International Military students visit the home of the 'Big Red One'
International Students attending the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., watch a rappelling demonstration at the Air Assault Tower during a Sept. 24 tour of Fort Riley, Kan. Approximately 108 students representing more than 80 countries attended.

FORT RILEY, Kan. - Fort Riley recently hosted 108 international military students who are attending the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.

More than 80 different countries were represented, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

Capt. Jonathan Chakeres from G-3 operations, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, served as the tour guide.

"We're proud to showcase Fort Riley," Chakeres said. "We're proud to host them as honored visitors and dignitaries and welcome them to the U.S. Army's finest installation."

Chakeres said that a firsthand glimpse of the installation would allow the international Soldiers to learn more than they would by just reading or being briefed about it.

At the beginning of the day, Col. Ricky Gibbs, 1st Inf. Div. deputy commanding general for maneuver, welcomed the international Soldiers and gave them an overview of the training done at Fort Riley. They then went to meet with a panel of field-grade officers from division.

"They talked about what their education was and how it prepared them for their future assignments in the Army so that the foreign officers could relate to the education they're getting at Fort Leavenworth now to the American officers," Chakeres said.

The Soldiers toured Victory Park where they looked at the memorial, Lady Victory and posed for a group photo.

They group had lunch at Cantigny Dinning Facility where they had the opportunity to have informal conversations with noncommissioned officers with deployment experience.

"The international officers got a chance to speak with them about their experiences, the U.S. Army and their impressions so far," Chakeres said.

DHHB then gave them a tour of some of the newer barracks on post.

"We got to show them a brief glimpse of the Soldiers living conditions and the barracks that they live in now, which seemed to impress them," Chakeres said.

The tour moved to the 1st Sustainment Brigade's motor pool, where the international students were given a briefing on maintenance operations and recovery operations.

Their final stop for the day was at the air assault course. They just missed seeing live rappels from Blackhawks, but observed several different rappels from the new rappelling tower.

Maj. Ahmed Siddiqui from Bangladesh said he was "an air assault guy," so he enjoyed seeing the rappelling, but was excited to learn about the division organization.

"I think the first and foremost thing that I learned was how a division here operates," Siddiqu said. "It was nice to see how it was organized, how they do their training and how different elements of the division operate."

Siddiqu said that he really enjoyed his time on post and the information he learned was useful.

Major Milton Katarinyba from Uganda said he had a wonderful experience.

"I think we benefit a lot as allies of your country, and we encourage you to keep pulling us towards where you are," he said.

Page last updated Thu October 1st, 2009 at 10:11