KUWAIT - Soldiers with the 1st Sustainment Command (Theater) - Operational Command Post partnered with their Kuwait army counterparts during a sustainment and logistics focused tabletop training exercise known as Kazma II at the Kuwait Ministry of Defense Logistic Operations Command, April 12-16.
During the exercise, the two partner nations were able to collaborate, using their knowledge and experiences to solve different challenging scenarios and generate a common solution.
"It was a great opportunity to learn one another's capabilities and procedures for working different logistics operations," said Lt. Col. Dean Huard, deputy support operations officer of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and 1st TSC-OCP.
Huard also served as the lead American director for the exercise. Huard continued to say that learning each other's standard operating procedures was a teaching point that greatly benefited the understanding of both sides.
"We are two different countries, two separate methods of coming to a conclusive decision," said Huard. "Neither method was incorrect, and I think we both learned some different ways that we can improve our own procedures."
Lt. Col. Hamoud Alazmi, the exercise director with the Kuwait army, agreed that the exercise was beneficial for all the logistics professionals who participated, stating that, "Anytime you can come together with another military and learn from each other, it strengthens a unit as a whole."
Additionally, the exercise was an excellent opportunity to forge strong working relationships between the partner nations.
"The tactics of the exercise were fantastic, we understand some of [the Kuwaiti military] capabilities, and they understand some of our capabilities," said Maj. Gen. Darrell Williams, commander of the 1st TSC. "But the real purpose of the exercise was to begin to build interoperability and relationships. With good relationships, we can do anything."
Although many training exercises have taken place over the years between the U.S. and Kuwait militaries, this was the first joint training opportunity focusing on logistics and sustainment.
Williams stated that this training exercise had been in planning for more than a year, and although it was the first exercise of many to come, he said that he was happy with the outcome.
"With every new exercise, there are some challenges, everything will not be perfect, but then again, war is not perfect. But, what determines success from failure is the ability to adapt. That is exactly what I have seen over the course of the exercise," said Williams. "I've seen an initial concept that we've spent the last year trying to develop, I've seen some of it work, and some of it not work so good, but then throughout the course of the exercise, we have adapted, and because of that we have been successful. I am very happy with the relationships that have been developed."
Williams said that he looks forward to growing this from a tabletop planning exercise, into a full-fledged field training exercise in the future. Additionally, he said that he looks forward to working in partnership with the Kuwait military going forward.
"Based on this exercise, and the ones we will have in the future, I personally feel very, very comfortable now, after having met with the professional officers and noncommissioned officers on both sides, as happened in peace, if we have to work together in war, we will be successful," said Williams.