MACAPA, Brazil - The New York Army National Guard Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 258th Field Artillery, 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and Brazilian Army field artillery soldiers trained together for the first time during exercise Southern Vanguard 24 in Brazil.
The New York National Guard and Brazil are partners through the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program.
The proposal to join forces to cross-train was conceptualized months ahead of Southern Vanguard 24.
Brazilian Army Capt. Rodrigo Ayres Chaves, fire support officer with the 52nd Taskforce, observed the 258th Field Artillery training in August during the Northern Strike operation.
“It’s good to see new stuff and new ways of thinking,” said Chaves. “It’s always good to revise and improve our way of planning.”
Ayers coordinated with U.S. Army National Guard Capt. Anthony Migliore, the assistant battalion fire support officer assigned to HHB, 1st Battalion, 258th Field Artillery, to facilitate interoperable training for Southern Vanguard 24 while strengthening security partnerships in the Americas.
“It’s in order to help the integration with the Brazilian Army, understand the tactics, techniques and procedures, take a look at how they do their fire support, and just start to build that relationship,” said Migliore.
Despite the language barrier, Migliore quickly recognized more similarities than differences between the two armies in planning and conducting fire support.
The exercise began with the assault and objective phase near Ferreira Gomes. The field artillery teams provided section fires and fired smoke target in and around the two objectives.
“I spent most of my time at the gun line yesterday and it was just like being back at A Battery or B Battery with the 258th,” Migliore said. “13B, which is an artillery MOS (military occupational specialty) like a gun-bunny, is the same across U.S. or Brazil. The way they prepare the gun, the way they aim the gun and also just the culture of artillery, it was very familiar, which is cool.”
The second phase occurred off the Amazon River in Oiapoque, with the field artillery teams providing fire support.
The relationships built and sustained with the multinational partners in South America through exercises and professional and military exchanges help preserve peace and stability in the region.
“I think it has been rewarding working with them, seeing how excited they are to see how we do things and reconfirm a lot of their stuff that they already do. They just didn’t realize it was that similar to us,” said Master Sgt. Scott Banks, the battalion fire support noncommissioned officer with the HHB, 1st Battalion, 258th Field Artillery. “They really enjoyed us explaining how we do things and teaching them, broadening their horizon. We built some good friendships here.”