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Exercise Cooperative Nugget '97 Scheduled

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 12, 1997 – More than 1,100 military personnel from 29 NATO and Partnership for Peace nations are meeting June 11 through July 3 for exercise Cooperative Nugget 97 at Fort Polk, La.

The Partnership for Peace exercise is designed to advance interoperability among the participating forces and improve their skills in combined peacekeeping and humanitarian relief operations at troop levels. NATO members have been helping the military forces of Partnership for Peace nations to emerge from the Cold War as positive, nonpolitical and defense-oriented elements of their societies.

Partnership nations sending rifle platoons are Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The platoons will retain their national integrity. They are undergoing initial individual training and then operating as part of joint rifle companies in a NATO-Partnership battalion.

The United States is fielding about 2,100 troops. Other NATO nations sending at least a platoon and a company headquarters element are Belgium, Canada and Turkey. Teams from the 10th Special Forces Group, Fort Carson, Colo., is supporting the peacekeeping forces and providing them with technical assistance and interpreters.

The exercise's reality-based training scenario centers on a border dispute between two fictitious countries. The United Nations attempts to resolve the dispute and establish a peacekeeping force to monitor a buffer zone. Multiple integrated laser engagement system gear on service members and vehicles assesses incidental deaths and damage. The exercise involves approximately 740 support personnel, opposition forces and individuals who will act as civilians and relief workers. Each participating nation also is expected to send two company or field grade officers for an exercise-related staff officer program.

Nations sending only staff officer program participants are Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany and Italy.

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