CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait, Oct. 17, 2011 -- Third Army hosted firefighters from the Kuwaiti army, U.S. Air Force and Area Support Group-Kuwait as they completed their fifth week of cooperative training here Oct. 11. This week's training included classes and practical exercises on high angle rescue, hazardous material awareness and ladder operations.

Training from the previous weeks were geared toward educating recently graduated Kuwaiti army firefighters on: how to operate their new aircraft crash vehicles; aircraft familiarization and explosive ordnance disposal (how to handle potential dangers); search and rescue in confined spaces; and live fire extinguisher training.

"Training programs like this one reinforce the basics of firefighting," said Air Force Senior Master Sgt. David Maupin, firefighter. "The sequencing of training was to be a building block leading up to the last week with hazmat and high angle rescue."

The courses were also selected to provide the recent graduates with training they would not otherwise receive in the Kuwaiti army.

"Learning how to do high angle rescue, anything off the ground more than two floors, is a training feature that they don't have here," said Douglas Holt, assistant chief of operations, ASG-K Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

Working with Kuwaiti army firefighters also gave everyone involved the opportunity to see the different training and improvements with their available resources.

"This was a give and take two way street," Maupin interjected. "They know how to improvise to make it work and make do with what they've got here. They showed us how to do an entry with their basic tools."

The classes concluded with all of the Kuwaiti army firefighters doing a standard repel from a 16-foot high structure. There were also demonstrations of an inverted repel (head first) and an Australian style repel (walking down the wall looking at the ground) off of a three-story building.

After all is said and done, the mission of being a firefighter is the only thing that is important, Maupin stated.

"We are all alike; big kids who like to play with big toys," said Maupin. "We are building stronger bonds. We appreciate them letting us show how we do things, and giving us this opportunity to work with them."

Training events like this one hosted by Third Army builds camaraderie between partner nations and joint forces. By assisting the Kuwaiti army firefighters in training on how to maintain the safety of their personnel and equipment, Third Army is ensuring the smooth transition for all the forces in our area of operation.