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International officers tour Fort Riley

By Kalene Lozick | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | September 15, 2017

     The 1st Infantry Division taught the fundamentals of the “Big Red One” to 119 officers from 91 countries during an international student visit Sept. 6. All officers are a part of the Command and General Staff Officer Course at Fort Leaven­worth, Kansas.

     Michael J. Brettmann, De­partment of Defense field studies program manager for the Inter­national Military Student Divi­sion said, “every year we have the CGSOC, which U.S. captains and majors attend. So there are about 1,200 in the entire class.”

Of the 1,200 officers, 119 are international students.

     “We get the international officers two months ahead of time,” Brettmann said. “To get them acclimated to our doctrine and acronyms, just culture in general. We take them on trips so they understand the U.S. better.”

     The international student officer visit to Fort Riley showed the capabilities of the 1st Inf. Div. the officers would not see elsewhere.

Jim Fain, director of IMSD at Fort Leavenworth, said “one of those aspects is bringing them here to a Forces Command base where they can see how U.S. Soldiers live, work and get their hands on the equipment.”

     Among their Fort Riley stops was a static display at the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Inf. Div., motor pool.

     “This static display to see some of the equipment the Soldiers on Fort Riley use in a day-to-day or on an operation,” Brettmann said. “They can talk with the noncommissioned officer and Soldiers (who) run that equipment and man it.”

     Lt. Col. Dominic Schellen­berger from Germany, who is a mechanized infantry staff officer said the visit to the static display and the overall tour of Fort Riley provided him with a newly pre­sented common ground.

    “Having had the trip today makes life much easier to talk to my American counterparts,” Schellenberger said. “Because I can better understand what they are talking about.”

     Developing clear communi­cation with Army language leads to an understanding between nations, which is crucial when Army missions requires deploy­ment within these countries.

     The international students learned more about how the U.S. prepares for missions that require terrain different than the Konza Prairie in Kansas.

      As defined by Bill Raymann, the chief of training division at the Directorate of Planning, Training, Mobilization and Security and retired Army colonel, the Mission Training Complex provides “the training environment, training aids, training capabilities and the ranges that allow the Soldiers of the 1st Inf. Div., about 25,000 National Guard and reserve Soldiers train at Fort Riley.”

      During his brief, Raymann informed the international of­ficers on the integrated train­ing environment at MTC and the benefits of training on the installation.

     “We try to emulate as close as possible to the event out there (at the National Training Center).” Raymann said. “The integrated training environment is about leveraging all the different train­ing domain systems in order to achieve readiness that is what we are here for.”

      The facility at MTC provides the opportunity for Soldiers to engage in gaming systems de­signed with these different do­main systems.

      One group got to view the gaming systems up close.

      Toward the end of the MTC tour, all international officers had a little fun in the Warrior Skills Train­er, which is a virtual Humvee gaming area. All Humvees were partial vehicles with gunnery sta­tions on top.

      Before leaving MTC, the international officers had a brief in the Medical Simulation Training Center with Reiley Bruce Watson, site manager and lead for MSTC.

      The MSTC can make the dummies used for training breathe, bleed and die, creating a strong simulation for the Soldiers for combat mission.

      All-in-all, the 119 international officers from 91 countries around the world will leave a well-rounded program, so they can return to their home base with the knowledge to continue their partnership with the Army across the world.