By Sgt. 1st Class Crista Mary Mack, U.S. Army Europe Public AffairsSeptember 22, 2016
NOVO MESTO, Slovenia -- Although they are geographically an ocean away from one other, military police from the 220th Military Police Company, 193rd Military Police Battalion, Colorado National Guard, integrated with Slovenian, Macedonian and Albanian military police, found that they had much in common while conducting synchronized training during Exercise Immediate Response 16.
"We've been able to work seamlessly and integrate in with the Slovenian Army," Capt. Christopher Breyrle, company commander for the 220th Military Police Co., 193rd MP Battalion, U.S. Army Colorado National Guard. "Our tactics and procedures are very similar."
"We were able to incorporate our lessons learned from forest fires, floods and blizzards, into how we can help build a response for the Slovenian Army," he said.
Most of the training occurred with multiple nations soldiers working side by side with one another. One training event in particular involved a simulated refugee checkpoint site set up. The Macedonian and Slovenian MP teams controlled notional refugee flow while training on how to correctly handle refugees that are attempting to pass an area and how to react if events do not go as planned.
Sgt. 1st Class Bradley Tune, 220th MPs, described how each country brought prior experiences to the training and thus learned from one another.
"We have worked in internment facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Slovenians have experienced a lot of refugee traffic in the past couple of years so that's something we're very familiar with and that they're very familiar with," he said.
Integration of the National Guard and Army Reserve into the U.S. Army Europe team is a major component to making 30,000 Soldiers look and feel like 300,000. Army Reserve and Guard Soldiers have played a vital role in boosting land force capability across USAREUR's footprint through the 21 states that participate in the State Partnership Program in 22 different countries and by leveraging Overseas Deployment Training rotations.
The Colorado National Guard is partnered with Slovenia in the State Partnership Program. The SPP links U.S. states with partner countries around the world to promote access, increase military capability, improve interoperability and enhance the principles of responsible governance.
"As part of the State Partnership Program we do a lot of Slovenian training across every job, meaning we send people over here and they send people to us, so we can learn from each other in each place," Tune said. "What would happen if we were deployed to Europe and had a similar mission… so it's helpful we learn the ways they do things."
The National Guard Soldiers bring a wealth of knowledge from both their military civilian professions.
"As MPs a lot of our force are civilian law enforcement, but we also have a lot of Soldiers who do everything from mechanics to medical, so we can set up a building, one might know how to do wiring, or construction work. There are a lot of different backgrounds and that's a big plus, " said Tune.
Immediate Response is a multinational, brigade-level command post exercise utilizing computer-assisted simulations and field training exercises spanning two countries, Croatia and Slovenia. The exercise includes more than 1,900 Soldiers and security forces from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned in its 51 country area of responsibility to advance American strategic interests in Europe and Eurasia. The relationships we build during more than 1,000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships and enhance global security.