Botswanan logistics officers learn deployment procedures during Germany visit
March 12, 2008
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany (Mar. 12, 2008) -- With the ongoing operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas around the world, it is critical for military forces of different nations to work together.
"One of the most important things you need are friends and allies; you need help," said Dr. William Stokes, host nation support officer for the 21st Theater Sustainment Command here. "If you don't have them, it becomes enormously difficult to accomplish your mission."
Stokes and other members of the 21st TSC and one of its subordinate units, the 7th Army Reserve Command, fostered one relationship when it hosted a visit by three logistics officers from the Botswana Defense Forces earlier this month.
The purpose of the visit was to help the Botswanan officers learn about railhead operations and bolster relations with the U.S. Army.
The event, coordinated by Stokes, was made possible by the Military-to-Military program, which allows members of partner nations to visit U.S. installations to observe procedures that could be useful to the partner nation's defense community.
"It is a good program because even though we have a lot of railway in our country we don't use it much. We don't put it to maximum use," said Maj. Ompatile Modisenyane, deputy chief of staff of logistics for the Botswana Defense Forces' ground forces command. "We will sit down and discuss the best way to use our railway system to transport vehicles and personnel."
"We can do a lot of international training (with) ... different countries; it broadens our views on how they live and how they train," said Sgt. 1st Class David S. Reasoner of 7th ARCOM's 1177th Movement Control Team.
The Botswanan officers traveled to Baumholder, Germany, to watch Soldiers perform rail-loading and deployment operations. Modisenyane said he was impressed with the way the U.S. military coordinates with host country officials to conduct deployment operations using the host's rail system.
"The lesson came as an eye-opener to us," said Modisenyane. "We have learned procedures on loading goods to a train and to include security procedures. I think we have gained enough in both areas to take back."
The Botswanan officers also received briefings from representatives of the Provost Marshal Office and the Distribution Management Center and classes in the use of American military jargon to help them decipher acronyms, and traveled to other Army and Air Force installations in the area.