LEGNAGO, Italy (June 23, 2015) -- Signaleers, from the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the Italian 8th Parachute Assault Engineer Regiment, conducted joint communications training here, June 16.

The exercise, designed to increase interoperability between the two NATO allies, facilitated mutual understanding of the joint tactical communication used by the U.S. and Italian paratroopers.

The signaleers validated communication systems by troubleshooting software and hardware errors, implementing joint radio networks and training on international radio protocols to effectively communicate over FM and high-frequency radios.

"The training we conducted with the Italian signalers was beneficial and ideal to battlefield operations as communication between allies is critical to the success of NATO missions," said U.S. Army Spc. Andrew Manley, a senior retransmission team leader. "Reconnaissance, intelligence, supply and mission command all require joint communications in today's complex military environment."

During the joint training event, the signaleers explained and demonstrated each other's communications equipment capabilities and functionality. This was followed by bridging solutions to facilitate secure communications between U.S. and Italian radios.

"Working with the Italian army was a great experience," said U.S. Army Cpl. Janay L. Nutter, a senior retransmission team leader. "We were able to achieve interoperability solutions between U.S. and Italian tactical radio systems in order to support future joint operations."

The 173rd Brigade Engineer Battalion's signal company regularly conducts joint communications training throughout Europe to bridge partner radio systems between NATO allies and implement secure radio solutions for combat units.

The 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vicenza, Italy, is the U.S. Army Contingency Force for Europe, ready to project force anywhere in the U.S. European, Central and Africa areas of responsibility within 18 hours.