Albanian, Slovakian officers visit Warrior Preparation Center

Capt. Jonathan Friedman, Story and photo
USAFE News Service 

***image1***Nine Albanian and Slovakian officers visited Germany Sept. 20-23 for a
familiarization visit at the Warrior Preparation Center here.

The officers were shown hands-on tactics through high-tech training
demonstrations at the facility – jointly owned by U.S. Army Europe and
U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

Although they were there to gain more understanding of U.S. military
training tactics, the visit was much more than simulations and

“This type of visit fosters a common understanding of conducting
exercises and simulations,” said Col. Jerry Gandy, Warrior Preparation
Center commander. “Our hope is that, with familiarization visits such
as this, we can work together in any future exercise – but, more
importantly, in any real-world operation.”

The visit was incorporated as part of the Theater Security Cooperation
program, a collaborative effort between the U.S. military and its
allies to counter terrorism, promote regional stability, and advance
U.S. interests.

Brig. Gen. Mike Snodgrass, USAFE Plans and Programs director, noted
that the visit was an example of how well the TSC program is working.

“It’s a pleasure to host our Slovakian and Albanian allies this week,”
said General Snodgrass. “This visit is another success story of how our
Theater Security Cooperation program in enhancing relationships between
the U.S. and our friends and partners.”

While this isn’t the first time that either of these countries have
visited U.S. forces in Germany, this visit is unique, explained Col.
Mustafa Xhemalaj, Chief of Modernization and Standardization Center for
Albanian Armed Forces.

“With this visit, we’re discovering ways to train our commanders and
staff officers on how to fight a war in a simulated environment,” said
Colonel Xhemalaj. “On one hand, we’re gathering philosophies and
concepts on training. On the other hand, we’re learning to fight a
common enemy – terrorism – and contributing to peace and security not
only in Albania, but in the rest of the world also.”

These words were echoed by Capt. Lubos Gulas, Chief of the Slovakian
Simulator Center, who noted that these types of high-tech simulations
are a new form of training for the Slovakian military.

“It’s very useful for us to see the U.S. military’s simulations
first-hand, as the simulations we use are based on U.S. software,” said
Captain Gulas. “This type of familiarization allows us to bring new
ideas to the table when resolving global problems.”