Third Army trains with Kuwaiti fire department
October 4, 2011
By Cpl. Jordan Johnson/Third Army/ARCENT PAO
Spc. Trisha Betz, 1-34th Brigade Combat Team
KUWAIT MINISTRY OF DEFENSE, Kuwait -- Third Army spearheaded a joint-training exercise here to share firefighting and life-saving techniques Sept. 26.
Participants in the exercise included firefighters from Area Support Group -- Kuwait, the Air Force, the Kuwaiti army and civilian contractors. Training exercises like this help different groups increase interoperability and allowed for seasoned veterans to share their knowledge.
"I brought my experience to the training," said Air Force Staff Sgt. Katie Platt, crew chief, 386th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron and Wasaw, Wis. native. "I was able to explain what I've been through, and people who don't have those experiences can learn from my past."
The exercise, which is held annually, gives personnel from both the U.S. and Kuwait the chance to familiarize themselves with each others' tactics and techniques and develop a real partnership.
"We work as one team with the Americans," said Kuwaiti Warrant Officer Khalika Thani, firefighter for the Kuwait Fire Department.
A number of different scenarios were presented during the training, including a fuel-fed Christmas tree being lit on fire, a confined smoke house and a live fire pit.
"The live fire pit was more realistic than it had been in previous training," said Thani."
More real world training will help in the heat of the battle, when composure may go up in flames, adrenaline may be pumping and emotions take over. Communication is key in making sure everyone is on the same page so lives can be saved. However, when different languages are spoken, communication becomes a challenge.
"I would like to reach a point where language in not a barrier," said Thani. "We are holding the training today so we can work on eliminating the language barrier."
Third Army is shaping the future of operations in Kuwait by keeping forces ready tonight to respond to the call of duty, whether it involves fighting for freedom or fighting an unruly blaze.
"This training is a way for us to pass on our knowledge," Platt stated. "We're willing to do whatever it takes to help prepare the Kuwaitis."
Strong relationships with partner nations will help Third Army sustain the fight within the U.S. Army Central Command area of operations.