Training at the Logistics School, Foreign Officers grateful for Training

19 Feb 2004 | Lance Cpl. Ruben D. Maestre

Two foreign officers from Venezuela and Slovakia graduated from the logistics school at Camp Johnson recently, in part of broader efforts to continually strengthen political and military ties between the United States and its allies. The officers trained for four months at the school gaining professional insight on how to provide logistical support and supplies to operational military forces in the field.“I would like to say thanks to members of the Marine Corps,” said Capt. Ignacio Plaza, a Venezuelan Navy logistics officer, prior to graduating from the logistics school in early February.“The United States is training international officers into compatible troops,” 1st Lt. Peter Slezak, an officer with Slovakian Armed Forces, added approvingly of how his training will benefit mutual military alliances. The Logistics Operation School at Camp Johnson, where the two officers trained, consists of a four-month training course for officers. The course focuses on motor transportation, embarkation and the ‘maintenance management’ logistical aspects of transporting and maintaining supplies in order to accomplish the mission. “Foreign officers stand out very well here,” Capt. Chris Ketcherside, Plaza’s sponsor, said of the participation by foreign officers.Ketcherside and other military planners believe that having foreign officers train with U.S. Marines politically strengthens the ties with allies abroad. “We received good briefs from the foreign officers,” Ketcherside said of briefs describing how some operational aspects of logistics were different between the U.S. and its allies.Strategic and tactical benefits from having mutual training with foreign forces are also evident in formulating broader military ties. “Slovakia is becoming part of NATO,” Slezak said of his country’s efforts to integrate their military into the U.S. and European alliance.Despite the differences not only within the logistical field, but with languages, uniforms, and military customs, all the officers share the same goal in supporting their military forces on the frontlines in the field of logistics.“We speak different languages and wear different uniforms, but the mission is the same—to support and supply the troops,” Slezak sai