U.S. Army Europe Commander visits Turkey

Dec. 7, 2011

By U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

  • USAREUR commander visits Turkey

    Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling and Gen. Hayri Kivrikoglu, the Turkish Land Forces Commander, participate in a wreath laying ceremony at Anitkabir, the Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk who was the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey.

  • USAREUR commander visits Turkey

    Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling observes Turkish troops during the wreath laying ceremony at Anitkabir located in Ankara, Turkey. 

  • USAREUR commander visits Turkey

    Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling with the leadership of the Turkish Land Forces Military Academy in Ankara, Turkey.

  • USAREUR commander visits Turkey

    Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling meets with cadets as he toured the Turkish Land Forces Military Academy.

  • USAREUR commander visits Turkey

    Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling and Gen. Hayri Kivrikoglu, the Turkish Land Forces Commander.

  • USAREUR commander visits Turkey

    Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling presents Gen. Hayri Kivrikoglu, the Turkish Land Forces Commander with a token of appreciation during his visit.    

  • USAREUR commander visits Turkey

    Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling speaks to U.S. and Turkish Soldiers at the Commando Training Center in Isparta, Turkey.

  • USAREUR commander visits Turkey

    U.S. and Turkish Soldiers practiced high-speed repelling techniques off a 250-foot tower at the Isparta Training Center.

  • USAREUR commander visits Turkey

    Soldiers from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment train alongside our partners as part of the USAREUR exchange program.

  • USAREUR commander visits Turkey

    Soldiers from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment train alongside Turkish Soldiers at the Commando Training Center in Isparta.

ANKARA, Turkey -- The U.S. Army Europe Commander traveled to Turkey Dec. 4-6 to meet with Turkish military commanders and key diplomatic leaders in order to further the United States military relationship with Turkish forces.

"We've had a long-standing military partnership with the Turkish Land Forces, we've trained together, we've fought together, and because of that close relationship and those experiences, our U.S. Soldiers are better trained and prepared and I believe, the Turkish Soldiers are as well," said Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling during a discussion on partnering with Turkish Land Forces Commander, Gen. Hayri Kivrikoglu.

Both commanders agreed that while current partnering and Soldier exchange programs were excellent, more opportunities could further the skills and professionalism of both forces.

Hertling witnessed first-hand a U.S. Army Europe exchange program with a platoon out of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment training alongside our partners at the Turkish Commando Training Center in Isparta. 

As U.S. Soldiers practiced high-speed repelling techniques off a 250-foot tower, each pounded the ground with a grin, they we're greeted by their Turkish counterparts with a pat on the back for a job well done.

When asked how the training was going, an enthusiastic "excellent" was shouted from the troops.

"They (the Turkish unit) are very disciplined and good at what they do. They're also very proud to be serving their country," said platoon leader, 1st Lt.  Alex Frank.  “This has been a great experience for all of us.”

Hertling also visited U.S. Army Europe Soldiers working a key strategic mission in a remote location in south - east Turkey.  Despite tough conditions, morale remained high, said Hertling.

In Ankara, the U.S. Army Europe Commander participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the Anitkabir Mausoleum followed by meetings with Gen. Hayri Kivrikoglu and deputy, Chief of Defense, Gen. Hulusi Akar.  Discussions focused on further exchange programs for Soldiers, exchanging information and lessons learned, and transitioning to preparing for future conflicts.

Hertling also spent time discussing the political, military, and economic landscape of Turkey at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara. US Ambassador to Turkey, Francis J. Ricciardone, Jr. along with the country team expressed successes and challenges currently facing Turkey and echoed the importance of retaining strong military to military ties.

In his last stop in Ankara, the U.S. Army Europe Commander toured the Turkish Land Forces Military Academy, where thousands of young cadets study and prepare to join the professional Turkish Land Forces.  Hertling stopped by a classroom to meet with cadets and later viewed cadets attempting a challenging obstacle course as a part of their physical training program.

This trip is another example of how U.S. Army Europe continues to support USEUCOM missions and U.S. national objectives by training, deploying, and building partnerships throughout the Region.