By Staff Sgt. Samuel NorthrupApril 19, 2017
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Soldiers of the 25th Infantry Division trained with the 1st Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group during Exercise Warfighter April 4-11, 2017, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
The exercise, which was supported in part by 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, is conducted annually, with the other half of the exercise taking place at Fort Hood, Texas. At JBLM, Soldiers conducted a command post exercise to test the interoperability and internal systems of the two nations' militaries.
"Exercise Warfighter 17-04 is a U.S. Army led computer assisted exercise that simulates complex combat operations against a near-peer enemy and focuses on the Command and Control aspects of warfare," said Col. Bill Fletcher, commander of 1 CMBG. "Conducting the exercise in a simulated environment allowed us to refine our Command and Control processes and procedures in a safe training environment while synchronizing our warfighting strategies and tactics with our U.S. Army ally."
The U.S. Army is considered Canada's closest ally and the organization has a long history of success on the battlefield, which they have used to build impressive doctrine, said Fletcher. "We always relish at the opportunity to learn from their knowledge and experience and equally to impart our own."
Members of the Canadian military are very professional, friendly and they know what they are doing, said U.S. Army Spc. Gurpreet Gill, an infantry Soldier with 1-2 SBCT. Some basic soldiering tasks such as taking a map out and locating key points for the mission are the same. They also use a lot of the same vocabulary and techniques we use at that level of training.
"In Canada, we are great at operating in sections, platoons, companies, battalions, battle groups, and brigades," Fletcher added. "Training opportunities like Exercise Warfighter 17-04 allow us to train at the Division and Corps levels. Fighting a battle with the resources and capabilities that these echelons bring to the fight forces us to think beyond our own capabilities and integrate as part of the team."
Training with the U.S. Army re-enforces the value of teamwork in allied combat operations and draws upon the resources that come with it, said Fletcher. By synchronizing their processes and procedures with their U.S. Army counterparts, they will be able to be a better team player when they support and participate in multi-national operations.
'We are serving alongside U.S. forces across the globe," Fletcher added. "Integration along the lines of what we accomplished sets us up for success domestically and internationally."
It was Gill's first time working with the Canadians. For him, it has given him lot of ideas to move forward with in his career.
"I find that different militaries have their own way to approach situations, especially when it comes to missions and planning," said Gill, who has also worked with Indian Army soldiers. "The Canadians are different and India is very different, but overall it was a great experience."