By J. Parker RobertsSeptember 4, 2014
Officers from the Brazilian army visited Fort Riley Aug. 28, observing several 1st Infantry Division brigades before speaking with Col. Kenneth L. Kamper, the division's chief of staff.
Five students and two instructors from the Brazilian army's School of Command and Staff spent the day on post observing aircraft used by the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade; visiting the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team's motor pool; touring the high-tech Mission Training Complex; and eating at the post's Cantigny Dining Facility.
"We're proud to have you visit the 'Big Red One,'" Kamper told the soldiers at the 1st Inf. Div.'s headquarters building, where they received a brief on the division's current operations and asked questions of 1st Inf. Div. officers. "Thanks for visiting the U.S. Army's most storied division, the 1st Inf. Div., the Big Red One."
Kamper and other officers took advantage of the opportunity, asking the foreign soldiers about current operations and organizations within their home military.
"During the day, we visited a lot of places, and we could see the professionalism (of Soldiers across the post)," said Maj. Flavio Eduardo Brandalise, one of the visiting Brazilian officers. "For this reason, in the name of our commander, Maj. Gen. (Walter) Stoffel, I would like to say thanks for your support."
The chief of staff accepted a plaque from Brandalise on behalf of the division, saying that he viewed the Brazilian and United States armies as comrades in arms.
"We are prepared to fight and defend the freedoms of our people and to protect freedom around the world," he said. "I feel a deep bond with other warriors from our partner coalition countries."
Before departing Fort Riley, the Brazilian officers paused for a photo with the large Big Red One patch sculpture in front of the division's headquarters.
"It was an amazing experience," said Maj. Alexandre Gueiros Teixeira. "I'm very proud to have met personally the Big Red One."
Teixeira said it was an honor to be on post and to learn about the division's efforts to defend freedom throughout the decades.
"Today was a good day to enhance my knowledge," said the officer, who said he had studied warfighting simulators like those he was able to try at the Mission Training Complex.
When asked how he did using the simulators, Teixeira joked "I think I have to practice more. That's a motive to come back."