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Cross training

By Sgt. Michael Maddox
First published in
SFOR Informer #100, November 8, 2000

Kalinovik - During operations and exercises, SFOR soldiers often get to see the tools of the trade that their partner nations use to accomplish daily missions. Amongst the most interesting of these tools are the weapons each country employs.
Soldiers frequently gets to the chance to see other nations weapons, but they rarely get the chance to fire them. That's what soldiers from Multinational Division Southeast did Oct. 20 as soldiers from the German Sniper Platoon and the French Sharp Shooter Platoon cross trained with their weapons.
The Germans use the G-22 rifle while the French soldiers use the FRF2 and the FR 12.7. One soldier from each country explained their rifle to his SFOR partners, then it was time to go live and send rounds down range.
Getting to handle the French weapons was very interesting for the German soldiers, said 1st Sgt. Juergen Klotz, German sniper platoon.
"Today is about having fun. We are enjoying being out here with the French and seeing their weapons," he said. "The only difficulty for us has been the language because we only have one first sergeant who can speak French and they have only two people who can understand the German language."
The weather also presented a small problem for the training but nothing the experienced shooters couldn't handle.
"The wind is very strong today. At 600 meters, the bullet's path can vary because of this. Even with this, everyone is doing very well," said Klotz.
Working with the Germans was also good experience for the French soldiers, said 2nd Lt. Francois Theodoly, French Sharp Shooters.
"We have enjoyed this very much. The soldiers can see that the Germans have a very, very good gun," he said. "They have just one gun - an excellent one. We have two guns, one that is very good and the other is our old one. On days like today, they can see other guns and then use it which they enjoy very much."
Theodoly said, overall the minor difficulties faced during the cross training were no problem.
"One of the German people speaks good French, we don't speak good German, but we all speak English which makes it easier. It has been a very good time for us," he said.
He added that the windy conditions were also manageable.
"We either need to be in front of the wind or behind it when shooting, and today it is coming from the left. It's not very good, but it's okay, we are shooting very well," said Theodoly.

Related links:
Training and Exercises

Nations of SFOR: France, Germany