By Staff Sgt. Alexander BurnettJune 25, 2013
PIRMASENS, Germany - Soldiers from the 21st Theater Sustainment Command's 7th Civil Support Command and 5th Quartermaster Company took part in the annual Rheinland-Pfalz Tag fair, June 21 through 23.
The "First in Support" soldiers joined members of the German Bundeswehr to proudly display the tools of their trade for spectators. The 773rd Civil Support Team, 7th CSC showcased their chemical detection gear and suits, showing both members of the German military and civilians the conditions chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear soldiers must operate under. Members of the 773rd CST also explained their decontamination procedures and what missions require CBRN assets.
"A lot of the people here are very interested in what we do, especially the members of the German military," said Sgt. Peter L. Robinson Jr., a survey team member assigned to the 773rd CST and a native of San Diego. "This was a great opportunity for members of the U.S. and German militaries to get together, share experiences and compare equipment. I really enjoyed seeing the German decontamination system."
Soldiers from the 5th QM Company showcased their mission by displaying a fully packed parachute and reserve parachute while a soldier explained how the chute deploys when a paratrooper exits the plane. At another station, a parachute rigger opens and lays out a parachute so passersby can see how the equipment looks when fully deployed. The 5th QM Company also showed a video depicting a jump involving over 500 paratroopers.
"It is very interesting to see how the U.S. paratroopers operate and what their equipment looks like," said Mirko Meng, a German paratrooper from Zweibrücken, Germany. "I am familiar with some of the older U.S. parachutes, but I have never seen this one. For people who are completely unfamiliar with airborne operations this is a great opportunity to learn."
Saturday afternoon of the Rheinland-Pfalz Tag brought the traditional military reception, an opportunity for members of the German government, community and military to interact and socialize with their U.S. neighbors. Maj. Gen. Aundre F. Piggee, the commanding general of the 21st TSC, and Minister President Malu Dreyer, the minister president for the Rheinland-Pfalz Palatinate, took this opportunity recognize the strength and diverse culture seen at the Rheinland-Pfalz Tag.
"While there is impressive equipment on display, great technologies, and some darn good beer and bratwurst... it's not that equipment, or the new gadgets, or even the beer and bratwurst that make this such a special event. It is the people," Piggee said. "It is you, Minister President Dreyer, it is the great Rheinland-Pfalz community you represent.
"This has been our [Maj. Gen. Piggee and his wife Kassi] home away from home and I am proud to call myself, if only for a short time, a 'Pfalzer.' Auf Wiedersehen und Vielen Dank (Good-bye and thank you)!"
Minister President Dreyer then expressed her appreciation for the members of the U.S. military in Rheinland-Pfalz and their vital mission in the region. She highlighted an aviation training program soldiers host in Landstuhl and how those helicopters provide life saving aid to not only U.S. troops, but members of the Bundeswehr as well. Finally, she praised all members of the U.S. and German military and believes both belong at Rheinland-Pfalz Tag because they are an integral part of the community.