U.S. and French troops overcome challenges on refueling missions
Soldiers assigned to Joint Multinational Readiness Center’s Sustainment Team, known as the Adlers, had the opportunity to oversee soldiers of 746th Combat Sustainment Support Brigade, from California National Guard, during exercise Dragoon Ready. The mission was for 746th CSSB to supply fuel to the 501st Main Battle Tank Regiment (501e Régiment de Chars de Combat), Free French 2nd Armored Division, soldiers at a fuel collection point in the Hohenfels training area to test interoperability.
French Sgt. Jean-Louis of the 501st Main Battle Tank Regiment (501e Régiment de Chars de Combat), Free French 2nd Armored Division, helps US Army Spc. Jacob Strobbe of the 515th Transportation Company with a hose during a fuel mission for Dragoon Ready at Hohenfels training area, Germany, Nov. 7, 2019 (Picture source: U.S. Army/Spc. Audrequez Evans, Joint Multinational Readiness Center)
“I'm coaching for interoperability,” said Sgt. 1st Class Charles Smith, a petroleum supply sergeant, assigned to JMRC’s Adler Team. “I'm also here to train the soldiers by providing oversite through my knowledge. Under the leadership of Smith, he was able to analyze and assess the capabilities of the 746th CSSB and devised a cohesive strategy so that the U.S. and its multinational counterparts share future success in training and in battle.
When the fueling mission began, American forces realized that equipment provided to them would not be suitable for the task to refuel the French vehicles. Working together, both units prepared two trucks, one for pumping out fuel through two small hoses and the other for the reception of the contents. Normally, what would have been a 10-minute process with the proper equipment took about an hour to complete. Both sides agreed that the process to offload fuel from the top wasn’t ideal. However, it was the only way to resupply the fuel, which totaled 2,400 gallons. “[Working together] helps both the Americans and French build common ground learning one another’s equipment so that if we are called to arms, we operate with total cohesion and effectiveness,” said Spc. Jacob Strobbe, a motor transport operator, assigned to the 515th Transportation Company.
Dragoon Ready is a 7th Army Training Command led exercise designed to ensure readiness and certify the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in NATO combat readiness and unified land operations. Working with NATO allies and partners, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment will culminate the exercise with multinational combined arms live fire and force-on force field training exercise. Held annually, Dragoon Ready will incorporate roughly 5,300 multinational Soldiers and over 1,000 pieces of equipment. Exercises like this allow troops to identify potential issues that could happen on the battlefield. Both the U.S. and French expressed that there should be more opportunities to work with one another because these exercises allow them to identify their shortcomings and increase their effectiveness and interoperability. With Dragoon Ready approaching its end, there is hope for more training opportunities soon.
Sgt. 1st Class Charles Smith of the Adlers Observer Coach/Trainer team and a French soldier of the 501st Main Battle Tank Regiment (501e Régiment de Chars de Combat), Free French 2nd Armored Division have a conversation during a fuel mission for Dragoon Ready at Hohenfels training area, Germany, Nov. 7, 2019 (Picture source: U.S. Army/Spc. Audrequez Evans, Joint Multinational Readiness Center)