U.S. Army Europe forces support NATO missile defense

Jan, 8, 2013

By Staff Sgt. Joel Salgado, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

10th AAMDC deployment
U.S. Air Force personnel load a medium tactical vehicle from U.S. Army Europe's 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command onto a C5 Galaxy transport plane at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Jan. 8. The load-up was part of the 10th AAMDC's deployment to Turkey, along with other USAREUR, Army and multinational forces, in support of NATO operations. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Joel Salgado)

(NOTE: This story has been expanded from its original version. The original story has not been altered, but additional material has been included.)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany – Soldiers from U.S. Army Europe’s 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command and 44th Expeditionary Signal Battalion have deployed to Turkey in support of NATO missile defense operations.

The USAREUR units are deploying along with members of the 32nd AAMDC from Fort Bliss, Texas, which will provide the two Patriot missile batteries for the mission due to arrive in Turkey later this month. The 10th will serve as the command and control element for the batteries and act as a liaison for U.S, NATO and host nation forces, said Lt. Col. Robert Ozanich, the 10th’s intelligence officer.

NATO forces are deploying for the mission in response to a request from the Turkish government to augment its air defense capabilities to defend its population and territory. USAREUR’s multinational partners from Germany and the Netherlands plan to contribute forces to the operation as well.

The deployment is nothing new for the 10th AAMDC, which has participated in other major multinational exercises in recent months.

“We have quite a bit of experience (working with multinational partners),” said Maj. Joel Johnson, operations officer for the 10th. “We’ve been involved in partnership events in Poland and we’ve recently returned from a EUCOM (U.S. European Command) exercise in Israel where we did a lot of interface with our Israeli counterparts. So it’s kind of almost second nature to us at this point.”

Several Soldiers from the 10th AAMDC said they are looking forward to the mission and the chance to put the training and knowledge they have gained from working with their partners to good use.

“Our expectations are that we’ll be able to successfully complete this mission and provide necessary protections to Turkey,” said Ozanich. “I know our people are looking forward to the opportunity because it’s a chance to execute our mission and do our job that we train and prepare for.”

The duration of the deployment will be determined by the contributing nations in coordination with Turkey and NATO.


For more images from the load-up, see the set in USAREUR's Flickr photostream.

About us: U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned to advance American strategic interests across Eurasia and has unparalleled capability to prevent conflict, shape the environment and, if necessary, win decisively. The relationships we build during more than 1000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships, and enhance global security.