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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Patton's own embraces ex-Soviet state during info exchange

Staff Sgt. Alex Licea
Third Army/U.S. Army Central Public Affairs

Fort Bragg, N.C. - Third Army/U.S. Army Central hosted a delegation of military police soldiers from the Kazakhstan national army during a two-day information exchange. This portion of the exchange is part of a week-long trip in which the Kazakh troops will received an inside look [at] how the U.S. Army operates and utilizes the military police in today’s global fight on terrorism. The exchange and lessons learned from the trip will assist the Kazakh army continue to revamp their own MP Corps.

The visit is part of the continued effort led by Third Army/U.S. Army Central's civil-military affairs “Theater Security Cooperation program” that hosts foreign soldiers and sends U.S. Soldiers to participating countries in the USARCENT area of responsibility to interface and train with their counterparts.

"The TSC program allows us [Third Army] to build a lasting relationship," said Lt. Col Dave Bennett, who is assigned to the Third Army/USARCENT CIMA as the central and south Asia branch chief. "This is the only program that allows the human factor of our nations to work together making it a more personal interaction between us.

He added that the Kazakh MP Corps, which was established in 1997, is still establishing itself in the national army. He said that TSC events such as this can only build a foundation and wiliness to work together.

The Kazakh soldiers received an up-close look at programs such as the urban MP operations, airborne refresher training, the military working dogs and the special reaction team, the military equivalent of the civilian force's SWAT team. All the events were coordinated by the Bragg-based 503 Military Police Battalion.

While Kazakhstan currently uses its MPs in a law enforcement capability, the hope is to continue to learn and gain experience in a more international capacity.

"We are eager to learn all these MP capabilities and continue to work with the U.S. in building a stronger relationship," said Capt. Tleukhan Baskhozhayev, a regional chief of the military police in Kazakhstan. "We are just still really young as an MP Corps."

The visiting soldiers, a total of seven soldiers, included senior Kazakh officials Col. Asylbek Zhumadilov, the first deputy to the main prosecutor of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Lt. Col. Andrew Sys, military prosecutor for the Kazakhstan national army, and Maj. Bakhytzhan Mailinov, chief of the security and convoy director of Kazakhstan military police.

The Atlanta-based Third Army conducts TSC activities throughout 24 countries in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, which spans from the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. This includes enhancing or establishing relationships with regional national militaries, which promotes bilateral and multilateral interoperability, strategic access and operational basing.

With these programs, Third Army helps its partner countries strengthen their defense relationships and improve their ability to effectively participate in coalition operations.

Third Army TSC events go beyond just MP operations. The program takes on many forms and conducts dozens of events in the United States or in the partnering country.

"The TSC program benefits both countries because we can work together to fight the global war on terrorism," said Capt. Gary Katz, Third Army/USARCENT operation protection operations and TSC officer. "It is all about learning from each other."

Bennett said that Third Army's TSC program benefits more than just the unit's mission requirements because it spreads diplomacy and increases U.S. national security.

"This is great way to not only meet our partners but increase U.S. national security," he said. "We work together so we can both improve. You only see that with things like the TSC program."

The exchange will continue until June 8 with the delegation visiting military police facilities in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and Fort Leonardwood, Mo.

Photo - Capt. Sean Doyne, commander of the 65th Military Police Company, give Kazakh Lt. Col. Andrew Sys, senior military prosecutor for the Kazakhstan national army, and other Kazakh officers a hands-on briefing about the different components of the M-4 rifle during the urban operations information exchange event, May 31. The exchange is part of the Third Army/U.S. Army Central's civil-military affairs “Theater Security Cooperation program” that hosts foreign soldiers and also sends U.S. Soldiers to participating countries in the USARCENT area of responsibility.

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