Although difficult, the Multinational Battle Group-East’s military police made it look easy during a joint multinational marksmanship exercise with the Austrian and Swiss International Military Police (IMP), held on Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, July 26, 2016.
During the training, the U.S. and multinational law enforcement officers took turns firing various lethal and non-lethal weapon systems carried daily by the IMP.
“I think it is important when you have a mission in Kosovo- where you have a lot of different nations working together- to give the other nations the opportunity to use the different pieces of equipment and get familiar with one another,” said Capt. Xavier Arquint, deputy provost marshal for KFOR. “We try to get as much information as possible from how they shoot to what’s their tactics so we can learn from them and see if maybe something they are doing will work for us. We also share with them our techniques, not to teach them how to shoot, but so we can exchange information on what works.”
Aside from tactics and weapons familiarization, U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class James Stelly, platoon sergeant of the MNBG-E provost marshals office, said the training provided a unique opportunity for his Soldiers to build proficiency in a different area.
“We rely on the IMP’s quite a bit, so building comraderie and these kind of bonds is important for my Soldiers,” said Stelly.
In Kosovo, where the primary mission is to help maintain a safe and secure environment, this collaboration and comraderie is, perhaps, more important than the actual familiarization of weapons.
“It’s great working with the other nations,” said Arquint. “We are all here for the same mission, so this type of collaboration is necessary.”
Stelly said he looks to continue collaboration with his multinational counterparts and plans to build these and new relationships over the next few months as his unit continues to help, ‘shape the change’.
(Editors Note: U.S. and NATO forces have contributed to the United Nations-mandated peacekeeping mission in Kosovo since June 1999.)