"End of mission: target destroyed."
This phrase is nothing new to U.S. military members, but was recently taught to a group of Italian army and Carabinieri who spent the week of April 8 at Caserma Ederle for a Call for Fire trainer at the Vicenza Mission Command Training Center. The group received the training as the last phase before deploying to Afghanistan soon.
"We've trained nearly the whole 1st Tuscania Paratrooper Regiment," said Steven Church, Mission Support Element instructor. Church was an active duty field artillery Soldier who loved his job so much he wanted to continue to train others. The 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team Soldiers normally take part in the training of the Italian military, but Church was available due to the unit being recently deployed.
The training of the Italians came as a directive from the U.S. Army, with whom they will be working with while deployed. The other regiments that took part in the training included the 7th Carabinieri and the 13th Carabinieri, said Church.
"(The Italians) took the order from the U.S. as an opportunity to learn more skills," said Italian army 1st Sgt. Luca Bertozzo, who helped arrange training for both 173rd ABCT and a number of Italian units. "I am pleased that the Americans took the time to mentor our guys."
According to Bertozzo, the training was part of an evolution that has moved the Italian military to take English courses and put more effort into cultural preparation to assist them during deployment. In addition to Call for Fire the group learned Combat Lifesaver Training and other useful training, similar to what U.S. military learn before deployment.
The Call for Fire trainer covered bracketing, message to observer and other aspects of real-world combat experiences, not that deployment is new to the Carabinieri or Tuscania. One Carabiniero said that this will not be his first deployment to Afghanistan.
The next planned opportunity for U.S. Soldiers and Italians to train together will be an airborne jump with the Italian Air Force April 24.