June 16, 2015 –
HOHENFELS, Germany - In full riot gear, U.S. troops maneuver through flames as Molotov cocktails hurl at their feet during intense peacekeeping training exercises lead by military police soldiers from the Portuguese army, June 16, here.
Called fire phobia training, this exercise is designed to help peacekeeping troops actively go through the steps of what to do when Molotov cocktails are encountered. Nations that participate in peace and stability operations are required by the United Nations to be trained on crowd and riot control.
For the Portuguese army to be here to conduct fire phobia training is good, said Capt. Humberto Rosa, with the Portuguese army military police. The main reason for why we are here is to help teach other nations to conquer their fear and learn how to react to Molotov cocktails in real world situations.
“We have been doing this training for several years in Kosovo, so other nations that have seen us doing this and appreciate our techniques have asked us to train them,” said Rosa.
“I thought it was exciting, a little nervous at first but after going through it, it was not so bad,” said Spc. Michael Morales, an infantryman with 1st Battalion, 252nd Armor Regiment’s Alpha Company.
The training definitely helped our unit gain the confidence to know what to do if Molotov cocktails were encountered, said Morales.
The key word here is confidence, said Maj. Jason Spencer, a safety officer with the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team. Preparing for this training helped reinforce confidence in the Army’s risk management practices by ensuring the proper safeguards were in place for this training.
Seeing the multinational training process in play by the Portuguese Army for this exercise helps the Soldiers better understand the mission going forward, said Spencer.