HOHENFELS, Germany –
The 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion of the U.S. Army Reserve is currently participating in Allied Spirit 22, setting up a civil-military operations center (CMOC) organizing information gathered from civil affairs and psychological operations teams across the training area.
“We connect with nongovernment and intergovernmental organizations such as Red Cross, United Nations Humanitarian Crisis Response, or USAID in assisting the allied mechanized infantry with civil considerations to their battle plans,” said Sgt. Kevin Delwiche, a Soldier assigned to the 432nd CA Battalion.
The 432nd CA Battalion facilitates meetings between the local governance and military.
“Whether that means keeping dislocated civilians out of the way of military operations or organizing Red Cross visits to POW camps,” Delwiche said.
During the exercise, the Soldiers from Green Bay, Wisconsin, not only helped the civilians in the small town but also protected them by warding off an attack during nightfall.
“We are learning the communication issues, differences in doctrine, and learning to navigate through these complex issues and work together effectively,” Delwiche said.
The 432nd CA Battalion is making sure their strategies and attitudes match with their multinational counterparts.
“We are learning to be interoperable here rather than in a real-world crisis,” Delwiche said. “This is valuable training for the short term as well.”
“This training is excellent and as real as they can possibly make it without being in combat,” said Sgt. 1st Class Joseph McKenna, 319th Psychological Operations Company from Minnesota.
McKenna is augmented to the Observer, Coach, Trainer team at Hohenfels for annual Army Reserve training.
“There are certain hiccups we would normally have at the beginning of an operation, especially working with NATO allies and partners,” McKenna said. “The 319th and the 432nd are working through these issues the best they can.”
McKenna said he sees a remarkable improvement as the exercise continues. Exercise Allied Spirit '22 is at the 7th Army Training Command’s Joint Multinational Readiness Center utilizing the Hohenfels Training Area.
Approximately 5,200 soldiers from 15 nations including Germany, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States are participating in the exercising from Jan. 21 to Feb. 5.