Polish soldiers begin to unload from a US Air Force C-141 Starlifter for participation in the exercise. Soldiers from three NATO and 14 other central and eastern European countries are developing their combined peacekeeping skills during the exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center. COOPERATIVE NUGGET '95 is the sixth Partnership for Peace exercise, but the first to be held on US territory. USAF Photo.
Official Press Release:
COOPERATIVE NUGGET 95
FORT POLK, La. -- Countries from around the world began arriving August 6 at Fort Polk, La. for Cooperative Nugget 95, a peacekeeping exercise designed to bring about closer relationships between NATO and many of the emerging democracies in Eastern Europe.
Among the first of 1,100 soldiers from fourteen countries to arrive at Fort Polk was a peacekeeping platoon from Hungary. After a 17-hour plane trip, the Hungarians touched down at England Air Park in Alexandria, La., Sunday morning,where they passed through customs and unloaded their gear.
After a bus ride from the air base to North Fort, Fort Polk, where their barracks were located, the Hungarian troops began their month-long stay in the U.S. with a day of inprocessing.
First, the troops arrived at their new home, a two-story Second World War-era barracks. The air conditioned building was a welcome respite to the muggy heat. "These are very good facilities to work with the other nations in the Cooperative Nugget exercise," said Maj. Dezso Hajos, public affairs officer for the Hungarian contingent.
After examining their new living quarters, the Hungarians moved to a central issue facility where they were issued two new sets of Battle Dress Uniforms,and a new pair of Army-issue combat boots. Because many of the countries involved in Cooperative Nugget lacked the proper hot weather gear required to train in Louisiana, the gear was issued so all the participants would be properly equipped.
Also passed out was the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement Systems, or MILES.The MILES equipment, attached to soldiers weapons, is used to signify a "kill"by beeping when hit by a laser beam.
Aside from the American equipment, the Hungarians received a green PFP t-shirt and hat. Each of the six companies participating in the exercise is identified by this set of color-coded clothing. Green will be the trademark of Echo Company, made up of platoons from the United States, United Kingdom, Slovenia and Hungary.
To finish up their day of inprocessing, the Hungarians filled out a meal card and registration card. After that, the Hungarian soldiers were able to walk around their area and explore the shopette, basketball courts and other amenities of North Fort.
The Hungarians weren't the only ones to inprocess on Sunday. The Albanian,Bulgarian, Czech, Estonian, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian,Slovenian, Ukrainian, and Uzbekistanian contingents also went through the inprocessing stations. Fourteen different uniforms, dialects and customs moving around North Fort made for a very interesting, yet confusing picture.
Despite this, Hajos said Cooperative Nugget would be a good way to work on and perfect different peacekeeping and humanitarian tasks. "I see it as a good challenge for the Hungarian army. We had six weeks training (in Hungary) to specialize in the Cooperate Nugget tasks," Hajos said. "We will learn to work together with 17 nations, and learn to solve the peacekeeping tasks."
Hajos also sees Cooperative Nugget as a way to showcase the Hungarian soldier."We want to show a piece of the Hungarian Army." We want to show that the Hungarian soldier is a good soldier. We want to make our own Hungarian image in Cooperative Nugget," he said.
August 10, 1995
EXERCISE COOPERATIVE NUGGET 95 OPENS
FORT POLK, La.--Parachutes opened, marching music blared, and more than 4,000members of three NATO and Central and Eastern Europe military services paraded across Honor Field here today to open Exercise Cooperative Nugget 95, the first NATO Partnership for Peace (PFP) exercise to be conducted in the United States. The opening ceremony marked the beginning of Cooperative Nugget `95, an exercise which provides numerous opportunities for the multinational training force to practice and develop their combined peacekeeping skills through August26 at the Joint Readiness Training Center.
Military personnel from Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the PFP countries marched onto Fort Polk's Honor Field. The PFP nations included Albania, Bulgaria, The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kyrghystan, Latvia,Lithuania, Poland, Romania, The Slovak Republic, Slovenia, The Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
The Golden Knights, the U.S. Army parachute team from Fort Bragg, N.C., began the festivities with a precision free fall demonstration involving 10parachutists. As the U.S. Navy Band New Orleans performed their unique march music, military units from 17 different nations passed in review before senior military and civilian representatives from NATO and the United States.
Marine Corps Gen. John J. Sheehan, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic and commander-in-chief of U.S. Atlantic Command, welcomed all participants. "It is through exercises such as this that truly we can create a new world order in which the militaries of the world can work in coordination and cooperation to fill a better peace," Sheehan said.
Secretary of Defense William J. Perry began his comments by introducing all the countries on the parade field and welcoming everyone attending. "On these grounds, where 50 years ago our forces trained for war in Europe, we now train our forces for new missions of peace. These Louisiana maneuvers are a tremendous opportunity to learn more about one another from one another, and how to conduct military operations with one another. I urge everyone to seize this opportunity."
"Fifty years ago, in a report to the Congress, the Chief of Staff of the Army,(General) George Marshall, said, `if man does find the solution to world peace it will be the most revolutionary reversal of his record we have ever known.'We might not find the solution on these fields to world peace; but, by developing understanding, cooperation and trust, we can secure peace among our nations," Perry said.
Field Marshal Sir Richard Vincent, United Kingdom Army and chairman of the NATO Military Committee, was the next to speak. "It gives me great pleasure to open Exercise Cooperative Nugget which is the second of ten Partnership for Peace exercises planned for this year, and importantly, the first-ever conducted in the United States," Vincent said.
"The aim of Exercise Cooperative Nugget `95," the Field Marshal related, "as has been jointly agreed by the nations taking part, is to foster interoperability between participating forces through the development of common tactics, operational techniques and communications procedures for a more effective conduct of combined peacekeeping and humanitarian relief operations."
"You don't need me to remind you that these are the kind of the practical and highly relevant skills which service men and women for many of the nations represented here on parade today are needing to develop for everyday use in environments from Cyprus to Haiti, Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia and sadly,many other places as well," Vincent continued.
Vincent encouraged those participating to share their experiences with fellow exercise participants, and to become more effective should they be called nationally or collectively to undertake similar tasks in the future.
August 24, 1995
COOPERATIVE NUGGET 95 CLOSING CEREMONY
FORT POLK, La. -- Cooperative Nugget 95, NATO's first Partnership For Peace exercise in the United States, will conclude on Saturday, August 26 with a closing ceremony at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. The ceremony will mark the official ending of the historic multinational peacekeeping exercise which began on August 8th. Approximately 4,000 U.S. and foreign troops from NATO and NATO's Partnership For Peace (PFP) program have been training together. During exercise Cooperative Nugget 95, units practiced tactics and techniques used in peacekeeping and humanitarian relief missions.Participating nations include: (NATO members) Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States; (PFP nations) Albania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia,Hungary, Kyrgystan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic,Slovenia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
Strongly supported by the United States, the Partnership For Peace program is a major initiative by NATO directed at increasing confidence and cooperative efforts to reinforce security and stability into Eastern and Central Europe.Cooperative Nugget 95 is the sixth military exercise to be conducted as part of NATO's PFP program.
The training was designed to teach the multinational force a variety of basic peacekeeping skills to include security patrols, convoy escort, occupying checkpoints and observation points, identifying and clearing mine fields and assisting humanitarian relief efforts.