Mission. Additional assistance came from the Camp Arifjan Engineer Battalion, allowing the relationship to expand on classes for both engineer and infantry schools.
“During the last year, we created and conducted a first aid course with the engineer school and the section commanders’ basic course, first aid, and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear [response] courses for the infantry school,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jacob Byrge, the partnership non-commissioned officer in charge for 368th Engineer Battalion. “This year we worked with Kuwaiti engineers and the 312th Engineer Company to refurbish the assault course.”
The competition allowed for U.S. Army Soldiers to participate in a friendly competition with the students at the school, simultaneously strengthening the already budding partnership.
“It is only a half-mile course, but some of the obstacles were pretty challenging,” said U.S. Army Capt. Brian Ladd, commander, 207th Engineer Company, Kentucky National Guard. He also stated he was pleased with the great effort his soldiers brought to the event, with multiple teams beating the previous obstacle course’s completion record.
Some of the participants agreed with the commander’s assessment of the course.
“It is very challenging running, jumping and crawling through the sand with wet clothes,” said U.S. Army Spc. Sidney Fields, heavy equipment operator, 207th Eng. Co. “I was completely soaked by running through this obstacle course.”
After the timed competition was over Soldiers from the 207th Eng. Co. walked the course again, jumping in all the water obstacles available. Afterwards, they took some time to take pictures and shared engineer ideas with their host nation counterparts.
“I was really pleased working with the American’s today,” said Kuwait Land Forces Institute Capt. Ahmad Al Farhan, chief instructor for the explosive ordinance disposal. “I look forward to working with them conducting physical fitness and other explosive ordinance disposal training.”