From Honolulu to Europe, 9th MSC Soldiers participate in Military Reserve Exchange Program

| July 2, 2015 | 0 Comments
Sgt. Alyson Tugaoen takes a break from shooting with her team mate, Norwegian Army Cpl. Gry Hege Stole the, June 21. (Photo courtesy of 9th Mission Support Command Public Affairs)

Sgt. Alyson Tugaoen takes a break from shooting with her team mate, Norwegian Army Cpl. Gry Hege Stole the, June 21. (Photo courtesy of 9th Mission Support Command Public Affairs)

Capt. Debbie Eddin
9th Mission Support Command Public Affairs

FORT SHAFTER FLATS — Four Soldiers from the 9th Mission Support Command made the cut from more than 200 Army Reserve applicants to the Military Reserve Exchange Program.

This is the second year in a row 9th MSC Soldiers will participate in this exchange.

“Excited,” said Sgt. Alyson Tugaoen, executive assistant, 9th MSC Command Group, used when she found out she had been selected to participate in this year’s exchange program.

Sgt. Alyson Tugaoen, 9th MSC executive assistant, fires the C7 a rifle used by the Canadian Army during the shooting competition in Denmark, June 21. The mixed-team competition included Soldiers from Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the United States. (Photo courtesy of Sgt. Alyson Tugaoen, 9th Mission Support Command)

Sgt. Alyson Tugaoen, 9th MSC executive assistant, fires the C7 a rifle used by the Canadian Army during the shooting competition in Denmark, June 21. The mixed-team competition included Soldiers from Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the United States. (Photo courtesy of Sgt. Alyson Tugaoen, 9th Mission Support Command)

Tugaoen was inspired to apply for the program after talking with Capt. Mary Kennedy, who participated in the exchange program last year. She gathered all of the information about the program, the selection process and applied.

She was notified, April 8, that she was selected and would go to Denmark to be on the Denmark Rifle Team, competition shooting and field sports.

“I don’t know what all that quite means, but I will do my best,” Tugaoen said.

Capt. Danicia Jackson, civil affairs officer, 303rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 9th MSC, and 1st Lt. Brittany Friend, executive officer, Det. 2, 1984th U.S. Army Hospital, departed for Denmark, June 5.

Friend comes from a military family, her grandfather served in the Air Force during World War II.

“I would like to learn the standard operation procedures, the voluntary requirements and also learn the similarities of their active and reserve components as to ours.”

1st Lt. Andrea Kellum came to the Army Reserve after serving on active duty. Like Friend, she has a family legacy of military service. Her father served in the Air Force.

Kellum will not be joining her fellow teammates in Denmark. She will be spending her time in Bulgaria. Currently serving as the plans and operations officer, 9th MSC G1, Kellum will have the opportunity to have a similar experience in Bulgaria.

“My expectation is to learn how the Bulgarians conduct operations for their service, and have the opportunity to meet and work with other reserve Soldiers from Denmark, the UK and Germany,” Kellum said.

In preparation for their trip abroad, the Soldiers had to complete weeklong training class at Camping Blanding Joint Training Center in Starke, Florida. There they concentrated on current defense and security issues that relate to reserve forces within NATO and its partners.

The four citizen-Soldiers from the 9th MSC are excited about this opportunity to work with reserve Soldiers from other nations, to learn from each other and exchange best practices.

According to the Office of the Secretary Defense Reserve Affairs website, the primary purpose of the program is to provide National Guard and Reserve officers training associated with mobilization duties while enhancing their ability to work and communicate with the military individuals of the host nation.

It provides the opportunity for reserve officers to complete annual training pertinent to their mobilization assignment while they gain an understanding of the training, doctrine and operations of a major alliance partner.

MREP

Soldiers interested in applying to the Military Reserve Exchange Program can visit www.usar.army.mil/resources/ForSoldiers/Pages/Reserve-Foreign-Exchange-Program.aspx or http://ra.defense.gov/Programs/Readiness,Training, Mobilization/MilitaryReserveExchangeProgram.aspx.

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