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News | Dec. 8, 2011

Ghazni PRT trains with Polish pilots

By Staff Sgt. Darnell T. Cannady ,

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan (December 7,2011) — The Ghazni Provincial Reconstruction Team conducted helicopter familiarization training with Polish pilots at Forward Operating Base Ghazni, Afghanistan Nov. 26.

This training allowed the PRT to practice the proper ways to enter and exit a Polish helicopter and how to set up their units.

“In any event where we need support from the Polish or they need help from us, we are familiarized with their operating procedures and aircrafts, as well as their aircraft’s capabilities,” said U.S. Army Sergeant Jay McCarthy, Ghazni PRT security force team leader attached to Task Force White Eagle, and native of Nantucket, Mass. “This allows us to quickly complete our task without having to learn in the middle of a situation.”

The training began with learning the difference between U.S. and Polish helicopters, familiarizing themselves with the helicopter and gathering safety tips. The PRT then practiced entering the Polish helicopter and setting up a security detail to ensure all their members can safely board the helicopter.

“The PRT was good and understood all that we taught,” said Polish warrant officer Peter Wierzbicki, flight engineer assigned to Task Force White Eagle. “Through this short training we feel the PRT is ready in case we need to use their assistance. We all support each other and training with each other helps us work together more efficiently.”

This training allowed the PRT and its Polish counterparts to learn from each other and pass information to each other.

“This training allowed us to work with coalition forces and learn their operating procedures,” said U.S. Army Cpl. Roger Pilot, an infantry member from Dedham, Mass., assigned to the Ghazni Provincial Reconstruction Team, attached to Task Force White Eagle. “Every unit has different procedures for the same operations and this training allowed us to combine different tactics to make one operating procedure.”

At the conclusion of the training both sides felt confident about the assistance they may be required to provide for each other.

“The training was very effective and I feel it will be helpful with working with the PRT in the future,” said Polish warrant officer Joanna Erbetowska, helicopter pilot assigned to Task Force White Eagle. “It’s important to know that the troops we are delivering or receiving will be safe and know how to provide security for the helicopter.”