MUENSTER, Germany - United States Army NATO Soldiers assigned to NATO's 1st German-Netherlands Corps conducted a deployment readiness and alert exercise Mar. 4, as part of a series of exercises making up NATO Exercise Trident Juncture 15, the alliance's larges exercise this year.

The Soldiers, along with their Dutch, Germany, Romanian and Turkish partners practiced alert and deployment procedures for a would be short-notice deployment, culminating with the air-loading of Soldiers and equipment onto a C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft.

1st GNC, headquartered in Muenster, Germany, is one of several NATO headquarters responsible for rapidly deploying to provide command and control to NATO forces during operational deployments. The deployment and alert excercise provided 1st GNC leaders an assessment of how well their organization can do that.

"We started the exercise with an alert to advanced echelon soldiers of our Operational Liaison and Reconaissance Team (OLRT) who will deploy first, when required, and continued with mobilization activities all the way through to loading troops and equipment onto the aircraft." said German Army Lt. Col. Paul Kolken, 1st GNC spokesman.

During the culminating portion of the exercise 1st GNC OLRT troops arrived at nearby M√ľnster-Osnabruck Airport and staged vehicles for air load training. A short while later the multinational group of Soldiers looked on as a Hungary-based C-17 made its descent and parked within a stone's throw of their location. Braving the cold air and high winds the troops began loading vehicles and assessing their ability to complete the task quickly and safely.

U.S. Soldiers assigned to 1st GNC described aadditional benefits to working and training inside a NATO headquarters. This exercise and other daily operations at 1st GNC headquarters provides opportunities for U.S. personnel to work side-by-side with partners from thirteen NATO nations, said (U.S.) Master Sgt. Milton Garland, a senior intelligence non-commisioned officer with 1st GNC. "As non-commissioned officers here we work with our partners everyday. It's a great broadening and development opportunity for Soldiers."