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    Ohio works with SPP partners, other countries during PLATINUM WOLF 17

    Platinum Wolf 17

    Photo By Spc. Emilie Sheridan | Soldiers from the Macedonian Army and U.S. Ohio Army National Guard, 37th Infantry...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Emilie Sheridan 

    196th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    SOUTH BASE, Serbia — Soldiers from multiple Ohio Army National Guard units boarded planes this summer to attend Platinum Wolf, a two-week, multinational event focused on peacekeeping operations, hosted by one of Ohio’s State Partnership Program partner countries. The exercise began with five days of round-robin style lanes training, which consisted of urban operations, medical, non-lethal weapons, virtual battle space, crowd and riot control, cordon and search, and weapons range operations. The Ohio Army National Guard contingent comprised Soldiers from the 585th Military Police Company; Company A, Special Troops Battalion, 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team; and 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment. “The last two weeks, 10 countries have gotten together,” said 1st Lt. John McCoy, officer in charge of Platinum Wolf and a member of Company C, 1-148th Infantry. “And we’ve conducted five days of lanes training, a cultural day, a sports day and now were on an FTX (field training exercise) version of that where the soldiers are being evaluated by the former trainers who have now become the OCs (observer-controllers) and they are evaluating how these tasks are being applied during a mission.” Serbian Armed Forces Lt. Col. Branislav Stevanovic, commander of the Peacekeeping Operations Training Center at South Base, further explained. “Over the last 10 days, we have conducted the training here, aiming to enhance the interoperability and mutual understanding among members of the partner nations’ armed forces at a tactical level, and to train the units in tactics, techniques and procedures during the execution of the tasks in peace-support operations.” Platinum Wolf began as a peacekeeping exercise in 2014, with the U.S. Marines facilitating for the last three years. The Ohio Army National Guard took charge of the mission for the first time this year, which had the largest participation to date. “It’s a partnership operation,” McCoy said. “We focus on peacekeeping operations with other countries. It’s bringing all the countries together. It’s developing the underdeveloped countries. It’s allowing Serbia to host and utilize its facilities which are growing here at South Base.” Serbian Armed Forces Command Sgt. Maj. Sasha Mudrinich, sergeant major of the international training center at South Base, said there were nine different countries that participated in Platinum Wolf 2017, and there possibly be more than that next year. “There were 384 exercising participants from nine countries taking part and 483 engaged people in total,” he said. “The major goal is that we connect with different nations to deliver knowledge to each other.” Training in a foreign nation alongside soldiers from around the world is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Ohio Soldiers. “It broadens our Soldiers’ scope,” McCoy said. “This might be the first time our Soldiers have gone out of the country. It shows the conditions in which the rest of the world is operating in. It allows our Soldiers to show their adaptability in order to complete the mission at hand.” The main mission of Platinum Wolf is to inform, educate, and exchange information with our partner nations. "The main benefit is that we get to know each other and we get your knowledge and you get our knowledge," Mudrinich said. “That’s the most important thing. I tell you how we solve this problem with crowd and riot control and you tell us your experience.” Each nation was asked to send instructors as well as soldiers to participate in the training. “The trainers have been complete professionals,” McCoy said. “From our side, we’re getting the benefit of seeing professionals doing this who might have been doing this a month ago for real. We’re getting that seasoned experience in the trainers, and I think that’s very valuable.” Executing this mission required months of prior planning, including three conferences in Serbia with representatives of each country that was going to participate, and even more planning and preparation on the home front before traveling to Serbia for the exercise. Looking ahead to next year, the Serbian Armed Forces plans to grow the Platinum Wolf exercise and add two new nations to the exercise for 2018. 

 “Platinum Wolf 18 is already being discussed, and I think as good as this exercise has been, the improvement has already been noted where it needs to be,” McCoy said. “I think we’re going to dial back some of the tasks, allowing for more time for training. We want to bring a more realistic approach as well.”



    Date Taken: 06.24.2017
    Date Posted: 06.21.2018 09:26
    Story ID: 260941
    Location: SOUTH BASE, RS

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