21st TSC oversees U.S., Georgian training exercise
November 20, 2009
VAZIANI TRAINIG AREA, Georgia - In the ruins of a former Soviet airbase, the windowless, skeletal remains of the military structures here provided the perfect backdrop for the company-level field-training exercise for Immediate Response 2010, a joint U.S. and Georgian military exercise overseen by the 21st Theater Sustainment Command.
The exercise, more commonly referred to as IR10, primarily focuses on improving interoperability between the two militaries for future deployments to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The field-training exercise took place at the Vaziani Training Area in Georgia in late October and early November. It paired two Georgian army platoons with one U.S. Army platoon to form a company-sized element that was trained and evaluated on practical combat exercises to include cordon and search, room clearing, and platoon and company battle drills.
The company-level exercise followed platoon-level training and exercises that the U.S. and Georgian soldiers participated in during the first week of the exercise. The event gave U.S. and Georgian troops an opportunity to work together on techniques and an environment that will be similar to what they will encounter while deployed to Afghanistan.
"In the platoon phase of the exercise, the company commander is totally taken out of the situation, and the focus is on the platoon leader and the decisions he makes during the mission," said Sgt. 1st Class Jamie Tompkins, an observer-controller with the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany. "During the company phase, the platoons are brought together and the focus is on the company commander and the decisions he makes to accomplish the mission."
The scenarios for the exercise were carefully drafted and planned over several months by a team of trainers from JMRC.
"Since last June, a team with the JMRC has been planning the exercise to reflect similar situations that would be found in Afghanistan," said Tompkins. "The training draws on the extensive combat experience of the JMRC teams to set up the situations for the exercise."
The exercise enabled the Georgian and U.S. forces to work together to overcome the barriers of different languages and different tactics and come together as a cohesive team to accomplish combat missions.
"This is very interesting training, and the process is very intense," said Cpl. Zedgenidze Merabi, a Georgian army soldier assigned to the 4th Brigade's 43rd Infantry Battalion. "I'm very happy to work with the Americans and have gained a lot of experience."
"I enjoy training with them, and I believe they enjoy training with us," said Spc. Andrew Kirchoff, a U.S. Soldier with B Company, 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, about the Georgians. "It gives us an idea of how we can work better together."