WIESBADEN, Germany -- U.S. Army Soldiers from the 509th Signal Battalion met with Italian soldiers from the 32nd Signal Regiment for a partnership building event between the two NATO Allies Sept. 21 in Padua, Italy.

Both units perform similar functions for their respective armies; The 509th Signal Battalion, headquartered in Vicenza, delivers communications support to U.S. forces across Italy, the Balkans, the Black Sea region and Africa, while the 32nd Signal Regiment is responsible for designing, building, managing, controlling and maintaining the Italian Army's information and communication systems in northern Italy.

Following official greetings the U.S. Soldiers received a mission briefing and tour of the Italian unit's facilities, including a meal at the dining facility. The day concluded with both units signing a formal partnership agreement followed by photos and an official exchange of gifts.

Sgt. Maj. Albano Battistella, Italian Liaison Officer to U.S. Army Garrison Italy, helped facilitate the new partnership between the two units. He said building partnerships helps build trust and understanding between different countries.

"The 509th has really made it a priority to seek out new partnership with our Italian Army units, and this means a lot to us -- we learn from one another and help each other," Battistella said.

"Partnerships such as this are key to America's ability to operate in a complex environment," said Maj. Brian Stieritz, 509th Signal Battalion executive officer.

The 509th Signal Battalion and the 32nd Signal Regiment plan to further their new partnership in the coming months through several site visits and technical interoperability exercises between the two organizations.

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2nd Signal Brigade builds, operates and defends Mission Command System and networks to support unified action anytime, anywhere.