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British soldiers Warrant Officer Richard Johnson, 39, left, and Staff Sgt. Geoff Dudman, 41, have joined the Raptor Observer Controller Team at Hohenfels Joint Multinational Readiness Center this month. The pair are two of 19 British soldiers helping train 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, which is at Hohenfels preparing to deploy to Iraq next year.
British soldiers Warrant Officer Richard Johnson, 39, left, and Staff Sgt. Geoff Dudman, 41, have joined the Raptor Observer Controller Team at Hohenfels Joint Multinational Readiness Center this month. The pair are two of 19 British soldiers helping train 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, which is at Hohenfels preparing to deploy to Iraq next year. (Seth Robson / S&S)

HOHENFELS, Germany — Land Rovers emblazoned with Joint Multinational Readiness Center identification plates are a common sight at Hohenfels this month.

Nineteen British soldiers are working as observer controllers during an exercise to prepare the U.S. Army’s 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division for Iraq duty early next year.

The Brits spent much of last month doing their own training at Hohenfels with the British Army’s 4 Brigade but some of the more experienced personnel have stayed behind to help with the American training, according to one of the British observer controllers, Warrant Officer Richard Johnson, 39, of England.

Johnson, an engineer, said he’s helping train U.S. engineers for duty downrange.

Another British OC, Staff Sgt. Geoff Dudman, 41, of Scotland, said he specializes in armor and has joined JMRC’s Raptor OC team for the 2nd Brigade training.

Although the British sense of humor is too understated for most Americans to comprehend, U.S. soldiers appear to listen closely to what the British OCs say about training, he said.

“What we have to be careful of is that their TTPs (techniques, tactics and procedures) are different,” he added.

Most of the British OCs have served in Northern Ireland and all have been to Iraq, said Dudman, who has served in Northern Ireland.

“In Northern Ireland there was a constant threat of IEDs (improvised explosive devices), which was very similar to Iraq at the moment,” he said.

Observer controllers from Norway, Poland and Germany also are involved in the 2nd Brigade training.

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