US, Kuwaitis conduct defensive exercise “Together”

By Sgt. Christopher Johnston, 3rd ABCT, 3rd ID, Public Affairs

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait- Soldiers assigned to Company B and Company C, 1st
Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd
Infantry Division, and Kuwaiti soldiers assigned to the 15th Mubarak
Brigade conducted Saweyan Shield, a live fire exercise, at the Udairi
Range Complex near Camp Buehring, Kuwait, Nov. 28.

Saweyan is the Arabic word for “together” or “unity”.

The soldiers from both brigades have been training together for several
weeks, beginning with basic skills such as land navigation and first
aid, then progressing to more complex skills such as urban operations.

“It is great to have the opportunity to work with them,” Capt. Donald
Bigham, Company B commander, 1-15 IN said of the Kuwaitis. “They are
very experienced soldiers, they are very good tactically, and they have
good weapon systems that allow them to do their mission.”

The live-fire exercise began with more than a dozen Kuwaiti M-84 tanks
and four Bradley Fighting Vehicles in a defensive position. Kuwaiti F-18
Hornets then initiated contact with targets using close air support
strikes followed by Kuwaiti AH-64 Apache helicopters providing close
combat attacks.

“This is how they fight, this is what they train for,” said Maj. Joe
Ruzicka, operations officer for 1-15 IN. “What we saw today was that
they are truly capable of defending their country if need be.”

The main element of the defensive position made a call to Baker Team,
comprised of U.S. Bradley Fighting Vehicles, M1A2 tanks, and Kuwaiti
M-84 tanks, for reinforcement.

Bigham said the greatest part of the exercise was by working together,
training and rehearsing as one team, they were able to operate as a
single entity to maneuver and destroy the targets effectively.

Baker Team, maintaining spacing and maximizing frontal coverage, moved
forward within two kilometers of the targets before laying down
suppressive fire. Baker Team then continued to the forward line of
troops and eliminated the targets.

Bigham said their partnership with the 15th Mubarak Brigade allowed
soldiers on both sides to get to know each other on a more personal
level enabling them to grow tactically to become stronger military

Lt. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, Third Army/ARCENT commanding general, Maj.
Gen. Gary H. Cheek, Third Army/ARCENT deputy commanding general, Col.
Johnnie L. Johnson Jr., 3rd ABCT commander, and Staff Col. Bassel Ahmed
Al-Suwaidi, 15th Mubarak Brigade commander were on hand to observe the

“When we talk about partnership in the future, this is how I envision
it,” said Ruzicka. “Whenever we do a training event here in Kuwait we
should have the Kuwaiti Land Forces here with us and vice versa, so we
can really build upon what we have established here and take it to the
next step.”

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