Allied Spirit is a series of U.S. Army Europe-directed, 7th Army Training Command multinational exercises. Allied Spirit VII included approximately 4,100 participants from 10 nations.
The CA team from the Michigan-based 415th met with the mayor within the simulated town of Enslwang, as a means to gain situational awareness and open communication pathways between U.S., partner nation forces and the local populace. The mayor and other residents within the fictional town are JMRC role players.
“Part of our goal was to gain situational awareness on activity in the town, because right now we have limited means of secure communication”, said Sgt. Alyssa Malott, a civil affairs noncommissioned officer assigned to the 415th.
This was not the first time the team met with the local populace throughout the simulated area of operations. Within the few days of being in the area, the team met with multiple leaders and established a close relationship with the populace of another town, Uebungsdorf.
“We have good relations with the mayor of Uebungsdorf, where we’ve been housed and accepted as part of the community,” said Malott. “We’re like family now and we all look out for each other.”
These relationships are an essential part to shaping SOF operations as they provide the incoming unit with a clear view of the environment they and other military units will be operating in, including political and social dynamics.