Canadian army completed military training of Polish soldiers for deployment in Afghanistan 0511132

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Defence & Security News - Canada

 
 
Tuesday, November 5, 2013 03:05 AM
 
Canadian army completed military training of Polish soldiers for deployment in Afghanistan.
Twelve Canadian Army officers and senior non-commissioned members completed a nine-day training event aimed to certify the readiness of Polish Task Force (PTF) White Eagle Headquarters for a deployment to Afghanistan that is planned for December. The training event, dubbed Exercise BAGRAM XIV, marked the first time - in the 14-year history of the exercise – that Canadian Armed Forces participated.
     
Twelve Canadian Army officers and senior non-commissioned members completed a nine-day training event aimed to certify the readiness of Polish Task Force (PTF) White Eagle Headquarters for a deployment to Afghanistan that is planned for December. The training event, dubbed Exercise BAGRAM XIV, marked the first time - in the 14-year history of the exercise – that Canadian Armed Forces participated.
Maj Adam Siokalo, 12e Régiment blindé du Canada, discusses a scenario with Polish Capt Rafal Kozigrodzki.
     

The Canadian contingent, commanded by Major Dominic Leclerc, 5e Régiment du génie de combat, acted in a mentor capacity. Formally referred to as Observer Controller Trainers (OCTs), all members had recent Afghanistan experience and advised along the full spectrum of operations, including planning, information operations, and civil-military cooperation.

Canadian OCTs were partnered with Polish mentors, who together observed and advised the training audience – the White Eagle HQ staff.

The multi-national training event drew approximately 550 members, including soldiers from theUnited States Army National Guard commanded by Colonel Michael Zerbonia.

“For me it is important to improve your capability and compatibility in terms of doctrine and procedures. Complex preparation ensures efficient and decisive decision making when responding to threats,” said Polish Brigadier-General Andrzej Knap, 2nd Mechanized Corps and Exercise Director BAGRAM XIV Commander.

The training was computer based and employed simulation. A certification team assessed the PTF White Eagle HQ staff on its ability to plan, command and control operations.

“Partnering with Polish OCTs was a rewarding experience. I found that when it came to working through a scenario, my colleague and I had a very similar view on possible solutions. We analyzed the problem with a common understanding, having both served in Afghanistan and performed similar functions,” said Major Sly Falle, Royal 22e Regiment, a Canadian OCT.

“The officer who Major Falle and I mentored was able to hear and draw lessons learned from two different perspectives but based on common expertise. No doubt this provided him with a richer learning experience, one that he would have not been able to receive had he only been mentored by me alone. My ability to speak in the native tongue helped to bridge the communication gap and together the three of us were able to develop innovative solutions to the scenarios injected into exercise,” said Captain Oskar Olenderek, 12 Mechanized Division HQ, Polish OCT.

PTF White Eagle HQ, commanded by Brig-Gen. Cezary Podlasinski of the 10th Armoured Brigade, will deploy for six months where it will provide mentoring, security, and logistic support to the Afghan National Security Forces as well as commence mission drawdown preparations, closing Forward Operating Base Ghazni and consolidating equipment in Bagram.

A small number of soldiers from PTF White Eagle HQ have already deployed, and the main body will follow in the upcoming weeks. At the completion of the six months, Poland will deploy a mission closure team which will complete the redeployment of equipment from Bagram to Poland and will cease operations in Afghanistan by December 2014.

 

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