GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Troopers from 3rd Squadron of the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment spent a week at the Grafenwoehr Training Area working with their partners from the 104th Panzer Battalion on various infantry operations during Combined Partnership 2010. The 104th is currently designated as the NATO Operational Reserve Force.

"Combined Partnership 2010 was a tremendous exercise," said 3rd Squadron Commander, Lt. Col. Bryan Denny, "not just in it was the first squadron-level exercise between 2SCR and 12th Panzer, but it provided an opportunity for us to learn from a tank battalion that has had two operational deployments to Afghanistan."

"Where as we normally see their tankers as professionals of their armored force leading the fight from the tops of their Leopards," he said. "It's important to remember that they have dismounted twice and conducted operations in northern Afghanistan."

"In turn when they look at us they see us as professional infantrymen, Cavalrymen, capable of taking the fight to the enemy on the ground."

"The purpose of the exercise was two-fold," said Maj. Matt Brown, 3/2 Executive Officer. "First was to ready the NATO ORF Battalion and 3rd Squadron for operational deployments worldwide, second was to reinforce the mutual partnership we have had with the 104th for almost a year now."

According to Brown the exercise was broken down into three separate company level training exercises as well as a reserve mission. Three German coys or companies conducted stability and counterinsurgency operations in a variety of environments and scenarios for a 36 hour period. During their reserve mission, each unit got to experience joint operation by conducting a cordon and search operation while having a Stryker company attached to them.

Troopers from the Wolf pack also acted as observer controllers for the exercise helping their German counterparts to refine dismount tactics. Brown also said 3/2 was involved heavily in creating the scenarios for the exercise in collaboration with the 12th Panzer Command.

"We had initial guidance from the 12th Panzer Commander in terms of what kind of scenarios we wanted to develop," Brown said, "we then got together during three different planning conferences both in Amberg and Vilseck to discuss the specifics."

"Everybody brought something to the table in preparation for this," he continued, "from the exercise control piece to the execution piece this has been a combined effort at every echelon."
This cooperation and team building is at the center of the exercise according to 104th Panzer Battalion Commander. Lt. Col Norbert Kopf.

"This is another step in our mutual understanding and project partnership," Kopf said. "I have done this for many years and it is one of the most challenging and beautiful things, to learn from people from other nations."

I am hoping my Soldiers take away from this as a look over the fence," Kopf continued. "To see how Soldiers from other nations are doing certain things, what type of weapons they carry, how do they use these weapons and what are their tactics.

Kopf also said he wants his Soldiers to get to know their American counterparts on a personal level. He feels it is important for his troops to build these kinds of friendships with the men they will fight with on the battlefield.

"My intent is not to give you the feeling that you are isolated here on your post with it's fence around it," he said, "but you are living here in our country and I want you to love my country."
"This is what we try to reach step by step in our project partnership," he said.

Both the Wolf pack and the Panzers agree that the exercise was a great opportunity to learn from each other and establish new friendships that will last for many years to come.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16