WIESBADEN, Germany -- U.S. Army and German Army Signal Soldiers stood side-by-side in formation during a ceremony to formalize a working partnership between their units April 25, 2017 in Bonn.
The ceremony formalized working partnerships that have been ongoing for about two years between two U.S. Signal battalions from 2nd Theater Signal Brigade and two German Signal battalions from the Bundeswehr Communications and Information Systems Command -- the 102nd Strategic Signal Battalion in Wiesbaden is a designated partner unit with the 282nd CIS Support Battalion in Kastellaun, and the 44th Expeditionary Signal Battalion in Grafenwoehr is partnered with the 383rd CIS Support Battalion in Erfurt.
The goal of the partnership is to enhance friendly relations and work toward achieving greater communications interoperability between the two NATO allies.
Col. Jeff Worthington, commander of 2nd Theater Signal Bde., said the partnership could best be defined by the professional accomplishments and relationships forged between units and Soldiers.
"Our pledge to you and to the entire Bundeswehr CIS Command is that this relationship will not merely be symbolized by exchange of paper certificates, (but) by a meaningful association characterized by real exchanges in ideas and experiences, and above all, true camaraderie and soldierly friendship," Worthington said in his remarks.
He said previous joint training exercises, meetings, working groups and personnel exchanges have already greatly benefited both sides and will continue to do so in the future.
"We look forward to future combined events and training activities that these new formalized relationships will facilitate," Worthington said.
Col. Ralf Hoffmann, Bundeswehr CIS Cmd. deputy commander, said partnership is the cornerstone of the Bundeswehr's multinational relationships.
"It is important that our junior NCOs and officers get to know each other, learn from each other, share operational experience and train together so we are better prepared and ready to face our common missions, if necessary, side-by side in the operational theaters worldwide," Hoffmann said.
Worthington and Hoffman presented partnership certificates to the four U.S. and German battalion commanders. A band from the German Army played the Bundeswehr CIS Cmd. and U.S. Army Signal Corps marches, and the U.S. and German national anthems.
Lt. Col. Adam Sannutti, commander of the 44th Expeditionary Signal Bn., said his unit's partnership with the 383rd CIS Spt. Bn. began two years ago with cultural events and shooting ranges, but has since grown to focus more on communications interoperability and has even led to the temporary exchange of operations officers between the two units.
"Without a doubt it's strengthening our partnership, learning about the capabilities within both our units, the strengths and weaknesses, and coming together and being stronger together," Sannutti said.
Lt. Col. Michael Mensching, commander of the 282nd CIS Spt. Bn., said his unit's partnership with the 102nd Strategic Signal Bn. has provided his unit and Soldiers with valuable insight into how U.S. Signal forces conduct training and exercises, as well as day-to-day operations.
"We will foster and intensify our very good relationship, especially interoperability training when it comes to CIS equipment," Mensching said of his goals for the partnership in the near future.
"I am convinced that the only way to face the challenges of today and tomorrow is together as one. Interoperability remains the key to success, and multinational cooperation remains the foundation," Hoffmann said.
2nd Theater Signal Brigade conducts Department of Defense Information Network operations to enable mission command in support of U.S. Army, Joint and multinational operations throughout the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of operation.