GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Moving around the world every couple of years and spending long days and cold nights in the field are just a few of the experiences Soldiers grow accustomed to.
Another one is having to say good bye to family and friends more often than usual -- a familiarity in more ways than one for the Adams brothers.
Michigan natives Army Master Sgt. Kyran Adams, 39, and his brother Josh, 47, last saw each other five years ago when they put their father to rest in Detroit. Josh was a forward observer (13F) and had just redeployed from Afghanistan.
During their father's passing, Kyran moved from one overseas tour, Hawaii, to another, Germany, making it hard for the brothers to organize a family get-together until recently.
Kyran and Josh, both combat veterans, were reunited during the U.S. Army Joint Modernization Command's Joint Warfighting Assessment 18, an exercise developed to assess emerging concepts, integrate new technologies, and promote interoperability within the Army, other services, and U.S. allies and partners. The three-week exercise coincidentally took place at Kyran's current duty station of Grafenwoehr, Germany from April 20 to May 9.
"This mission brought me directly to Kyran and to work with him in the JWA exercise," Josh said with an ear-to-ear smile on his face. "I never expected this. I just knew I was coming to JWA for a mission and didn't even know he was going to be involved."
Josh is now a digital systems engineer at the U.S. Army's Program Executive Office Command Control Communications-Tactical in Fort Hood, Texas. Josh's mission was to ensure all JWA participating units' command systems were connected to one another, configured, and had the capability to fight on the digital battlefield.
While Josh's mission fell in the realm of digital communications, so did Kyran's.
Kyran, with 21 years of experience as a combat camera Soldier, supported the JWA exercise using a different skillset, one that required his efforts to work directly with his older brother.
"Communications is not my career field, but it's an assignment I have while I'm over here," said Kyran, assigned as a communications noncommissioned officer at the Joint Multinational Simulations Center. "For me to learn what Josh has been doing for the past 15 years is amazing."
Kyran was responsible for preparing the battlefield specifically for Josh's mission.
"He wouldn't be able to do anything if it wasn't for me," jokingly said Kyran as he laughed with his brother. "We provided all the backbone, the infrastructure and the connectivity so they could do their job."
The Adams brothers didn't expect to see each other, much less work directly with each other, during the JWA exercise.
"I just wanted to see him," said Kyran. "If he was anywhere within a four-digit grid coordinate, I was going to find the other four or six digits and dial it right in. I didn't expect to actually work hand in hand with him, it was a big surprise."
"This has been amazing," said Josh. "We're bonding, just like big brother to little brother."