Bold Quest conducts community outreach

Jun 18th, 2014

Foreign-national soldiers speak to Mayfield HS students


By Laura Almaraz

Missile Ranger Staff Writer

AP French students practice their French with foreign-national soldiers as they broke up into groups in the classroom. The soldiers are part of Bold Quest, a three-week multi-national integration assessment event at White Sands Missile Range.  U.S. Army photo by Laura AlmarazFour foreign-national soldiers participat­ing with Bold Quest at White Sands Missile Range spoke to Advanced Placement (AP) French and world history students at Mayfield High School Wednesday, May 14.

The soldiers, one from Denmark and three from France, spoke about their jobs, culture and the importance of knowing
more than one language.

“If you travel, even if you speak a bro­ken language, it will totally change the re­lationship
you have with people,” said Maj. Michel Pipier.

He spoke about the French culture and encouraged students to travel and learn about different cultures.

Capt. Torben Nielsen said most people in Denmark are multilingual and it is ben­eficial
to know more than one language in the work force.

“I was forced to learn a second lan­guage
because Denmark is a small country,” Nielsen said.

He began to learn English in the fifth grade and also knows some German. He said exporting companies in Denmark will hire those who are multi-lingual.

Nielsen also spoke about the importance of voting and being involved in a democratic government.

Maj. Stéphane Haas shared the benefits of joining the military. He said he did not do too well in school, but enlisted in the mili­tary and went up the ranks. Haas works in computer technology specializing in secu­rity and cyber defense.

Students learned about Bold Quest and some of the new technology being integrat­ed into the military. Nielsen explained the need to synchronize different systems used by different countries. He said there are differences, such as different units of mea­surement, between countries that need to be synchronized.

The soldiers had a question-and-answer session with the students, and then broke up into groups where students were able to practice speaking French.

“I understand more than I can speak, but it was nice to be able to use the language,” said Idalia Sanchez, an AP French student. “I might need it if I ever travel to France.”

The soldiers are a few out of the 900 U.S. and allied personnel at WSMR participat­ing in Bold Quest, a three-week multina­tional integration assessment event.

Currently, the Bold Quest coalition includes U.S. Services, National Guard, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Finland, France, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Sweden. Eight of the nations are contribut­ing troops and equipment while the others are observing.

Bold Quest is working with NIE at WSMR due to the varied test and training environments available. The exercises are meant to improve interoperability and com­munication between all coalition forces for an effective outcome.