U.S. Army Europe, allied Soldiers help stand watch in Turkey

May 1, 2013

By Staff Sgt. John Zumer, 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command

Two U.S. Army Europe Soldiers perform a skit at the Clay Kaserne fitness center in Wiesbaden, Germany, to demonstrate the warning signs of a potential sexual assault, as part of U.S. Army Europe’s Ready and Resilient Day: SHARP, April 3. SHARP -- Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention -- is a subcomponent of the Army’s Ready and Resilient campaign. April is Sexual Assault Prevention Month, and will feature a number of activities across U.S. Army Europe communities to raise awareness of sexual assault prevention.

Soldiers attached to U.S. Army Europe's 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command perform a Patriot missile reload during recent operations in Turkey. The Kaiserslautern, Germany-based unit continues what is expected to be a yearlong deployement as part of a NATO contingent that also includes U.S.-based, Dutch and German air defenders. The combined force is in Turkey at the request of the Turkish government, to augment air defense capabilities, defend population and safeguard territory. (Courtesy photo)

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – Soldiers with U.S. Army Europe's 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command continue to support partnership operations and regional security during their deployment alongside other U.S. and NATO Patriot missile batteries in Turkey.

The Kaiserslautern-based 10th deployed in December as part of NATO missile defense operations established at the request of the Turkish government, to augment its air defense capabilities, defend its population and safeguard its territory. Two U.S. Patriot batteries from the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery from Fort Sill, OKla., as well as German and Dutch Patriot batteries, also deployed as part of the NATO contingent. All the partners in the operation interact regularly in completing the mission.

The 10th AAMDC serves as the command and control element for the batteries and act as liaison for U.S., host nation and other NATO forces in what is expected to be a yearlong deployment.

Being called upon to deploy with short notice is nothing new to Soldiers of the 10th, said Maj. William Boisvert, an advisor to the unit's ground commander. Most recently its members have trained alongside Polish and Israeli forces, building the partnerships and interoperability vital to successful combined operations.

A large part of the 10th AAMDC mission in Turkey involves ensuring the batteries of the 3-2nd have the assets and coordination support they need to perform their missile defense roles.

“Our Soldiers are prepared to successfully complete it (their mission), which will only help to secure continued protection for Turkey and NATO countries,” said Boisvert.

Col. John Wanat, who spent several months as the 10th AAMDC officer-in-charge of U.S. Patriot forces in Turkey, agreed the mission has been an operational and partner-building success.

“We’ve had great relationships with the host nation and our NATO partners,” he said.

Wanat said the credit for that success belongs to the command's Soldiers, who remained undeterred in accomplishing their mission under any conditions.

“They’ve done an extremely professional job in an environment that was often austere, and always maintained a high level of morale,” the colonel said.

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.