UK, West Point cadets train together in Germany

Story by Sgt. Christina Dion

Sandhurst, West Point cadets train together at JMTC
British Army Royal Military Academy Sandhurst cadets participated in day one of their two-week final field exercise with a static display of U.S. and German army equipment at the U.S. Army’s 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command, on the Grafenwoehr Training Area, July 7. Fifty cadets from West Point Military Academy, who are conducting joint training with the British students, joined the Sandhurst cadets at range 117 to see equipment, which included a U.S. Stryker, German Leopard tank and German weapons. The exercise will include live-fire exercises in Grafenwoehr and maneuver exercises in Hohenfels. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Christina M. Dion, 319th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – Although typically oceans apart, cadets from two nations joined forces at the U.S. Army’s 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command at Grafenwoehr Training Area July 7-10 for a live-fire exercise. They then moved to Hohenfels Training Area July 11-18 for movement exercises to prepare the young officers-in-training for real-world missions.

 

British Army Royal Military Academy Sandhurst cadets from England conducted their final field exercise in Germany with a select number of U.S. Military Academy at West Point cadets who earned a spot on the team to join the Sandhurst cadets. The West Point cadets are using this opportunity to fulfill their cadet leadership development training.

The mandatory training for both schools can be done in their respective countries, however the landscape, terrain, capabilities and vast amount of training space makes Grafenwoehr Training Area the perfect location, said British army Color Sgt. Chris Sharp, an instructor at Sandhurst. The NATO-friendly training area provides room for small and large-scale live-fire exercises, and the numerous ranges can be configured for many different training scenarios that support any combination of ground troops, light and heavy mechanized vehicles, artillery and close-air support.

During live-fire exercises the cadets are able to work on individual, squad and platoon-level maneuver techniques in heavily wooded areas that are relatively untouched or open fields for bounding without cover. They also used training houses, commonly called shoot houses, for room clearing and tossing grenades. The range safety cadre said the training in Germany gives the cadets the experience of deploying to another country while working with an allied nation.

Besides just the physical attributes of Grafenwoehr Training Area’s location, the cadets said they get more out of the joint training environment than when they train alone back in Britain. They discussed their similarities and differences, which they said makes them look forward to meeting again in the future.

“This is [my] first time coming over to another country and doing field training with international cadets,” said West Point cadet Jonathan Hunter of Lockhart, Texas. “The training tactics are a little different, but it’s interesting to see how they do things.”

Hunter’s new friend Sandhurst cadet Sam Scott said the experience has been exciting.

“We haven’t done any sort of training with anyone outside of Sandhurst,” said Scott.

Seeing new people and how they operate is really eye opening, he said.

One of the things they’ve learned about each other is although their rifles are the same caliber, the U.S. Army’s M4 equivalent are lighter than the British rifles. The rations are also slightly different with the Sandhurst cadets having all three meals in one packet versus the West Point cadets having one meal per meal ready to eat.

Differences aside, there are more similarities between the two, they said. Their maneuvers and tactics are primarily the same, which made training easier, they said.

“Just talking to them and how they operate and what they do out here, it’s surprisingly similar,” said Scott. “We all do the same stuff and when you understand that, you just get along with them.”

Besides being fun to train with an international partner, Hunter explained that it’s important to “be cognizant that we are a global military force when we combine together, and know that there’s always that chance we will work with them down-range.”

The knowledge that real-world missions bring the two allies together on and off the battlefield makes the training important for the cadets, said Hunter.

British army Sgt. Maj. Paul Tremain, sergeant major with the British Army Small Arms School Corps, helps coordinate the training and is happy with the way the training has played out.

“It’s been spot on all the way through,” he said.

Now that the live-fire training is complete, the cadets have moved to Hohenfels Training Area where they will continue their joint exercises with maneuver and lane training. The exercise culminates with large scale attacks, employing many of the scenarios practiced in the past days.

Read more:http://www.dvidshub.net/news/135990/uk-west-point-cadets-train-together-germany#.U_D0HbySwsI#ixzz3Afw0e2kA

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Read more:http://www.dvidshub.net/news/135990/uk-west-point-cadets-train-together-germany#.U_ECeLySwsI#ixzz3AgBMHavt

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