RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany --
Twice a year, Airmen assigned to the 7th Weather Squadron and 7th Expeditionary Weather Squadron come together and train to better integrate with Army units, but this year they included special participants – German and Polish weather troops.
Cadre Focus is a biannual training exercise during which weather Airmen train on skills such as tactical reaction to indirect fire, evacuation of personnel, communication requirements and land navigation.
“I’m really excited about this particular Cadre Focus because we have two of our NATO partners here,” said. Capt. Ben Fulk, 7th WS head of training. “We’re teaming with them to see what capabilities they have and how we can work together to make ourselves as interoperable as possible.”
Because of the increase in frequency and breadth of their work with NATO partners, Fulk thinks training and exercises such as Cadre Focus are important.
“We will look to grow that relationship as NATO partners as we work with them in operations and other operational exercises,” Fulk said. “We want to build a relationship with them before we go into these operational exercises and this is the venue where we would like to accomplish that.”
Fulk and other weather Airmen weren’t the only ones who think these training opportunities are worthwhile.
“It’s a great opportunity just to exchange all the knowledge we have and the field experience we have,” said German army Staff Sgt. Sascha Wendt, Centre of Geoinformation of the Bundeswehr weather observer.
Wendt and the other NATO partners involved not only had the opportunity to train on equipment and procedures they were unfamiliar with, but also brought along their own training devices to share with their American counterparts.
“We brought our meteorological system, which is used in the field and has been proven in Afghanistan,” Wendt said. “We showed it to our comrades to display how it’s going to work and how we build it up.”
Though they work differently than the U.S. Air Force, Wendt thought it was a great experience and chance to learn from each other.