GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- The Bundeswehr Operational Medical Support Command and the 21st Theater Sustainment Command formalized their existing partnership, March 24, 2017.

Maj. Gen. Ulrich Baumgartner, Commanding General OMSCOM, and U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Steven W Ainsworth, Deputy Commanding General 21st TSC signed a memorandum of partnership between the two commands. Ainsworth acknowledged during the ceremony the initiative the subordinate units of both commands have taken to enhance their partnership.

"Our subordinate units, the 30th Medical Brigade and the 2nd Medical regiment have already picked up the ball and run with their commanders' intent so much that this event today is less of a starting point and more of an endorsement of their activities," he said.

The memorandum of partnership enables the subordinate units to build and sustain interoperability and states that the goal of the partnership is to foster interoperability between functionally aligned subordinate units from the 21st TSC and the units of OMSCOM.

"The sharing of ideas, tactics and procedures gives the U.S., Germany and NATO allies' assurance that world-class medicine can be delivered to our NATO countries and begins the framework for establishing interoperable medical care to all NATO troops," said Master Sgt. Peter R. Sutherland, Military Cooperation, 30th Medical Brigade. "In light of the USARUER shift from 'Assurance' to 'Deterrence', having direct partnership with our German allies showcases the U.S. and German military medical communities ability to shape, train and develop in our dynamic global environment."

The signing continues U.S. Army Europe's "Year of Execution" and further solidifies interoperability with its NATO allies.

"Training with Bundeswehr units also provides a unique and important opportunity for U.S. units to develop and sustain long-term, close relationships with key allied units with which they may deploy and operate together in support of exercises, contingencies or operations," the memorandum states.

Ainsworth said those relationships have already began to bear fruit.

"I've learned that our medical units have begun scheduling events to not only train together, but to mutually support each other's missions," he said.

These partnerships and multinational training opportunities allow for joint military cohesion and maintaining strong interoperability between allies. German Army Maj. Gen. Ulrich Baumgärtner noted that in order to be effective, partnership units must work together frequently.

"It is not the one big event that binds people together, but a multitude of common experiences," Baumgärtner said.

This memo will ultimately provide the framework and the ability for these units to carry out joint activities at the frequency and depth necessary to truly be interoperable.

As this memorandum signifies increased cooperation and interoperability between the German and American medical assets, the memorandum signing occurred at the site of the 2017 U.S. Army Europe Expert Field Medical Badge where 14 German military medical professionals are training alongside their American counterparts.