Staff Sgt. Joel Pena
10th Mountain Division Journalist
Warriors from one of America’s strongest military allies paid a visit to Fort Drum last week.
Brig. Gen. Karl Ford, deputy commander 3rd (United Kingdom) Division, and 46 of his soldiers made the stop Friday to forge new relationships and gain insights into the operations and structure of the 10th Mountain Division (LI) that enable it to rapidly deploy its headquarters as an assault command post anywhere in the world.
After their bus pulled up in front of division headquarters in the morning, the U.K. soldiers immediately assembled in front of the division’s memorial for a group photograph.
Col. Kenneth Mintz, deputy chief of staff operations G-3, then greeted the soldiers in a conference room at Hays Hall, where he spoke about the division’s mission before introducing Lt. Col. Patrick Kaune, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion commander.
Kaune gave a detailed explanation of how the division ACP can rapidly deploy all equipment and personnel to any global destination.
He also shared lessons learned during Mountain Peak 2012 and 2013, rotations at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., and Joint Operational Access Exercise at Fort Bragg, N.C.
After the presentation, U.K. soldiers asked Kaune questions related to command structure, in- ternal communication, collaboration with the Air Force and effects of the civilian furloughs.
Maj. Gareth Boyd, a British exchange soldier currently serving as 10th Mountain Division (LI) chief of future operations, said the special visit developed back in January, when a party of six British soldiers visited a Canadian division in Ontario, Canada.
While there, a Canadian officer, Maj. Harry Chadwick, who was once stationed at Fort Drum as part of the exchange program, called the division to see if the U.K. soldiers could stop in.
As a result of that visit, the British unit, while planning to send a larger contingency of soldiers to Quebec on a battlefield study, decided to combine the future exercise with a visit to Fort Drum, Boyd said.
During the afternoon Friday, the U.K. soldiers broke into three groups and visited the Light Fight-er School, the Medical Simulation Training Center and the Atkins Functional Fitness Facility.
At the LFS, 1st Sgt. Gonzalo E. Lassally, commandant, shared the school’s vision, task organization and what courses are offered.
Capt. Martin Stewart, MSTC officer in charge, shared the vision of the facility, shared trade secrets with British medical personnel and gave them a demonstration of 10th Mountain medics in action.
Randy Gillette, AFFF manager, showcased the exercise facility’s cutting-edge equipment. Gillette explained that while traditional workouts focus on individual body parts and muscles, functional fitness workouts condition the entire body and train muscles with strength, power, agility and endurance exercises.
The day concluded back at division headquarters, where Maj. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) commander, and Ford held an office call and posed for photographs.