Conference for European senior enlisted leaders wraps up in Tbilisi
May 22, 2014
TBILISI, Georgia -- U.S. Army Europe and the Georgian Armed Forces are wrapping up a three-day conference for senior enlisted leaders from the military forces of more than 30 allied and partner nations and the U.S.
The 8th annual Conference of European Armies for Noncommissioned Officers, led by Georgian Armed Forces Sgt. Maj. Aluda Kopaliani and USAREUR Command Sgt. Maj. David S. Davenport Sr., is one of USAREUR's premier theater security cooperation events, and brings together senior NCOs from ground forces across Europe, Eurasia and North America.
"The purpose of these conferences is to come together as senior noncommissioned officers and talk about the profession of being a Soldier and how to train and take better care of our Soldiers and their families," said Davenport.
During the conference the senior leaders have discussed topics revolving around this year's theme: "Noncommissioned Officer Roles and Responsibilities in Future Security Challenges." NCO professional development; prevention of sexual harassment and sexual abuse; the challenges facing professional armies; and medical readiness were among the topics on the agenda. Conference leaders say the event provided each participating national force with greater insight on how their partner forces are looking to develop and improve NCO skills.
"This is very important for me and my country because a few years ago we started to create our NCO corps in our country so we are looking too other countries about how to train our NCOs," said participant Warrant Officer Roman Kuzmenko.
"Lithuania has been a member of NATO now for 10 years, and being a NATO member it is important to understand how our partners work, train and get ready for any type of operation," said Sgt. Maj. Osvaldas Zurauskas, the Sgt. Maj. of the Lithuanian Land Forces. "This type of conference helps me to understand how other countries get ready for different tasks, deployments and emergencies."
The conference wrapped up with an official dinner event that included a special ceremony to welcome and salute new members of an elite group of NCOs. The Sgt. Morales Medallion was presented to Sgt. Maj. of the Bulgarian Army Lyubomir Lambov; Chefsergent Flemming Andersen of the Royal Danish Army; Sgt. Maj. of the Polish Army Krzysztof Podkulinski; Sgt. Maj. of the Royal Netherlands Army Andre Odenkirchen; and Sgt. Maj. of the Turkish Army and Deputy Sgt. Maj. of the Turkish Army Ibraim Celik, in recognition of their NCO leadership and achievements. The award and membership in the Sgt. Morales Club are exclusive to the U.S. Army in Europe. Sgt. Maj. of the Croatian Army Dominick Ban became the first foreign national recipient of the medallion at last year's CEANCO.
Attendees generally hold the top enlisted positions in their nations' land forces. The conference allows for discussion on matters of mutual interest and the opportunity to establish and maintain personal and professional relationships between counterparts.
About us: U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned to advance American strategic interests across Eurasia as U.S. European Command's force of choice and has unparalleled capability to prevent conflict, shape the environment and, if necessary, win decisively. The relationships we build during 1,000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships, and enhance global security.