Cooperatives Spirit '08 Ends

Thursday October 9, 2008

What is it and what have we learned?

On Oct. 10 Cooperative Spirit ends a month of testing interoperability between American, British, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand forces at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC), Germany. Inside JMRC is "the box" with towns that now bear names such as Jalabad, Nuristan, and Asadabad, complete with walled homes, flat roofs, mosques, a mayor, a mulla and a friendly group of citizens that occasionally turn into an angry mob. Coalition troops train not only in security and stability operations but in fire and maneuver, with the support and integration of troops from the ABCA program. The whole idea is 'interoperability.' Each army has their own words, processes and methods. It's one thing to 'clear a house,' but it's another story to do it with Australian soldiers mixed in with your unit.

Misunderstandings can happen between armies as easily as it can happen between individuals. In the box military vehicles loaned and manned by all armies race up and down the roads practicing entering towns, maneuvering and reacting to Individual Explosive Devices (IEDS). Strykers and land rovers are employed to add realism and support. JMRC contains many training lanes, one of them called the 'shoot house' where troops use live ammo to clear out houses. Cooperative Spirit '08 ended with a six-day field exercise.

Why is this important to the Army?

"Because war is too important to do alone," said Brig. Gen. David Hogg, the commander of Joint Multinational Training Command. "The world is a smaller place, and we must understand the capabilities and processes of our coalition partners, as well as our enemy. This is not new. These Armies have been working on interoperability since World War II. Cooperative Spirit and the ABCA program is a reminder of the importance of such knowledge."

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The ABCA program will continue to conduct a deliberate analysis of interoperability gaps discovered here in Germany and produce products to close and mitigate those gaps.

Resources:

ABCA Web site

Cooperative Spirit Blog

INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

- 2008 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2008 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates

- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace

- Army Public Affairs Portal

- Stories of Valor

- Speaker's Toolkit

- Information Papers with " 2008 Army Posture Statement"

A CULTURE OF ENGAGEMENT

The Army Community Relations Calendar

Blogger's Roundtable

Cooperative Spirit 08

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SOCIAL NETWORKING

NEWS ABOUT THE ARMY

  • Another airlift into history for WWII veterans (WP)
  • Comfort for widows of Soldiers (ARNews)
  • Vice chief: FCS vehicles will transform warfighting (ARNews)
  • BRAC important in improving Soldier quality of life (ARNews)
  • Software engineering expansion gives Soldiers boost (ARNews)

WAR ON TERROR NEWS

  • Use of 'sticky IEDs' rising in Iraq (WP)
  • U.S. report is said to warn of peril in Afghanistan (BG)
  • U.S.: Airstrike killed 33 Afghan civilians (WP)
  • New spy chief briefs Pakistan lawmakers on terrorism fight (LAT)
  • No Afghan-Taliban peace talks, for now (CSM)
  • U.S. tries tough love to reduce Iraq's dependence (USA)

OF INTEREST

  • Defense budget may take hit (MH)
  • Army widow sues U.S. over suicide (AT)
  • Anti-drug efforts yield success in Afghanistan (WP)
  • U.S. to call for more NATO troops for Afghanistan (BG)
  • Europe asked to send Afghanistan more troop (NYT)
  • Chinese muslims' release into U.S. blocked for now (DP)
  • North Korea's nuclear activities destabilize region, U.S. commander says (AFIS)

WORLD VIEW

  • Related article under Interest: NATO mulls expanding its drug role in Afghanistan (IHT | Story)
  • U.S. admits higher Afghan raid toll (BBC | Story)
  • Suicide bomber strikes during Pakistani anti-terror summit (TO | Story)
  • Russia: Medvedev promotes new security pact (GRD | Story)
  • Related article under Terror: Afghanistan in downward spiral, says draft U.S. intelligence report (LDT | Story)

WHAT'S BEING SAID IN BLOGS

  • The proverbial horse, water and the salt of life (MA)
  • Finally, the big announcement (BH)
  • Troops use 'Samurai' meditation, animal-petting for PTSD relief (Wired)
  • Report warns U.S. could lose space-spy dominance (Wired)
  • U.S. Army goes solar: 500 MW solar thermal power plant to be built at Fort Irwin (TH)
  • Virtual Veteran's Day - An open letter to Milbloggers (SP)

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