Cambodian delegation visits Tropic Lightning Academy

| September 27, 2013 | 0 Comments
Sgt. 1st Class Dennis Kirk (second from left),  platoon sergeant with Tropic Lightning Academy, gives members of the Royal Cambodian military delegation a tour of the facilities,  Sept. 18. The Lightning Academy is positioned to be the premier training hub of the Pacific for all branches of the U.S. military and Pacific-partnered nations.

Sgt. 1st Class Dennis Kirk (second from left), platoon sergeant with Tropic Lightning Academy, gives members of the Royal Cambodian military delegation a tour of the facilities, Sept. 18. The Lightning Academy is positioned to be the premier training hub of the Pacific for all branches of the U.S. military and Pacific-partnered nations.

Story and photo by
Sgt. Daniel Johnson
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Soldiers from the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces visited the 25th Infantry Division and 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team the week of Sept. 20 to learn more about the Noncommissioned Officer Corps and training opportunities available with the division.

The delegation, hosted by 1st Battalion, 27th Inf. Regiment, during its visit, stayed in the barracks with Tropic Lightning Soldiers and shared meals in the Warrior Inn.

The Cambodian soldiers received tours and training on everything, from the motor pool to the Expert Infantryman Badge and modern army combatives.

One of the key visits was to the division’s Lightning Academy, which offers combined training programs for soldiers of foreign militaries to help strengthen defense capabilities with our regionally aligned Pacific partners.

“These tours are very important, as it gives leadership a chance to understand what the Lightning Academy can offer to them as the academy positions itself as the premier training hub of the Pacific,” said 1st Lt. Ken Woods, an officer in charge at the Lightning Academy.

“The combined training available here at the academy is important to our strategic partnerships because it not only strengthens our relationships, but helps ensure our allies can take this training back and better prepare their soldiers for future contingency missions in the Pacific,” said Sgt. 1st Class Dennis Kirk, a platoon sergeant with the Lightning Academy.

“Our primary role is to train our Soldiers and develop tactical leadership skills, but our secondary role is to strengthen the bonds we have with our Pacific partners,” said Woods.

Partnered nations benefit when they train at the academy, and they also share their own training with U.S. Soldiers.

“There is a definite exchange of information,” said Woods. “The training we conduct is very symbiotic. We learn a lot of different things from allied soldiers when they come to train with us, not only tactics and techniques, but also cultural lessons.”

“There is training going on here everyday, and that allows for a lot of opportunities for our regionally aligned partners to come here and train with us,” said Kirk. “That allows us to learn about each others’ cultures and develop relationships that will aid us in future contingency missions across the Pacific.”

One of the primary goals when training foreign nations is to show the capabilities of the backbone of the Army, the NCO Corps.

“The first thing the delegation took a look at was the terrain model being used by a pre-Ranger class, showing them how the NCO Corps, specifically a squad leader, takes on the responsibility of planning and executing missions or patrols,” said Kirk.

“Some of our partners have relatively new or no NCO Corps. We try to show off the strengths of a strong NCO Corps when we can. One of the biggest strengths of the Corps is adaptability; we can plan and execute patrol missions without direct officer supervision (which) makes for an extremely agile force.”

The academy is available to all military units on Oahu and abroad. Joint and combined training is encouraged in its strong course offerings.

As the academy positions itself as the training hub of the Pacific, it will continue to expand and increase the scope of training available to U.S. and partnered militaries with jungle warfare and counter-improvised explosive device courses already scheduled to be implemented.

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Category: News, Training

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