U.S. Forces join with NATO Counterparts to stand up JTF - East
August 9, 2007
U.S. Soldiers, Airmen and Sailors are working together with their Romanian counterparts to set up the Joint Task Force-East Proof of Principle Exercise.
The proof of principle exercise is being held to validate the concept of U.S. Army brigade-sized rotational units training in Romania and Bulgaria with the opportunity to train with militaries from other countries from throughout Europe.
The exercise will officially begin with an opening ceremony set for August 17 and is to conclude with a closing ceremony October 22.
Roughly 1,000 U.S. military personnel and civilian employees will participate in the exercise, which will build interoperability and enhance our military relationships with NATO members Romania and Bulgaria, and test command and control capabilities required for future brigade-level deployments to JTF-E
The exercise will also validate the functions, mission and manning of the JTF- East headquarters and the support infrastructure in Romania and Bulgaria.
"We are very honored to be here working with our NATO partners," said U.S. Army Colonel Peri Anest, Joint Task Force-East Commander. "This important mission will provide us with a unique opportunity to work and train with our allies and gather valuable experience together.
"Also, this is a great chance to get to know this beautiful country and interact with its local communities," continued Anest. "The people are very warm, receptive and extremely hard working."
The task force is providing many new jobs to the community as it currently employs about 550 Romanian workers for the proof of principle exercise and may increase to 600 Romanian workers when the task force becomes fully operational in August.
Soldiers from Headquarters, U.S. Army, Europe in Heidelberg, Germany, and the 1st Armored Division in Baumholder, Germany, as well as Soldiers from the Southern European Task Force, based in Vicenza, Italy, will be part of a joint headquarters entity. The element will also include personnel from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy Seabees and Romanian military forces.
The Soldiers will take part in various training events, such as small caliber weapons firing, squad (nine-men) live fire exercises, situational training exercises, medical first aid and other individual Soldier skills with Romanian and Bulgarian counterparts.
Members of the media will be invited to attend several events through October at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Babadag Training Area as well as events scheduled to be held in Bulgaria.
News media representatives interested in covering the JTF-E proof of principle exercise or who have questions may contact: Mr. Troy Darr, JTF-East PAO, at comm. +40-241-60-8288 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.