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NEWS | May 29, 2024

Army Reserve Soldiers train to influence the fight

By Sgt. 1st Class Zane Craig 109th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Psychological Operations Soldiers from the the U.S. Army Reserve conducted training at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) near Hohenfels, Germany during Combined Resolve 24-2.

"Today we are in Uebungsdorf meeting with city officials, like the mayor and police chief, describing the current situation with refugees fleeing from the Donovian invasion," said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Austin Walpole, noncommissioned officer-in-charge with the 325th Psychological Operations Detachment, an Army Reserve unit based in Nashville.

The exercise simulates an invasion of Germany by the fictional country of Donovia, including realistic second order effects of war like an influx of refugees, portrayed by local actors.

Walpole said the refugee center is currently overcrowded, so they are trying to address their humanitarian needs while also finding safe routes for them to use with the battle situation constantly changing.

Four Bulgarian psyop soldiers joined the 13 U.S. Soldiers of the 325th here, highlighting the increasing interoperability among NATO partners.

"Honestly, I'm happy they're here. Coming from Eastern Europe, they have more understanding of Donovian language and culture," said Walpole. "They're a great team. They're hard workers."

Walpole said that psyops is a complex process with many variables. Within the exercise, there is some animosity toward ethnic Donovians already living in Germany that must be overcome with the help of psyops and civil affairs Soldiers.

"For how much effort they put into this exercise, especially the case workers that met us in Nashville, I feel like [Combined Resolve] should be the standard for how other training exercises go," said Walpole.

He said he was very impressed with the amount of effort that clearly went into preparing for Combined Resolve to ensure everything ran smoothly.

"Out of all the training exercises I've been to, this is by far one of the best."