HOHENFELS, Germany (May 21, 2015) -- Exercise Combined Resolve IV kicked off its two-week combat-training phase at Hohenfels Training Area, May 18-29, with more than 4,700 participants from 13 NATO ally and partner nations.One group, which came to observe the technology used during this exercise, is a U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, or RDECOM, team. The team is comprised of active-duty, Reserve Soldiers, and civilian personnel.RDECOM centers research and develops engineering technologies in its laboratories. It also integrates technologies developed in partnership with an extensive network of academic, industry, and international partners.This team will observe training, not to assess the Soldiers, but to primarily assess the technology used by the different units and countries involved."Our mission here is to provide science and technology advisors to assist commanders and staffs, to help identify gaps that they have so we can insert technology to fulfill those gaps," said Lt. Col. James D. Nelson Jr., a senior research officer at RDECOM."We understand that the priority [during this exercise] is interoperability and mission command systems," Nelson said. "That is what we're emphasizing when we make our rounds and talk to Soldiers in the field.""We're here to observe what everyone is bringing to the mission, to understand what equipment and technology is coming so we can understand the roots of the problems that are encountered," said Col. Keith Hirschman, commander of the RDECOM Forward Command Element."This exercise has a communication and situational awareness bend to it. Those are the types of problems we're looking for, because that's what the commands have been talking to us about for over a year," Hirschman said."We circulate through the field, and talk and interview, trying to find problems Soldiers may be having," he said.Nelson said when the team comes across an issue that requires further research or development, a request for further information, or RFI, is sent back to RDECOM. They, in-turn, forward the RFI tracking sheet to one of the seven laboratories.The team hopes to receive a response to each RFI before they the exercise concludes. Communicating a solution back to the organization or unit involved in the training is crucial. In major exercises, like this, interoperability and communication go hand-in-hand."This is a training environment; we have to train as we're going to fight. We want to shape how we're training so that it can mirror how we see ourselves fighting. Communication is the major part of being able to do that." said Maj. Angela Smoot, Army Europe science advisor, from Wiesbaden, Germany."In today's modern world, you have voice data, emails, Blue Force Tracking, FM radios, all of this stuff has to be able to interlink, somehow. This is more or less the beginning steps in moving forward. Exercises like this offer the opportunity to do better, and use what we have to solve problems."The RDECOM team wants to solve the problems identified by the training units."What we're doing is not an assessment in the traditional sense, it's a question of what do we see as the gap and how can we do it better? Our assessments are 'Why is this radio not talking to that radio?' We're here to assess the technology," said Maj. Aaron Vandiver, a team advisor."Just like the Army operating concept, we're trying to perceive the unknown; we're trying to help the units that come here by giving them solutions with science and technology."Exercise Combined Resolve IV will take place from May to June at the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command, or JMTC. More than 4,700 participants from 13 NATO and partner countries are training in the exercise. The Combined Resolve series of exercises incorporates the U.S. Army's Regionally Aligned Force with the European Activity Set to train with European Allies and partners.The 7th Army JMTC is the only training command outside the continental United States, providing realistic and relevant training to U.S. Army, Joint Service, NATO, allied and multinational forces. It is a regular venue for some of the largest training exercises in Europe.