HOHENFELS, Germany – The German reserve and American soldiers paired up for the 8th annual air movement exercise May 28 at Joint Multinational Readiness Center during Operation Open Gate in the Hohenfels training area.
The German-American exercise involved JMRC pilots, Grizzly Team Observer-Control Trainers and 48 German reservists from a logistics battalion. Hosted by JMRC’s Falcons Aviation Support Observer-Controller Trainer team exercise continued the German-American partnership between JMRC and reserve component units of the Bundeswehr in communities that surround Hohenfels.
“They help us as much as we help them,” said Army Maj. Jonathan Tackaberry, Falcons Aviation Team executive officer.
Two platoons from the logistic battalion each completed the air movement and vehicle recovery mission. Still, there was more to the exercise than two dramatic combat air movements aboard helicopters. It also required the German soldiers to make their way into a populated Afghan village to talk with civilian leaders in an effort to locate and retrieve a disabled vehicle. To turn things up a notch, JMRC scenario planners included sniper fire, which required the German soldiers to use platoon level combat tactics and procedures to neutralize the sniper.
With the chance of that some of the Germans will deploy someday to Afghanistan, many of the soldiers looked at the exercise as an introduction to American-styled counter-insurgency operations.
“If you’re going to Afghanistan, you need to know this,” said German army Lt. Markus Koch of the 472nd Logistics Battalion.
At the end of the day, Grizzly Team OC-T Capt. Keith Tyler, who led after action reviews with each platoon, praised the Germans’ effort.
“They did pretty good,” he said.