By Capt. Cecilia Clark, Joint Multinational Training CommandMay 17, 2013
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Of the 103 countries within the U.S. European Command and U.S Army Africa areas of responsibility, the Joint Multinational Training Command's Training Support Activity Europe provides support to over a third of them.
TSAE personnel recently deployed to Bulgaria in support of U.S. Marine Forces Europe's Black Sea Rotational Force 13, or BSRF-13, which is a EUCOM initiative including militaries from more than 20 nations and focusing on counterinsurgency and peacekeeping.
While on the ground in Bulgaria, Wilford A. Alston, TSAE Expeditionary Training Support Division chief, said that TSAE supports BSRF-13 by providing "the training aids, devices, simulators, targetry and other equipment needed to create a home station training environment in an austere area."
He said that TSAE works with U.S. Marine forces and partner nations in Bulgaria, providing training support to enhance joint and combined interoperability between the U.S. and partner nations.
"Exercises that bring together several NATO nations," said the newly-confirmed Commander of the U.S European Command, or EUCOM, and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, when asked about EUCOM's strategy, "will ensure NATO force relevance and flexibility."
Major Willie R. Garfield, Training Support Activity Europe, or TSAE, deputy director says that TSAE, is a vital contributor to EUCOM's strategic success as it supports a variety of training requirements and exercises in varied locations. Additionally, TSAE's 13 Training Support Centers, spread among five nations, and Expeditionary Training Support Division work to build partnerships between the U.S. and its allies while providing that training support.
In addition to enabling EUCOM's training missions, the TSAE mission set now includes supporting operations in Africa.
Major General Patrick J. Donahue, Commander of U.S. Army Africa, said, during a U.S. Army Africa, or USARAF, mission overview, the mission of USARAF is to "Protect America, Americans and American interests and to promote the development of African armies." He said, "USARAF is doing those tasks to promote a stable environment in Africa."
The Training Support Activity Europe supports USARAF's mission in Africa by deploying specialized teams and equipment sets to the continent that provide tailored training products, focused on each unit's mission and improving the capabilities and competencies of the developing African armies. The TSAE team currently supports USARAF in seven African countries including Ghana, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania.
Garfield said that supporting USARAF increases TSAE's operations tempo.
As a result, TSAE currently supports more than 40 percent of the Joint Multinational Training Command's out-of-sector missions.
"TSAE personnel are dedicated professionals who are led by outstanding leaders that conduct detailed planning and coordination," said Garfield when asked about the effect of high operations tempo and out-of-sector missions on the TSAE organization.
He said, "Their personnel will continue to provide mission support at home station and abroad, despite the high OPTEMPO."