NEWS | April 24, 2018

Tajik, U.S. soldiers build relationships through information exchanges

By Sgt. 1st Class Ty McNeeley U.S. Army Central

Soldiers with the Armed Forces of the Republic of Tajikistan and the U.S. Army worked together in a 24-hour operation to share tactics, techniques and procedures, April 24, 2018.

This exercise was part of a three-week, military-to-military engagement between the Tajikistan Peacekeeping Battalion of the Mobile Forces and the 648th Military Engagement Team, Georgia Army National Guard, involving border security and mountain warfare techniques.

“The design was to have a whole 24-hour mission,” said Sgt. 1st Class James Jackson, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. “We’re going to be able to watch how they do work/rest cycles and how they build upon each mission. The first mission was a traffic control point, from that mission they were able to gather some information that was going to lead onto their next mission.”

Throughout the night the soldiers from both countries continued running missions and gathering information.

“It’s a 24-hour mission that keeps building on itself so we conducted a traffic control point, which led to forces escaping,” said Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Ives, 648th Military Engagement Team, Georgia Army National Guard. “They went out and did a reconnaissance to find the cell hiding in the valley and then went out and set up a screen to capture the small group moving forward.”

“We’ve been exchanging information with them over the past couple weeks on detainee ops and how to search,” said Ives. “They detained and brought us back to the rally point and then back to the base that we’re currently staged at.”

The Soldiers participating in the exchange developed a mutual respect for each other’s way of operating throughout the weeks spent working together.

“I think the Peacekeeping Battalion is very professional,” said Jackson. “I’m beginning to understand the difference in their rank structure which is really well put together. It’s a bit different than what we do but it really works. It’s amazing to go out with them and do a mission.”

“[They’re a] good group of guys, they’re eager to learn the information that we share and we also like to learn from them,” said Ives. “They have a lot of experience, especially in the mountains and they’re really hands-on, which is great.”

“It’s very good [to work with the U.S. Soldiers] and the Soldiers who have come here have good experience of field training exercises,” said Capt. Islomzoda Fakhriddin, commander, Tajikistan Peacekeeping Battalion of the Mobile Forces. “Most of them have taken part in combat field training and actual combat… it’s a great honor for us to get to train along with them.”

The purpose of the Military Engagement Team is to travel to partner nations to exchange information and tactics with allied countries.

“The mission that we’re doing on this deployment is really to build interoperability and enhance partner capacity throughout the ARCENT [U.S. Army Central] area of responsibility,” said Ives. “It’s so our forces can work together in the future and just learn from each other over time.”

“It’s one way to build a good relationship between our countries,” said Fakhriddin. “This is…one of the ways that we can build a good relationship, by exchanging our tactical trainings and in the future, I want these kinds of exercises to be conducted more, especially in such terrain.”