FORT BLISS, Texas - When seeking to complete a mission and
defending coalition “friendlies” from the enemy, a Soldier is a
Soldier, regardless of their country.
Bold Quest, an ongoing
mission since 2003, focuses on communication interoperability
between multinational forces. The intent is to improve relationships
and joint abilities from a tactical and technical perspective.
The friendly-force tracking portion of Bold Quest 15.2 has
linked with Network Integration Evaluation 16.1, integrating 1st
Battalion, 37th Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team,
1st Armored Division, with platoons from the Canadian Army's Royal
Regina Rifles, and the Royal Danish Army.
Sgt. Michael Engracio, team leader, Company B, 1st Battalion, 37th Armored Regiment 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, directs his team during a Bold Quest mission, Sept. 28, 2015, in the training village of Kamal Jabour, Fort Bliss, Texas. Bold Quest is a multinational mission linking international armies for training with the intent of testing communication capabilities. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Aura Sklenicka)
“Any time we have the opportunity to conduct exercises
like this it increases our ability to reduce the learning
curve during combat operations,” said Maj. Richard
Mendenhall, operations officer, 1-37.
the joint-forces exercises began the end of June and has
continued to develop day to day. Pinpointing roles,
equipment and objectives for each nation involved were the
largest proponents in finalizing this particular mission.
Each day the joint force will have a different fire
support asset that will be provided by a different country
to the platoon leader, as in the forward observer role, said
The chosen platoon's tactical missions
allow for assessing the friendly force tracking devices, or
use of the in-user device for Nett Warrior and the Edge
device, testing interoperability between two devices and
three partner services as they conduct platoon tasks. This
is just one small part of the larger operation, with events
ongoing in the area during NIE 16.1.
the Royal Regina Rifles had the most time to prepare with
1-37, arriving just a week prior to beginning tactical
missions, they were able to conduct team-building exercises
among the two platoons. The majority of the Royal Danish
Army Soldiers arrived just days prior to the initial field
“Get over jet-lag and integrate as fast
as possible,” Mendenhall added. “That's the nature of the
business we're in.”
With diverse types of munitions
and the type of weapon system the Canadian and Danish forces
have, the American force emphasized ensuring they understood
the graphics on the maps. Upon arrival, 1-37 provided a
welcome packet for reference.
Sgt. Michael Engracio,
team leader, Co. B., 1-37, 2/1, said that at the beginning
of the week it was a bit shaky integrating all three teams,
especially overcoming a slight language barrier with the
Royal Danish Army.
“This is excellent tactical
training and an opportunity to expand a Soldier's cultural
awareness,” said Engracio. “For example, the Canadians don't
follow the American's wedge formation, they do a triple
stack and the Danish are more methodical in their room
All three forces noted communication as
the most difficult aspect of their first mission, from
technical difficulties to differences in how they utilize
communication during a mission.
The Royal Danish
Army coordinated everything in detail through the radio,
which created static, forcing them to adjust their tactics
and fit in with the rest of the joint platoon.
two communication systems were not synched until the raid
was conducted, Oct. 2, so the ease of interoperability was
not clear immediately.
Aside from having a larger
screen and more cables than the American's Nett Warrior
communication system, the Danish Edge technology is similar
in its operating functions when utilized within a maneuver.
“They have different ways of doing things and radio
communications,” said 2nd Lt. Jason D'Angona, Co. B., 1-37,
“We're trying to get use to the way they move to get into
position and what we're asking of them is definitely
D'Angona noted a lot more radio chatter
than American Soldiers are accustom but that the joint force
was still like working like a platoon.
opportunity to do something like this... is a blessing,”
The three nations dedicated hours of
their first week together rehearsing maneuvers and
communication techniques, before executing field missions.
This time together allowed them to become comfortable with
one another, making it a fun process.
good to learn because when my Soldiers become leaders they
can take what they've learned and teach to their guys,”
“It's always interesting to see
other nations perspective on combat,” said Birk Knudsen,
squad leader, Royal Danish Army, “what they prioritize,
their security, or how they're getting the enemy killed.”
Knudsen said within his unit, they look at what other
units within the Danish Army are doing and what other units
within NATO are doing to learn and not remain unilateral.
“I think it's important for all nations to see what
other nations are doing so that they won't focus too much on
one specific type of doctrine and to broaden their minds on
other ways you can do things,” said Knudsen.
all Soldiers and everyone knows how to kill,” Knudsen
concluded. “So that thing we all have in common. We all have
that realistic sense of how it is to be in a desert
environment, clearing compounds and killing enemies, so that
is the common factor for the guys here today.”
By U.S. Army Spc. Aura Sklenicka
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