FORT POLK, La. -- The NATO/Partnership For Peace (PFP) exercise, CooperativeNugget 95, hit another milestone Friday when the multinational force began thefield training portion of the exercise under the watchful eyes of Chairman ofthe Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John M. Shalikashvili.
Shalikashvili visited the area and held a media conference shortly after lunch.He commented on the importance of CN95.
"CN95 is a step in building an anchor of stability to the new world order," hesaid.
"When we talk about interoperability, we're talking about procedures.If I issue an order and someone from another nation receives it, he canunderstand and carry out that order.
When armies from different nations gettogether it is extraordinarily helpful if, over time, we have developed thispattern of cooperation.
"PFP is not only about getting together, it is about the much larger issue oflearning to do things together, and understanding each other clearly."
CN95 is scheduled by NATO's Allied Command Atlantic and hosted on behalf of theUnited States by the commander-in-chief, U.S. Atlantic Command.
It is thesixth military exercise to be conducted as part of NATO's PFP program and thefirst on U.S. soil.
The aim of CN95 is to foster interoperability between theparticipating forces through the combined peacekeeping and humanitarian relieftactics, techniques and communications procedures at the platoon and companylevel.
NATO's PFP program assists the military forces in emerging from theCold War as positive, non-political, defense oriented elements of theirsocieties.
CN95, held at the Joint Readiness Training Center here, meets those goalsthrough a practical, hands-on approach.
Friday's milestone marks the end of situational training and the start oftrue-to-life tactical field training on the fictitious island of Aragon.
Themultinational force was charged with providing humanitarian aid and monitoringa peace treaty and cease-fire agreement between the Republic of Cortina and theRepublic of Acadia.
Friday morning, the multinational force arrived via U.S. Air Force C-130's andU.S. Army CH-47 and UH-60 helicopters.
They set up a security ring around thelanding zone.
Next, one of the companies marched to their site, where theyspent the day setting up an observation post.
The other companies weretransported to their sites in 5-ton trucks.
The sites included observationpoints, check points and villages.
"We set up an observation point in an area that gives us an advantage when wemonitor our sector," said Lt. Brad Lawing, Company E, 2/2 Armored CalvaryRegiment, Fort Polk, La.
"My company is made up of a Hungarian platoon, aSlovenian platoon, a United Kingdom platoon and an American platoon.
We're alllearning peacekeeping skills by building teamwork and unit cohesion."
When asked what type of differences he noticed between the soldiers, his answerbelied one of the goals of CN95 -- interoperability.
"Honestly, I've noticed more similarities than differences," Lawing said."Soldiers are soldiers no matter where you go.
Noncommissioned officers areNCO's, officers are officers and the privates are privates.
They all have thesame quirks.
If you put them all in the same uniform they do their job.
Youwouldn't be able to tell what country they're from.
They know how to completethe mission they're given."
Friday's mission was to set-up site and prepare for the unexpected in thispeacekeeping/humanitarian mission; the tactical field training was underway.
Participating nations include: Canada, The United Kingdom, The United States(NATO members) and Albania, Bulgaria, The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary,Kyrgzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, The Slovak Republic, Slovenia,The Ukraine, and Uzbekistan (PFP members).
CN95 continues through August 26.