MACAPA, Brazil — Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 258th Field Artillery, 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the New York Army National Guard and the field artillery soldiers of the Brazilian Army trained together for the first time during exercise Southern Vanguard 24 in Brazil. Southern Vanguard serves as part of our enduring promise in partnership and to enhance Army interoperability and shared capabilities.
The proposal for the U.S. Army and Brazilian Army field artillery teams joining forces to cross-train was by no means any coincidence. In fact, the idea of the integration of the two armies had been conceptualized months ahead of Southern Vanguard 24.
Brazilian Army Capt. Rodrigo Ayres Chaves, fire support officer with the 52nd Taskforce observed the 258th Field Artillery training earlier this year in August during the Northern Strike operation.
“It’s good to see new stuff and new ways of thinking,” said Chaves. “It’s always good to revise and improve our way of planning.”
Ayers coordinated with U.S. Army National Guard Capt. Anthony Migliore, the assistant battalion fire support officer assigned to HHB, 1st Battalion, 258th Field Artillery, in order to facilitate an interoperable training for Southern Vanguard 24 while strengthening security partnerships in the Americas.
“It’s in order to help the integration with the Brazilian Army, understand the tactics, techniques and procedures, take a look at how they do their fire support, and just start to build that relationship,” said Migliore.
Despite the challenge of a language barrier, Migliore said he quickly recognized that there are more similarities than there are differences between the two armies when it comes to the planning and conducting of fire support.
The first phase of the exercise was the assault and objective phase. This took place within the vicinity of Ferreira Gomes, Brazil, where the essential fire support task of the field artillery teams was to provide section fires and firing smoke target in and around the two objectives. One of the objectives was for the Brazilian’s and the other objective for the U.S.
“I spent most of my time at the gun-line yesterday and it was just like being back at A Battery or B Battery with the 258th.” Migliore said, “13B, which is an artillery MOS like a gun-bunny, is the same across U.S. or Brazil. The way they prepare the gun, the way they aim the gun and also just the culture of artillery it was very familiar, which is cool.”
The second phase took place just off the Amazon River in Oiapoque. The field artillery teams will provide fire support during the taking of the objective there.
The relationships built and sustained with the multinational partners in South America through exercises, and professional and military exchanges help tremendously in preserving peace and stability in the region.
“I think it has been rewarding working with them, seeing how excited they are to see how we do things and reconfirm a lot of their stuff that they already do, they just didn’t realize it was that similar to us,” said Master Sgt. Scott Banks, the battalion fire support noncommissioned officer with the HHB, 1st Battalion, 258th Field Artillery. “They really enjoyed us explaining how we do things and teaching them, broadening their horizon. We built some good friendships here.”