Military News

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Nepali troops attend WLC at JBER

by Sachel S. Harris
USARAK Public Affairs

8/13/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- For some Soldiers, the trip to the Sergeant First Class Christopher R. Brevard Noncommissioned Officer Academy is only a few minutes from home. For those stationed at Fort Wainwright, it's a couple of hours. But for six soldiers currently enrolled, the trip was more than 11 hours.

Through the Regional Partnership Program, six noncommissioned officers from the Nepal Army traveled across the Pacific to the United States to attend the Warrior Leadership Course, a month-long rigorous training course that develops leadership skills within Soldiers.

"I think this partnership has a major benefit for this region just for the simple fact that we are showing both our flexibility and professionalism," said Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Mark Haight, a small-group leader.

"Having the opportunity to work side-by-side with another nation's army is always a great thing," said Staff Sgt. Kandom Michael Moore, also a small-group leader.

The course allows both Nepalese and American troops to identify both their strengths and weaknesses, benefitting from each other while cultivating invaluable relationships.

"When I first learned I was coming to America, I was shocked," said Nepalese Army Capt. Paras Tathapa, battalion training officer and acting operations officer. "But since being here, we have all learned things we can't learn at home that will prepare us for unique situations that could come our way."

However, the unique training environment isn't without its challenges.

To prepare for the main challenge, the language barrier, each Nepalese soldier is partnered with an American, creating an environment where everyone has the opportunity to learn something new.

The students have homework, take quizzes and maintain physical training. For both the instructors and students, their hard work is paying off.

"When I see the Nepalese soldiers learn something new, understand how it's done and perform it to standard, it is very rewarding," Moore said.

Though the Nepalese are attending the course in order to learn how to become better soldiers, it has also been a learning experience for the instructors.

"We have had a couple of classes geared to talking about cultural differences, so it gave them an opportunity to share with the class," Haight said. "It has encouraged me to continue learning about their military."

Once the Nepalese soldiers complete WLC, they will continue their training through the Foundation Instructor Facilitator Course.

This week-long course teaches students basic facilitation and instruction techniques through interactive multimedia instruction and lessons given in U.S. Army schools.

"Their eagerness to learn about our Army has motivated my partner and me," Haight said. "We have learned a great deal about their culture and I am sure we will learn a lot more as the cycle winds down to a close."

The troops graduated from the course on Thursday.

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