Local News

Peacetime Training Brings British Soldiers to Fort Bragg

Posted October 11, 1999

— Humanitarian missions are more and more common for the United States and other countries. To make those missions more effective, British soldiers are working withFort Braggsoldiers to sharpen the skills they need for peacetime action.

"We're working in a slightly unfamiliar structure and culture, and therefore, for the guys to practice that has benefits when we're working in other countries around the world," says Lt. Col. Andy Wilson of the British Army Civil Affairs Group.

The British are currently deployed alongside American troops in places likeKosovoand East Timor.

Together with Fort Bragg's 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, they are working to make joint operations in the field easier.

Each military has its own protocol and procedures. In this training mission they can come together as one.

"Every time we do this with somebody else in a different situation, we learn better ways to practice our craft," says Lt. Col. Tom Knight of Fort Bragg's 96th Civil Affairs Battalion.

The work by foreign soldiers here will also benefit the community.

Cumberland County Emergency Management will use the building assessments in its own emergency plans.

"It enables us -- if we have an area where we are not quite where we should be, it allows us to fix the shortfall ahead of time," says director Cheryl Grabowski.

The British soldiers say another obstacle they hope to overcome while they are in North Carolina is the language barrier.

Even though both military units speak English, there are still many variations in terminology.

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