HOHENFELS, Germany -- Soldiers from the Kosovo Security Forces joined 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, for Exercise Combined Resolve VI at Hohenfels, Germany May 5-25.
Combined Resolve VI is a squadron-level decisive action rotation at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center designed to train the U.S. Army's regionally allocated forces to the U.S. European Command.
Lt. Col. Christopher Mahaffey, the commander for 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, said the Kosovar Soldiers quickly integrated into the squadron staff.
"We asked them to just roll up their sleeves and come out here and get dirty with us," said Mahaffey. "They've been really involved and learning with us. It's been a force multiplier having them here."
Capt. Korab Dauti, a Kosovo Security Force intelligence officer, previously attended the U.S. Army's Military Intelligence Basic Officer Leader's Course and Military Intelligence Captain's Career Course. That experience helped him work alongside the squadron's intelligence officer while also offering a new perspective.
"We were on the same sheet of music," said Dauti. "We both understood what were the products we were supposed to complete. I have been trying to give our way of doing things and another perspective on the same products."
Capt. Vegim Krelani, an infantry officer with the Kosovo Security Forces, said the biggest challenge working in the squadron operations section was working with an armored unit for the first time.
"I'm learning about their composition, about how they operate, and most importantly about how to sustain all these big vehicles, which we don't have to think about in the light world," said Krelani.
Mahaffey said adding experienced and knowledgeable members to the squadron was a significant force multiplier.
"I had a Kosovar brief me on the terrain and weather yesterday as part of my S-2 shop, said Mahaffey. "Pretty awesome; the guy did a pretty good job. We have one who is a Maneuver Captain's Career Course graduate from the U.S., and he's like having a second planner."
One difference Krelani and Dauti both mentioned between the U.S. and Kosovar staffs was the number of noncommissioned officers.
"U.S. staffs are more fully equipped and they have more NCOs," said Krelani. "So we get to see that officer-NCO relationship and people working as a team simultaneously, doing multiple things in order for those products to be better."
The lessons learned from both the Kosovars and the U.S. Soldiers not only helped them throughout Combined Resolve, but also makes them more interoperable when they work together in the future.
"I am very grateful that we have the opportunity as the KSF contingent to be part of this exercise and learn about our counterparts in 5-7 CAV, so if we have a chance to work in real operations in the future we would be already synched," said Dauti.