The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a partner nation of the United States of America that, in partnership with US Central Command, has intensified its efforts to deter regional aggressors and promote stability in the Arabian Peninsula.
For this effort, U.S. Air Force Central Command and U.S. Army Central Command forces, hosted by Saudi Arabia at Prince Sultan Air Base, have each made it one of their priorities to forging and strengthening the nation’s resolute partnership through engagement, immersion and integration training. with their Saudi royal counterparts.
This usually involves the integration of the USAF and the Royal Saudi Air Force and the engagement of the US Army and the Royal Saudi Land Force. With growing U.S. joint forces relationships and interagency operability at PSAB, Task Force Hurricane invited Airmen assigned to the 378th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron to attend a platoon immersion course at Al- Kharj, KSA, June 5-16.
“Our bravo company, whose mission is security at PSAB, has been working with the 378th ESFS for months now and has built a lot of trust and camaraderie between men and officers,” said U.S. Army Capt. Oscar Perez, the officer in charge of theater security cooperation with Task Force Hurricane. “We saw this as an opportunity to increase that trust and interoperability.”
Security forces are pretty much the closest the USAF has to infantry in the US Army. They conduct a similar formation but with deviations due to the overall different roles the two branches play in theatre.
“For defenders, small infantry tactics are something we learn in our pre-deployment training, but the military is much more expert at it,” said US Staff Sgt. Air Force. Select Andrew Monroe, a fire team leader assigned to the 378th ESFS. “I want to train with them and the RSLF enhances and practices the Air Force motto of versatile airmen.”
Platoon immersion covered combat movement, jumping, reaction to fire, reaction to indirect fire, ambush, room clearing and more, leading to an all-encompassing training operation that tested the three forces team’s aptitude and teamwork. Operational success depended on trust; something according to Monroe, the community service members had it in spades by the end.
“The first time we met the peloton it was a bit like they thought of us as strangers, but on the second day they started to accept us with open arms,” Monroe said. “So vice versa with us and the Saudis. We seemed a little distant for a few days, but on the third or fourth day we broke that barrier together and since then the morale has been constantly high.
Although they come from different places and have two different types of cultures, the service members have formed friendships by training, eating, talking, playing sports and even singing and dancing together.
“My favorite experience was learning how to fit into a different branch, a different country and learning how to resist that,” Monroe said. “The exchange of patches was very important here too, it showed our integration. We wore Saudi patches, the army wore air force patches and vice versa. During practice, it represented that we really were a team, a fight, as corny as that sounds.
In addition to the three platoon immersion courses held, Task Force Hurricane had planned and conducted two other non-infantry based engagements with the RSLF.
The first was Hurricane Vice, a week-long staff exercise at Al-Kharj, and the second was a tactical combat casualty care medical exercise at PSAB. Perez hopes the next rotation, Task Force Americano, will continue and expand the relationship between the partner nation and the U.S. joint forces for which Task Force Hurricane laid the foundation.
“I know the Saudi headquarters in Riyadh is very excited to continue training with US forces,” Perez said. “We appreciate the Air Force for coming here and sharing good times and good engagements with us. Immersion used to consist of two different elements and now we have three, it just shows that we are getting better and better. It’s really about trust, relationship building and interoperability with our Saudi partners and within the US branches.
American Airmen and Soldiers will live and work together on the PSAB for the foreseeable future alongside their Saudi hosts and partner forces as one piece among many in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the continued and growing friendship of the states of America to bring peace and stability to the Southwest Asia region.
|Date posted:||08.06.2022 08:54|
This work, 378th ESFS defenders witness TFH platoon immersion with RSLFby SSgt Noah Tanceridentified by DVDmust follow the restrictions listed at https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.