By 1st Lt. Kealy MoriartyAugust 6, 2019
BEMOWO PISKIE, Poland- NATO's enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Poland hosted the first annual Interoperability Games to test multinational Soldier's abilities to work together through a series of challenges, at the Bemowo Piskie Training Area, Aug. 1.
Representative Soldiers from the United States, Poland, Croatia, Romania, and the United Kingdom formed multinational teams to compete in the games, which tested Soldiers on their ability to work cohesively with allies and overcome various obstacles.
The Interoperability Games consisted of a physical fitness challenge, small arms qualifications, chemical and hazards identification, call for fire exercise, and a simulated combat life-saving event.
The events were designed to test Soldiers individual proficiency, familiarize Soldiers with multinational operating systems, and enable Soldiers to work together through the challenges as one unified team.
"Interoperability greatly enhances multinational operations- by integrating Soldiers from different nations at the fireteam level, we are demonstrating how Soldiers can operate effectively in numerous ways," stated Battle Group Poland's Operations Officer, Maj. Justin Cassidy. "First, we are demonstrating how we, as a NATO Battle Group, would fight in a joint environment with Soldiers operating in combined teams and not as separate units."
"Second, we are demonstrating how each soldier and unit in the battle group brings a unique capability and perspective to operations," said Cassidy. "Lastly, we are building rapport and respect between and with Soldiers of the battle group, which will improve teamwork and unity effort at echelon across the battle group."
The multinational teams conducted familiarization training on the five different NATO allied nations military equipment and tasks.
"This entire experience has taught me so much, not only about weapon systems and operational procedures but about the individuals I call my teammates," said 1st Lt. Tracy Carter, one of the U.S. competitors. "We were able to break down barriers and overcome cultural differences to bond through shared interests."
"The day of the competition, we formed a cohesive team that was able to communicate and operate effectively while playing on the strengths of each individual."
Training opportunities such as the Interoperability Games promote unity throughout the troops, facilitate lessons learned, establish best practices, and builds unit cohesion, which ultimately increases the effectiveness of the battle group as a whole.