NEWS | May 15, 2018

648th Military Engagement Team completes successful deployment

By Sgt. Thomas Crough U.S. Army Central

Tajik and U.S. soldiers conduct an after-action review at a mountain training camp outside of Dushanbe, Tajikistan, April 20, 2018, after a simulated patrol through the mountains, an exercise conducted during an exchange of tactics and best practices between the two countries. This information exchange was part of a larger military-to-military engagement taking place with the Tajikistan Peacekeeping Battalion of the Mobile Forces and the 648th Military Engagement Team, Georgia Army National Guard, involving border security tactics and techniques.
Tajik and U.S. soldiers conduct an after-action review at a mountain training camp outside of Dushanbe, Tajikistan, April 20, 2018, after a simulated patrol through the mountains, an exercise conducted during an exchange of tactics and best practices between the two countries. This information exchange was part of a larger military-to-military engagement taking place with the Tajikistan Peacekeeping Battalion of the Mobile Forces and the 648th Military Engagement Team, Georgia Army National Guard, involving border security tactics and techniques.
Tajik and U.S. soldiers conduct an after-action review at a mountain training camp outside of Dushanbe, Tajikistan, April 20, 2018, after a simulated patrol through the mountains, an exercise conducted during an exchange of tactics and best practices between the two countries. This information exchange was part of a larger military-to-military engagement taking place with the Tajikistan Peacekeeping Battalion of the Mobile Forces and the 648th Military Engagement Team, Georgia Army National Guard, involving border security tactics and techniques.
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Tajik and U.S. soldiers conduct an after-action review at a mountain training camp outside of Dushanbe, Tajikistan, April 20, 2018, after a simulated patrol through the mountains, an exercise conducted during an exchange of tactics and best practices between the two countries. This information exchange was part of a larger military-to-military engagement taking place with the Tajikistan Peacekeeping Battalion of the Mobile Forces and the 648th Military Engagement Team, Georgia Army National Guard, involving border security tactics and techniques.
Photo By: Sgt. 1st Class Ty McNeeley
VIRIN: 200418-A-WD109-003
Soldiers with the 648th Military Engagement Team, Georgia Army National Guard, have recently concluded a nine-month deployment where they participated in over 50 security cooperation missions and supported 10 combined exercises.


The team began this mission long before coming to theater, completing a variety of pre-deployment trainings, culminating in a capstone exercise designed to simulate scenarios experienced by the unit they replaced, the 149th Military Engagement Team, Kentucky Army National Guard.

“Each mission is received, planned, coordinated, confirmed, executed, and reviewed. They executed one mission in its entirety through a simulated foreign military engagement and the others to various degrees to validate their processes and skills. The Liaison Officer (LNO) Team helped by providing scenario injects that propelled the scenarios forward,” explained Maj. Robert Schwartz, 648th MET.

Armed with lessons learned by the 149th MET and each Soldier’s personal wealth of military experience, the 648th MET deployed to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, where Col. Kevin Hamm, commander, 648th MET, officially assumed responsibility for the U.S. Army Central theater security cooperation and interoperability building mission. The team was quick to get to work and in fact, members of the 648th had already traveled to 8 different countries and completed 3 engagements before the official transfer of authority.

Working from their new headquarters at Camp Arifjan, the 648th deployed throughout the USARCENT area of responsibility, typically in small teams consisting of senior noncommissioned officers, officers, and hand-selected subject matter experts. The teams exchanged military tactics and techniques with U.S. allies in Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and the United Arab Emirates.

U.S. Soldiers from the 648th Military Engagement Team, Georgia Army National Guard, and instructors from the Jordan Armed Forces Noncommissioned Officer Academy receive a sand-table briefing during the JAF NCOA Squad Leader Course, near Amman, Jordan, March 18, 2018. The 648th MET advised JAF NCOA instructors as the Jordanian leaders developed the program of instruction for the course, which is attended by their soldiers and their regional allies.
U.S. Soldiers from the 648th Military Engagement Team, Georgia Army National Guard, and instructors from the Jordan Armed Forces Noncommissioned Officer Academy receive a sand-table briefing during the JAF NCOA Squad Leader Course, near Amman, Jordan, March 18, 2018. The 648th MET advised JAF NCOA instructors as the Jordanian leaders developed the program of instruction for the course, which is attended by their soldiers and their regional allies.
U.S. Soldiers from the 648th Military Engagement Team, Georgia Army National Guard, and instructors from the Jordan Armed Forces Noncommissioned Officer Academy receive a sand-table briefing during the JAF NCOA Squad Leader Course, near Amman, Jordan, March 18, 2018. The 648th MET advised JAF NCOA instructors as the Jordanian leaders developed the program of instruction for the course, which is attended by their soldiers and their regional allies.
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U.S. Soldiers from the 648th Military Engagement Team, Georgia Army National Guard, and instructors from the Jordan Armed Forces Noncommissioned Officer Academy receive a sand-table briefing during the JAF NCOA Squad Leader Course, near Amman, Jordan, March 18, 2018. The 648th MET advised JAF NCOA instructors as the Jordanian leaders developed the program of instruction for the course, which is attended by their soldiers and their regional allies.
Photo By: Sgt. Thomas Crough
VIRIN: 180319-A-RU074-041
“While working with the Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF) in our NCO Development series of engagements, I have found that Jordan’s NCOs are strikingly similar to their tenacious U.S. counterparts. They take training very seriously and conduct it in a purposeful and productive manner,” said Sgt. 1st Class Branden Montero, 648th MET.


The engagements focused on the full spectrum of military operations from physical fitness to the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP). Many of the exchanges were field exercises, working hands-on with our partner nations on very specific scenarios such as border security, quick reaction forces, countering improvised explosive devices, vehicle maintenance, and noncommissioned officer development.

“Both the Kazakh leadership and U.S. Army team left the engagement with valuable information to share with their respective forces to further enhance the interoperability of our nations’ militaries and looking forward to the prospect of additional exchanges in the future,” said Staff Sgt. Andrea Gavant and Capt. Sean McCulley in The MET Messenger, about their five-day informational exchange with logistics leaders of the Army and the Air Force of Kazakhstan.

“This engagement was a great opportunity to lay the ground work and set conditions for continued growth in U.S. and Omani interoperability. It was also a wonderful opportunity to experience the culture and history of another one of our Partner Nations in the Middle East,” said Capt. Jacki Handloser about an engagement in Oman about mission planning.

 

"Overall, this experience is not what I expected from the ‘desert’"Maj. Tony Moon, 648th MET


Soldiers from the Jordan Armed Forces Noncommissioned Officer Academy share a meal with U.S. Soldiers from the 648th Military Engagement Team, Georgia Army National Guard, during the culminating exercise of the JAF NCOA Squad Leader Course, March 19, 2018, near Amman, Jordan. The 648th MET advised JAF NCOA instructors as the Jordanian leaders developed the program of instruction for the course, which is attended by their soldiers and their regional allies.
Soldiers from the Jordan Armed Forces Noncommissioned Officer Academy share a meal with U.S. Soldiers from the 648th Military Engagement Team, Georgia Army National Guard, during the culminating exercise of the JAF NCOA Squad Leader Course, March 19, 2018, near Amman, Jordan. The 648th MET advised JAF NCOA instructors as the Jordanian leaders developed the program of instruction for the course, which is attended by their soldiers and their regional allies.
Soldiers from the Jordan Armed Forces Noncommissioned Officer Academy share a meal with U.S. Soldiers from the 648th Military Engagement Team, Georgia Army National Guard, during the culminating exercise of the JAF NCOA Squad Leader Course, March 19, 2018, near Amman, Jordan. The 648th MET advised JAF NCOA instructors as the Jordanian leaders developed the program of instruction for the course, which is attended by their soldiers and their regional allies.
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Soldiers from the Jordan Armed Forces Noncommissioned Officer Academy share a meal with U.S. Soldiers from the 648th Military Engagement Team, Georgia Army National Guard, during the culminating exercise of the JAF NCOA Squad Leader Course, March 19, 2018, near Amman, Jordan. The 648th MET advised JAF NCOA instructors as the Jordanian leaders developed the program of instruction for the course, which is attended by their soldiers and their regional allies.
Photo By: Sgt. Thomas Crough
VIRIN: 180319-A-RU074-903
The opportunity to experience the cultures of our partner nations was a theme which echoed across the 648th. 

  

“Having also spent some time absorbing some of the culture and scenery of Jordan, I can say that Jordan is as culturally rich as it is hospitable…” said Montero. “I’ve been many places in my life and military career, and Jordan is definitely one of those of which I’ll gladly take a piece home with me.”

“After the conclusion of the exercise, I also was able to get the generals out to experience some of the sites in the neighboring city of Salalah, one of the Middle East’s pristine tourist areas. Overall, this experience is not what I expected from the ‘desert’,” said Maj. Tony Moon, 648th MET, about his experience at Inferno Creek, an annual bilateral exercise with the Royal Army of Oman.

“I think it’s very important… the mission that we’re doing on this deployment is really to build interoperability and enhance partner capacity throughout the USARCENT area of responsibility. It’s so our forces can work together in the future and learn from each other over time,” said Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Ives, 648th MET.

The 648th was relieved by the 157th Military Engagement Team, Wisconsin Army National Guard, May 4, 2018 at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. 

 

"These efforts built relationships and capacity with our partners in the region..."Col. Kevin Hamm, 648th MET Commander


“These efforts built relationships and capacity with our partners in the region to secure improved access, basing and overflight access while increasing interoperability. We look forward to the 157th MET continuing the great momentum of the 648th MET. The National Guard has provided ten METs to USARCENT, forging a strong, mutually beneficial partnership around this mission set,” concluded Col. Kevin Hamm, commander, 648th MET.