"It was emotional for me, especially when they played 'God Bless the U.S.A.' When I say the Soldiers' creed and when I say, I am an American Soldier, after taking my oath, I can say deep down from within, I am an American Soldier. So today meant a lot to me."
- Spc. Carol Bell, 101st Sustainment Brigade, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, after taking the oath of allegiance
Troops become citizens on Veterans Day in Afghanistan
Operational Mentor and Liaison Team Training
What is it?
As the U.S. Army's Center of Excellence for Coalition Training, the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC), located in Hohenfels, Germany, conducts NATO-sponsored Operational Mentor and Liaison Team (OMLT) training to prepare U.S. and coalition forces to mentor Afghan National army (ANA) soldiers and liaise with coalition forces in support of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operations in Afghanistan.
What has the Army done?
The OMLT training process includes three training phases: National Training and Preparation (phase I), Centralized NATO Sponsored Training (phase II) and In-theater Training. JMRC observer controllers develop and execute Phase II of the three-part series, which consists of a 17-day training program conducted in Hohenfels, Germany. This course is exclusively dedicated to the Kandak level (Infantry, CS, CSS) and consists of an academic phase and a field-training phase.
OMLTs are provided education and training across areas from Culture to Rules of Engagement to Advisor Skills to Calling in Live Close Air Support. OMLTs practice how to advise Afghan army soldiers, train them on critical tasks then fight against the JMRC's OPFOR alongside their ANA counterparts.
Unique to the training at JMRC is the participation of actual ANA soldiers, who allow the U.S. and coalition OMLTs to gain an extensive understanding of the Afghan military culture and to practice their training and mentor techniques within a training environment prior to their deployment into the combat theater.
Why is this important to the Army?
Due to its location in central Europe, JMRC enjoys a unique opportunity to build mutual confidence with NATO and emerging allied nations' armed forces through quality training and interaction. OMLT training ensures coherence and efficiency while operating in a combined operational environment, and enhances the team's force protection capabilities and ability to coordinate Afghan, ISAF and coalition operations.
JMRC provides the realistic environment which accurately replicates the situations and missions facing OMLTs once they are in theater, to include the challenges associated with training ANA. By conducting this critical training at JMRC, the quality of OMLTs is enhanced and the ANA is made stronger and more capable of defeating Anti-Afghan forces.
What continued effort does the Army have planned for the future?
As the environment in Afghanistan becomes more complex, JMRC OCs will continue to develop more robust measures to effectively educate OMLTs on counterinsurgency measures, cultural sensitivities and the importance of ANA-led efforts necessary to consistently enhance a full range of enabling capabilities.
Building the ANA capacity and capability to provide safety and security for its people is a major priority of the U.S. effort in Afghanistan. With knowledge gained through NATO OMLT training, coalition forces will continue to effectively mentor ANA soldiers in defeating anti-Afghan fighters
JMRC Web site
- 2008 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2008 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates
- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace
- Army Public Affairs Portal
- Stories of Valor
- Speaker's Toolkit
- Information Papers with " 2008 Army Posture Statement"