By USAG Benelux Provost Marshal OfficeJanuary 19, 2018
BRUSSELS -- Three military policemen from U.S. Army Garrison Benelux in Brussels were invited by the Belgian Army's Light Weapons Training Cell to participate in a trial fielding of the Belgian Army's newest automatic weapon, the 7.62mm FN MINIMI, from Jan. 8 to 12 in Arlon, Belgium. The MINIMI closely resembles the U.S. Army's MK48 automatic weapon.
The main purpose of the invite was to provide real-world feedback on the implementation and use of medium machine guns in combat as well as to share doctrinal practices and procedures.
The MPs offered a glimpse into the U.S. Army's usage of this type of weapon platform that would otherwise not have been achievable to the instructors. They got hands-on experience with the weapon and provided feedback on how best to implement it in offensive and defensive positions as well as mounted and dismounted operations.
"Our Armies may operate in different ways structurally and administratively, but tactics and techniques wise, we are quite similar, with a few differences here and there. It would be no problem for an American squad to fall into a Belgian Platoon and conduct operations and vice versa," said Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Severino, provost marshal operation sergeant at U.S. Army Garrison Benelux in Brussels.
While there, the MPs were given instruction on the P90 sub machine gun and were awarded the title of P90 Instructor by the base commander. They were also given the chance to fire the 7.62mm SCAR High Precision Rifle out to 600 meters.
The event was also an opportunity for the U.S. and Belgian Armies to strengthen their relationship. Since the Brussels' attacks in 2016, the Brussels Provost Marshal Office has conducted over six different training events with the Belgian Army and Zaventem Police.
"By training together it not only strengthens the relationship between us and our host nation, but it benefits all those who participate in the training by allowing them to see different ways of accomplishing a shared mission," said Severino.