By NICK DUKEMarch 11, 2014
FORT BENNING, Ga. (March 12, 2014) -- Delegates from 11 nations visited Fort Benning and Columbus last week as part of the Regional Combined Arms Symposium, held March 3-7 at the Doubletree Hotel in Columbus.
Participant nations included Afghanistan, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates.
The U.S. Army Central-led event was the second in a series of three RCAS symposiums, with the previous event held last fall in Washington, D.C.
With the second symposium's focus on planning at the brigade and battalion level, the Maneuver Center of Excellence was a natural partner for ARCENT.
"Of course, with the MCoE's focus on brigade operations and below, it made perfect sense for us to lead it," said Lt. Col. Andrew Hilmes, MCoE G3.
"They wanted to bring the symposium here to Fort Benning and Columbus so that they could benefit from all the subject matter expertise that we have with our instructors that are associated with the Maneuver Captains Career Course and the Directorate of Training."
During the first three days of the five-day symposium, MCoE representatives presented discussions on a variety of topics. On the fourth day, symposium attendees took a tour of the MCoE.
"It's an opportunity for the MCoE to showcase Fort Benning, the MCoE and what we can do," he said. "The big thing for us is to showcase ourselves and to show the delegates from the different partner nations what we have here at Fort Benning and what we're capable of offering them and their military forces. ...
"Whether it was spending some time with the 199th Infantry Brigade or going out to Harmony Church and spending some time with the vehicle maintenance instruction facility with the 194th Armored Brigade, they got to see a good representation of what we have to offer."
Hilmes said ARCENT representatives were pleased with how the event unfolded.
"The feedback I've received is that they were very pleased with everything from the professionalism of our instructors to the visit to Fort Benning itself," he said. "They got to see our facilities and some of our real jewels, such as the National Infantry Museum, which speaks for itself. ... They were very pleased with the hospitality in general."