9th MSC represents U.S. Army Reserve in Exercise Croix du Sud

| December 2, 2016 | 0 Comments
100th Battalion Soldiers participate in amphibious landing training with multi-national armies and marines during Exercise Croix du Sud 2016, Plum, New Caledonia, Nov. 15.Croix du Sud, which means "Southern Cross" in French, is a multinational military exercise organized every two years by the French Armed Forces in New Caledonia, with a scenario based on the devastating aftermath of a category four cyclone. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Chanelcherie K. DeMello, 303rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 9th Mission Support Command)

100th Battalion Soldiers participate in amphibious landing training with multi-national armies and marines during Exercise Croix du Sud 2016, Plum, New Caledonia, Nov. 15. Croix du Sud, which means “Southern Cross” in French, is a multinational military exercise organized every two years by the French Armed Forces in New Caledonia, with a scenario based on the devastating aftermath of a category four cyclone. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Chanelcherie K. DeMello, 303rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 9th Mission Support Command)

Staff Sgt. Chanelcherie K. DeMello &
Sgt. Jessica A. DuVernay
9th Mission Support Commmand

NOUMEA, New Caledonia — U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers from the 9th Mission Support Command traveled from Honolulu to Noumea, New Caledonia, to participate in the French Armed Forces hosted exercise, Croix du Sud 2016, in early November.

The exercise took place in many locations around the island and outer islands of New Caledonia.

Croix du Sud, which means “Southern Cross” in French, is a multinational joint coalition military exercise hosted by the French Armed Forces of New Caledonia every two years on the island of New Caledonia and surrounding areas.

U.S. Army Reserve civil affairs Soldiers conducted community assessments alongside Canadian infantry during Exercise Croix du Sud 2016, Plum, New Caledonia, Nov. 12. Croix du Sud, which means "Southern Cross" in French, is a multinational military exercise organised every two years by the French Armed Forces in New Caledonia, with a scenario based on the devastating aftermath of a category four cyclone. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jessica DuVernay, 305th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, 9th Mission Support Command)

U.S. Army Reserve civil affairs Soldiers conduct community assessments alongside Canadian infantry during Exercise Croix du Sud 2016, in Plum, New Caledonia, Nov. 12. Croix du Sud, which means “Southern Cross” in French, is a multinational military exercise organized every two years by the French Armed Forces in New Caledonia, with a scenario based on the devastating aftermath of a category four cyclone. (Photo by Sgt. Jessica DuVernay, 305th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, 9th Mission Support Command)

The exercise scenario is based on a category four cyclone, which allows nongovernmental organizations and military personnel to focus on humanitarian aid and disaster relief (HADR) efforts.

“This exercise is important because it brings together 12 partner nations throughout the Oceania region, as well as the Indo-Asia Pacific area of operations,” explained Lt. Col. Grover Harms, 322nd Civil Affairs Brigade, 9th MSC.

For a little over three weeks, Soldiers from 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regiment, 9th MSC, and 322nd Civil Affairs Brigade, 9th MSC, lived and trained with multinational armies as they learned to work together and communicate with one another despite language barriers.

“During the exercise, we broke through a lot of communication barriers, just the general understanding of the situation from all parties involved helped increase the communication between elements,” said Chris Arakawa, platoon sergeant, Delta Company, 100th Inf. Btn., 442nd Reg., 9th MSC

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers conduct commando training with Marines and soldiers from Fiji and Canada, during Exercise Croix du Sud 2016, Plum, New Caledonia, Nov. 10. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers conduct commando training with Marines and Soldiers from Fiji and Canada, during Exercise Croix du Sud 2016, in Plum, New Caledonia, Nov. 10. (Courtesy photo)

Being able to work alongside multinational partners allows service members the opportunity to apply their military specialties, as well as gain appreciation for other nations and its capabilities.

“One thing I’ve learned from spending the last two weeks on New Caledonia with the French soldiers and staff officers is that I have singular confidence in their ability to integrate with the United States military and many of the other militaries as well,” said Maj. Gregory Larsen, 416th Civil Affairs Bn., 351st Civil Affairs Command. “The French run their command posts, their headquarters and their land component commands almost identically to the U.S. both in their briefings and their organizational structure, and it’s been a terrific experience.”

Soldiers participated in key events, which included physical team-building activities, amphibious landings, key leader engagements, community assessments, and security procedural operations, which enhanced communication and strengthened the relationships between the U.S. and international Soldiers.

“I think one of the greatest things we learned being in this exercise, not only the leaders in the platoon but down to the individual Soldier, was building relationships between different nations,” Arakawa explained. “I think the Soldiers excelled at building that rapport and increasing our relationship and operability with host nation and the other nations that participated.”

Ongoing events and exercises like Croix du Sud that engage U.S. Army assets are beneficial to reinforcing and strengthening the relationships with the U.S. and its international partners.

“It allows us to build relationships and further develop our interoperability, so we can effectively conduct operations in the future,” said Harms.

The major objectives of Exercise Croix du Sud 2016 were to develop common capabilities to plan and execute humanitarian operations and civilian evacuation in a region that is often hit by natural disasters, to improve the capacity to execute joint airborne and amphibious operations and to increase the interoperability to integrate contingents and cohesively function.

“These objectives have been achieved,” said Maj. Gen. Phillippe Leonard, commanding general, French Armed Forces in New Caledonia, during the closing ceremony at Place Bir-Hakeim, Nov. 18. “We know that in these areas of competence, our efforts should not diminish, and that we should be better tomorrow than we are today, as I am convinced that we are better today than we were yesterday.”

(Editor’s note: DeMello belongs to 303rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 9th MSC, and DuVernay to 305th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, 9th MSC.) 

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Category: Exercises, Leadership, News, Observances, Safety, Training

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