Polish Air Force Private Justyna Ludwin pulls a sled as members of the 1st Infantry Division Forward and Polish Land and Air Forces conduct tests from the Army Combat Fitness Test for Women's Cultural Exchange at Forward Operating Site Poznań, Poland, Nov. 3, 2021. The 1ID is currently deployed as a rotational force in Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve. Living and training alongside U.S. allies on a daily basis strengthens interoperability and improves communication, enhancing the ability to anticipate, react, move and communicate as a cohesive team.
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Polish Air Force Private Justyna Ludwin pulls a sled as members of the 1st Infantry Division Forward and Polish Land and Air Forces conduct tests from the Army Combat Fitness Test for Women's Cultural Exchange at Forward Operating Site Poznań, Poland, Nov. 3, 2021. The 1ID is currently deployed as a rotational force in Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve. Living and training alongside U.S. allies on a daily basis strengthens interoperability and improves communication, enhancing the ability to anticipate, react, move and communicate as a cohesive team. (Photo Credit: Spc. Michael Alexander) VIEW ORIGINAL
Members of the 1st Infantry Division Forward and Polish Land and Air Forces conduct tests from the Army Combat Fitness Test as part of the Women's Cultural Exchange at Forward Operating Site Poznań, Poland, Nov. 3, 2021. The 1ID is currently deployed as a rotational force in Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve. The U.S. Army lives, trains and fights with NATO allies and partners from strategically positioned bases in Europe that are critical for more timely and coordinated response during crises.
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Members of the 1st Infantry Division Forward and Polish Land and Air Forces conduct tests from the Army Combat Fitness Test as part of the Women's Cultural Exchange at Forward Operating Site Poznań, Poland, Nov. 3, 2021. The 1ID is currently deployed as a rotational force in Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve. The U.S. Army lives, trains and fights with NATO allies and partners from strategically positioned bases in Europe that are critical for more timely and coordinated response during crises. (Photo Credit: Spc. Michael Alexander) VIEW ORIGINAL
Members of the 1st Infantry Division Forward and Polish Land and Air Forces pose for a group photograph after conducting tests from the Army Combat Fitness Test as part of the Women's Cultural Exchange at Forward Operating Site Poznań, Poland, Nov. 3, 2021. The 1ID is currently deployed as a rotational force in Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve. The relationships with U.S. NATO allies and partners have been forged over the past seven decades and are built on a foundation of shared values, experiences and trust.
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Members of the 1st Infantry Division Forward and Polish Land and Air Forces pose for a group photograph after conducting tests from the Army Combat Fitness Test as part of the Women's Cultural Exchange at Forward Operating Site Poznań, Poland, Nov. 3, 2021. The 1ID is currently deployed as a rotational force in Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve. The relationships with U.S. NATO allies and partners have been forged over the past seven decades and are built on a foundation of shared values, experiences and trust. (Photo Credit: Spc. Michael Alexander) VIEW ORIGINAL

POZNAŃ, Poland — From a military perspective, partner nations working together often takes the form of multinational training exercises. Sometimes, however, the interoperability between nations can take a less tactical, more personal approach.

For the Women’s Cultural Exchange at Forward Operating Site Poznań, U.S. and Polish women working together involves learning about each other’s cultures and military lives. The Women’s Cultural Exchange was started by U.S. Army Maj. Aprill Bright, the 1st Infantry Division Forward chaplain, and Staff Sgt. Corrina Knight, the 1ID chaplain operations noncommissioned officer.

“Staff Sgt. Knight and I wanted to see what we could do from our MOS [military occupational specialty] to positively impact our mission here, and we're great at the human dimension,” Bright said. “We wanted to build a safe place for us to come alongside our allies to determine some of our differences, explore where we're very similar and also learn from each other some best practices.”

They also held a Women's Cultural Exchange event on Sept. 14. During that event, they discussed the differences between U.S. and Polish physical fitness tests. Following that conversation, some of the Polish Land Forces members who attended requested to try the Army Combat Fitness Test.

On Nov. 3, members of the Polish Land Force and Air Force tried some of the physical tests from the ACFT alongside women from 1ID Forward and V Corps Forward.

“So once the women understood what we do for the ACFT or what's required of us, they were like, ‘This is hard. Let me try it and see if I can do it,’” Bright said. “Then they realized, a lot of them, they would have passed the event. So they are walking away with confidence, wanting to be better.”

Polish Lance Corporal Beata Bak, who works in logistics with the Polish Air Force, attended the event and tried the ACFT.

“It was funny because we don't have something like that at our base,” Bak said. “It is really hard, but it’s fun. So we can exchange the PT in our base and [U.S. Army] PT, and we can do something like that in our base and show other women. I think it’s good for us to learn something new.”

After the ACFT training, the women had a group discussion led by Bright and Knight. They covered topics such as what basic training or boot camp was like, what some of their individual jobs are, the purpose of their units and funny, unique experiences they've had.

Members of the 1st Infantry Division Forward and Polish Land and Air Forces discuss their different experiences in their respective forces as part of the Women's Cultural Exchange at Forward Operating Site Poznań, Poland, Nov. 3, 2021. The 1ID is currently deployed as a rotational force in Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve. U.S. rotational forces throughout Europe build readiness, interoperability and trust with NATO allies and partners.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Members of the 1st Infantry Division Forward and Polish Land and Air Forces discuss their different experiences in their respective forces as part of the Women's Cultural Exchange at Forward Operating Site Poznań, Poland, Nov. 3, 2021. The 1ID is currently deployed as a rotational force in Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve. U.S. rotational forces throughout Europe build readiness, interoperability and trust with NATO allies and partners. (Photo Credit: Spc. Michael Alexander) VIEW ORIGINAL
U.S. Army Maj. Aprill Bright, the 1st Infantry Division Forward chaplain, speaks to 1ID and Polish Land and Air Forces members as part of the Women's Cultural Exchange at Forward Operating Site Poznań, Poland, Nov. 3, 2021. The 1ID is currently deployed as a rotational force in Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve. U.S. rotational forces throughout Europe enhance professional relationships and partnerships with NATO partners and allies and improve overall coordination during times of crisis.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Maj. Aprill Bright, the 1st Infantry Division Forward chaplain, speaks to 1ID and Polish Land and Air Forces members as part of the Women's Cultural Exchange at Forward Operating Site Poznań, Poland, Nov. 3, 2021. The 1ID is currently deployed as a rotational force in Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve. U.S. rotational forces throughout Europe enhance professional relationships and partnerships with NATO partners and allies and improve overall coordination during times of crisis. (Photo Credit: Spc. Michael Alexander) VIEW ORIGINAL

“That's what this cultural exchange is all about,” Bright said, “exchanging dialogue, stories, experiences and seeing how our stories intersect.”

Bak said she thinks it’s good to learn from different countries, how other armies work and how they can do things differently with that knowledge.

"Connecting regularly with our sisters in arms from the Polish Armed Forces at such a grass-roots level is such a great opportunity to spread goodwill amongst our two militaries and learn to understand and appreciate the commonalities and differences between us," said Lt. Col. Krista Bartolomucci, the deputy staff judge advocate with V Corps Forward.

The 1ID is deployed to Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve. Interoperability is a key component for the U.S. to be prepared to stand side-by-side with its NATO Allies and partners to maintain and increase lethality against adversaries. The Women's Cultural Exchange is opening new avenues for interoperability and plans to continue having events for U.S. and Polish women to learn about and experience each other’s culture.

Learn more about Atlantic Resolve: https://www.europeafrica.army.mil/AtlanticResolve/