By 2nd Lt. Dylan ConoverNovember 18, 2019
FORT SILL, Okla., Nov. 18, 2019 -- Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 79th Field Artillery recently hosted representatives from the German Army as part of their visit to Fort Sill. The visitors were in the German Army Program for Individual Leadership of Skills (PROFIL).
The purpose of the visit was strengthen the partnership and relationships between the German forces and our own, and contribute to the interoperability of the United States. and German armies.
As a result of the 2011 Training and Doctrine Conference, both armies agreed to continue supporting the PROFIL visits -- an annual German-funded program designed to expose German Army junior officers to the U.S. Army. Since 2011, these visits have proven to be a valuable experience for both countries, particularly, for the participation of German Army junior officers. The visits expand their knowledge and understanding of the U.S. Army, and enhanced their intercultural awareness and English language skills.
The PROFIL team started at A Battery, 1-79th FA Nov. 4, at the Treadwell Tower rappel course. They interacted with the cadre and saw how the Army uses the facility as a technical and mental training exercise.
1st Lt. Johnathan Robison, A/1-79th FA executive officer, said he was excited the PROFIL team got to visit his battery.
"I am proud of the product we were able to show for the PROFIL visitors," said Robison. "It is important to show visitors accurate representations of what the Army is producing, and I am happy with my team. I think the work they put into their training will resonate with the PROFIL visitors and they will be able to take some things back to their units in Germany."
1st Lt. Alan Dugger, 1-79th FA operations officer, was in charge of facilitating the visit. He said he was pleasantly surprised by what he saw in the PROFIL team.
"I was shocked by how similar our armies are," he said. "I've interacted with our allies before, but I've never had a chance to sit and talk to them like I did with the PROFIL team. By the end of our conversations, and after hearing their perspectives, it seemed to me that you could've taken one of their officers or (noncommissioned officers) and put them in our formations, and they wouldn't miss a beat. It goes to show how closely we rely on our allies, when we all us the same methods."
While only playing a small piece in the Germans' visit, members of the Peace through Victory Battalion gained new perspectives. Battalion members said they look forward to the next opportunity to represent the 434th Field Artillery Brigade and Fort Sill.
"It was a great experience working with our German friends," said Lt. Col. Eric Kunak, 1-79th FA commander. "It was great sharing tactics, techniques, and procedures and shared understanding in generating soldiers for our armies."